If Mark Zuckerberg repeats himself, don't be stunned.


Don't be surprised if Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg repeats himself at Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on censorship and social media. He's done this before.

Actually five times. This will be Mr. Zuckerberg's sixth appearance before Congress, and the 36-year-old is now used to talking about how his social network – the largest in the world – is a driving force. Forget that Facebook is a real spokesman for disinformation and confusion on the internet.

Facebook said Mr Zuckerberg intends to remind lawmakers at the hearing that its platform gives a voice to everyone on earth. That included this month's election. In the run-up to November 3, Facebook set up the Voting Information Center, a center for voting data and instructions, and, among other things, instructed millions of users to register to vote.

As with his last virtual visit to Capitol Hill last month, Mr. Zuckerberg is also likely to say some laws for platforms like his own that need updating and revision. This includes Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects companies like Facebook from liability for speech hosted on their platforms.

Mr Zuckerberg is also likely to call for new rules on data protection, elections and data portability again, Facebook said. He had previously asked the federal government for guidance in these areas.

Lawmakers are likely to re-focus their questions on whether Facebook is censoring some of its views. Republican lawmakers in particular have claimed the company has anti-conservative tendencies.

Whatever Mr. Zuckerberg is drubbing, it will likely be less strict than what Twitter's chief executive Jack Dorsey receives when he appears before the committee on Tuesday. This is because Mr. Zuckerberg has managed to make his social network less intrusive than Twitter when it comes to blocking and flagging content.

For example, last month Twitter banned the distribution of an article in the New York Post alleging unsubstantiated corruption charges against Hunter Biden, son of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. Facebook didn't go that far and made the link to the article less visible in users' feeds while the article was reviewed by third-party experts.

Even so, Facebook took vigorous action against untruths caused by the election during and after the election. Facebook groups promoting the “Stop the Steal” movement based on the misconception that President Trump stole the election have been closed. Facebook also added more "friction" to slow the flow of misinformation on its network by creating more steps to read and share posts.

The moves have sparked a backlash among the conservatives. Millions of people are threatening to leave Facebook for apps like Parler, MeWe and Rumble. These apps have marketed themselves to conservatives and positioned themselves as free expression websites. They saw a record number of new users in the past week, according to Sensor Tower, an app analytics company.