At Tuesday's hearing on social media and misinformation, much of the discussion focused on the details of how Facebook and Twitter are doing the process of moderating the billions of pieces of content that are regularly posted on their networks.
According to a New York Times tally, both Democrats and Republicans have focused on the issue. Of a total of 127 questions, more than half – or 67 – related to content moderation. Democrats asked 12 questions aimed at how Facebook and Twitter could step up their moderation efforts on topics like hate speech, while Republicans asked 37 questions about why some viewpoints were censored online and how moderation of content could be reduced in some areas. (The rest of the content moderation questions did not show a clear desire for more or less moderation.)
In particular, Republican senators like Josh Hawley from Missouri, Mike Lee from Utah, and Ted Cruz from Texas focused on the unproven idea that Facebook and Twitter were inappropriately moderating Conservative posts, compared to the time it took Liberals to label or remove posts had expended.
That has been a recurring renouncement by Conservative Americans over the past few weeks, with dozens of people claiming they were leaving Facebook and Twitter to take advantage of more permissive platforms like Parler, Rumble, and MeWe. Facebook and Twitter have claimed that political affiliation does not affect how they enforce their rules.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats said the companies hadn't gone far enough to mitigate harmful content. Connecticut Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke about how the Facebook account of Steve Bannon, a former President Trump strategist, was not deleted despite the recent beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, had suggested.
Mr Zuckerberg said the account received a "strike" and the post was removed, but that Facebook's policy does not require the account to be suspended immediately. Twitter, however, has permanently blocked the account.
Republicans and Democrats agreed that Facebook and Twitter enforced their policies inconsistently, and often without explaining why they took the steps they did.
"We need to have more insight into what happened and what led to certain results," said Republican Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina, who noticed one of his Facebook posts on Veterans Day was moderated without a clear reason why .
Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Dorsey agreed that the reform of content moderation should be revised. Mr. Zuckerberg has invited a new legal framework that could include moderation of content on many of the largest technology platforms. Mr Dorsey said his focus is on giving users more tools to control the content they see, possibly through the use of algorithms tailored to each user's preferences.
"A central global system for moderating content cannot be scaled up," said Dorsey.