- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said social media is a “nuance-destruction machine” during a historic antitrust hearing that also featured the execs of Facebook, Google, and Apple on Wednesday.
- The comment was made in response to a question asked by Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican, who probed the four CEOs for their opinion on “cancel culture.”
- The hearing was designed for Congress to grill the execs over anticompetitive business practices used by their firms, but as expected, lawmakers veered off course and delved into such topics as user data privacy and election interference.
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said social media is a “nuance-destruction machine” during a congressional antitrust hearing Wednesday.
The CEO’s comment was in response to a question posed by Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, who asked all four of the executives for their stance on so-called cancel culture, or the collective calling out or “canceling” of a public figure following offensive comments or actions made by that person.
As part of his question, Jordan also cited the resignation of controversial New York Times editor Bari Weiss, who penned a letter upon her departure from the outlet in mid-July. Following widespread criticism against Weiss on Twitter from users as well as many of her NYT colleagues, the opinion editor resigned, citing in part the Times’ culture of censoring centrist and conservative opinions.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg replied saying he and his company firmly believe in free expression, while Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed skepticism that the hard-and-fast “canceling” of people online is always beneficial.
The hearing, a much-anticipated inquiry conducted by the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, was designed to probe the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook over anticompetitive business practices that have contributed to the firms’ monopoly over the market.
But the representatives at times veered from the topic, delving into such issues as user privacy, election interference, and, in Jordan’s case, cancel culture.
You can view Business Insider’s liveblog of the hearing here.