ASOP Global Statement on Congressional Hearing with CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google
Lawmakers focus on illegal drug sales online and urgent need for Section 230 reform
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 26, 2021 – The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) issued the following statement about yesterday’s joint hearing on disinformation and the role of social media before the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce:
ASOP Global applauds the subcommittees for holding a hearing to better understand what actions Facebook, Google, and Twitter have taken to moderate content, including the sale of illegal drugs, on their platforms.
Further, ASOP Global appreciates the many lawmakers who directly raised the alarming issue of how these platforms enable online drug dealers to target American consumers. Though the CEOs made claims to have policies and systems in place to prevent such activity, their enforcement has been inconsistent while the platforms remain shielded from accountability by the outdated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Throughout the hearing, policymakers from both sides of the aisle rightfully discussed the importance of revisiting and reforming Section 230. During substantive exchanges about illegal drugs on Facebook with Representatives Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and David McKinley (R-West Virginia), CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged reforms are needed and that policies should specifically target illegal activities, including the sale of drugs. To that end, ASOP Global urges Congress to pass bipartisan, commonsense policy solutions that recognize the harms of illegal drugs sold online and hold companies accountable for illegal activities happening on their platforms.
ASOP Global submitted testimony for the hearing record detailing extensive concerns with illegal drugs being peddled on the CEOs’ platforms. We look forward to continuing our work with lawmakers as they consider how to hold internet platforms accountable for facilitating healthcare misinformation and illegal online drug sales. We need substantial reform now more than ever to protect American lives.
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia, is dedicated to protecting consumers around the world, ensuring safe access to medications, and combating illegal online drug sellers.