Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed his frustration with U.S. lawmakers' questions on the social media platform at a hearing on misinformation, prompting one member of Congress to criticize his multitasking.
Lawmakers grilled Dorsey and other major tech CEOs for almost five hours. Tensions were high as they pressed them to answer "yes or no" or otherwise be cut off from responding.
During the hearing Thursday, Dorsey tweeted "?" with a poll asking Twitter users to vote "yes" or "no." The tweet did not go unnoticed, prompting Democratic Representative Kathleen Rice to ask: "Mr. Dorsey, what is winning, yes or no, on your Twitter account poll?"
Dorsey told her that "yes" was winning, to which she replied: "Your multitasking skills are quite impressive," in a manner that did not seem to suggest she was impressed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai were also witnesses at a joint hearing of two House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittees.
Throughout the hearing, lawmakers from both parties attempted to nail the tech CEOs down, interrupting them when they tried to provide long answers. They asked the executives about COVID-19 misinformation, harassment, hate speech, and extremism.
Ultimately, the tech giants were accused of using algorithms to direct users to the most offensive and extreme content, to keep viewers on the platforms longer, and to increase profits.
The executives disputed those allegations, claiming that the questions were based on a misconception of how the algorithms operate.
The testimonies of the executives did not seem to sway the committee members.
Dorsey also liked tweets opposing elements of the hearing, such as asking whether members of Congress were mispronouncing Pichai's name, and responded to a tweet confirming that he was barefoot during the call.
Dorsey's poll Thursday afternoon had more than 71,000 votes.