By Siobhan Hughes and Sarah E. Needleman 

The Senate Judiciary Committee authorized its chairman to issue subpoenas to the chief executives of Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., after the companies limited sharing of New York Post articles regarding the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The Republican-led panel voted 12-0 to authorize Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) to issue subpoenas to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey.

The vote will "hopefully give us some leverage to secure their testimony, " Mr. Graham said.

Congress typically negotiates with companies to secure voluntary testimony at hearings, opting for subpoenas only if executives resist. No date has been set for a Judiciary Committee hearing.

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.

Democrats sat out the meeting, as they boycotted a separate committee vote to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the full Senate.

Twitter last week blocked users from posting links to the New York Post articles, initially citing a potential violation of its rules regarding hacked materials. The company later said the articles also violated its policies on displaying private information like email addresses and phone numbers without a person's permission. Mr. Dorsey said at the time that the company's failure to give context around its actions was "unacceptable."

Twitter's move came after Facebook also limited the distribution of the articles on its platform, saying it was awaiting guidance from its third-party fact-checking partners. Facebook slowed the spread of the Post articles pending a decision by those partners, a spokesman said last week.

Messrs. Zuckerberg and Dorsey, along with Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, are already set to testify on Oct. 28 before the Senate Commerce Committee about their policies for moderating content on their internet platforms.

That hearing will center on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social-media platforms from liability for user content.

Write to Siobhan Hughes at and Sarah E. Needleman at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 22, 2020 11:20 ET (15:20 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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