Washington Post: The Technology 202: Where is YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki?

March 23, 2021 Media

YouTube videos are a critical source of online misinformation, yet they often get a pass in broader discussions about the dangers of social media. Even in Congress.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has never had to appear alongside other social media executives for a Capitol Hill grilling, and she will not be in attendance on Thursday when Congress questions top tech executives for the first time since the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks.

Instead, lawmakers have invited Sundar Pichai, the CEO of YouTube’s parent companies Google and Alphabet, to testify alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. All are becoming familiar figures at the Capitol. The hearing will be Zuckerberg’s fourth appearance since July and Dorsey and Pichai’s third during the same time period.

Biden’s nomination of Khan, an associate professor of law at Columbia University who is best known for a 2017 paper “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” solidifies the administration’s industry-skeptical stance and renews attention on other top vacancies for industry regulators.

House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) praised the choice in a statement, calling Khan a “strong pro-consumer advocate.” Sarah Miller, the executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, an anti-monopoly group, called her an “extraordinary choice” but called for Biden to clean house.

“President Biden must replace FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra and staff the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division with anti-monopolychampions whose track records demonstrate they are similarly committed to enforcing the rule of law,” she said. Biden has not yet selected an assistant attorney general to lead the Antitrust Division.