Ted Cruz slapped down at Senate hearing for ‘working the refs’ to keep extremist content on social media
Composite image of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) via screengrabs.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was called out for "working the referees" by attempting to "terrify" technology company executives into not enforcing their own rules against political extremism.

The Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet on Tuesday held a hearing titled, “Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms.”

"I think these questions raise very serious -- these documents raise very serious questions about political bias at the company," Cruz said, referring to Google.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) responded.

"I don't want the working of the refs to be left unresponded to, I won't go into great detail except to say that there are members of Congress who use the working of the refs to terrify Google and Facebook and Twitter executives so that they don't take action in taking down extreme content, false content, polarizing content, contra their own rules of engagement," he explained.

"And so, I don't want the fact that the Democratic side of the aisle is trying to engage in good faith on this public policy matter and not work the refs allow the message to be sent to the leadership of these companies that they have to respond to this bad faith accusation every time we have any conversation about what to do in tech policy," Schatz concluded.