GOP congressman apply pressure to Twitter over tech censorship

Two GOP congressmen are putting some pressure on Twitter.

The Washington Examiner reports that Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Ken Buck (R-CO) are asking Twitter to turn over documents related to any censoring that the Big Tech outlet has done. 

“Dear Mr. Dorsey:”

Jordan and Buck made their request in a letter that they sent to Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey on Thursday.

“Big Tech, especially Twitter, Inc., is engaged in systematic viewpoint-based discrimination,” the congressmen wrote. “In the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘cancel culture,’ Twitter plays a leading role in silencing and censoring political speech of conservative Americans.”

Jordan and Buck go on to list as examples Twitter’s decision to “throttle” the New York Post’s pre-election report on Hunter Biden, showing a potential link between Hunter’s overseas business dealings and his father President Joe Biden. The congressmen also cite Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend former President Donald Trump’s account.

“If Twitter can do this to the President of the United States, it can do it to any American for any reason,” Jordan and Buck wrote.

The document requests

The House Judiciary Committee, according to Jordan and Buck, has been examining “the size, competitiveness, and role of social media companies.”

It is to this end that the Judiciary Committee back in July of 2020 asked Twitter to provide various documentation. But, according to the two congressmen, Twitter has refused to do so, and, since then, “Twitter’s conduct has only become more brazen.”

Now, Jordan and Buck are re-requesting documents from Twitter. They include documents related to “decisions made by Twitter over the past year for users located within the United States, including which Twitter rule or policy the user allegedly violated and the content of the moderated tweet.”

The document requests also include “all documents and communications referring or relating to Twitter’s decision to apply a ‘fact check’ notation to President Trump’s May 26, 2020, tweets concerning mail-in,” and, “all documents and communications referring or relating to Twitter’s decision to apply a notation asserting that President Trump’s June 23, 2020, tweet concerning an autonomous zone in Washington, D.C. violated Twitter’s policy against abusive behavior and threats of harm against an identifiable group.”

What now?

Jordan and Buck gave Dorsey until March 18th to comply. It is unclear whether the outlet will do so. If past experience tells us anything, it is probably that Dorsey will not.

But, it is time that Congress start taking action to reign Big Tech in. At the very least, their Section 230 liability protection ought to be revoked. Let’s hope that Jordan and Buck’s letter is an indication that Congress will at some point in the near future will take up the issue.

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