Republican congressman demands Twitter answer for censoring Trump, conservatives
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday demanding that more light be shed on the social media platform’s latest censorship actions and the decision-making behind them in light of Twitter’s recent targeting of tweets by President Donald Trump.
Twitter set off a firestorm in May when it placed a “fact-check” on a Trump tweet pertaining to the fraud potential of mail-in voting, then censored another Trump tweet stating that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” pertaining to the Minneapolis riots. The company claimed the latter tweet was “glorifying violence.”
“Recent actions suggest that Twitter is increasingly discriminating against conservative voices on its platform,” Jordan wrote, Breitbart reported. While Twitter’s censorship of prominent conservative voices is troubling, similar treatment for less prominent individuals is more alarming. This reality makes Twitter’s long-running trend of ‘accidentally’ censoring pro-life groups and other conservative advocates especially worrisome.”
Despite Twitter deeming the first tweet false, Jordan noted that a “bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform stated as far back as 2005 that ‘(a)bsentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud’ in American elections. More recently, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration — convened by President Barack Obama — likewise found that ‘when (voter fraud) does occur, absentee ballots are often the method of choice.’”
Jordan wants Dorsey to send the Judiciary Committee an “accounting of all content moderation decisions made by Twitter over the past year for users located within the United States”; “all documents and communications referring or relating to Twitter’s decision(s)” to “fact-check” Trump’s vote-by-mail tweet and label his tweet on the riots “abusive”; and a “briefing to the Committee on these matters as well as its recently adopted disinformation policies and tools and how Twitter makes content moderation decisions upon production of the documents and information requested above.”
Twitter has been the subject of numerous free-speech controversies for years, and alarmed critics yet again in March when it announced it would be aggressively policing COVID-19 “misinformation,” including “denial of global or local health authority recommendations” with the “intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” or “call(s) to action such as “coronavirus is a fraud and not real -- go out and patronize your local bar.” Conservatives suggested some of these rules were a pretext to stifle debate about COVID-19, and were seemingly vindicated when Twitter locked the account of conservative pundit Candace Owens for tweeting that Michiganders should disregard the intensely controversial lockdown imposed by Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and return to work.
Last month, Trump signed an executive order aimed at tweaking how federal agencies interpret and enforce Section 230. The order essentially directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose an administrative rule that would “spell out what it means for the tech giants to carry out their takedown policies ‘in good faith,’” national security attorney Stewart Baker explained.