Two Republican congressmen, Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) made a renewed request to Twitter for documents related to its internal moderation policies.
They asked for “an accounting of all content moderation decisions” made by Twitter over the last year, and documentation on the decision to apply “fact check” notations to posts made by then-President Donald Trump about mail-in ballots and the “autonomous zone in Washington, D.C.”
The letter (pdf) says Twitter played a “leading role” among big tech companies in enacting political censorship. During the election, Twitter suppressed news from a mainstream news outlet (NY Post) unfavorable to then-candidate Joe Biden’s son and then banned President Donald Trump’s account.
“Big Tech, especially Twitter, Inc., is engaged in systematic viewpoint-based discrimination. In the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘cancel culture,’ Twitter plays a leading role in silencing and censoring political speech of conservative Americans,” reads the letter directed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
The suspended Twitter account of President Donald Trump appears on a laptop screen on Jan. 8, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
“In recent months, Twitter throttled the dissemination of a mainstream newspaper article critical of then-candidate Joe Biden’s son and later took the unprecedented step of de-platforming the sitting President of the United States. If Twitter can do this to the President of the United States, it can do it to any American for any reason,” the letter reads.
The letter also states that Twitter failed to provide documents requested in July last year by then-Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee Jordan and then-Ranking Member Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) about the “examination of the size, competitiveness, and role of social media companies.”
They gave the social media platform a deadline of 5:00 p.m. on March 18.
The letter was also cc’d to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
In November of last year, a number of Twitter posts by Trump regarding the election results and vote-counting irregularities were deleted by Twitter and Facebook.
Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. April 10, 2018. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Since Nov. 5 of last year, over a dozen posts or re-posts by Trump were censored by Twitter. Some of the posts were hidden with labels that read: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”