Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 5 regarding his company’s censorship practices.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called on Dorsey to testify in front of Congress in early August on Twitter’s “shadowbanning” and censorship practices on his social media platform.
McCarthy said in a press release on Friday:
Social media platforms are increasingly serving as today’s town squares. But sadly, conservatives are too often finding their voices silenced. Over the past several months, I have seen more and more examples of censorship that impact public officials and concerned citizens expressing conservative thought. One-sided conversations are an affront to the public mission that serve as the foundations for these social media platforms – including Twitter.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman (R-OR) Greg Walden said in a statement on Friday:
Twitter is an incredibly powerful platform that can change the national conversation in the time it takes a tweet to go viral. When decisions about data and content are made using opaque processes, the American people are right to raise concerns. This committee intends to ask tough questions about how Twitter monitors and polices content, and we look forward to Mr. Dorsey being forthright and transparent regarding the complex processes behind the company’s algorithms and content judgment calls.
Reports in August suggested that Twitter engaged in shadowbanning, a practice that limits a Twitter account’s reach, which includes preventing a user’s followers from seeing tweets from their account, and has allegedly disproportionately affected conservatives on Twitter.
Tech experts such as former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireless Bureau Chief Fred Campbell have argued that Congress should repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which Campbell contended in an interview with Breitbart News allows social media giants such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook to censor without legal recourse.
“They’re subject to a legislative exception that is a couple decades old, overturning a century of law. If they want to play editor, great, then comply with the laws that all of the others editors comply with and give up your special exemption,” Campbell charged.
Campbell also said, “We the people should decide whether Google and Facebook can censor and block content.”
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday and called out giant social media companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter for censoring “millions” of Internet users.
“Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people,” Trump cautioned.
The president added, “Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!”
Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people. Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018