October 15, 2020

Sen. Judiciary Committee to vote to subpoena Twitter CEO over censorship of Hunter Biden exposé

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced that on Tuesday they will vote to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over his platform suppressing two New York Post articles about exclusively obtained emails alleging that Hunter Biden took advantage of the position of his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, in his business dealings abroad.

Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced the news of this subpoena vote and an expected October 23 hearing to reporters Thursday morning.

“The committee today will be noticing a mark-up on Tuesday to issue a subpoena to Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Friday,” Sen. Cruz said.

The committee’s reasoning, Cruz explained, is to have Dorsey “come before this committee and the American people and explain why Twitter is abusing their corporate power to silence the press and to cover up allegations of corruption.”

“And let me be clear, I don’t know if these New York Post stories are true or not,” Cruz added after. “Those are questions Vice President Biden should answer. But Twitter and Facebook and Big Tech billionaires don’t get to censor political speech and actively interfere in the election. That’s what they’re doing right now.”

Following the uproar against Twitter’s action, Jack Dorsey said late Wednesday that he regretted how Twitter handled the situation.

“Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great,” the social media executive wrote. “And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”

According to Twitter, the platform red-flagged the articles for supposedly violating its policy about posting content and information that doesn’t belong to the publisher. The Post obtained a hard drive with the emails on them, coming from a laptop brought to a repair shop in Delaware, Biden’s home state. Biden’s presidential campaign has denied the allegations made by the Post.

Whenever users wanted to share one of the Post‘s articles, they’d be met with a pop-up, saying, “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.” Anybody who wanted to open or retweet the hyperlink already shared on the platform were also told by Twitter before clicking that the “link may be unsafe.”

At the time of this announcement, Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were already planning to testify on October 28 before the Senate Commerce Committee regarding content published on their platform by users.

RELATED: Senate Authorizes Subpoenas for Big Tech CEOs

The Senate is already jam-packed with important votes and hearings, such as the aforementioned Commerce Committee hearing and the vote to confirm nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. With 19 days until Election Day, this newest event on the calendar carries the potential shake up the conversation about censorship, misinformation, and social media, especially when reporting the election.

Only one thing is for sure, Dorsey and Zuckerberg better book hotel rooms for multiple nights in Washington, DC.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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