JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Wednesday, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were summoned to a hearing concerning the impact of their platform’s moderation practices and proposals.
The hearing centered around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which allows social media platforms to censor and remove posts that violate their rules as long at those social media companies are acting in “good faith.”
Senator Roger Wicker, who chaired the hearing, used his opening remarks to note that tech companies control the “overwhelming” flow of news and information the public can share and access.
“One noteworthy example occurred just two weeks ago...," the senator said. “The New York Post, the countries fourth largest newspaper, released a story revealing communications between Hunter Biden and a Ukrainian official."
Wicker went on to say that “almost immediately" after The Post published the story, Twitter and Facebook attempted to block or limit access to it. Twitter would later lock the New York Post’s Twitter account, accusing the paper of using hacked material in their story that was potentially harmful.
But, Wicker said, when President Trump’s tax returns were leaked, neither Facebook or Twitter limited access to that information.
Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter, has said that The Post can have access to their Twitter account back once they delete their original story about Hunter Biden. He has also admitted that Twitter’s handling of the Biden story was “wrong.”
“This apparent double-standard would be appalling under normal circumstances, but the fact that selected censorship is occurring in the midst of the 2020 election cycle dramatically amplifies the power wielded by Facebook and Twitter,” Wicker stated.
He then asked if it was “any surprise” that “voices on the Right” are complaining about hypocrisy or “anti-democratic election interference” from Big Tech.
“These recent incidents are only the latest in a long trail of censorship and suppression of Conservative voices on the internet. Reasonable observers are left to wonder whether Big Tech firms are obstructing the flow of information to benefit one political ideology or agenda," he said.