|By Congressman Jody Hice|
Twitter has become a critical tool for government agencies and elected officials to communicate directly with Americans. Unfortunately, several concerns have been raised over Twitter and its employees selectively censoring individual accounts on the platform – particularly those promoting President Trump and conservative political views. On July 15, 2020, the social media platform was the victim of a serious cybersecurity breach that targeted many high profile accounts, and those individuals responsible must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Following the breach, the hackers released several alleged screenshots of the Twitter moderator console that expose censorship tools previously unknown to the public. While Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, has repeatedly denied any bias within the platform’s algorithms, he has failed to disclose that the platform has manual tools that enable employees to shadow-ban or otherwise manipulate individual accounts and trending topics. It’s as simple as this: free speech cannot coexist with big tech censorship. Twitter’s algorithms might be neutral, but its employees certainly carry biases. If Twitter employees are manipulating information and discussions on the platform – as many conservatives have long suspected – it is imperative that the public know that communication on the site is not as ‘free and open’ as its CEO consistently claims. This week, I led 18 House Republican colleagues in sending the following letter to Twitter, demanding both accountability and transparency from the social media giant. We believe that the public has a right to know why Twitter has tools labeled “SEARCH BLACKLIST” and “TRENDS BLACKLIST” and how its employees utilize them. To read the letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, click here.