House Republicans Call For Emergency Hearing on Big Tech Censorship

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Posted: Oct 15, 2020 10:30 AM
House Republicans Call For Emergency Hearing on Big Tech Censorship

Source: (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP)

House Republicans on the Oversight Committee are calling for an emergency hearing after Facebook and Twitter censored a story from the New York Post about Hunter and Joe Biden's business dealings in Ukraine. In addition to censoring links to the story, Twitter also suspended accounts who shared it, including the personal account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. 

"We respectfully request an emergency hearing on Big Tech's repeated efforts to interfere in the 2020 election. Big Tech's silencing of conservative viewpoints and censorship of news undermines the integrity of the 2020 election and harms Americans' First Amendment right to freedom of speech," a letter signed by all Republican members of the Committee states. "Shortly after the story was posted on Facebook, the company decided to 'reduce its distribution' in an apparent attempt to limit access to the story. Just as concerning, Facebook reportedly refused to answer basic questions about its decision. Twitter also censored the article and warned users that it is 'potentially spammy or unsafe.' Facebook and Twitter have done little to limit distribution of negative stories about President Trump or others who may share his political views. This effort to selectively limit speech based on political affiliation is very concerning."

"Since the election is in only 19 days and other Big Tech platforms continuously limit speech based on political ideology, we must immediately hold a hearing to learn who are responsible for making these decisions and what policies enable Big Tech to selectively limit speech on social media. In order to prevent further interference in the 2020 election by Big Tech, we request the Committee hold an emergency hearing on this important matter before November 3," the letter continues. 

The request was sent to Committee Chairwoman Caroline Maloney.  

"Facebook and Twitter's censorship of American journalism is part of a broader pattern by Big Tech to selectively suppress news and silence conservative views that don't square with their liberal agenda. This is not the American way and cannot be tolerated," Ranking Member James Comer released in a statement. "Big Tech's censorship is election interference and we call on Chairwoman Maloney to hold an emergency hearing immediately in order to hold them accountable and protect the integrity of the election."