US Senator from Texas Ted Cruz in a Senate hearing on Wednesday (28 October) tore into Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the social media platform’s censorship of Hunter Biden’s (the son of Presidential candidate Joe Biden) stories published by the New York Post.
“…you can censor the New York Post, you can censor Politico, presumably you can sensor the New York Times or any other media outlet, Mr Dorsey who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report…and why do you persist in behaving as a democratic super PAC, silencing views to the contrary of your political beliefs”, said Cruz.
The New York Post story had claimed that Hunter Biden “pursued lucrative deals involving China’s largest private energy company – including one that he said would be “interesting for me and my family”.
Another story revealed several emails allegedly written by or sent to Hunter Biden, who from 2014 to 2019 served on the board of Ukrainian natural-gas firm Burisma Holdings.
In an email sent in 2015, a senior Burisma adviser thanks the vice president’s son for providing the “opportunity” to meet with Joe Biden.
This expose involved releasing a series of emails allegedly sent by Hunter Biden, which New York Post claimed were obtained from Hunter Biden’s computer which he left in a Delaware repair shop.
After the story was published, Twitter launched an unprecedented crackdown which included preventing users from sharing the story urls and also locking the account of New York Post.
Cruz during the hearing asked Dorsey whether Twitter has the power to influence election – a claim when denied by Dorsey led to a counter question as to then why does the platform even indulge blocking (people).
Cruz said that he has long believed that Twitter censors and silences individual Americans with whom it disagrees. When questioned about Twitter’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden stories, Dorsey claimed that the platform has a policy preventing the sharing of “hacked materials”.
When Cruz refused to relent, Dorsey conceded that he believes the decision to block the New York Post stories’ urls was incorrect.
“Mr Dorsey your position is you can sit in silicon valley and demand from the media what stories they can publish…so media must genuflect and obey your diktats if they wish to communicate with their readers”, Cruz added.
Cruz also asked Dorsey why Twitter – going by its logic did not block a New York Times story on Donald Trump’s tax returns, which purportedly contained his original tax returns. Cruz added that the circulation of tax returns without the assessee’s knowledge is a violation of Federal law.
“…and yet Twitter gleefully allowed people to circulate that (New York Times story) but when the article was critical of Joe Biden, Twitter engaged in rampant censorship”, said Cruz.
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