Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas slammed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for his company’s censorship of the New York Post and the bombshell Hunter Biden story published two weeks ago.
“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” Cruz asked. “Why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super PAC, silencing views to the contrary of your political views?”
Ted Cruz absolutely BODIED him. pic.twitter.com/GLqV3fSoRZ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 28, 2020
Twitter previously blocked verified and unverified users from sharing the Post’s article link. Instead, users were met with a message stating that the Post’s story link “has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.”
Dorsey defended Twitter’s actions by continuing to echo the big tech company’s claims that the article violated their hacked materials policy. He then went on to claim that for the New York Post to regain access to posting from their account, they have to log in and delete their original content, saying that Twitter’s policy was reworked to avoid bad enforcement.
“Anyone can tweet, we are not blocking their post,” Dorsey claimed.
Cruz, however, continued to grill Dorsey about Twitter’s censorship, saying that “Twitter’s conduct is by far the most egregious” of all the big tech companies.
“The New York Post is not some random guy tweeting. It is the fourth-highest circulation of any newspaper in America. It is 200 years old and founded by Alexander Hamilton,” Cruz said. “And it is your position is that you can sit in Silicon Valley and demand of the media that you can tell them what stories they can publish and the American people what reporting they can hear, is that right?”
Cruz also pointed out that Twitter’s censorship of the New York Post was hypocritical and that their claims about “hacked material” were not applied to the New York Times’s story publishing President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
“They purported to publish federally published material. It’s a federal felony to distribute someone’s tax returns against their knowledge,” Cruz said. “So that material was based on something distributed in violation of federal law, and yet Twitter gleefully allowed people to circulate that.”
“But when an article was critical of Joe Biden, Twitter engaged in rampant censorship and silencing,” Cruz continued.
Cruz’s questioning comes as members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Alphabet Inc., Google CEO Sundar Pichai over the companies’ content moderation policies. The hearing entitled “Does Section 230’s sweeping immunity enable big tech bad behavior?” was called in response to repeated calls for Section 230 reform by members on both sides of the political aisle.
“The three witnesses we have before this committee collectively pose, I believe, the single greatest threat to free speech in America and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections,” Cruz stated.