Republican Representatives Jim Jordan and Ken Buck demanded responses from Twitter on Thursday about what they call “systemic discrimination based on views” against conservatives, arguing that the conduct of the social media giant has become ” more cheeky ”in recent months.
Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Buck, the top Republican on the Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee, wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, claiming that the platform ” plays a leading role in silencing and political censorship. speeches by conservative Americans.
“Big Tech, especially Twitter, Inc., is engaged in systemic discrimination based on viewpoints,” they wrote. “In the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘cancellation culture,’ Twitter plays a leading role in silencing and censoring the political discourse of conservative Americans.”
Jordan and Buck said Twitter “restricted the dissemination of a mainstream newspaper article critical of then-candidate’s son Joe Biden, and then made the unprecedented move to dismantle the incumbent president of the United States”.
“If Twitter can do this to the President of the United States, it can do this to any American for any reason,” they wrote.
Jordan and Buck were referring to a New York Post article in October about Hunter Biden’s foreign trade dealings. Twitter has limited dissemination of the article. The company also permanently suspended former President Trump from the platform following the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Jordan and Buck said Republicans in July 2020 requested documents from Twitter as part of their review of “the size, competitiveness and role of social media companies.”
“Although Twitter’s lawyers offered a telephone briefing, Twitter ultimately failed to provide the requested documents to assist us in our digital market oversight efforts,” they wrote. “Since then, Twitter’s conduct has only gotten more brazen.” Jordan and Buck then requested an account of “all content moderation decisions made by Twitter” over the past year for “users located in the United States”, including the rule or policy of. Twitter “allegedly violated the user and the content of the moderate. tweet. “
They also called for all documents and communications referring to Twitter’s decision to apply a “fact-check” rating on a Trump tweet from May 2020 regarding mail-in ballots, and “how Twitter did decided what additional information to make available to users regarding mailing. vote ”, as well as documents and communications related to Trump’s June 23, 2020 tweet regarding an autonomous zone in Washington DC, which the company said violated its policy against“ abusive behavior and threats of harm against an identifiable group ” .
“We plan to receive the documents as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 pm on March 18, 2021,” they wrote.
Twitter declined to comment on the letter.
Jordan, in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, called for the repeal of Section 230 protections for social media companies.
“When Twitter makes editorial decisions like saying President Trump won’t be on their platform, but let Ayatollah tweet that he’s going to strike a blow against America, where is the consistency there ? ” Jordan said. “And the Americans see it, they understand it, they know it’s wrong, and we should, at the very least, get rid of the protections in Section 230.”
Republicans have questioned whether social media giants should still have liability protection under Section 230 – a rule that prevents social media companies from being held accountable for the content of their platforms. -forms while allowing them to moderate this content.
Meanwhile, the letter follows a law co-sponsored by more than 40 House Republicans that would expand U.S. sanctions law to prohibit social media companies from allowing foreign persons or entities sanctioned for terrorism to use their platforms.
Fox News exclusively obtained a copy of the new legislation, which would clarify existing sanctions law by giving the president the power to sanction the “provision of services,” including the provision and maintenance of accounts, by platforms. of social media to foreign persons or entities. sanctioned for terrorism; and senior officials of states sponsoring terrorism.
Social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
In the legislation, lawmakers designate Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been a specially designated global terrorist by the Treasury Department, and “the head of the world’s primary state sponsor of terrorism,” claiming that Khamenei has “several social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram.”
The Supreme Leader has used his accounts to threaten violence against Americans, support the destruction of the State of Israel, promote conspiracy theories and disinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines and repeatedly incite anti-Semitism “, indicates the legislation.
Jordan and Buck’s letter also comes after Jordan earlier this week demanded that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler hold a hearing to address what he called the ‘dangerous trend’ of the cancellation of culture in America.
“From newsrooms to college campuses to social media giants, we’ve seen a dangerous tendency to silence and censor certain political speeches,” Jordan wrote. “As a committee charged with upholding the Constitution and our fundamental freedoms, our first Committee of the Whole hearing for the 117th Congress must examine this culture of cancellation sweeping America.”
“Canceling culture is a dangerous phenomenon whether or not you agree with censored opinions,” Jordan said. “Our society should always promote the free exchange of ideas, not nullify ideas with which we disagree.”
Jordan warned that “if the culture of cancellation continues unchallenged, it is not only unpopular or controversial views that are threatened.”
“Every point of view and idea – whether it’s widely accepted now or not – runs the risk of eventually falling out of favor with the ever-changing norms of the cancellation culture,” he wrote.
Nadler did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on whether the committee would hold a hearing focused on cancellation culture.