It seems that Twitter has forgotten that they are a social media platform – and not an elected official of the United States. They are supposed to allow people to express their opinions. Instead, it’s as if they think they are responsible for guarding national secrets. Luckily, we have Senator Ted Cruz who will call Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, out on all that’s been going on.
Jack Dorsey was one of several social media leaders who had to come forward and testify about their censorship. Particularly, how they censored the story about Hunter Biden’s email that linked Joe Biden to unscrupulous business deals.
“Does Twitter have the ability to influence elections?” This is the question that Cruz asked Dorsey.
The simple response was “No.”
That set Cruz off because everyone knows that when Twitter decides to squash information, particularly about a presidential candidate in an upcoming election, they are absolutely working to influence the outcomes.
Cruz went on to confirm that Dorsey was testifying to say that when Twitter silences people and blocks political speech that it doesn’t impact elections. That’s when Dorsey tried to explain that people have a choice when it comes to various communication channels. “Not if they don’t hear information,” is how Cruz responded.
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) October 28, 2020
It was easy to see that this is a hot topic for Cruz, who has always taken a very conservative approach to social media – and how they need to stay within the freedom of speech rights found within the Constitution.
Cruz asked Dorsey a very pointed question of why they bother to block anything, then, if they don’t think they can impact the elections. That may be the heart of the issue, too. Why bother blocking anything, then? Shouldn’t people decide what they believe and what they don’t just as they have the right to choose between the different communication channels?
Ted Cruz finds his answers “absurd on their face.”
The Texas Senator goes on to point the finger at Dorsey for making a “unilateral decision” to block two specific articles from the New York Post – one focused on Joe and Hunter Biden’s involvement with Ukraine and the other on Communist China. Twitter prevented users from sharing the posts and the New York Post was banned from sharing any content.
So, Cruz asks why Twitter made the decision to censor the New York Post. This is when things really heat up.
Dorsey sits there in a casual way to talk about a hacked materials policy that was adopted in 2018. According to Dorsey, Twitter doesn’t want to allow the spread of hacked material – and they didn’t like the way that the New York Post shared photos of the “hacked material.” Cruz goes on to explain that the NYP shared their source and that it should be allowed.
The real issue is this, as Cruz points out. The New York Post isn’t just some random publication. They have the fourth largest circulation in the country and is over 200 years. And Twitter has the ability to block anything that they wish to share. Cruz wants to know why it is that Dorsey thinks that he can sit in Silicon Valley and decide what the American people can see and what they can read.
Rampant censorship and silencing. This is the accusation that Cruz throws at Dorsey because of the way that they will allow the distribution of Trump’s tax returns article by the New York Times but not the distribution of the Biden email article by the New York Post. There’s clearly an issue with the terms and conditions that Dorsey likes to cling to, saying that they have changed them. The New York Post simply has to delete their original post and repost it.
That’s not enough, though. It should have never been blocked in the first place.
“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you?” This is the gem of the entire testimony as Cruz explains that Dorsey should not have the power to censor what the media is allowed to report and what the American people are able to hear.