UNITED STATES: The former senior staff of Twitter will testify before the House oversight committee on Wednesday about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and the social media platform’s handling of reporting.
This hearing has been on the agenda of a new Republican-controlled House, emphasising its motivation to move on an unsupported accusation that big tech has an anti-conservative bias.
“What we’ve seen time and again is that companies are de-platforming people who are spreading racism and conspiracy theories in violation of the company’s rule,” Jessica J. Gonzalez, co-chief executive officer of the civil rights group Free Press, said.
“The fact that those people are disproportionately Republicans has nothing to do with it. This is about right or wrong, not left or right,” she added.
Theories concocted by the Republicans about the Democrats befriending huge technology to subdue conservative speech have become a big issue in Washington.
Some ex-Twitter staff who would be testifying include the social network’s former chief legal; officer, Vijaya Gadde; former deputy general counsel, James Baker; and former director of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth.
The main area of focus of the hearing would have always concerned the Republicans, which is why Twitter has, for the time being, restricted Hunter Biden’s story sharing in a post that was released in October 2020.
According to the post, it had received a copy of a laptop hard drive from Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, that Hunter Biden had left almost 18 months before at a Delaware computer repair shop that he never retrieved. Initially, Twitter blocked people from sharing links because of the potential for hacked materials.
James Comer, the Republican committee chairman, said, “Americans deserve answers about this attack on the first amendment and why big tech and the swamp colluded to censor this information about the Biden family selling access for profit.”
Twitter’s then-CEO, Jack Dorsey, said months later that the company’s communications in the Post article were “not great.” After buying the company last year, Elon Musk shared a chain of internal records on how the company had initially restricted the story from being shared. This had led to mounting pressure from the Biden administration.
The Republican investigation has been discredited by the White House, which called it “divorced-from-reality political stunts.”
Republicans have now sought subpoena power in the House, which would give them the power to compel testimony and conduct a ruthless investigation.
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