Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Wednesday to address a few questions regarding his company’s decision to apply a fact-check to one of President Donald Trump’s tweets.
“Twitter’s ‘fact check’ raises serious questions about whether Twitter targeted the President for political reasons,” Hawley wrote in a letter to Dorsey Wednesday.
Twitter acted like a publisher rather than a platform where conservatives can congregate to express their political opinions, Hawley said. The Republican also asked why Twitter should continue getting “special immunity under the law in what’s known as Section 230,” a decades-old law providing internet companies legal immunity.
“Twitter’s unprecedented decision to single out the President for disfavor, based on his political speech, is alarming,” Hawley wrote, referring to Twitter’s move Tuesday to apply a label to a Trump tweet calling mail-in ballots “fraudulent.” (RELATED: Twitter Fact-Checks Trump For The First Time After He Claims Mail-In Ballots Will Be ‘Fraudulent’)
“Twitter’s decision to editorialize regarding the content of political speech raises questions about why Twitter should continue receiving special status and special immunity from publisher liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” Hawley said in the letter.
Hawley then asked Dorsey five questions to determine if Twitter intends on applying the same fact check label fairly.
“[W]here has Twitter been in response to the outright lies and propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party and its so-called ‘wolf warriors,’ busy blaming American soldiers for the start of COVID-19 on social media?” Hawley asked. “Will Twitter also “fact check” these outrageous statements? What about other candidates for political office, like former VicePresident Joe Biden? Will Twitter editorialize regularly in response to his comments on social media? Or will Twitter only go after people its employees dislike?”
Hawley then criticized Dorsey for depriving Twitter users the option of taking part in a dialogue around the president’s tweets.
“Instead of allowing viewers to look at the dialogue around the President’s tweets and assess for themselves the merits of the President’s views, Twitter decided to editorialize, appending its own comments and assessment to the President’s speech,” Hawley wrote. “But editorializing is what publishers do, like the New York Times and the Washington Post.”
Hawley made a name for himself as a Republican lawmaker willing to target Silicon Valley after introducing legislation in 2019 dramatically amending a law protecting tech companies from being sued for content users post on their platforms. He is an ever-present fixture on big tech issues in Washington, D.C., particularly regarding how American businesses interact with Chinese technology.
Twitter has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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