House hearing on Wednesday sheds light on Twitter’s brief suppression of Hunter Biden story. Former execs testify on their unease in blocking it, sparking a heated debate among partisan lawmakers on allegations against President Biden.
Ex-Twitter executives appeared before the House Oversight Committee, revealing the reason behind blocking links to the NY Post story in 2020. They explained the decision was due to similarities with the posting of leaked Democratic information before the 2016 election. The executives called the 24-hour suppression an error & stated it was challenging to distinguish between controversial & harmful speech during an election.
Amidst this, GOP lawmakers voiced their concern that Twitter’s decision may have swayed the election in favor of President Biden instead of former President Trump. Calls for legislation to prevent Twitter from blocking posts and government agencies from censorship have been made by some lawmakers.
Hunter Biden’s laptop has become a center of Republican investigations due to the vast amount of documents and images it holds. News outlets have verified the authenticity of the laptop left at a repair shop in Delaware in 2019. However, investigations continue to uncover the significance of what the laptop had.
Democrats labeled the hearing as ridiculous and a weird political act. It cited that Twitter has rights as a private company to make its own publication decisions. Democrats also inquired about the vital accusations against Biden arising from the laptop as definitely fake.
The ex-executives of Twitter stated that upon initial assessment, elements of the NY Post story from October 2020 appeared similar to the 2016 Democratic document theft distributed by Wikileaks. Twitter blocked links to the story but later lifted the ban after 24 hours. Ex-execs emphasized that people were still able to comment and discuss the story.
The executives further stated that they were not approached by the FBI regarding the blocking of links to the story, contradicting allegations made by some House Republicans. However, Republicans claim that Twitter’s partisanship, as demonstrated by internal emails and campaign contributions to Democrats, was used to put a stop to the story.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin expressed disappointment. In his opening statement, he said that the first tech-focused panel was centered on the Hunter Biden story, which he referred to as a fake scandal. Raskin emphasized that private companies, protected by the First Amendment, have the freedom to determine what is permitted on their platforms.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the Committee Chairman stated that the outcome was to restrain and destroy the legitimacy of information regarding purported Biden family business dealings. The Democrats accused Republicans of conducting a politically charged investigation that doesn’t have a lucid possibility and definite reason against Biden. They also raised worries about threats to the witnesses after a Republican representative threatened the ex-executives of Twitter. The representative warned them of accountability for actions she considered extremely illegal.