Lawmakers at odds after Twitter restricts story about Biden

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley is demanding answers after Twitter prevented users from sharing a damaging post about Hunter Biden.

“Quit censoring us,” Hawley said. “The most powerful companies in American history are now trying to stop the news from reporting on the Joe Biden campaign.”

“They’re being protected by big tech,” President Donald Trump said.

Twitter originally said it blocked the New York Post article because it contained potentially hacked or private information.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey now admits the decision was wrong.

Still, Republican senators are demanding Dorsey testify before Congress and say it’s time to hold social media platforms more accountable.

“If you get discriminated against, if you get censored, allow them to sue Facebook, allow them to sue Twitter,” Hawley said.

Carl Szabo with NetChoice, a firm representing platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter says he doesn’t trust the federal government to regulate speech online.

“I wonder if this is more about political theatre than getting answers,” Szabo said. “Are they really trying to regulate in ways that will help consumers or mostly just in ways to help their political aspirations.”

While Democratic Sen. Mark Warner agrees, the law needs review.

“I think it’s overdue,” Wagner said.

He says Twitter was right to act.

“The story that’s in question, there have been allegations made that it is the result of Russian disinformation, misinformation,” Wagner said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to subpoena Twitter’s CEO next week.

In response to the backlash, Dorsey says Twitter will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers.

The CEO says his platform will also instead of blocking links Twitter will provide context.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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