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Dems Jump All Over Ted Cruz After He Points Out an Oddity in Twitter’s Algorithm

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz suggested Sunday afternoon that Twitter’s algorithm was malfunctioning because it was directing him to follow Democrats in Congress.

“Is it just me or is there something REALLY wrong with Twitter’s algorithms? Because I follow Steve Scalise and several other GOP members of Congress, I get recommended tweets from Ted Deutch … Sheldon Whitehouse … Steve Cohen … Chuck Schumer … and Chris Murphy?” Cruz wrote in a tweet, referring to a handful of his Democrat colleagues.

Democrats and liberal activists proceeded to mock his concern throughout the day.

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One of his colleagues, Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, for instance, replied to Cruz and asked a question of his own.

“Could be they are all members of Congress?” Schatz asked.

Do you think Twitter is specifically catering its follow recommendations toward left-leaning accounts?

Cruz dismissed the question in a follow-up tweet, arguing that the company’s recommendations are flowing in one “DIRECTION” and challenging his fellow senator to tweet pictures of the accounts Twitter recommends he follow.

The Texas Republican also said he would give Schatz $100 if even two of Twitter’s five recommendations were right-leaning.

“Really, Brian?? You can’t think of any other similarities btwn them? And differences w/ Scalise? Twitter only does this in one DIRECTION,” Cruz wrote. “In fact, let’s try this experiment: take a pic of Twitter’s recs to you (a Dem senator) RIGHT NOW. I’ll give $100 if it recs even 2 of 5 Rs.”

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Other activists jumped into the heap.

Oliver Willis, a former writer at Media Matters for America, retweeted Cruz and suggested Twitter was likely recommending he follow people who share similarities with the Texas Republican.

MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin made a similar observation.

“You are a member of Congress and the algorithm is suggesting other members of Congress. That seems pretty straightforward,” Griffin wrote in response to Cruz’s initial tweet questioning Twitter’s algorithm.

Cruz’s tweets come as conservatives grow more critical of big tech companies.

Several Republican congressmen’s Twitter accounts were suppressed in July 2018 because users whom Twitter was suppressing at the time engaged with the congressmen’s handles, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Twitter executives Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour conceded in a blog post at the time that Twitter’s algorithm had limited the Republican congressmen’s visibility on the site because it linked them to what the company calls “bad-faith actors.”

Cruz and his Republican colleague, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, have criticized Twitter, Google and Facebook, among others, for suppressing conservative content and violating privacy data norms.

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A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.