Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California wants Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify before Congress for allegations the company is shadow banning conservatives.
Shadow banning is the use of algorithms to make content or accounts — in this case, prominent conservative users — more difficult or, in extreme cases, impossible to search for without outright deleting it.
Twitter has come under serious public scrutiny lately after several reports show Republicans and other conservative members of Congress did not show up in drop-down search results.
“Any solution to this problem must start with accountability from companies like Twitter, whose platforms have enormous potential to impact the national conversation — and unfortunately, enormous potential for abuse,” McCarthy said, Axios reported Thursday.
“In particular, I would like to request a hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey so that the American people can learn more about the filtering and censorship practices on his platform,” he added.
McCarthy, the potential next speaker of the House, has defended conservatives from censorship before.
He told the Council of National Policy the current political climate is increasingly forcing Christian conservatives “out of the public square.”
“Conservative Christians are being silenced in corporate America and the mainstream media — including on social media, where some of the most important conversations of our day are taking place,” McCarthy said on May 18.
Twitter has already seen some of the consequences of the alleged shadow banning practice. The social media giant’s daily and monthly active users have dropped, causing a loss in revenue. The company lost over 19 percent in shares on July 27, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Twitter denied the shadow banning accusations in a blog post on July 26, after President Donald Trump said he might take legal action against the company.
However, the company said “you may have to do more work” to find some accounts’ tweets.
“Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints,” the president tweeted.
“We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile). And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology,” Twitter staff wrote.
Other Republicans want action against Twitter. Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that he’s looking into potential legal action against Twitter.
“I don’t know what Twitter is up to. It sure looks to me like they are censoring people and they ought to stop it. And we’re looking at any legal remedies that we can go through,” Nunes said Sunday.
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