House Judiciary Committee to Question Facebook, Google, Twitter

The controversy over social media censorship of conservatives has not died down, and the House Judiciary Committee is holding a second hearing on the topic.

On July 13, 2018, the House Judiciary Committee announced that it would have another hearing to “examine social media filtering practices” on July 17. Representatives from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are expected to testify as witnesses before the committee. The hearing will focus on “concerns regarding a lack of transparency and potential bias in the filtering practices of social media companies.”

Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R. Va) announced on the Committee’s press release, “The advent of social media has made it possible for people to connect across continents, explore vast amounts of information, and share meaningful dialogue with friends and strangers. However, this same technology can be used to suppress a particular viewpoint and manipulate public opinion.”

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have come under fire repeatedly after conservatives reported that they were being banned, shadow-banned, prevented from promoting their content, or otherwise censored on these platforms. From marking GOP ads as “hate speech” to blocking posts by Second Amendment supporters to preventing pro-life organizations from promoting their content, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube seem to have a consistent anti-conservative bias.

After the Media Research Center released its censorship report, over 30 conservative organizations united to form the coalition Conservatives Against Online Censorship. The Senate held a hearing where Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave testimony. Later in April, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing of social media platforms. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-TN) testified about her personal experience being censored on Twitter, while personalities Diamond and Silk gave their own testimonies about their fears of censorship.

The witnesses are Monika Bickert for Facebook, Juniper Downs for YouTube, and Nick Pickles for Twitter.

 

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