Senator Josh Hawley: Twitter Needs Third Party Audit

Freshman Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) has penned a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, calling on the Big Tech exec to allow an audit for anti-conservative bias.

Hawley has made a name for himself in numerous recent cases as a conservative watchdog against the overreach of big tech, but the censorship of a pro-life movie’s Twitter account moved him to action. National Review's Alexandra DeSanctis obtained an exclusive copy on April 3 that showed Hawley scorching Twitter for its bias and demanding an investigation. 

In a widely reported incident, the Twitter account for the pro-life film Unplanned was inexplicably suspended from Twitter. Hawley wrote to Dorsey, “Last week, Twitter suspend[ed] the account of the pro-life movie Unplanned—on opening weekend, no less—raising yet more questions about your supposed commitment to free speech.” Twitter claimed the suspension was purely accidental. But, as MRC President Brent Bozell and others (including Donald Trump Jr.) have noted, such accidents never seem to happen to the late-term abortion advocates -- or any other left-wingers -- on the platform. 

Hawley’s letter makes plain he does not trust Twitter to investigate itself for anti-conservative meddling, saying any such attempt would be “inherently biased.” He proposes that a third party source do an investigation. “I am rapidly losing confidence that Twitter is committed to the free speech principles that justify immunity under section 230,” he wrote. “It is time for Twitter to prove it is truly committed to free speech: conduct a third-party audit and release the results to the public, in full.”

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allows social media companies legal protection from illegal activity that occurs on their websites on the condition that they serve as platforms for free speech and public debate. 

Hawley elaborated on, observing that, “Congress has given you a sweetheart deal—immunity from liability for illegal content posted by third parties—because tech companies like yours promised to provide ‘a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.’ Yet your company has repeatedly abused that privilege.”

Later that day he tweeted:

Over the weekend, Twitter suspended @UnplannedMovie for no apparent reason. Latest example of deplatforming prolife and conservative voices. Time for @jack to open Twitter to a full, independent, outside audit on its speech policies - and then publish the results

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