Headline RoundupFebruary 9th, 2023

House Republicans Question Former Twitter Execs Over Suppression of Hunter Biden Laptop Story

AllSides Summary

Members of the House Oversight Committee questioned former Twitter executives in a hearing Wednesday about the platform's suppression of the New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop story in Oct. 2020.

Key Quotes: Former head of Twitter trust and safety Yoel Roth said Wednesday that "Twitter should not have taken action to block the Post’s reporting." Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said Twitter "worked hand-in-hand with the FBI to monitor the protected speech of Americans" and "led the American people to believe (the story) was Russian disinformation, when in fact it was not." Former Twitter lawyer James Baker said he's unaware of Twitter working with
"any government agency or political campaign" on handling the story. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) told the former executives that they "knowingly and willingly" interfered with the 2020 election, and said "Later comes the arrest part."

For Context: The hearing is the first in a series "focused on protecting speech from government interference and social media bias." Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also called the censorship decision "a mistake." Twitter and other platforms censored the story for roughly 24 hours, two weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

How the Media Covered It: Left- and center-rated sources often focused more on how Twitter employees said the government didn't push to censor the story. Some right-rated sources, including Fox News, highlighted Higgins' arrest remark and other specific lines of questioning from Comer and Rep. Jim Jordan (D-OH).

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