GOP Leaders Scorch Twitter CEO in Open Letter, Issue Demands

July 9th, 2020 4:45 PM

Two GOP congressmen roasted Twitter in an open letter for allowing Iranian leaders more liberty to speak on the platform than President Donald Trump.

“Two U.S. Republican lawmakers accused Twitter on Wednesday of being biased against conservatives and demanded information about the social media platform’s reactions to two tweets by President Donald Trump,” Reuters reported on July 8. Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH), the top Republican on the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary, and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, sent an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, blasting his platform for brazen political bias.

The scathing critique of Dorsey’s leadership held nothing back: “While Twitter has sought to silence conservative voices, including the President of the United States, on its platform, Twitter has allowed violent extremists to use its platform with apparent immunity.” The letter quoted how Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei has openly called for the “annihilation” of “barbaric, wolflike [sic] & infanticidal regime of #Israel” referring to the country as a “cancerous growth.” It also directly called out Twitter’s clearly liberal Head of Site Integrity alleged that there are “ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE.”

The letter had three major demands for the platform to be fulfilled by 5:00 p.m. on July 22, 2020:

“1. An accounting of all content moderation decisions made by Twitter over the past year for users located within the United States, including which Twitter rule or policy the user allegedly violated and the content of the moderated tweet;

“2. All documents and communications referring or relating to Twitter’s decision to apply a “fact check” notation to President Trump’s May 26, 2020, tweets concerning mail-in ballots, including how Twitter decided what additional information to make available to users concerning mail-in voting;”

“3. All documents and communications referring or relating to Twitter’s decision to apply a notation asserting that President Trump’s June 23, 2020, tweet concerning an autonomous zone in Washington, D.C. violated Twitter’s policy against abusive behavior and threats of harm against an identifiable group.”

The letter’s premise accused the platform of outright “discrimination” against conservatives, describing this trend as “extremely alarming.” The letter declared that Twitter seems to be “systematically engaged in the disparate treatment of political speech” and not enforcing its terms of service equally. 

Jordan and Sensenbrenner recounted incidents such as when Twitter “fact-checked” Trump for suggesting that mail-in ballots could lead to voter fraud, a concern even The New York Times has acknowledged to be valid in the past. The letter explained that the “Presidential Commission on Election administration—convened by President Barack Obama” has also come to the same conclusion that “‘when [voter fraud] does occur, absentee ballots are often the method of choice.’” The letter also recalled the incident where Twitter placed an interstitial, or filter, over Trump’s tweet vowing to stop rioters from establishing an autonomous zone in the nation’s capital. 

Reuters acknowledged that a Twitter spokesman had indeed “confirmed the company received the letter, but declined to comment further.”