House Republicans Slam Twitter for Allowing Russian Propaganda, Banning Conservatives

April 15th, 2022 11:56 AM

Twitter dealt harsher penalties to conservative U.S. political leaders and investigative news outlets than it does to Russian war propaganda. So, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) and six other House Republicans wrote a letter to Twitter demanding the company publicly address this flagrant double standard. 

“I wish Twitter cared as much about censoring Russian propaganda, as it does censoring Republicans,” McClain said in exclusive comments to MRC Free Speech America. “The American people can see right through their selective censorship. It’s absolutely unacceptable that Twitter bans the sitting President of the United States, but allows blatantly false Russian propaganda to exist on its site.” 

McClain led six other congressional lawmakers in a letter sent to company CEO Parag Agrawal. The lawmakers called out Twitter’s apparent “partisan bias” and inaction in moderating “Russian disinformation” spread on the platform since the country launched war in Ukraine in February.

The letter to Twitter highlights that the platform banned former President Donald Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Meanwhile, the lawmakers claimed Russia is “violating every international law, norm and custom, and is actively using Twitter to spread disinformation.” [Emphasis added].

“Big Tech companies need to be consistent and transparent,” McClain told Free Speech America. The letter gave examples of Twitter’s poor policy enforcement.

One example in the letter was a deleted tweet by the Russian Embassy to the U.K.’s account. The Associated Press reported that the account allegedly condoned an airstrike on a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, that wounded at least 17 people. According to the lawmakers’ letter, the Russian Embassy in the U.K. reportedly tweeted propaganda that “claimed the hospital was ‘long non-operational’, used by the ‘neo-Nazi Azov Battalion’ and that a woman photographed who survived the attack was a crisis actor.” 

“After hours of inaction, which allowed the tweets to spread,” the letter critiqued, “Twitter took them down, but still allowed the originating account to stay active.”

Among other questions, the letter asked Agrawal: “What, in your eyes, do these Russian government accounts need to do to rise to the level of a permanent suspension?” 

The lawmakers also called for Twitter to “dispute the disinformation from Russia” and to “highlight the atrocities being inflicted on Ukraine by the Russian Government.”

Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Mike Carey (R-OH) and Bob Gibbs (R-OH) signed the letter, in addition to McClain.

Russia is not the only authoritarian government allowed to have a platform. MRC Free Speech America found that seven dictators had accounts across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with a combined following of approximately 50 million followers as of March 28. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that they hold Big Tech to account: Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech embodied in the First Amendment. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.