Ex-Twitter execs: Mistake to block Hunter Biden story
STORY: Republicans on Wednesday grilled former Twitter executives at a day-long hearing in the House, and accused them of unfairly suppressing a New York Post article about a laptop said to belong to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
At issue was Twitter’s decision to temporarily block tweets about the article on the laptop, just two weeks before the 2020 election.
The executives admitted on Wednesday that decision was a mistake.
Republican congressman James Comer is the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
"America witnessed a coordinated campaign by social media companies, mainstream news and the intelligence community to suppress and de-legitimize the existence of Hunter Biden's laptop and its contents."
Former Twitter head of truth and safety Yael Roth said the company had to make a quick decision about whether to let users share the laptop story which they mistakenly believed contained hacked material.
“In 2020, Twitter noticed activity related to the laptop that at first glance bore a lot of similarities to the 2016 Russian hacking leak operation targeting the DNC. And we had to decide what to do. And in that moment, with limited information, Twitter made a mistake.”
The company reversed the decision within 24 hours.
Democratic Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez called the hearing a waste of time.
"It's just an abuse of public resources and abuse of public time. We could be talking about healthcare. We could be talking about bringing down the cost of prescription drugs. We could be talking about abortion rights, civil rights, voting rights. But instead, we're talking about Hunter Biden's half fake laptop story. I mean, this is an embarrassment."
While Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene used the occasion to scold the former Twitter executives for banning her from Twitter for several years and suppressing content on the platform.
"You abused the power of a large corporation, Big Tech to censor Americans. And you want to know something? Guess what? I'm so glad that you're censored down. I'm so glad you've lost your jobs. Thank God, Elon Musk bought Twitter."
Representative Jamie Raskin, the panel's top Democrat, urged members to keep in mind that Twitter is a private company with the power to choose its own content.