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Three former Twitter executives are set to testify before the House Oversight Committee starting at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
The hearing, titled “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story,” is an early show of how newly empowered Republicans in the House are handling technology issues. But will use their influence. Many Republicans have long complained about what they see as a bias toward conservatives in online platforms’ content moderation policies, which tech companies have consistently denied.
Still, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, who clashed with former executives who testified, has promised to restore freedom of expression on the platform. Even so, some of his actions, such as suspending the accounts of some journalists and a profile that tracks his jet, have shown that even Musk has lines in the sand on free speech.
Wednesday’s hearing includes Twitter’s former chief legal officer Vijay Gade, former deputy general counsel James Baker, former Twitter policy officer Annika Collier Navarroli and former global head of trust and safety Joel Roth.
The story the hearing is referring to is a 2020 New York Post article that claims to have found a “smoking gun” of emails involving President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The article was published shortly before Biden’s 2020 run for the top office, further inflaming tensions when Twitter and Facebook decided to limit distribution of the article. Twitter took the extreme step of blocking links to the story, citing its hacked content policy. Twitter’s then-CEO said the company’s approach was wrong and changed the policy, but many lawmakers had already lost trust.
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