Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, amidst controversy surrounding Twitter’s censorship allegations, made the claim that the platform’s policies actually encourage “more speech.”
Dorsey, alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding regulation of the content posted on social media platforms.
The main motive of the hearing, based on what the committee chairman Lindsey Graham says, is to help senators gain more information for evaluating Section 230, which safeguards social media companies from the liability arising from the third-party content posted on their platforms.
“I don’t want the government to take over the job of telling America what tweets are legitimate and what are not. I don’t want the government deciding what content to take up and put down. I think we’re all in that category,” said Graham.
Dorsey, throughout the hearing, claimed that Twitter’s controversial policies weed out abusive and misleading content from the platform, creating a safer space to express themselves, which according to him, promotes free speech. Yet, Dorsey didn’t address the danger in allowing Big Tech platforms to decide what is and what isn’t “misinformation” which is where the problem lies.
“What we saw and what the market told us was that people would not put up with abuse, harassment, and misleading information that would cause off-line harm and they would leave out service because of it. So our intention is to create clear policy, clear enforcement that enables people to feel that they can express themselves on our service and ultimately trust it,” said Dorsey.
“All of our policies are focused on encouraging more speech,” he went on to say.
Simply put, Dorsey is stating that Twitter is moderating content just to cater to its advertisers, and doing so is a “business decision.” That being said, the allegations of censorship moderation on the platform have been made for a long time now.
Twitter locking out New York Post’s account for posting the Hunter Biden Laptop scandal is one more example of censorship and suppression of free speech on the platform that could influence the election Dorsey says he’s trying to protect.
Dorsey stated that the decision to suppress the story on the platform was made based on “hacked materials” policy, even though there were no hacked materials involved. What’s more, Twitter also ended up censoring several tweets made by Donald Trump both pre-and post-election.
“The tag, to me, sounds a whole lot more like state-run media announcing the party line rather than a neutral company as it purports to be, running an open, online forum,” said Senator Mike Lee.