During today’s Senate hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse,” Senator Ted Cruz completely stumped Twitter’s Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy Carlos Monje, Jr. on the topic of Twitter’s political bias after showing him a quote from the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Cruz asked Monje to give a “yes” or “no” answer to the question of whether Twitter considers itself to be a neutral public platform.
Monje dodged the question by talking about Twitter’s structure instead of Twitter’s perspective on neutrality and failing to give a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Here’s his full answer:
Twitter is an open internet platform where people from all stripes and political affiliations all around the globe come and speak.
Cruz then followed up by showing Monje a quote from the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey which said:
I don’t believe that we can afford to take a neutral stance anymore. I don’t believe that we should optimize for neutrality.
Cruz asked if this represents the policy of Twitter. Monje responded by saying he hadn’t seen the quote. Cruz then pushed back by asking if Monje agreed with the quote which seemed to temporarily stun Monje into silence.
Monje eventually responded by avoiding the question once again and talking about how Dorsey is building Twitter but not saying whether he agrees with the quote. Here’s how he answered:
That is not how he [Dorsey] is building the platform and how everybody who comes to Twitter every day. I think it’s important to note sir, that three quarters of our users are overseas and that we are a global company that is staffed globally.