- The Washington Times
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will tell the Senate on Tuesday that his social media platform is not biased against conservatives and he will never allow the company to harbor a political bias, according to the company.

Republican lawmakers seething over Twitter and Facebook’s handling of conservative content are set to aim their ire at Mr. Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Twitter flagged, put warning labels on and took other actions against 40 of Mr. Trump’s posts on its platform in week after Election Day. Facebook stamped out the pro-Trump group “Stop the Steal” that had swelled to 350,000 followers in less than 24 hours before its removal, according to its organizers from the pro-Trump nonprofit Women for America First.

With control of the Senate up for grabs in January run-off elections for Georgia’s two Senate seats, Mr. Dorsey will acknowledge that Twitter believes its work on the 2020 election is not yet complete.

“In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, we made significant enhancements to our policies to protect the integrity of the election,” Mr. Dorsey will say, according to the excerpts. “Most notably, this year, we updated our civic integrity policy to more comprehensively enforce labeling or removing of false and misleading information.”

Those statements stand in stark contrast to Mr. Dorsey’s remarks at another Senate hearing last month, when he insisted that his company could not influence an election.

“You don’t believe Twitter has any ability to influence elections?” asked Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, at last month’s hearing.

“No, we are one part of a spectrum of communication channels that people have,” Mr. Dorsey answered.

Mr. Cruz will have the opportunity to square off with Mr. Dorsey again on Tuesday. The social media executives are scheduled to face seven minutes of questions from each of the senators on the committee, which includes 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

During last month’s hearing, Mr. Cruz clashed with Mr. Dorsey over Twitter’s restrictions on content targeting then-presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden and Mr. Cruz accused Twitter of behaving like a “Democratic super PAC.”

Mr. Dorsey will tell Mr. Cruz and the other lawmakers that an assessment of Twitter’s actions from Oct. 27 through Nov. 11 showed that the company labeled 0.2% of all 300,000 U.S. election-related tweets. About 74% of users who saw the tweets with warning labels first viewed them after the label was applied, according to the company.

“We want to be very clear that we do not see our job in this space as done,” Mr. Dorsey will say, according to the company. “Our work here continues and our teams are learning and improving how we address these challenges and earn the trust of the people who use Twitter.”

Facebook has taken a much different approach to elections than its social media rival. Facebook has touted its efforts to help more than 4 million people register to vote and set up a voter information center for users to learn about where and how to vote.

Facebook did not provide Mr. Zuckerberg’s opening statement for publication.

In the days since the election, liberals have slammed Facebook for not cracking down on Mr. Trump as Twitter has. Bill Russo, an adviser to Mr. Biden, criticized Facebook in a series of tweets last week about what he and Democrats view as Facebook’s unwillingness to stop the spread of misinformation online.

On Monday, liberal women’s advocacy group UltraViolet kept the pressure up and urged the company to implement more restrictions on groups spreading “right-wing” disinformation on their platform. UltraViolet said it met with Facebook last week and privately implored the company to implement stricter policies.

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