Senator Josh Hawley wrote a letter today:
May 27, 2020
1355 Market Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Dear Mr. Dorsey:
Twitter’s unprecedented decision to single out the President for disfavor, based on his political speech, is alarming. Yesterday, for the first time ever, Twitter branded the President’s tweets with a “fact check” designed to encourage readers to believe that the President’s political speech was inaccurate. Twitter’s decision to editorialize regarding the content of political speech raises questions about why Twitter should continue receiving special status and special immunity from publisher liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Twitter’s “fact check” raises serious questions about whether Twitter targeted the President for political reasons. Employees working for the team responsible for Twitter’s fact-checking policies have a stark history of derogatory comments against both the President and people who voted for him. For example, Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity encouraged people to “fly over” states like Missouri because Missourians supposedly “voted for a racist tangerine.” That employee also called people who work for the President “actual Nazis.”
Meanwhile, where has Twitter been in response to the outright lies and propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party and its so-called “wolf warriors,” busy blaming American soldiers for the start of COVID-19 on social media? Will Twitter also “fact check” these outrageous statements? What about other candidates for political office, like former Vice-President Joe Biden? Will Twitter editorialize regularly in response to his comments on social media? Or will Twitter only go after people its employees dislike?
Instead of allowing viewers to look at the dialogue around the President’s tweets and assess for themselves the merits of the President’s views, Twitter decided to editorialize, appending its own comments and assessment to the President’s speech. But editorializing is what publishers do, like the New York Times and the Washington Post. Your company is treated very differently from publishers, as you know. Traditional publishers are liable when they mess up. But under Section 230, Twitter receives a special government carve-out that shields it from liability. That statute tells courts to treat Twitter like a passive distributor of third-party content. Twitter’s decision to affix its own editorial content to users’ posts brings into question the basis for that immunity.
It makes little sense to treat companies that publish their editorial comments about others’ content as if they are mere distributors. Companies that act like publishers should be treated like publishers. Section 230 should not treat Twitter and neutral internet service providers in the same way when they function so differently.
Please send a prompt response by June 15 identifying the sources on which Twitter relied to decide to editorialize regarding the President’s political speech, and please explain why you think that companies that act like publishers should not be treated like publishers.
“…Twitter’s ‘fact check’ raises serious questions about whether Twitter targeted the President for political reasons…”
Only a shameless, albeit not very competent, hack would characterize presenting facts as political targeting.
It’s not a serious question, that’s just your arrogance in believing the rest of us are too stupid to realize what you’re doing and who you really are.
There was much hilarity in the Twitter comments:
The man breaks every Term and Condition of use and threatens people using the service, and they _one time_ point out that he’s lying to undermine our democracy, and you call that a “war”.
Factchecking isn’t censorship.
You are worse than pathetic, Thirsty McScapegoatFace.
Dude, you are lost.
Bruh, you’re really doing this as a constitutional lawyer? LMAO. Good luck.
Identifying lies from the president isn’t censorship.
Blah Blah Blah
No censorship was done, just a link added to the actual facts @realDonaldTrump doesn’t know.
I think the war on Covid could use some of your attention. 100,000 dead and rising…
“Censorship” would be kicking him off the platform. This is called “refuting Trump’s lies”, a concept with which you’re evidently not familiar.
Kicking him off the platform is well within their rights too. Twitter is not a branch of the government. They are a corporation with a written terms of service we all sign up to. trump should have been removed a long time ago based on the TOS.
Distract, distract, distract.
Geeze Senator… Could you skip a day from being on Fox News to host a virtual town hall or something? Everyday it’s about Google, Fox, FB, Hong Kong… What about Missouri?
He doesn’t give a damn about Missourians. He is a career politician.
You mean, like a ladder climber?
@realDonaldTrump tweet was neither suppressed or prohibited. A disclaimer was added, so, not censorship.
Perhaps you could spend more time & energy working to bolster the educational quality in your state? Clearly, you are a poster child for the shortcomings of a MO education.
Actually, he attended one of those fancy ones.
You are acting malicious on purpose. If something should be considered federal offense this type of gas-lighting should be it. Censorship is suppression/prohibition of something. Trump was not prohibited (unfortunately) from tweeting bs he tweets. They simply pointed to facts!
Twitter is a private corporation with the right to do what they want with its users. What you’re proposing is literal fascism.
No censorship happened – quite the opposite – free forum for him to use – but not to lie unabashedly
– he has been Tweeting non-stop – calling out his BS or giving an alternate view is not censorship – WTF ?
By all means, do that, not discuss the 100,000 dead Americans.
Censorship? Really? How about a grown ass man being responsible for his words?
Of course you are. Grandstanding for Trump, not Missourians.
You are so embarrassing to MO
How do people with such a profound lack of understanding, or such obvious willingness to lie about their understanding of what “censorship” really is, have the balls to go on TV and proclaim their disingenuousness? It must be utter stupidity or zero shame, I guess. Or both.
Partisan hack is too afraid to venture outside the Fox News bubble. Worthless…just like his leader.
@realDonaldTrump if you don’t like it, don’t use it. Twitter is a company that has terms of service. If you don’t like those terms of service, move on. Everyone knows that you are just defecting hoping no one notices that 100,000 Americans are dead because of your stupidity.
How does this concern the state of Missouri? You’re our representative in Congress. Not Donald Trump’s.
Mr “Constitutional lawyer”. The 1st Amendment protects citizen’s free speech from government censorship. You are literally advocating for the government to violate Twitters 1A rights so the President can lie without getting his feelings hurt. Could you be more of a partisan hack?
This is fucking pathetic. You suck at being an American, Josh.
You are simply an attention whore, a clown masquerading as a senator. You care for your Missouri constitutes like trump cares for Americans: not at all. You are both motivated only by self interest, and are morally bankrupt. Resign.
Donald the Liar (May 26, 2020)
He really is an idiot (May 26, 2020)