GOP Sen. Hawley asks if Twitter targeted Trump ‘for political reasons’

A Republican senator asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday whether the social media giant’s decision to verify President Donald Trump’s tweets on postal voting was politically motivated.

The president’s favorite social media platform’s decision to put warning labels on his tweets “raises serious questions about whether Twitter targeted the president for political reasons,” said Senator Josh Hawley, R- Mo., In a letter to Dorsey.

Hawley, a member of the Senate judicial committee, has suggested that Twitter’s intervention in Trump’s messages could jeopardize his status under the decades-old law that protects him, as well as other websites, from wearing responsibility for the content published by its users.

Calls to Twitter to intervene in the President’s account rose earlier on Tuesday after Trump continued to make baseless suggestion that MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough may have been involved in the death in 2001 of his former intern while ‘he served in Congress.

The staff member’s widower asked Dorsey to delete Trump’s tweets on the issue. “I ask you to intervene in this case because the president of the United States took something that does not belong to him – the memory of my deceased wife – and perverted it for a perceived political gain,” wrote the widower in a letter. to the CEO. Twitter has refused to drop the allegations.

On Tuesday evening, Twitter marked two of Trump’s or Scarborough’s tweets for the first time with warning labels, alerting readers to “get the facts on the postal ballots”.

Trump tweeted this morning that postal ballots would be “substantially fraudulent” if they were widely used in the 2020 presidential election.

“It will be a rigged election,” said the president. When clicked, labels lead users to a page that reads in part: “Trump has falsely claimed that postal ballots would lead to” a rigged election. “However, fact-checkers say there is no “There is no evidence that the postal ballots are linked to electoral fraud.” The fact-checking page rejected Trump’s multiple claims in the tweets, calling them “unsubstantiated”. The links cite reports from CNN, the Washington Post and other media.

Trump, in a pair of tweets, accused Twitter of “interfering” in the 2020 election. “Twitter completely stifles FREE SPEECH, and I, as president, will not allow this to happen!”

Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning, “Republicans believe social media platforms are completely silencing the voices of the Tories. We will tightly regulate or shut them down before we can allow that to happen.”

Hawley, a trusted ally of Trump, said in his letter to Dorsey that “Twitter’s unprecedented decision to appoint the president for disadvantage, based on his political speech, is alarming.”

The senator noted that Twitter’s “site integrity officer”, who co-authored a blog post on May 11, about the company’s change in approach to misleading information, allegedly posted messages. criticism of Trump and his supporters in the past. Twitter told Buzzfeed News that this employee, Yoel Roth, was not responsible for the fact-checking of Trump’s tweets.

Hawley wondered if Twitter “would only go against the people its employees don’t like?”

He accused Twitter of having editorialized byadding his own comments and appreciations to the president’s speech. “

“Twitter’s decision to place its own editorial content on user publications calls into question the basis” for its immunity from liability under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, wrote Hawley.

Section 230 States: “No provider or user of an interactive IT service should be treated as the publisher or speaker of information provided by another information content provider.”

Hawley tweeted that he would introduce legislation “to end these special government gifts”.

“If @Twitter wants to editorialize and comment on user posts, it should be stripped of its special status,” tweeted Hawley, “and forced to play by the same rules as all other publishers. Fair is fair.”

Hawley asked Dorsey for an answer before June 15.

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