Antitrust Hearing: Republicans Accuse Twitter, FB, Google For Trying To Rig Nov Elections
Laying out a litany of censorship atrocities against the Conservatives, Republican lawmaker Jim Jordan accused the Big Tech for trying to rig November presidential elections and said they should be brought to heel.
“Maybe the tech giants have reasonable excuses for each incident of censorship and bias, but taken together there is a pattern of conduct which leads to the inescapable conclusion that they are in the business of trying to rig elections. They must be brought to heel,” he said in a blistering opening statement before the congressional antitrust panel.
“Big Tech is out to get conservatives. That’s not a suspicion, that’s not a hunch. That’s a fact … Think about that. They can lie for China. They can shill for China. But you say something against them, you get censored,” he said.
Jordan accused Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who absented himself despite an invitation, for shadow banning four conservative members – himself, Matt Gaezt, Devin Numes and Mark Meadows – two years ago.
“What did Mr Dorsey tell us? ‘It was just a glitch in our algorithm’ … We have heard that excuse time and time again,” Jordan said.
He also listed the censoring of President Trump’s tweets by affixing warning labels to them in the past several weeks.
For example, Twitter painted as “abusive” a Trump tweet last month that read: “There will never be an Autonomous Zone in Washington, DC, as long as I am your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!”
While in Israel’s Knesset, a Twitter spokeswoman was grilled about political bias during a hearing on anti-Semitism. The Knesset asked her why Trump’s tweets were censored, but not Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s, who called for the genocide of Jews and the elimination of Israel.
She replied that the saber-rattling on military and economic issues by world leaders indulging in foreign-policy are generally not in violation of Twitter rules, however, Trump’s tweet violated the rules regarding glorification of violence based on historical context and risk of inspiring harm.
Jordan also referred Khamenei threatening American citizens in a tweet: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget the martyrdom of Haj Qasem Soleimani” — the Iranian general suspected of carrying out terrorist operations who was killed by a targeted drone strike — “and will definitely strike a reciprocal blow to the US.”
There is no warning label affixed to Khamenei’s tweet.
Jordan also ripped apart Google CEO Sundar Pichai for the firm’s efforts to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Giving out the proofs, Jordan talked about a video leaked to Breitbart in 2016, which depicted Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page lamenting Trump’s victory at a meeting of Google executives and vowing not to make the same mistake again.
“Brin promised that before the 2020 election Google would be very vigilant and thinking about all these issues (to see) what we can do to lead to maybe a better quality of governance and decision-making,” he said.
Jordan also cited a 2019 Project Veritas undercover exposé in which Google executives explained how they planned to undermine Trump and influence the 2016 election.
He questioned Pichai about a 2016 e-mail from the head of multicultural marketing to Google executives referring to a silent donation the company had made to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“Can you assure Americans today you won’t tailor your features to help Joe Biden in the upcoming election?” Jordan asked.
Pichai, however, denied any such tie up, but offered a commitment to support both campaigns after several questions during the hearing.
Matt Gaetz, a Republican lawmaker, was equally critical about Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, asking the reasons for firing Wunderkind and Facebook exec Palmer Luckey, who during the 2016 election cycle had donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group.
“When you fire people as a consequence of their politics, do you think that impacts the culture and perhaps empowers some of the content moderators to also treat people worse as a consequence of their politics?” he asked.
Zuckerberg denied the charge, but Gaetz countered by asking him whether he was giving a truthful testimony or lying to the Congress. “I have seen the messages where you have specifically directed Mr. Luckey to make statements regarding his politics to the benefit of your company … There is a serious question as to whether or not you are giving truthful testimony here or whether you’re lying to Congress,” he said.
He further accused Amazon charity site Amazon Smile for not letting people to pro-life, pro-marriage family research council, but let them into planned parenthood.
Jordan charged Facebook for banning pro-life advertisements in 2018 during Ireland’s abortion referendum and suppressing conservative views. He also accused Google and YouTube for censoring content that conflicts with World Health Organization recommendations.
Other censorship atrocities of Big Tech included Google removing conservative website Breitbart from its search results and Amazon’s video site Twitch suspending President Donald Trump’s account after he raised concerns about defunding the police.
Besides, Facebook removed posts from Trump’s re-election campaign and Amazon temporarily banned an e-book critical of coronavirus lockdowns written by conservative commentator Alex Berenson.
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