Republican lawmakers described Twitter’s censorship of Hunter Biden’s laptop story as “a tipping point for big tech” following the social media giant’s release of the “Twitter files,” which outline the behind-the-scenes story of censorship.
A bombshell revelation on Friday night revealed several Republican lawmakers, and even some of their Democrat counterparts were furious at Twitter’s decision to censor the story.
According to internal emails made public on Friday night, Head of Public Policy Lauren Culbertson received a report from Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice. Culbertson received the letter a day after Twitter censored the story.
The letter revealed that NetChoice had polled 12 members of congress (nine Republicans and three Democrats) and that a “blood bath” awaits in upcoming Hill hearings.
“High-level takeaway – every Republican said ‘this is a tipping point. It’s just too much.’ And both Democrats and the Republicans were angry,” the letter stated.
Heading into the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the New York Post released an exposé on Hunter Biden. The story detailed how Hunter introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm.
A few months after the introduction, the elder Biden pressured Ukrainian government officials into firing a prosecutor investigating the energy firm for corruption.
The Post subsequently shared a link to the story on its official Twitter handle. However, the social media giant responded by censoring the story and locking the Post’s account.
Employees at Twitter claimed that the story contained hacked material and that it breached their policy on sharing such materials. Twitter demanded that the Post delete six tweets containing links to the story before it would unlock the news outlet’s account.
However, the Post refused, and after a two-week standoff, Twitter backed down and unlocked the Post’s account — Twitter said it unlocked the account because it changed its hacked material policy.
Other revelations from the internal emails made public on Friday night showed that Twitter had no evidence that the Post’s story contained hacked material and that top executives censored it without the knowledge of then-CEO Jack Dorsey.
According to Matt Taibbi, who was the conduit through which Elon Musk released the email, “Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story.”
Several GOP lawmakers have reacted to Taibbi’s revelation with fury. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to the news by labeling Big Tech “the biggest threat to free speech and fair elections.”
“Over and over again – Big Tech has silenced damaging stories to forward their liberal agenda,” Cruz stated in a tweet.
While speaking on NewsMax, Cruz mentioned several instances where Big Tech companies censored legitimate stories, including the origins of the COVID-19 virus. The senator described Big Tech executives as a handful of corrupt oligarchs who are abusing their power.
“Big Tech is not our friend, and I think we should use every tool we have to reign in the abuse of power,” he added.