(Reuters) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, accused social media company Twitter Inc of being politically biased on Tuesday as he defended his plan to roll back rules intended to ensure a free and open internet.
Pai, a Republican named by President Donald Trump to head up the FCC, unveiled plans last week to scrap the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules, moving to give broadband service providers sweeping power over what content consumers can access.
“When it comes to an open internet, Twitter is part of the problem,” Pai said. “The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”
He pointed to Twitter’s refusal to let Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, advertise a campaign video with an anti-abortion message.
“To say the least, the company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users,” Pai said.
A spokesperson for Twitter said that at no time was Blackburn’s video censored and that her followers would have been able to still see it.
“Because advertisements are served to users who do not necessarily follow an account, we therefore have higher standards for their content,” the Twitter spokesperson said.
Twitter in October declined a campaign video advertisement by Blackburn, who announced she is running for the U.S. Senate, saying that a remark by Blackburn about opposing abortion was inflammatory. Twitter later reversed its decision.
Pai’s criticism came a day after Twitter and a number of other internet-based…