A hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday quickly devolved into squabbling about whether Twitter is biased against conservatives.
While Wednesday’s hearing was called in order to question Dorsey on Twitter’s responsibility to be transparent about its algorithms and other decision-making processes that affect users, many Republican members of the committee used their time to ask Dorsey about a July article from Vice about how Twitter was reportedly “shadowbanning” prominent Republicans.
Dorsey repeatedly shot down the idea that Twitter (or some of its employees) is intentionally writing algorithms that have an outsized effect on conservatives. He also emphasized in his opening remarks that there are limits to what Twitter is and isn’t responsible for.
“When people follow you, you’ve earned that audience. And we have a responsibility to make sure they can see your tweets. We do not have a responsibility, nor you a right, to amplify your tweets to audiences that don’t follow you,” Dorsey said in his opening statement.
In his own opening remarks, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) noted that “Twitter’s success and growth rate has been extraordinary, but it has not been without controversy.”
“Humans are recommending changes to Twitter’s policies. Humans can make mistakes … how Twitter manages those mistakes is critically important,” Walden said.
Democratic members of the House committee, for their part, used Wednesday’s hearing to accuse their Republican colleagues of trumpeting what they see…