Republicans bash ex-Twitter executives over Hunter Biden scandal
In 2020, the company temporarily banned a New York Post article about the contents of Joe Biden's son's abandoned computer.
US senators held a heated session with former top Twitter officials about the social media platform's handling of reports on Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.
The proceedings laid the groundwork for the agenda of a future Republican-controlled House, emphasizing the party's commitment to focus on long-standing and unfounded charges that giant digital platforms are anti-conservative.
The House Oversight Committee has requested that recently departed Twitter employees be questioned, including Vijaya Gadde, the social network's former chief legal officer, James Baker, the social network's former deputy general counsel, Yoel Roth, the former head of safety and integrity, and Anika Collier Navaroli, the social network's former safety leader.
The session focused on a subject that has long perplexed Republicans: why did Twitter momentarily restrict the sharing of a story about Hunter Biden in the New York Post, which was published in October 2020, the month before the US presidential election? However, politicians on both sides of the aisle took advantage of the chance to question Twitter's and other tech companies' moderation methods.
Republican committee chairman James Comer, denouncing the former employees for censoring the Post story, said, “The government doesn’t have any role in suppressing speech.”
In that report, the Post acquired a copy of a laptop hard drive from Donald Trump's then-personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, that Hunter Biden had dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop 18 months previously and never retrieved. Twitter first barred users from sharing links to the story for several days, claiming worries about misinformation and the propagation of possibly compromised materials.
The former Twitter employees revealed the method through which the news was banned in their opening statements on Wednesday. While the firm clearly permitted "reporting on a hack or sharing press coverage of hacking," it prohibited stories that provided "personal and sensitive information - such as email addresses and phone numbers," which the Post piece appeared to include.
Following the Biden issue, the platform changed its policies, and the company's comments about the Post piece were later described as "not terrific" by then-CEO Jack Dorsey.
“Silly does not even begin to capture this obsession,” he said of the laptop story. “What’s more, Twitter’s editorial decision has been analyzed and debated ad nauseam. Some people think it was the right decision. Some people think it was the wrong decision. But the key point here is that it was Twitter’s decision,” he concluded by saying.
Hunter Biden, the son of US president Joe Biden, is notorious for his involvement in numerous scandals, including substance abuse, commercial sex, infidelity, tax fraud, and, most likely, high-level corruption. Nonetheless, he was always able to elude capture.
E-mails recovered from Hunter's abandoned laptop show that he played a major role in the acquisition of millions of dollars in funding for Metabiota, a Department of Defense contractor specializing in research on pandemic-causing diseases that could be used as bioweapons.