Soon it will be time for Facebook and Twitter to answer questions about how they handled that New York Post story. Facebook’s and Twitter’s CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, have voluntarily agreed to attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on November 17th. According to the committee’s announcement, the social media leaders will be there to testify on their “platforms’ censorship and suppression of New York Post articles.” This announcement comes just a day after Republican Senators voted to subpoena the executives so they can respond to the censorship accusations.
In October, both platforms took action to limit the spread of a New York Post story that claimed to have obtained damaging emails from the laptop of Joe Biden’s son. Some would say suppression. Facebook said that it was reducing the story’s distribution until it had been reviewed by the company’s fact-checking wing. A spokesperson said that it’s “part of [the company’s] standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.”
Twitter completely blocked the story’s URL from being shared via tweets and direct messages, citing its existing policies about hacked materials. Even though these materials were not hacked at all. The steps that both platforms took reignited accusations that they have an anti-conservative political bias. Eventually, Twitter had to update its hacked materials policy and had to unblock the New York Post link.
The committee will also “review [their] handling of the 2020 election,” since the hearing is happening a couple of weeks after Election Day.