Republicans’ fateful “Twitter Files” hearing on Wednesday was supposed to reveal how the social media company and the left colluded to suppress a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Instead, witness testimony revealed more ways the social media company accommodated right-wing speech and was even supplicated directly by Republican elected officials—including the White House.
Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin introduced a line of questioning to former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli, who explained that the company actually allowed “a loud roar” of violence-inciting hate speech from thousands of posts. Navaroli said management did not allow employees to remove the posts that were violating incitement to violence policies.
And in a farcical hearing where Republicans were supposedly concerned with government officials attempting to influence the social media company’s content moderation policies, Representative Gerry Connolly pointed out that former President Trump tried on numerous occasions to directly influence Twitter’s content moderation policies, including publicly in a rant on Twitter.
In answering a question from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Navaroli revealed that Twitter had in fact changed its own content moderation policy after Trump violated it, in order to accommodate his tweet.
“So much for bias against [the] right-wing on Twitter,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
Members including Representative Jim Jordan attempted to propagate a notion that the FBI “played” the employees in order to suppress the Hunter Biden story. For this, as for many of the allegations being hurled at individual Twitter employees, Trump was president at this time, and the FBI director was Trump’s own pick, Christopher Wray.
Meanwhile, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert spent much of their time complaining about their own accounts being held accountable for content moderation violations, and still attempting to peddle an anti-Trump conspiracy between Twitter and the government—a plot supposedly happening while Trump was still the leader of the government.
While firebrand Republicans sought to carry out a hearing that exposed a nefarious connection between Democrats and Twitter, instead they revealed the tenuousness of some of their claims.
“I believe that what’s happening here is my Republican colleagues know that the premise of this whole hearing is misleading. There is no evidence that the Biden campaign had anything to do with the Hunter Biden New York Post story,” Representative Becca Balint said. “And the evidence we do have simply shows what the Trump campaign and millions of Twitter users do routinely: flag content and ask Twitter to conduct its own review to determine whether it violates Twitter’s own rules and policies.”