The significance of this censorship amid the intense end of the U.S. presidential campaign was such that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) summoned the directors of Twitter and Facebook to testify before the Senate, according to the letters attached to one of his tweets.
“NEW—U.S. Senator Josh Hawley has formally requested Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in a coming hearing titled ‘Digital Platforms and Election Interference,'” Hawley tweeted.
NEW — U.S. Senator Josh Hawley has formally requested @Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and @Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in a coming hearing titled "Digital Platforms and Election Interference.” pic.twitter.com/VlXBo17bX0
— Senator Hawley Press Office (@SenHawleyPress) October 15, 2020
From Hawley’s perspective, the censorship by the accused social networks could constitute a violation of U.S. political campaign finance laws.
The limitation imposed by Twitter and Facebook would mean, “Supporting Joe Biden’s presidential campaign by applying his terms of service asymmetrically,” he said in his letters.
The two technology giants argued that these publications violated the rules they themselves establish, interpret, and apply.
In particular, Facebook usually relies on the criteria of “neutral” media to determine the veracity of certain facts and based on this allow or not the dissemination of some facts.
However, in the case of the New York Post Facebook news, not only did it not wait for the fact-checkers’ pronouncement but it went ahead and censored the news and alerted them to the possible infraction.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani supplied the New York Post with the hard drive from a laptop computer that apparently belonged to Hunter Biden, and that contains thousands of emails and personal documents referring to the multimillion businesses that he held internationally, when his father, Joe Biden was vice president of the United States.
The censorship by Twitter and Facebook not only amplified the significance of the news but also involved them in what could be the crime of electoral interference. It was described as “shocking and authoritarian” by journalist Michael Tracey.
Tracey joined critics from all levels that firmly rejected the abuse committed by the Big Techs against American democracy, as considered by the journalist Tucker Carlson in his program on Fox News, on Oct. 14.
“This was massive censorship on a scale that the United States has never experienced in 245 years, and it is a threat to all of us,” Carlson said.
He added, “Democracies only work when there is a free exchange of information between citizens. We no longer have that.” A shocking New York Post story was censored by technology giants Twitter and Facebook on Oct. 14, preventing its distribution and closing the accounts of those who replicated it.
Given that the main people involved were the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, many voices rose up to denounce the arbitrariness of social networks and claim their rights to free expression.