After exploiting the white-hot spotlight of the mainstream media cameras to call for the immediate grilling of Twitter and Facebook’s CEOs, some Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have dialed back their immediacy, opting for a more voluntary approach.
Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that it was postponing plans to vote on the issuance of subpoenas meant to compel the social media chiefs to testify about the recent censorship of the New York Post over its story about information found on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The hearings were to also address what many on Capitol Hill believe to be an anti-conservative bias at Twitter and Facebook, as well as other Silicon Valley tech giants.
The delay on the issuance of subpoenas, according to Judiciary Committee staffers, comes after some panel Republicans expressed reservation about the maneuver and how quickly the committee committed itself to issuing subpoenas.
Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC announced the committee would consider authorizing subpoenas to compel testimony from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding the platforms’ censorship of New York Post articles. https://t.co/gDr0sjNuNK
— Senate Judiciary Republicans (@SenJudiciaryGOP) October 19, 2020
Members of the committee want Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg to testify on their platforms’ overt “suppression and/or censorship” of the New York Post reporting and on “any other content moderation policies, practices, or actions that may interfere with or influence elections for federal office,” this according to a document released by the committee Monday.
But while some on the Judiciary Committee may be feeling the heat of special interest pressure, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), is standing pat. “One way or another, either voluntarily or pursuant to subpoena, they will testify and they will testify before the election,” Cruz said.
Silicon Valley billionaires are abusing their immense power to interfere with the election, suppress free speech, & censor the press. That’s why I am leading efforts in the Senate to hold them accountable & get answers before Election Day. pic.twitter.com/8qBsYWmt1t
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 20, 2020
Both Dorsey and Zuckerberg, along with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, are scheduled to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee on November 2, 2020, for hearings on the Communication Decency Act’s section 230, which oversees liability protections for social media.