Republicans renew complaints Twitter stifles president, other conservatives

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Republicans in the House of Representatives wrote to Twitter on Wednesday to argue that the social media platform was biased against conservatives and to demand information about its public reactions to two of President Donald Trump’s tweets.

Representatives Jim Jordan and James Sensenbrenner said in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that Twitter’s content moderation was not neutral and that it more often took aim at conservatives.

“Twitter’s discrimination against conservative voices is extremely alarming. These actions give rise to concerns that the company is systematically engaged in the disparate treatment of political speech and is deceiving users of the platform by not uniformly applying its terms of service,” they wrote in the letter.

The two men complained in particular about Twitter’s decision in late May to “fact check” Trump’s assertion linking mailed ballots with voter fraud. Twitter said in a statement that it had added a label to two Trump tweets because they “could confuse voters.”

They also objected to Twitter’s treatment of a Trump tweet saying he would use “serious force” to keep protesters from creating an autonomous zone in Washington, DC. Twitter said the tweet violated a policy against abusive behavior but did not take it down.

The lawmakers also accused a Twitter official, whom they did not name, of using insulting language to talk about the president and a White House official.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The two representatives asked Twitter to provide an accounting of content moderation decisions affecting Americans in the past year, as well as documents and communications regarding Twitter’s treatment of the Trump tweets.

Jordan is the top Republican on the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary committee and Sensenbrenner is the top Republican on its antitrust subcommittee.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Dan Grebler

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