House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy wants Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify before Congress on the “censorship” of conservatives amid allegations the social media platform is “shadow banning” prominent Republicans.
The California Republican, in a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden on Thursday, said Twitter’s practices have “targeted conservatives disproportionately.”
He requested a public committee hearing with Dorsey so “the American people can learn more about the filtering and censorship practices on his platform.”
“Recently we learned that Twitter limited the visibility of certain conservative accounts, so that some of their tweets did not appear in searches and their accounts were more difficult to find through the search feature,” McCarthy wrote. “This ‘shadow ban’ made it harder for users to get information about certain public officials—or even to learn that their social media presence existed.”
Twitter has come under fire after Republican Party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, including California Rep. Devin Nunes, and others, failed to appear in its auto-populated drop-down search results.
In light of the controversy, Twitter denied that it shadow bans, claiming that the problem is the result of an algorithmic glitch in the search function that is being fixed.
“It's based on who you follow,” Dorsey said this week on Fox News Radio. “It's based on who you engage with. It's not based on decisions that we make.”
But Republicans, like McCarthy, say they aren’t satisfied with the explanations.
“Twitter ultimately implemented a change to stop penalizing conservatives, but serious questions remain about how and why the company filters content on its platform,” McCarthy said.
Social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook are under increasing scrutiny, particularly in the wake of a government probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.