Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley asks for public audit of Twitter bans

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is calling for a public audit of Twitter's past censorship practices after Elon Musk announces purchase.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 7:44 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2022 at 8:20 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Elon Musk asking for a public audit of Twitter’s past censorship practices. Musk announced earlier this week he is purchasing the social media platform for $44 billion. Sen. Hawley says Twitter has primarily evaded public accountability.

“I’m delighted that Musk says that he will make Twitter a true free speech platform, and I think he should start by opening the books on Twitter,” said Sen. Josh Hawley. “Let’s find out who Twitter has been shadow banning. Let’s find out who they’d been censoring.”

Musk has said he wants to make the platform more transparent and potentially bring back banned accounts. Famously, former President Trump was permanently banned in January of 2021, following the January 6th Capitol insurrection.

According to Twitter’s current policy, users may not promote violence or directly attack or threaten other people based on their race, sexual orientation, disability, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, or serious disease. They also do not allow accounts whose primary focus is to incite harm to others.

Sen. Hawley said he doesn’t believe that activity should be allowed on the platform.

“Listen, if you’re engaging in rhetoric that incites violence or says go out and hurt that person and assault that person whatever., that’s not protected speech,” said Sen. Hawley. “I don’t see any reason why that should be on social media, and I can’t imagine that anybody could legitimately complain about that kind of speech being taken off.”

Sen. Hawley said he hopes Musk mirrors the First Amendment as much as possible going forward with Twitter, protecting free speech. However, Twitter is a privately owned company that does not fall under the First Amendment.

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