Cruz Previews Assault on Big Tech

Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz / Getty Images
• October 19, 2020 5:00 pm


Republican senator Ted Cruz (Texas) said the leaders of Facebook and Twitter will answer to Congress for their suppression of the New York Post‘s reporting about Hunter Biden before Election Day.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will be called upon "to explain to the committee and to the American people why Twitter is abusing its market power to interfere in the election and censor media reporting of evidence suggesting Joe Biden's personal corruption concerning two foreign nations," Cruz told reporters during a conference call Monday afternoon.

Cruz did not give a specific date for the appearances before the Senate Judiciary Committee but said it would occur before Nov. 3 because of the urgency of the issue. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will also be called upon to appear.

"This poses the single greatest threat to free speech in America today. It poses the single greatest threat to democracy in America today," Cruz said.

Twitter and Facebook suppressed the circulation of the New York Post‘s reporting about a trove of emails and documents from a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden. Facebook suppressed the story's distribution on the platform's news feeds while it was being fact-checked, and Twitter did not allow individual users to tweet or send the stories via direct message for a period of time. Twitter also did not allow a follow-up story from the Post to be circulated by individual users.

Dorsey said the platform was wrong to block the story, and Twitter also updated its "hacked materials" policy to allow press coverage of hackings in the future.

But the policy change was too little, too late for Cruz. He said tech corporations could be engaged in "potentially serious campaign finance violations" by censoring stories harmful to the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.

"Even left-wing Democratic journalists who hate President Trump should pause for a second and ask, ‘What the hell are we doing allowing a couple of Silicon Valley billionaires to decide what the press is allowed to report and what they're not?'" Cruz said.