Josh Hawley Sends Twitter CEO A Letter Threatening To Remove Special Status!

Article by Bryan Howard

May 28, 2020

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has issued a letter to Twitter’s CEO demanding he answer some basic questions into why he feels entitled to censor Conservatives when he has been given special treatment from the Government protections. Hawley is referring to the 230 status that protects Social Media’s from being sued for what is published on their pages.

This letter was issued after Twitter made a clear over reach when they targeted the President of the United States. Yet Twitter has not censored the Chinese Government propaganda machines inside their page.

Hawley tweeted,
“@jack a few questions for you below. Bottom line: Why should @twitter continue to get special treatment from government as a mere distributor of other people’s content if you are going to editorialize and comment like a publisher? Shouldn’t you be treated like publisher? I will introduce legislation to end these special government giveaways. If @Twitterwants to editorialize & comment on users’ posts, it should be divested of its special status under federal law (Section 230) & forced to play by same rules as all other publishers. Fair is fair”


Josh Hawley’s letter read,

Dear Mr. Dorsey:

Twitter’s unprecedented decision to single out the President for disfavor, based on his political speech, is alarming. Yesterday, for the first time ever, Twitter branded the President’s tweets with a “fact check” designed to encourage readers to believe that the President’s political speech was inaccurate. Twitter’s decision to editorialize regarding the content of political speech raises questions about why Twitter should continue receiving special status and special immunity from publisher liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Twitter’s “fact check” raises serious questions about whether Twitter targeted the President for political reasons. Employees working for the team responsible for Twitter’s fact-checking policies have a stark history of derogatory comments against both the President and people who voted for him. For example, Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity encouraged people to “fly over” states like Missouri because Missourians supposedly “voted for a racist tangerine.” That employee also called people who work for the President “actual Nazis.”

Meanwhile, where has Twitter been in response to the outright lies and propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party and its so-called “wolf warriors,” busy blaming American soldiers for the start of COVID-19 on social media? Will Twitter also “fact check” these outrageous statements? What about other candidates for political office, like former Vice-President Joe Biden? Will Twitter editorialize regularly in response to his comments on social media? Or will Twitter only go after people its employees dislike?

Instead of allowing viewers to look at the dialogue around the President’s tweets and assess for themselves the merits of the President’s views, Twitter decided to editorialize, appending its own comments and assessment to the President’s speech. But editorializing is what publishers do, like the New York Times and the Washington Post. Your company is treated very differently from publishers, as you know. Traditional publishers are liable when they mess up. But under Section 230, Twitter receives a special government carve-out that shields it from liability. That statute tells courts to treat Twitter like a passive distributor of third-party content. Twitter’s decision to affix its own editorial content to users’ posts brings into question the basis for that immunity.

It makes little sense to treat companies that publish their editorial comments about others’ content as if they are mere distributors. Companies that act like publishers should be treated like publishers. Section 230 should not treat Twitter and neutral internet service providers in the same way when they function so differently.

Please send a prompt response by June 15 identifying the sources on which Twitter relied to decide to editorialize regarding the President’s political speech, and please explain why you think that companies that act like publishers should not be treated like publishers.


Josh Hawley
U.S. Senator

earlier on Wednesday Josh Hawley laid into Twitter and Google for their clear biasis.

“Yep. It’s pretty simple: if @Twitter and @Google and the rest are going to editorialize and censor and act like traditional publishers, they should be treated like traditional publishers and stop receiving the special carve out from the federal government in Section 230″




Hawley continued, “And  @Twitter is getting subsidized by the federal government for that interference in the form of special immunity worth billions. Time to end #BigTech sweetheart deal w/ government”

Hawley stated, “I look forward to @Twitter “factchecking” the fake news #China diplomats who have been saying #COVID19 originated with USA soldiers – and who are now threatening to “sanction” me and my home state”

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