Part of the evidence uncovered from the ongoing “Twitter File” release showed that the social media company’s founder and former CEO, Jack Dorsey, may have lied to lawmakers when he said Twitter was not shadow-banning conservatives.
Dorsey was testifying under oath and before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2018 when Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) asked him if Twitter was shadow-banning accounts belonging to conservatives. Dorsey said no.
Doyle grilled Dorsey further, asking if Twitter was censoring people. Again Dorsey replied and said no.
“Twitter’s shadow-banning prominent Republicans,” Doyle asked. “Is that true?” Dorsey said “No.”
In another exchange, Dorsey told Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) that Twitter’s algorithm was not written with the intention of shadow-banning GOP lawmakers.
However, the batch of Twiter Files released by independent journalist Bari Weiss showed that Twitter was indeed shadow-banning conservatives. Weiss reported that the Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET was the group that ultimately decides whether to limit the reach of some users.
Weiss revealed that another secret group operated beyond Twitter’s rank-and-file moderators. The group was known as the “Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,” known as SIP-PES. Members of the group included the Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), and CEOs Dorsey and Parag Agrawal.
“This is where the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions got made,” Weiss added.
However, Twitter owner and current CEO Elon Musk has jumped to Dorsey’s defense. Musk sent a Tweet saying Twitter executive made “controversial decisions” without Dorsey’s approval.
Controversial decisions were often made without getting Jack’s approval and he was unaware of systemic bias. The inmates were running the asylum.
Jack has a pure heart imo.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
“He was unaware of systemic bias,” Musk tweeted. The inmates were running the asylum. Jack has a pure heart, IMO.”
Despite Musk’s defense of his predecessor, George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley told the New York Post that Dorsey’s testimony has left him vulnerable. However, Turley implied that he is not expecting the DOJ to prosecute Dorsey.
“The greatest defense for Dorsey may be found in the Justice Department itself. Any prosecution of Twitter executives could prove a hard sell for Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose department has been repeatedly accused of pronounced political bias,” Turley stated.