Ahead of expected hearings on Capitol Hill by social media companies, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been actively promoting a campaign to “stop the bias.”
The California Republican has targeted alleged discrimination against conservatives on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, leading Republicans in the charge while echoing President Donald Trump who shared a video message and the hashtag #StopTheBias last week.
“I’ve had many conversations with the president about how we have to stop this bias,” McCarthy, who is expected to make a bid to replace Speaker Paul Ryan, told Fox News on Thursday, according to The Hill.
“I’ve spoken to Jack Dorsey throughout the month,” he added. “He and I philosophically disagree, but we do agree on one thing: We believe in the First Amendment. But we also believe in transparency and accountability.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have agreed to testify Wednesday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at a hearing requested by McCarthy. Dorsey is also scheduled for a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on “Twitter: Transparency and Accountability.”
“If you believe your algorithms, which are written by humans, aren’t causing problems, show us,” McCarthy said, commending Dorsey for agreeing to testify during an interview on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
McCarthy, who has been leading the crusade against the social media tech giants for censoring or “shadow-banning” conservative voices on their platforms, is critical of Google for not cooperating by sending one of their top executives to Washington, D.C.
“They haven’t come forth, but I think they need to come forth,” McCarthy said, adding “Well, remember the power of the subpoena.”
“Our committees have the power to subpoena people,” McCarthy told host Jeanine Pirro. “We don’t want to have to do that, that’s why I think it’s better if you believe in having transparency and accountability, and you believe in doing no evil, there’s no reason why you would hold back and not come forth.”
McCarthy has taken up the cause and, using the hashtag “stop the bias,” tweeted more than a dozen times last month, calling out the social media outlets that have allegedly been stifling the presence of conservative figures and opinions.
“They’re upset that the president actually won the election,” he said. “This is the difference. I think you have to have transparency and accountability.”
“I’m all for somebody on there [social media] criticizing me, they have a right to do that, but the idea that we have a conservative idea that you knock it down, or you can’t search for it, that is wrong,” he said.
Trump has accused the social media companies of discriminating against Republican and conservative voices, warning Facebook and Twitter after blasting Google in one day last week.
Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
His son, Donald Trump Jr., revealed that he would gladly back a conservative version of Facebook, telling Axios if Trump’s 2020 campaign were to build such a platform, he would “love to do it.”
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