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Three former Twitter executives are scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. ET.
The hearing, titled “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story,” is an early demonstration of the how newly empowered Republicans in the House will wield influence on tech issues. Many Republicans have long complained about what they see as a bias toward conservatives in online platforms’ content moderation policies, something tech companies have consistently denied.
Yet new Twitter owner Elon Musk, who clashed with former executives testifying, vowed to restore free speech to the platform. Even so, some of his actions, like suspending the accounts of some journalists and a profile stalking his jet, showed that Musk also had lines in the sand on free speech.
Wednesday’s hearing includes former Twitter chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, former deputy general counsel James Baker, former Twitter policy chief Annika Collier Navaroli, and former global head of trust and security, Yoel Roth.
The story the hearing title refers to is a 2020 New York Post article that claimed to find an “irrefutable” email linked to President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The article was published shortly before Biden was elected to the highest office in 2020, which further stoked tensions when Twitter and Facebook moved to limit the spread of the article. Twitter took the extreme step of blocking links to the story, citing its policy on pirated materials. Twitter’s CEO at the time said the company’s approach was wrong and changed the policy, but the trust of many lawmakers was already shattered.