News and Commentary

Conservative Freshman Senator Josh Hawley Calls For Third-Party Audit Of Twitter

Conservative freshman senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has been making quite a name for himself, of late. As I covered in detail in late February, Hawley took the lead in questioning a key judicial nominee of President Trump’s — Neomi Rao, Brett Kavanaugh’s now-confirmed successor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — from the socially conservative Right. Hawley was relentless, at the time, in his condemnation of judicial usurpation masquerading under the phony, atextual doctrinal guise of “substantive due process.” Although Hawley ended up voting in support of Rao’s confirmation, his strong stand against “substantive due process” proved influential; at the Senate Judiciary Committee “mark-up” hearing to confirm Rao, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) heavily intimated that he would look far more skeptically at a prospective Rao nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hawley appears to once again be standing for traditional social conservative values. As initially reported by Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review, Hawley earlier today fired a missive to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about the seeming legerdemain and censorship surrounding the Twitter account for the new pro-life film, “Unplanned.”

Per DeSanctis:

In a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, freshman senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) called on the executive to allow a third-party audit of his social-media platform in light of recent accusations of bias against conservative users.

Hawley, who in just a few months in the Senate has already carved out a space for himself as a prominent conservative critic of big tech and social-media censorship, said in the letter that his request was prompted by Twitter’s recent confusing treatment of the account affiliated with the new movie Unplanned.

“Last week, Twitter suspend[ed] the account of the pro-life movie Unplanned — on opening weekend, no less — raising yet more questions about your supposed commitment to free speech,” Hawley wrote in the letter. … “Just as bad, after you lifted the suspension, 99 percent of Unplanned’s followers mysteriously disappeared.”

The Daily Wire has also obtained a copy of Hawley’s letter to Dorsey. Portions of Hawley’s letter are scathing in their suggestion of political bias on behalf of the social media giant.

Congress has given you a sweetheart deal — immunity from liability for illegal content posted by third parties — because tech companies like yours promised to provide “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” …

Yet your company has repeatedly abused that privilege. You often refuse to allow pro-life organizations to purchase ads because you deem it “inflammatory” when these groups advocate for the right to life, but you allow those on the other side to advocate for late-term abortion — a practice opposed by more than 80 percent of Americans. …

Given this troubling history, the decision to suspend the account for a pro-life movie on opening weekend is too much to be a coincidence. I am rapidly losing confidence that Twitter is committed to the free speech principles that justify [legal] immunity. … It is time for Twitter to prove it is truly committed to free speech: conduct a third-party audit and release the results to the public, in full.