Senator Hawley urges Elon Musk to make Twitter’s censorship tricks public

Days after Elon Musk’s announcement to acquire Twitter, Josh Hawley the U.S. Senator wrote a letter to Elon Musk on 26 April (Tuesday) urging him to conduct an audit of Twitter and make public its efforts to censor and shadow ban individuals. In his letter to Elon Musk, Hawley said, “Your commitment to free speech is rare in the world of social media and I am hopeful you will indeed help Twitter become a platform that values and protects it.”

Senator Josh Hawley informed Musk that he had written to Twitter in 2019 to conduct a third-party audit and release the details of the report to the public, which was ignored by Twitter. He also asked him to reveal details of past censorship attempts made by Twitter.

Billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk reached an agreement with Twitter to acquire the micro-blogging site for $44 billion. Elon said that he wanted to buy Twitter because the social media platform of late wasn’t living up to its potential as a platform for “free speech”.

Hawley accused Twitter of being ‘partisan’ and pointed out, “Algorithms didn’t make those calls; employees did. And at this point, the American people deserve to know the truth about what went on at Twitter for years behind closed doors.” He proposed 5 important questions for Twitter to probe during the said third-party audit.

  • Who was responsible for deliberately suppressing the New York Post’s now-vindicated reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and business dealings?
  • How many Twitter users have had their accounts suspended and why?
  • How many Twitter users have been shadow banned and why?
  • Do Twitter’s shadow banning and suspension patterns evince a consistent political bias?
  • Have Twitter employees, since news of your acquisition of the platform became public, made changes to the platform or deleted records of their time at the service?


Josh Hawley concluded that a public audit like this would be important in rebuilding a culture of free speech and open discourse at Twitter, to review where exactly things went wrong on the platform and who is principally accountable.

Following the letter to Musk by the U.S. Senator, on Wednesday (April 27), Twitter’s top notch lawyer Vijaya Gadde was slammed by Musk over the “incredibly inappropriate” censorship of Hunter Biden’s laptop story. Vijaya Gadde who is the chief legal officer and general counsel of Twitter has also played an imperative role in terminating ex-President Donald Trump’s account on Twitter. In a tweet, Musk wrote, “Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate.” Elon Musk was talking about the 2020 New York Post’s story on Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Sadiksha Waiba
Sadiksha Waiba
Writer is an alumna of Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. She has worked with reputed publishing houses and is currently working as a freelance academic editor.

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