Social media platforms have come under heavy scrutiny from conservatives in recent months after internal documents released by Twitter CEO Elon Musk revealed the extent to which governmental entities played a role in censoring or limiting the reach of certain accounts.
During a heated hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives this week, one lawmaker reportedly affected by those decisions shared her thoughts directly with former Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) confronted a panel of former Twitter executives who said they did not have any knowledge about a move that “shadowbanned” her account. She noted that a current employee of the company informed her that any such decision would have been approved by Roth.
“Did you shadowban my account — yes or no?” she asked him.
He replied with an equivocal “not to the best of my recollection,” which prompted a statement of disbelief from the Colorado Republican.
“It’s a freaking joke about Hillary Clinton being angry that she couldn’t rig her election,” Boebert said of the post that allegedly prompted the shadowban. “It’s a joke. But in response, being the sinister overlords that you all are, you placed a 90-day account filter so I could not be found.”
Describing the “aggressive” action against her, she added: “Now we see here that Twitter set a visibility filter on my account excluding me from top searches, prevented notification for non-followers, and much more.”
Boebert went on to accuse Roth and others of preventing elected officials from sharing their thoughts with constituents.
“You silenced me from communicating with the American people over a freaking joke,” she asserted. “Now who the hell do you think you are?”
She was not the only outspoken House Republican on the Oversight Committee who forcefully confronted Roth. Prior to beginning her remarks, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), whose personal account was suspended over posts questioning the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, turned the tables on the former Twitter executives.
.@RepMTG blasts Former Twitter censorship chief Yoel Roth:
"You permanently banned my Twitter account but you allowed child porn all over Twitter." pic.twitter.com/JfVtV4adCJ
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 8, 2023
“You can consider your speech canceled during my time because you canceled mine,” she said.
Greene attempted to highlight the perceived hypocrisy regarding how content was moderated prior to Musk’s acquisition of the platform, referencing claims that posts depicting the sexual abuse of a minor were not removed.
“What were my tweets?” she asked in contrast, displaying the posts that led to her suspension. “Let’s talk about them.”