Twitter could be staring down the barrel of what is likely their biggest nightmare as members of congress consider what steps they would need to take to break up the company. This comes as a new policy was put into place under newly installed Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal who has put into place a policy that allowed for increased censorship of conservatives and cause en. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to push for the social media platform to be broken up.
“We ought to break them up. At the end of the day, here’s the deal: The last thing America needs is another Big Tech robber baron who doesn’t care anything for free speech, and that’s exactly what Twitter is giving us,” Hawley said during an appearance on “Fox News Primetime.”
While this reflects what has been the longtime-held actions of the platform, the timing of the new rules is what some might call suspicious. This was put into place just days after Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter stepped down. There was a statement released that notified users that the new policy was being rolled out and that they would now remove anything they branded a “misuse of private media” shortly after the new CEO entered the office.
The move was suspiciously timed, as former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the chief executive position just days ago. A statement was released notifying users of the new policy which they branded the “misuse of private media” shortly after the change in power, causing users to question its clause saying the activity they’re targeting has a “disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
“When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorized private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options,” Twitter said in a statement Tuesday.
Federalist writer Kylee Zempel didn’t pull any punches when she looked closer at the policy, pointing out what the platform would have reason to ban under its new rules:
“To be perfectly clear, here are a few tweets that would no longer fly: a photo of Gov. Gavin Newsom hobnobbing maskless at a boujee restaurant, a video of Rep. Rashida Tlaib breaking it down bare-faced on a wedding dance floor, and a clip of a blown-out Nancy Pelosi at a shut-down hair salon.
“These are not only gross privacy violations of public servants,” the writer said sarcastically. “…but they absolutely lead to emotional harm — mostly for their press secretaries, Joy Reid, and Democrats writ large.”
For his part, Hawley believes that it’s entirely unlikely that, given what has already been proven to be an aggressively anti-conservative history of the platform, they won’t be using the new policy to strictly squash the voices that are antithetical to their own:
“I promise you what it won’t mean, the people whose privacy won’t be protected are normal Americans who want to express their views, particularly if they have conservative views,” Hawley said. “I promise you that their privacy won’t be respected, they’ll still get censored. It’s the classic what’s become the rule of the left, which is rules for thee, but not for me … They don’t follow their own standards – they never do,” he continued.
So, is Congress right to try to break up the platform? Is the technology that runs such a place to the point where it can be considered a monopoly? Would it do freedom of speech some good to have a little bit of competitive competition for the hearts and minds of the people? Maybe. Time alone will tell.