Oct 28, 2020 - Technology

Jack Dorsey: Twitter has no influence over elections

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter does not have the ability to influence elections because there are ample additional sources of information, in response to questioning from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz during a hearing Wednesday.

Between the lines: The claim is sure to stir irritation on both the right and left. Conservatives argue Twitter and Facebook's moderation decisions help Democrats, while liberals contend the platforms shy from effectively cracking down on misinformation to appease Republicans.

Driving the news: Dorsey is testifying remotely alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the much-discussed law that allows tech platforms to moderate content and not be held legally liable for it.

Flashback: Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Zuckerberg said it was "crazy" to think Facebook could sway an election, before revelations emerged that foreign actors attempted to meddle in the election using Twitter, Google and Facebook.

Reality check: Cruz has been hammering Twitter for its decisions around limiting access to the New York Post's controversial coverage of Hunter Biden, and used his questioning time at the hearing to berate Dorsey. He also made clear prior to the hearing he was looking for a fight.

  • "Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report?" Cruz asked Dorsey. Dorsey said when users sign up for Twitter, they agree to its terms of service.
  • Dorsey said Twitter does not influence elections because people have the choice of using other communications channels.
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