Oct 30, 2020 - Technology

Acting DHS chief calls on Twitter to "commit to never" censoring content

Picture of Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday, calling on him to "commit to never again censoring content" on the platform.

Driving the news: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said on Thursday the platform locked his account and removed a tweet about the effectiveness of the border wall.

  • The tweet, according to Wolf, read: "CBP & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work."
  • Morgan tweeted Thursday that his account was locked for around 20 hours and said Twitter "has a clear bias against the administration."
  • Asked about Morgan's account, a Twitter spokesperson told Axios the company "took enforcement action on the Tweet you referenced, but the decision was reversed after further evaluation from our team."

What he's saying: "The fact that the tweet was removed and the account locked is startling. It is hard to understand how anyone believed Mr. Morgan’s tweet promoted violence, threats or harassment. Especially considering that the facts about the border wall system support the tweet," Wolf wrote in the letter to Dorsey.

  • "There was no reason to remove Mr. Morgan’s tweet from your platform, other than ideological disagreement with the speaker. Such censorship is disturbing."

The big picture: Twitter has implemented new measures as it seeks to clamp down on misinformation, especially surrounding the U.S. election and the coronavirus pandemic. But in the process, it has been accused of censoring conservative perspectives.

  • Wolf's letter comes just days after Dorsey and other Big Tech CEOs participated in a Senate hearing to discuss legislation that protects online platforms against lawsuits over moderation decisions and user-posted content.

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