Sep 5, 2018

Twitter chief Dorsey pressed over liberal bias claims

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faced skeptical questions at a Wednesday House hearing convened because of Republican allegations of an anti-conservative bias on the platform.

Why it matters: President Trump has seized on the concerns of anti-conservative censorship over the last week — publicly blasting web companies — despite a lack of evidence of platforms intentionally build bias into their systems.

What they're saying:

  • Republicans raised concerns about a recent instance in which certain conservatives were not included in the auto-fill feature of Twitter's search. "Out of the more than 300 million active Twitter users, why did this only happen to certain accounts?” asked House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden.

Democrats pushed back on the bias allegations, with top committee Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone saying that Republicans were "trying to rally their base by fabricating a problem that simply does not exist."

  • Pallone also questioned whether the platform is taking the right measures to make sure that celebrities and politicians, like Trump, face the same rules as other individuals.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushed Dorsey on what he's doing to get rid of harassment online. "I understand there are algorithms, I understand that there have to be checks and balances, but really it shouldn’t take hours for something that's that egregious to come down," said Republican Rep. Michael Burgess of a recent doctored image that of a daughter of the late Sen. John McCain.

But but but: Even during tense moments of questioning, the hearing has lacked the fireworks of some earlier Capitol Hill conversations about alleged bias on social media, save for when a protestor briefly disrupted the proceedings.

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy