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Twitter's Jack Dorsey. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy sent a letter Thursday to the chairman of a powerful House committee to ask that he publicly grill Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey over recent allegations that the platform limits the reach of some conservative accounts.

Why it matters: Republican politicians are embracing anger among conservatives who say online platforms are censoring their voices. Majority Leader McCarthy also needs the backing of more conservative lawmakers if he wants to replace Paul Ryan as speaker of the House should Republicans keep the chamber in November.

The Thursday request comes after Twitter denied allegations of bias based on a Vice report that it had removed certain prominent conservatives from the suggestions in its search box. “For the most part, we believe the issue had more to do with how other people were interacting with these representatives’ accounts than the accounts themselves,” said two Twitter staffers in a blog post last week.

What they're saying: “Any solution to this problem must start with accountability from companies like Twitter, whose platforms have enormous potential to impact the national conversation — and unfortunately, enormous potential for abuse,” McCarthy said in the letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden. “In particular, I would like to request a hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey so that the American people can learn more about the filtering and censorship practices on his platform.”

  • "Even well-intentioned algorithms can have unintended consequences. I look forward to welcoming Mr. Dorsey to testify before the Energy and Commerce Committee at a date and time to be agreed upon," said Walden in a statement. A committee source said that a formal invitation to the company would be forthcoming.
  • Twitter declined to comment.
  • Dorsey is already planning to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee in September, a source told Axios last month, at a hearing on disinformation and elections.

McCarthy, who has worked on tech issues for years, has pressured social media companies over the way they treat conservatives in recent months.

  • McCarthy and other Republican leaders met with Facebook staffers in June over their concerns.
  • As recently as last month McCarthy was running ads on Facebook inviting supporters to join him “and President Trump in defending our conservative voice against social media censoring," according to the platform's public database of political ads.

Bottom line: While the right has long alleged that Silicon Valley platforms reflect the liberal bias of their engineers, there’s never been strong evidence that the platforms have intentionally built systems designed to silence conservatives. The majority of Americans, however, think it is likely that social media sites censor political views they find objectionable.

The other coast: Twitter has been on a campaign to win over conservatives.

  • Dorsey appeared on Fox News Radio on Wednesday, where he was asked about the “shadow banning” controversy.
  • He met with conservatives in DC earlier this year and has reportedly spoken with Sean Hannity.

Read the letter:

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CDC: Vaccinated people should get tested after exposure even if they show no symptoms

A person gets a COVID-19 test outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its COVID-19 testing guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending tests after exposure even if they don't show any symptoms.

Flashback: The agency previously said that fully vaccinated people did not need tests after coming into contact with an infected person unless they experienced symptoms.

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.

Heat dome roasts Northwest, Central states as "derecho" threat looms in Midwest

Weather map showing a sprawling heat dome centered over Kansas on July 30, 2021. (WeatherBell.com)

The latest in a series of relentless heat waves is bringing dangerously hot temperatures to a the Central U.S. on Wednesday, and will contribute to a severe thunderstorm outbreak across the Upper Midwest. The heat will expand in scope toward the end of the week.

The big picture: Heat watches, warnings and advisories are in effect across 19 states, from Portland, Oregon east to Minneapolis, and running all the way south to New Orleans. Temperatures of between 10°F and 15°F above average in these areas along with high humidity poses a public health threat.