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  • Editorial: Twitter having a conflict of conscience between past and current owners

    Michael Gold, Editor

    In national and international business that has local impact, I have been following with interest the comedy of errors that is former Twitter boss, Jack Dorsey, and the sale of his company in October to Elon Musk — called the “richest man on earth”.  At issue are the practices previously employed to influence the beliefs of its readers by Twitter, one of the longest-operating collections of social media communities.

    The billionaire, Musk, who professes to be a free-speech advocate, has recently made public several company documents that appear to show a systemic effort to silence prominent conservative voices on his new platform.  Discounting any moral accountability, this brings to light apparent conflicts between Dorsey’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in September 2018, and what the documents reveal.

    “On its face, Dorsey has vulnerability after the latest release. Dorsey was repeatedly asked about censoring and shadow banning, which has now been confirmed in these files,” George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley told The Washington Post in a published interview.  “The greatest defense for Dorsey may be found in the Justice Department itself. Any prosecution of Twitter executives could prove a hard sell for Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose department has been repeatedly accused of pronounced political bias.”

    The initial batch of communications released by Musk revealed that Democrat insiders collaborated with Twitter to suppress The Washington Post’s coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

    During direct questioning before the congressional committee, Dorsey assessed “Transparency and Accountability” at the company.  He repeatedly said, under oath, Twitter was not “shadow banning”:

    • “Social media is being rigged to censor conservatives. Is that true of Twitter?” Democrat Representative from Pennsylvania, Mike Doyle, asked Dorsey.
    • “No,” Dorsey responded.
    • “Are you censoring people?” Doyle followed.
    • “No,” Dorsey answered again.
    • “Twitter’s shadow-banning prominent Republicans… is that true?” Doyle followed.
    • “No,” Dorsey said a third time.

    According to The Washington Post, journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss have uncovered a vast trove of internal documents proving extensive political censorship at Twitter.  Musk has released the bombshell reports.  Meanwhile, a recording of Dorsey dismissing “shadow-banning” went viral on Twitter this weekend. Some are saying the testimony could leave Dorsey open to perjury charges.

    As the world turns ……..

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