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'Who the hell elected you?': Cruz blasts Twitter CEO

POLITICO logo POLITICO 10/28/2020 By Caitlin Oprysko
Ted Cruz sitting in front of a laptop: Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. © Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Sen. Ted Cruz teed off on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday over the platform’s decision to temporarily block an unproven New York Post report about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter — a move that has further stoked conservatives' claims of bias.

In a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the tech industry’s prized liability protections, Cruz accused Twitter of forcing users, including media outlets like the Post, to “genuflect and obey your dictates if they wish to communicate with the American people.”

Raising his voice, the Texas Republican dismissed the much more soft-spoken CEO’s attempts to justify the company's enforcement of policies against hacked and false material, calling Dorsey's rationale "dubious."

"Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?" Cruz asked Dorsey, asserting that Twitter was functioning as "a Democratic super PAC."

While he focused most of his ire on Twitter, whose conduct he said “has been by far the most egregious,” Cruz declared that he views all three companies represented at the hearing — which also included the heads of Facebook and Google — as “the single greatest threat to free speech in America and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections.”

Cruz slammed Twitter for initially blocking users from posting links to the New York Post story, a move Twitter reversed within 24 hours and which Dorsey insisted he thought was a mistake. Twitter's action resulted in the suspension of high-profile Twitter accounts, including that of President Donald Trump's campaign and the Post itself.

The senator noted that the Post’s Twitter account is still suspended, though Dorsey said the paper can unlock its account and tweet the same story out as long as it deleted its initial tweets.



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