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Sen. Cruz: The Pattern of Political Censorship Seen Across Technology Companies is Highly Concerning

Questions representatives of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at Commerce Committee hearing

January 17, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today participated in a hearing titled, ‘Terrorism and Social Media: #IsBigTechDoingEnough?’ The hearing examined the steps social media platforms are taking to combat the spread of extremist propaganda over the Internet.

Watch Sen. Cruz’s line of questioning in its entirety here. During his questioning, Sen. Cruz focused on growing concerns regarding social media platforms' decisions to censor or stifle political speech. 

“The pattern of political censorship we are seeing across the technology companies is highly concerning,” Sen. Cruz said in his closing remarks. “And the opening question I asked of whether you are a neutral public forum — if you are a neutral public forum, that does not allow for political editorializing and censorship. And if you are not a neutral public forum, the entire predicate for liability immunity under the CDA [Communications Decency Act] is claiming to be a neutral public forum, so you cannot have it both ways.”

Four witnesses testified at the hearing, including Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management, Facebook; Juniper Downs, Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, YouTube; Carlos Monje, Director, Public Policy and Philanthropy, U.S. & Canada, Twitter; Clinton Watts, Robert A. Fox Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute.

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