Elon Musk, the platform’s new owner, says that Twitter is both a social media company and a "crime scene." The crime he appears most concerned about is purported censorship by the tech firms, which he says has occurs at the U.S. government’s direction. Musk, who claims he is leading a “revolution” against such practices, has given a small number of people access to internal Twitter documents- the so-called Twitter Files- including emails and internal message board communications that, in their selective release, demonstrate executives at the firm engaging with politicians and federal agencies on a range of issues, from COVID-19 to election disinformation.
This week, there were two hearings in the House of Representatives on this subject, including a Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing titled “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story,” and a hearing of the new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government that was intended to “discuss the politicization of the FBI and DOJ and attacks on American civil liberties.”
If we look past the conspiracy theories and legal gibberish, is there any there there? Should we pursue reforms and require greater transparency around the interaction between platforms and government? In this episode, we hear from three experts: