Steve King tells Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: 'Unlock my account'

Steve King tells Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: 'Unlock my account'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingWeekly Standard co-founder to GOP's Steve King: You are 'a stain on American public life' Ex-Weekly Standard editor hits back at Steve King over criticism Dem pollster says most lawmakers lack tech policy knowledge MORE (R-Iowa) called out Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday, demanding that he "unlock" the GOP congressman's account.

The Iowa Republican also indicated in a tweet that he wanted his followers to see posts from conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey, while echoing ongoing accusations from conservatives that Twitter executives censor conservative content by making it harder to find on the platform.

King had previously tweeted about Stuckey's content in a post that was still viewable Friday afternoon.

In a phone call, the congressman asserted that much of his usual Twitter traffic has disappeared over the last several days, and said that he believed the company was using an algorithm to direct users away from his content.

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"About 90 percent" of King's traffic has disappeared, the congressman said, adding that his account has been "almost completely shut down" by the reduction in traffic.

A spokesperson for Twitter responded in an email Friday night after the congressman's tweets, however, telling The Hill that "[w]e are not reducing the reach of the congressman’s Tweets, and his account has not been locked.”

King said that "if we want to keep acting under the delusion that this is a free and open platform" then Dorsey must name the Twitter officials responsible for determining the site's content policy and use of alleged "shadow bans."

"The public will only take this for so long," King added, warning that a market alternative to Twitter could arise or the government could be forced to regulate the company as a public utility.

The outspoken GOP congressman has faced criticism in recent months for his social media postings, including an endorsement of a Toronto mayoral candidate accused of being a white nationalist and a tweet from last December decrying the concept of "diversity" being a "strength" for the United States.

An executive at Twitter stated last month that nobody, including lawmakers such as President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE, would be immune from the site's content policy and potential punishment for violating such policies.

There is “not a blanket exception for the president or anyone else,” the company’s legal and policy chief, Vijaya Gadde, said in an interview with Politico in September.