Twitter CEO to testify before House panel

Twitter CEO to testify before House panel
© Greg Nash

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next month as Republican lawmakers claim that they're victims of censorship on social media.

“Twitter is an incredibly powerful platform that can change the national conversation in the time it takes a tweet to go viral," Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHouse GOP blocks Trump-supported drug pricing provision from spending bill GOP turns its fire on Google Hillicon Valley: Twitter chief faces GOP anger over bias | DOJ convenes meeting on bias claims | Rubio clashes with Alex Jones | DHS chief urges lawmakers to pass cyber bill | Sanders bill takes aim at Amazon MORE (R-Ore.), the chairman of the panel, said in a statement.

"When decisions about data and content are made using opaque processes, the American people are right to raise concerns," Walden continued. "This committee intends to ask tough questions about how Twitter monitors and polices content, and we look forward to Mr. Dorsey being forthright and transparent regarding the complex processes behind the company’s algorithms and content judgement calls."

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The hearing is set for Sept. 5.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil GOP: The economy will shield us from blue wave Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (Calif.) and other Republicans have called for Dorsey to come before Congress to answer to claims that the company is biased against conservatives.

Dorsey had been reluctant to commit to an appearance, even amid reports that Congress was preparing to subpoena him.

A Twitter spokesman did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

"Over the past several months, I have seen more and more examples of censorship that impact public officials and concerned citizens expressing conservative thought," McCarthy said in a statement. "After several conversations with Mr. Dorsey and the Chairman, we all agree that transparency is the only way to fully restore Americans’ trust in these important public platforms." 

Twitter has repeatedly denied that it's working to censor conservatives or that it's engaged in "shadow banning," which makes it nearly impossible for a user's content to be seen. Accusations of shadow banning began snowballing last month when some GOP leaders' handles were not automatically popping up in the site's search bar.

Twitter said that the glitch was the result of algorithmic changes meant to crack down on certain user behavior. 

Updated at 5:46 p.m.