- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Twitter habits of Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, became a focal point for lawmakers questioning a Big Tech titan about alleged conservative bias on social media platforms.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Wednesday’s House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust about why the social media presence of Donald Trump Jr. “got taken down” after he posted about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine.

“I wouldn’t take it myself but there still is a debate on whether it is effective either in treating or preventing COVID-19 and I think that this is a legitimate matter of discussion and it would be up to a patient and their doctor to determine whether hydroxychloroquine was the correct medication given the circumstances,” the Wisconsin Republican told Mr. Zuckerberg. “Why did that happened?”

Mr. Zuckerberg responded by noting that such action happened on Twitter, not on Facebook, which is the company that he runs. Mr. Zuckerberg said Facebook does not want to become the “arbiters of truth” but chooses to moderate content that it deems as leading to physical harm.

“We do prevent content that will lead to imminent risk of harm and stating that there is a proven cure for COVID when there is in fact none might encourage someone to go take something that could have some adverse effects,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “So we do take that down. We do not prohibit discussion around trials of drugs or people saying that they think that things might work or personal experiences with experimental drugs.”

A Twitter representative was not on hand for Wednesday’s hearing, as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was not invited by the antitrust subcommittee despite Republicans’ request that Mr. Dorsey be called to attend.

On Tuesday, Twitter limited Mr. Trump’s functionality on Twitter after the president’s son shared video from an event organized by the conservative group Tea Party Patriots featuring doctors calling for schools to be reopened and discussing treatment options for coronavirus.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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