AOC blasts Libs of TikTok for ‘incitement of violence against trans Americans’ during Twitter hearing
Democratic Party congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blasted anti-LGBTQ+ Libs of TikTok – and Twitter’s refusal to permanently suspend the account.
Ocasio-Cortez, often known by her initials AOC, spoke at a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday (8 February) where she outlined how the far-right account shared false information and was linked to anti-LGBTQ+ violence, including bomb threats against Boston Children’s Hospital after the account claimed staff were performing hysterectomies on transgender children.
The hearing was convened by Republican lawmakers so they could to grill former Twitter executives about the company’s controversial 2020 decisions to prevent users from sharing a contentious story about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
The story appeared in the New York Post just weeks before the US general election and presented emails – allegedly showing corruption by the then-presidential candidate Joe Biden – which were sourced from a laptop left at a Delaware repair shop by Hunter Biden.
Concerns were raised by social media platforms that the story contained leaked information.
The hearing sought to expose what GOP officials and right-wing personalities believe is a conspiracy of corruption between the Democrats and Silicon Valley to censor conservative voices.
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During the hearing, AOC quizzed Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, on why the Libs of TikTok account was not suspended despite “incitement of violence against trans Americans”.
She used the hearing to push back against Republican claims that Twitter is biased against conservatives.
Roth responded by saying that “regrettably” Libs of TikTok remained active.
The right-wing, AOC continued, “cannot let go of this obsession with fixating violence and inciting violence against trans and LGBT people”.
The politician added that conservatives’ anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments are similar to attitudes towards immigrants and women of colour.
“This is a party,” she told the room, “that cannot pick on anyone their own size and they are trying to call out an entire social media platform and use the power of this committee and of Congress to pursue a political agenda.”
Ocasio-Cortez also asked Anika Collier Navaroli, a former employee of Twitter’s content moderation team, about the company’s response to a 2019 tweet by Donald Trump.
In the tweet, he called for Ocasio-Cortez and three other Democratic congresswomen of colour to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.
Navaroli said her team reviewed the tweet and found it was in violation of Twitter’s policies against abuse of immigrants but her assessment was eventually overridden.
“Yes, that trope, go back to where you came from, was removed from the content moderation guidance as an example,” Navaroli said.
“So Twitter changed their own policy after the president violated it in order to essentially accommodate his tweet?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.
“Yes,” Navaroli replied.
“So much for bias against the right wing on Twitter,” the congresswoman said.
In an unexpected twist during the hearing, one witness testified that the White House asked Twitter to remove a tweet by model and TV personality Chrissy Teigan insulting the then-president Trump.
In September, Trump tweeted about “boring” musician John Legend and his “filthy-mouthed” wife [Teigan].
Teigan responded by mocking the president, calling him a “p***y a** b***h”.
The tweet was not taken down.
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