The House Judiciary Committee hearing on censorship became heated on Thursday when social media personalities were questioned about their monetized efforts on Facebook.
Rep. Hank Johnson accused the committee of helping Facebook personalities Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, known as “Diamond and Silk,” profit off the company by holding the hearing.”I’m just astounded that this committee would stoop to this level to be positioning you all to make more money,” Mr. Johnson, Georgia Democrat, said to the two women during the hearing.
The hearing was slated to address accusations of censorship against conservatives, Diamond and Silk among them, but Democrats pushed back against that notion saying there was no evidence of any such censorship.
“We’re giving you a tremendous platform with this hearing to make a ton of money when it’s over,” Mr. Johnson said to Ms. Hardaway and Ms. Richardson.
That triggered an emotional response from the witnesses who accused the congressman of dismissing their complaints of censorship.
“You’re not going to brush us off like we don’t have merit here,” said Ms. Hardaway.
The two women claim that Facebook’s algorithm is biased against them due to their conservative leanings. They are avid supporters of President Trump and have appeared regularly on Fox News. They say that followers have complained that they do not receive notifications of updates from Diamond and Silk even after “liking” the page, or that users are prevented from following them on social media.
“Whenever you click or follow, to follow our page, for some people that was able to do so they did not get a notification whenever we post a post on our Facebook page,” Ms. Richardson said.
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: You may remember Congressman Hank Johnson’s fear that Guam would tip over in 2011.
Chairman Bob Goodlatte said that he invited Google, Facebook and Twitter to answer for questions of bias against conservative users, but all declined to attend.
“While this committee has presented the opportunity for these companies to come describe their filtering practices, and answer questions that members on both sides of the aisle have about these practices. Their refusal to appear only creates more questions and more concerns” Mr. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said.
Ranking member Jerry Nadler said the whole hearing was a waste of the committee’s time.
“The censorship argument, the central thesis of this hearing, doesn’t hold up under even the most basic scrutiny,” Mr. Nadler, New York Democrat, said.
“The notion that social media companies are filtering out conservative voices is a hoax,” he added.
He added that a better use of the committee’s time would be to discuss Russia’s use of social media and how to prevent them from taking similar actions in the upcoming midterms.
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