(Ken Silva, Headline USA) At Thursday’s congressional hearing into social media censorship, the Democrats’ witness, former Mike Pence advisor Olivia Troye, accused Republicans of promoting the conspiracy theory that the government is pressuring tech firms to remove conservative content.
“Members of this committee and their witnesses make grand and vague accusations about government censorship, but those foggy allegations are refuted by the facts: that private social media companies moderating content on their own, private platforms is not government censorship,” said Troye, who was Pence’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor.
It didn’t take long to prove Troye incorrect.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., showed her proof that the U.S. government-funded Stanford Internet Observatory’s “Virality Project” flagged one of his tweets in 2021 for censorship. Massie’s tweet, which can be found below, simply quoted an Israeli study that found natural immunity to be just as effective as the vaccine in combatting COVID-19.
Here’s a comprehensive study that tracked re-infections and COVID complications for 187,549 people with prior SARS-CoV2 infection.
Conclusion: Effectiveness of immunity due to prior infection is the same as for the Pfizer vaccine.https://t.co/bf2RrF1pHo
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) May 19, 2021
But instead of correcting herself as any rational and fair-minded intelligence analyst would do, the snarky and over-credentialed Troye doubled down on her assertion that government censorship is a conspiracy theory.
“Is there any reason this tweet should have been flagged?” Massie asked, to which Troye responded: “It depends on whether you’re spreading inaccurate information … You seem to do that often.”
When Massie pointed out that his flagged tweet simply quoted an Israeli study, Troye insisted that social media companies can make their own content-moderation decisions—ignoring the evidence Massie just presented to her that, in his case, government was pushing for censorship.
Troye’s pigheadedness seemed to flabbergast Massie.
“Are you going to sit here and maintain that this occurred? We have the documents … that show this occurred,” he said.
Undeterred, Troye tripled down.
“Well then it was flagged for a reason,” she said.
Massie closed his time by underscoring the importance of Thursday’s committee hearing.
“Is there ever a good reason to censor a member of Congress? This is my official account … this is my communication with my constituents,” he said.
“I bring this up to show that: One, your testimony is false,” he said to Troye. “But two, if they can do this to an official member’s account, they can do this to anybody.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.