Journalist Matt Taibbi was in front of a congressional committee last week to answer questions about his ongoing reporting on the so-called “Twitter Files.”
As part of that reporting, Taibbi revealed that Maine Sen. Angus King gave Twitter and Facebook lists of people who were critical of King on social media during his 2018 re-election campaign, and many of those users were subsequently banned from the platforms.
In response to questioning from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Taibbi said he had only seen records showing that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and King asked Twitter to censor content.
Connolly was trying to make the case that both Republicans and Democrats asked Twitter to engage in censorship to protect their political power. However, Taibbi has not found records in the Twitter Files showing that Republicans had similar access to Twitter’s content moderators.
“I have not seen an exchange from the Trump White House,” said Taibbi. “I have seen one from Congressman Schiff and one from Angus King.”
King has struggled to come up with a coherent explanation for why his 2018 campaign sought to have critics removed from social media.
The senator has not renounced or disavowed the tactic, and he seemed to suggest in a Newscenter Maine interview that asking large social media corporations to censor your opponents is just politics as usual.
Maine’s newspapers seem complacent with that explanation, with one newspaper editor even suggesting that King offering Facebook and Twitter an enemies list of targets to censor is not newsworthy.