Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had a public policy director of Twitter speechless when he flat-out asked if Mother Teresa is now considered “hate speech.”
During Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary subcommittee, the Republican senator pointed to a censored tweet of a quote from Mother Teresa, saying that “it’s not just political, it’s also ideological”:
“There have been multiple instances of, in particular, pro-life groups being disfavored. For example, here is a tweet that says that ‘abortion is profoundly anti-women,’ and it’s a quote from Mother Teresa, and this tweet was blocked. Now, it is fairly remarkable that Mother Teresa is now deemed hate speech.”
Although he didn’t offer evidence of the quote being censored on Facebook, Cruz stunned both Twitter’s Carlos Monje Jr. and Facebook’s Neil Potts by asking, “Do either of you agree with the proposition that Mother Teresa is issuing hate speech?”
Below is the tweet that is no longer censored:
— MarjorieDannenfelser (@marjoriesba) March 8, 2017
After roughly 12 seconds of silence, Monje Jr. eventually tried to dodge the question. He instead opted to say the Twitter account, belonging to Susan B. Anthony List’s president Marjorie Dannenfelser, is “in good standing on our platform.”
“You’re very good at not answering questions,” Cruz remarked in response. “Is this hate speech?”
“Every tweet has context behind it,” the Twitter chief responded.
Cruz directly asked Potts if it’s “hate speech.”
“I don’t believe this is on our site, but looking at that quote right now […] that would not be in violation of our policies,” the Facebook rep responded.
During the committee hearing, the Texas senator explained that the committee would be following up on whether or not there’s “disparate treatment” in the blocking of pro-life groups on Twitter.
Watch the video below:
When asked by @tedcruz if a quote by Mother Teresa was "hate speech," two Public Policy Directors from Facebook and Twitter were left speechless for 12 SECONDS.
When Twitter's director spoke up, he tried to dodge the question twice. pic.twitter.com/kALeCK1m8m
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 10, 2019
The hearing was called to investigate if there is political bias at the two large social media companies.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated for clarity after publication.