Twitter Outage Fuels ‘Coincidence’ Speculation on Oversight Hearing

Republicans are speculating about the likelihood of a “coincidence” after Twitter went offline following a House Oversight Committee hearing that included testimony from three of the platform’s former executives.

GOP Representatives Lauren Boebert and Troy Nehls both suggested that a conspiracy could be afoot when Twitter experienced an outage after Wednesday’s hearing. The committee’s session focused on Republican claims that the site broke the law by allegedly censoring conservatives and suppressing the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 presidential election.

Boebert and Nehls also pointed out that there had been a brief power outage in the House chamber during the hearing, floating a baseless suggestion that the hiccup was also intentional.

Clockwise, from top left: A phone featuring Elon Musk’s Twitter poll asking if he should “step down” as head of the company, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, and Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Troy Nehls. Republicans including Boebert and Nehls on Wednesday speculated whether Twitter’s outage following a hearing that featured three of the company’s former executives was just a “coincidence.”
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP; Alex Wong; Alex Wong; Drew Angerer

“The power just went out in our Oversight Committee hearing with former Twitter executives,” Boebert tweeted as the hearing was taking place. “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitous.”

“Twitter goes down right after we have our hearing with worst of the Twitter 1.0 crew,” she tweeted from her personal account after the hearing. “It might just be a coincidence, but that’s surely a HUGE coincidence.”

“Former Twitter executives testified before the Oversight Committee, and the power went out,” tweeted Nehls. “Now Twitter is facing widespread issues. Coincidence?”

Boebert and Nehls were not alone in suggesting that the outages could have been timed to target the hearing.

Stephanie Liebergen, congressional reporter for Scripps News, tweeted that two unnamed committee members asked “did Twitter do that” when the lights went out in the House and joked that it sounded “like the Green New Deal to me.”

Conservative activist and pundit Charlie Kirk expressed his own suspicions about the C-SPAN feed of the hearing cutting out at one point, with the channel purportedly temporarily replacing the feed with a re-airing of President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address.

“Wait, so in the middle of one of the most revealing public hearings ever conducted by the House exposing Twitter censorship of conservatives, and the C-SPAN signal just randomly drops out, doesn’t get restored, and switches instead to a re-airing of Biden’s SOTU speech?” Kirk tweeted alongside a “thinking face” emoji.

Some pointed out that outages were experienced across the internet on Wednesday, while hinting that the widespread issues could be tied to the hearing.

“All social media down. On the day congress is talking social media. Coincidence I’m sure!” tweeted podcaster and former Republican congressional candidate Mike Crispi, above an image that suggested Fox News was one of the “social media” companies in on the plot.

The hearing itself featured figures like GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene airing their grievances against the ex-Twitter employees and accusing the company of violating the law by issuing bans to conservatives and allegedly suppressing the Hunter Biden story.

Boebert complained that she had been “shadowbanned” for a “joke” during one particularly heated moment, while Greene insisted that her past suspension from the platform was “illegal.” Representative Clay Higgins threatened the former executives with arrest for allegedly “interfering” with the 2020 presidential election.

Representative Jamie Raskin, the ranking Democratic committee member and a former constitutional law professor, accused the Republicans of creating “imaginary offenses” while arguing that the platform had not violated the law.

Newsweek has reached out to Twitter for comment.

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