U.S. Senate Republican asks tech firms to explain account, content removals

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The outgoing Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee asked the chief executives of major U.S. tech firms Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter to answer detailed questions about decisions to restrict or permanently ban accounts of conservative users and other steps to restrict content or platforms.

Senator Roger Wicker said “thousands of conservative users’ accounts and content” have been “restricted or permanently removed from platforms.”

He also cited a series of decisions causing social media site Parler to shut down operations temporarily.

“Americans deserve transparency and accountability for what appears to be politically biased censorship - silencing the voices of users and public figures alike,” Wicker wrote. (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese)