If you’re a conservative and vocal about your politics on social media, you’re a likely target of Big Tech. Indeed, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants are censoring conservative content with increasing regularity. What used to be a rarity has now become a common occurrence.
I have experienced this censorship on my personal Facebook page. As someone who is vocal about my support for conservative causes on social media and has thousands of Facebook friends, I recently noticed my posts were receiving little to no traction. This led me to believe that my personal Facebook page and fan page, which used to generate hundreds if not thousands of likes, had been shadowbanned — meaning Facebook hid or blocked some of my content without my knowledge.
I also received messages from many people who follow me on Instagram saying their accounts somehow magically unfollowed me. I am sure I am not alone.
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Over the past week, however, we have seen Big Tech not only engage in censorship but also do something much more sinister: attempt to tip the scales of the presidential election in favor of their preferred candidate. In short, Facebook and Twitter have meddled in the election now underway to help former Vice President Joe Biden defeat President Trump.
I am of course referring to the bombshell reporting by The New York Post on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, introducing his father, then the vice president, to a Ukrainian businessman and pursuing lucrative business deals with a Chinese firm on behalf of his family.
The Post’s reporting reveals apparent corruption surrounding the Democratic presidential nominee. And both Facebook and Twitter almost immediately blocked users from posting, reading or sharing the story.
I discussed this issue with Alan Dershowitz, the renowned professor of law emeritus at Harvard University, on the latest episode of my new podcast, “Outloud with Gianno Caldwell.”
All Americans should hear Dershowitz’s profound insights. He explained we may have a chance to fight back against the censorship in the courts, despite the protections that Big Tech has enjoyed under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Section 230 has profoundly shaped today’s Internet. It shields companies that act as platforms or virtual public forums — such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — from liability for content placed on their sites. In other words, social media giants can’t be sued and held legally responsible for content posted by users.
The problem is that in recent years these companies have been behaving like publishers, not platforms, by choosing to block certain content like a publication. And the content they choose to block is almost always supportive of conservatives and critical of the political left.
So Big Tech has been able to have it all — enjoying legal immunity as a platform under Section 230 while acting as a publisher by deciding what content stays up and what content gets blocked. The New York Post was only one of many recent victims of this censorship.
Fortunately, good news arrived this month. First, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas indicated that lower courts have interpreted Section 230 too broadly, giving Internet companies “sweeping protections” that were not intended by the statute.
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And then, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced he plans to create new rules to limit and clarify the scope of Section 230.
The evidence is clear: Social media companies have abused their legal protections under Section 230 for political purposes.
During this election cycle, we have been concerned about the Russians and the Chinese interfering in our elections, but little did we know that we also should have had significant concerns about election meddling here at home. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants are out to help Joe Biden and the Democrats by silencing conservatives.
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Both Democrats and Republicans have complained about Section 230 for different reasons.
Democrats want better policing of hate speech on social media, and Republicans don’t want to see people targeted for their political views.
It’s time for both parties to work together to end this insanity and use that dirty word — regulation — to bring clarity to the chaos. We can’t wait any longer. Our democracy depends on it.
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