When government demands social media censorship, all Americans lose

By Douglas Blair | The Daily Signal

In what’s becoming a Capitol Hill ritual, lawmakers recently called the leaders of Facebook, Google, and Twitter back before Congress to give them their latest pummeling.

This particular session focused on “misinformation” and how social media companies purportedly played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but it easily could have been mistaken for any number of previous hearings, where lawmakers berated and demanded action from the tech giants.

For some lawmakers, concerns about the spread of “misinformation” led to suggestions that social media platforms disregard free speech and increase the content they censor.

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Americans should be concerned about the symbiosis of Big Tech and big government that is rapidly approaching. The state, unable to legally curtail the free exchange of ideas it finds loathsome, can now offload the task onto private enterprise.

In recent months, tech companies have already ramped up censorship in the name of a nebulous “social good.”

From Twitter’s pre-election decision to bury the New York Post article on Hunter Biden, to postelection bans of then-President Donald Trump, to the deplatforming of Parler, tech companies are flexing their muscle as an unelected arbiter of what Americans can—and cannot—see.

The Media Research Center has compiled an ever-growing list of some of the most egregious forms of censorship carried out by Big Tech.

While the immense power wielded by these companies is a cause of concern for many conservatives, it’s the unrelenting calls by some in Washington for more censorship that should chill the blood of anyone remotely interested in protecting free speech.

“Your companies need to be held accountable. … Ours is the committee of jurisdiction, and we will legislate to stop this. The stakes are simply too high,” warned Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology, at the March 25 hearing.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., concurred.

“It is now painfully clear that neither the market nor public pressure will force these social media companies to take the aggressive action they need to take to eliminate this information and extremism from their platforms,” he said. “Therefore, it’s time for Congress … to legislate and realign these companies’ incentives.”

Those promises of government intervention were followed up by a series of increasingly brazen demands.

Doyle, for example, demanded the tech giants take down pages and accounts skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine. He was joined by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who chided the social media executives for allowing a Spanish-language ad comparing then-presidential candidate Joe Biden to socialist Latin American dictators during the 2020 election campaign.

In perhaps the most disturbing statement by a committee member, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., warned that if the tech industry didn’t become more “diverse” by government standards, then “Congress [would] have to compel [them] with penalties to make meaningful changes.”

Whether or not you think that vaccines are useful, that Biden is a socialist, or that the government should supervise hiring practices is beside the point. It’s not illegal to question vaccines, nor is it illegal to criticize your political opposition.

Yet if some congressional Democrats were to have their way, tech giants would be forced to remove such content or face government-enforced consequences.

Americans should be concerned about the symbiosis of Big Tech and big government that is rapidly approaching. The state, unable to legally curtail the free exchange of ideas it finds loathsome, can now offload the task onto private enterprise.

Leftist activists in power at these tech companies are more than happy to remove content that they, too, find so upsetting.

Fortunately, conservatives are speaking out. Just this week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas expressed concerns about the free speech implications.

“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is the concentrated control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” Thomas wrote in an opinion for a case involving Twitter.

And at the congressional hearing, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said it best: “There’s a growing number of people in this country that don’t believe in the liberal values of free speech and free debate. I promise you, the death of the First Amendment will come when the culture no longer believes in it.”

Crenshaw’s words should serve as a warning to those of us who recognize the essential nature of free speech to a healthy republic. Authoritarians have recognized the power and reach of social media and Big Tech, and will use the language of “social good” to try and curtail ideas they don’t like.

And when free speech goes, so too goes the republic.

2 thoughts on “When government demands social media censorship, all Americans lose

  1. There is no United States of America any longer. Being a U.S. citizen does not make you an American. Americans were a unique culture. This nation is now a multicultural construct. Instead of our American motto, “E Pluribus Unum”, out of many cultures one culture. we have “E Pluribus Pluribus”, out of many cultures many cultures. Instead of unity of purpose you have diversity of purpose, which is fatal to self governance and freedom. Now you have what I coined twenty five years ago as “Multicultural Mayhem”! Chaos! Of course, we always wanted to be multiracial and multiethnic but not Multicultural! If you came to America your allegiance was expected to be to America. The next step I see coming is becoming a Communist nation. That is the only viable Governmental construct capable of keeping the peace in a Multicultural nation. Tyranny is the only effective means of control. This is why Communist must outlaw religions as they are the congenial cultural bases. Why do you think the left started to promote the concept of Multiculturalism to American Society so long ago. Nobody saw this coming? Nobody spoke out?

  2. Definition of FASCISM:

    1: often capitalized : a POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, MOVEMENT, or REGIME (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often RACE above the individual and that stands for a centralized AUTOCRATIC government headed by a DICTATORIAL LEADER, severe economic and social REGIMENTATION, and FORCIBLE SUPPRESSION of OPPOSITION.

    2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
    early instances of army fascism and brutality

    United States Constitution:

    “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.–That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operations till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

    He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

    He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

    For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

    For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

    For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

    For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is, at this time, transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

    In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”


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