In the latest dumpster fire of a congressional hearing, House Republicans and Democrats disagreed on whether Big Tech should increase censorship online or let internet users speak freely.
House GOP members bashed Big Tech for acting “like the judge and jury” of censorship, while Democratic members whined about “disinformation and extremist content.”
The hearing, titled “Disinformation Nation: Social Media’s Role in Promoting Extremism and Misinformation,” featured testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The three CEOs testified before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on March 25.
One House Republican was itching for a chance to question the Big Tech executives about their censorship of conservative voices online. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) railed against Twitter’s censorship practices. “You were able to take down the account of a sitting United States president while he was still president,” he said.
“You act like judge and jury, continuing to hide behind the liability protections of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which Congress set up to foster a free and open internet. You think you’re above the law because, in a sense, Congress gave you that power, but Congress gave you that liability shield to one end. That was the protection of innocent children,” Duncan continued.
Twitter, appearing to prove Duncan’s point, recently filed to dismiss a lawsuit containing allegations that it allowed child porn to circulate on the platform. The platform claimed that its actions were actually protected by Section 230.
House Democrats, meanwhile, encouraged greater censorship over the course of the hearing. The hearing memorandum tipped off the direction the left would take the hearing, heavily emphasizing “disinformation and extremist content” on Facebook, Google and Twitter.
The leftist rampage against so-called “misinformation” began almost immediately. “Disinformation and extremism has been growing online, particularly on social media, where there are little to no guardrails in place to stop it,” complained Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) in a prepared statement for the hearing.
“The witnesses here today have demonstrated time and again that promises to self-regulate don’t work. They must be held accountable for allowing disinformation and misinformation to
spread across their platforms, infect our public discourse, and threaten our democracy,” said Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL),Chairwoman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee.
It appears as though at least some House Republicans were concerned about online censorship, and rightfully so. YouTube allegedly censored the channel of famed medical doctor, Dr. Drew Pinsky. Twitter slapped a warning label on a Valentine’s Day meme from Indiana’s attorney general. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify all banned former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.