Big Tech has a vice-grip over how Americans speak and interact politically, and tech platforms’ censorship begs for some sort of “public policy answer.”
That’s according to Saurabh Sharma, president of American Moment, an organization that has as its stated mission “to identify, educate, and credential young Americans who will implement public policy that supports strong families, a sovereign nation, and prosperity for all.”
“In some cases, I get pretty frustrated, because I remember in 2015, when some of these problems were first starting to become really visible, it just was like pulling teeth to get conservatives to care about it,” Sharma said during an interview Friday with MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider.
Since about 2015, MRC Free Speech America’s unique CensorTrack database has documented over 4,500 cases of Big Tech censorship.
And the problem is worsening. MRC counted 195 million times that Big Tech kept information from social media during the first two quarters of 2022 through secondhand censorship, calculated by adding the number of followers each censored user had at the time they were censored, for every instance of censorship recorded in the CensorTrack database.
Over time, “so many conservatives” have made the argument that the free market should trump any public policy objective to rein in Big Tech, and that tech companies – as private enterprises – should moderate content as they see fit, Sharma said.
But communications technology and Big Tech censorship is more than a philosophical issue – it’s “existential,” according to Sharma.
“For me, and for many, it’s an existential question,” he said. “Because you’re not talking about just a discrete public policy issue, you’re talking about the, the meta layer, the process by which what the political landscape of the United States is, is decided. That is communications technology and how we communicate with each other.”
Sharma said he sees leftist content propagating at a much higher rate than conservative content.
“Some of it is thumbs on the scales” by Big Tech, he said. “And at the end of the day, you could, you could test – it’s very hard to do this – but if you A/B tested, you know, a story of similar virality on the left of center versus the right of center, on any platform, the one on the right of center is going to be quashed, because they don’t want to see right-wing narratives propagating.”
He added: “[I]t’s always shocking to us when one does. When something goes trending on Twitter that … benefits the right, it’s usually like two orders of magnitude more viral than it’s being represented as, because that’s the only way it could have broken through.”
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 so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives.