Conservative lawmakers appeared ready and willing for a fight to protect free speech from Big Tech’s tyrannical grip at an event hosted to feature solutions.
The Ethics & Public Policy Center held a Big Tech Symposium that allowed politicians, experts and attorneys to discuss issues like Section 230 and antitrust, along with possible solutions. Several lawmakers, including Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), discussed the dangers of Big Tech censorship and their proposals for breaking up Big Tech and reigning in Section 230.
Hawley primarily discussed the power that Big Tech companies hold over the market. He said that Big Tech exercises “an amount of political control and political influence that is dangerous to republican government.” He introduced two antitrust bills in April. The Bust Up Big Tech Act would hold massive tech companies accountable for attempting to take over multiple industries. The “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” would reform the Sherman Antitrust Act.
“Trust busting is about allowing the free market to actually do what we want the free market to do, which is to support robust competition, which is to support actual control by individuals, by citizens over their lives, but, yes, also over their government,” Hawley said.
Buck also bashed censorship. He said, “For too long, Big Tech has been taking a baseball bat to the free market, crushing competitors, buying up innovators and building an increasingly unsalable position atop the digital economy.” He also discussed the six bills aimed at taking down Big Tech that the House Judiciary Committee passed in a June 23 marathon markup.
Rubio called out Section 230 for protecting Big Tech companies that censor conservatives: “It’s clear that companies like Twitter and Facebook play the role of publisher, speaker, political activist, and I think they need to be treated as such. We can no longer accept a legal framework in which openly biased gatekeepers of the public square are now immune to any legal consequences.”
He claimed that the massive censorship was the reason he introduced the DISCOURSE Act. The bill would update Section 230 “so that when a market-dominant firm actively promotes or censors certain material or viewpoints — including through the manipulative use of algorithms — it no longer receives protections,” according to a press release.
Lee advocated for greater accountability for Big Tech. “Holding Big Tech accountable for its behavior is essential to protecting our social fabric and American self-government.” He continued to say: “When a monopolist says that he wants to harm competition, we should take him at his word.”
The lawmakers have every right to be concerned. Big Tech’s censorship of conservative voices appears to accelerate every day. A recent investigation from MRC Free Speech America found that Amazon’s charity program, AmazonSmile, allows organizations like Planned Parenthood and The Satanic Temple to receive donations from the company. Meanwhile, conservative organizations like the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom cannot.
TikTok is also subservient to the genocidal Chinese government and unsurprisingly banned conservative comedian Steven Crowder. YouTube also recently censored yet another interview with former President Donald Trump that the conservative platform Real America’s Voice hosted.
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.