Former President Donald Trump regularly cajoled Congress to take up the issue of Big Tech censorship of right-leaning and conservative content, only to see a few lawmakers — Republicans all — pick up the gauntlet and demand that Section 230 be repealed so the platforms could be treated like publishers.
But because Big Tech billions buy lots of lawmakers, most of the saber-rattling was all talk and no action.
Now, however, a legal fight against Big Tech censorship has begun in earnest, and it is taking place in red states whose leaders are fed up with a do-nothing Congress content to allow Americans to be censored like they would be in Communist China.
The latest legal salvo is being fired by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who announced in recent days that his office will begin a probe into alleged censorship of conservative content by five Big Tech companies.
A statement from Rokita’s office noted that the probe will concentrate on whether those companies “have potentially harmed Indiana consumers through business practices that are abusive, deceptive and/or unfair.”
“In particular, Attorney General Rokita is probing methods by which the companies have limited consumers’ access to certain content — often deleting or obscuring posted material reflecting a politically conservative point of view,” the statement said. “Such manipulation prevents consumers from making informed choices.”
“In a free society, few assets are more important to consumers than access to information and the opportunity to express political viewpoints in meaningful forums,” Rokita said. “It is potentially harmful and unfair for these companies to manipulate content in ways they do not publicly discuss or that consumers do not fully understand.”
Rokita is also probing alleged actions taken by attorney Vanita Gupta, a far-left activist that President Joe Biden has nominated to be associate attorney general at the Department of Justice, to “encourage the companies to censor conservative viewpoints.” The five companies that Rokita is probing include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
The AG’s statement went on to note that Gupta “has allegedly met with Facebook and Twitter executives to urge ‘more rigorous rules and enforcement,’ to use her own words as quoted in Time.”
“Gupta, according to the Time article, stressed that it was important for social media platforms to be ‘tagging things and taking them down,’” the statement notes further.
It’s not as if red states are simply pretending that conservative content is being censored. Studies have proven that it is happening.
In addition, a 450-page report that was released last year following an investigation into the House subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law stated that Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook have “monopoly power” over key business sectors and have used their dominance to abuse the marketplace, CNN reported recently.
The report noted further that those companies retain “too much power” and that power “must be reined in and subject to appropriate oversight and enforcement.”
“The Subcommittee’s series of hearings produced significant evidence that these firms wield their dominance in ways that erode entrepreneurship, degrade Americans’ privacy online, and undermine the vibrancy of the free and diverse press,” the report said. “The result is less innovation, fewer choices for consumers, and a weakened democracy.”
“Much like the railroad tycoons and telecom barons of yesteryear, modern day tech giants have amassed tremendous market share over vital levers of commerce — search engines, app stores and social media services,” CNN notes further. “But unlike prior monopolistic industries, the subcommittee attorney said, tech companies have successfully used the data they accumulate in one area of business to gain tremendous advantages when they expand into related businesses.”
In recent days, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas very strongly hinted that the high court will have to take on Big Tech’s dominance and soon. Meanwhile, red states are handling it.
See more reporting like this at Censorship.news.