Whether you live in Broward County, Florida or across the country, many groups are feeling the effects of Big Tech Censorship. In today’s political arena, big tech censorship is a topic of heated discussion and debate. Should tech companies be allowed to silence free speech? Is free speech applicable to private companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Twitter? Why is it important that free speech be protected on large internet platforms?
If you are an American, the censorship of any information should be very concerning, regardless of whether you lean left or right politically! Many social media companies and big tech platforms have moved toward filtering out information they deem as “fake news.” The problem with this should be obvious. Who is monitoring content and filtering out identified “fake news” and what does the editing of posts mean for big tech giants?
First Amendment & Section 230 Clarification
The first amendment of the constitution guarantees the right for American citizens to express themselves via free speech or press. What does this mean exactly? According to Cornell Law School, “The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without government interference or regulation… The right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression…”
Big Tech Companies are currently protected by Section 230 immunity. This immunity is granted because major tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter are simply a conduit for others to post. This means big tech giants are not the publishers or speakers of any information found on their sites, so they cannot be held liable for content posted. Such tech companies are simply online platforms for public viewpoints.
Recently, however, there has been a shift where such companies have seemingly moved to systematically silence viewpoints, especially when said viewpoints fall on the conservative end of politics. Additionally, they are now editing the posts of users to add “Fact Checked” statements and remove posts that don’t seem to fit their political and social agendas.
Why Political Speech Should Not Be Censored
The Trump Administration attempted to warn the public of “fake news.” We all understand that spreading fake information is dangerous, however, information such as the following are being censored and the owners of the posts are being removed from many sites.
Highly censored big tech content :
- January 6 “Insurrection” of the Capitol videos and debates
- Former President Trump- Campaign, discussions, and statements
- Voter Fraud Questions and Debates
- Mask Effectiveness & Natural Immunity Discussions
- Vaccine and VAERS Information
The content in much of the above-listed topics is backed by evidence, fact, and science. By censoring debatable content or content that questions the current pushes of our federal government, big tech monopolies are directly acting as an arm of the government, leaning strongly into the First Amendment territory.
Americans need to be allowed to debate and question what’s happening within the United States. It is within their constitutional rights. If you are looking for some good reading, look into who the fact-checkers are and where they get their information.
Online Speech and Private Censorship
The Federalist Society said it best, “If the big tech platforms say they are mere conduits or distributors of content and not content creators, they shouldn’t be entitled to the First Amendment protection that newspaper and magazine editors have. On the other hand, if they want the power to suppress certain content for viewpoint reasons—i.e. to selectively editorialize on viewpoint grounds—then they really are “publishers,” and should face the legal liability that accompanies such a position.”
Big Tech Censorship is dangerous. Tech companies need to allow for free expression of political speech. To moderate content for extremist ideas is one thing, to shut down an account of an individual for simply questioning what’s being pushed is tyranny.