Ted Cruz vs. Big Tech
Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as other social media sites, are extremely biased against conservatives, Republicans, and President Trump. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in June finds that about three-quarters of U.S. adults say it is very (37%) or somewhat (36%) likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable. Just 25% believe this is not likely the case. Americans are divided over whether social media companies should label posts on their sites as inaccurate or misleading, with most being skeptical that these sites can accurately determine what content should be flagged.
Take Twitter, for example. A tweet included a picture of the viral “Moscow Mitch” meme, which took the internet by storm in mid-2019 when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected an election security bill. Yet, these social media sites censor President Trump. Another example, after President Trump met with the residents of Kenosha, Wisconsin, there were no favorable articles on Yahoo news for hours, and then only one. Compare that to when VP Joe Biden went there, many media articles touted what a great move that was.
One person who is trying to remove the political bias is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). American Thinker had the privilege of interviewing him. “More and more, big tech is trying to abuse their power and censor speech they disagree with. They are actually silencing the voices of conservatives, especially this year as the election approaches. They are getting more and more brazen as they exercise a monopoly power. By doing this they are silently having dissent disappear. In my view, big tech censorship is the greatest threat to freedom of speech and to democracy in America.”
These social media companies censor conservatives through invisible means. For example, Yahoo constantly publishes anti-Trump articles that are very misleading. His supporters were pointing out the errors of the article in the comments section. But Yahoo would have no part of that, so they eliminated the comments. But to allow the leftists to have their say, they referenced tweets by individuals. There was a recent article about the California fires that criticized President Trump that included tweets by Governor Gavin Newsome (D-CA) and former VP Joe Biden. Another article’s headline on Yahoo says it all: “Yes, Sarah Sanders has a book, and if you believe in common decency you won't read it.”
Senator Cruz explained, “If Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Yahoo decides a particular political view is unacceptable they can simply shadow bag it. Putting out a post or tweet strays into the ether and nobody knows. Likewise, they can do what you just referenced. Someone’s feed is collated so that the only voices being heard are the voices of the left, the views Silicon Valley favors.”
What can be done? Senator Cruz says there a number of remedies. “First, Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act provides tech companies with liability protections against illegal content posted by third-party users. At the time Congress passed this provision they believed big tech would be neutral. Since big tech has actively and aggressively abandoned this commitment, there is no reason to keep it. Why should they get special immunity that no other industry gets?”
He has also urged the DoJ to use anti-trust laws as a basis of investigation because these companies are abusing their monopoly power. He seems to be getting through, because recently the DoJ published a 25-page proposal on its website in which they suggested restraining protections that most of the social media platforms have enjoyed since 1996. This proposal will put an end to the social media administrators who control politics over their platforms, which basically takes away freedom of thought and expression.
To demonstrate the power of Big Tech, the senator points to the Senate hearings that he chaired. “At one of them there was testimony by Dr. [Robert] Epstein, who is not a conservative, Republican, and even voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, openly supporting her. Dr. Epstein, a psychologist, said 2.6 million votes could have been shifted in favor of Clinton because of a bias in Google's search results. What Google has done: when someone types ‘Trump’ the auto feed goes to anything negative and for Democrats like Hillary Clinton it goes to anything positive. Whatever article is listed first has enormous influence on what consumers believe. In the wake of 2016, it is getting much worse.”
Try it. American Thinker googled “Donald Trump is gaining in the polls.” What came up are two articles that were even boxed. In order, “Election update. Polls are pretty much good for Biden except Florida;” and “Biden Takes Lead in Six Swing States.” Senator Cruz feels “There is power on shining a light and exposing the problem. During a hearing I asked how many posts from Democratic candidates have been blocked compared to Republican candidates? Every one of the big tech companies refused to answer this simple question. They argue there is no evidence of political bias or discrimination. Mind you, they are the only people who possess the evidence and they refuse to give it up.”
Senator Mike Lee is also involved. He told American Thinker, “Apple, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo have all demonstrated a clear anti-conservative bias. That is why I recently sent a letter to the CEOs of the nation’s largest tech companies demanding answers to 11 questions including, ‘How do you ensure that a content-moderation decision is not influenced by the personal beliefs or political views of the moderator?’ As I said in the letter, ‘I am specifically concerned about corporations using their power unilaterally to silence opinions they dislike and thus warp the public debates their platforms present to the American people.’ The technology sector is completely dependent on the government-created patent and copyright monopolies given to them by Congress. Considering the power these monopoly rights have given to the tech sector, Congress has every right to make sure that they are being used to promote the progress of science and useful arts.”
What Americans need to do is hold the big tech companies accountable and take away their monopoly powers so they no longer have the opportunity to abuse them. The 2020 election is very important. More Republicans of the same mind as Senator Cruz need to be elected along with President Trump. As the President wrote, “Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see. We must seek transparency and accountability from online platforms and encourage standards and tools to protect and preserve the integrity and openness of American discourse and freedom of expression.”
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.
Image: Ted Cruz