Conservatives Should Oppose Republican Effort To Target ‘Big Tech’
The following op-ed by Committee for Justice president Curt Levey was published in The Daily Caller:
Facebook must stop President Trump from “mislead[ing] the American people,” says the Democratic National Committee. Demands from Democrats that social media platforms “fact-check” or otherwise censor political ads and posts are rapidly accelerating this fall and having an impact. Twitter responded two weeks ago by banning political ads altogether.
These attacks on free speech from the left are chilling but sadly predictable. What’s surprising is that more and more conservatives are calling for top-down intervention — by the government no less — into social media content.
Among the loudest voices on the left are the presidential contenders. Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris is urging Twitter to suspend the president’s account, citing tweets that “baselessly discredit the [Ukrainian] whistleblower and officials in our government.” Other 2020 contenders have echoed her calls.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign demanded that Facebook and other platforms remove a “false” Trump ad accusing him of pressuring Ukraine to benefit his son while serving as vice president. Never mind that the Biden campaign simultaneously ran a Facebook ad with the unproven claim that Trump is “pressuring the Ukrainian president to work with Rudy Giuliani to smear Joe Biden.”
Facebook, whose policy is to not fact-check politicians’ ads or posts, denied Biden’s request. The company has emphasized the inappropriateness of it refereeing political debates or censoring politicians.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s protests have drawn the most attention. Her Facebook ad claims that the company “already helped elect Donald Trump once. Now, they’re deliberately allowing [him] to intentionally lie to the American people. It’s time to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable.” Presumably, Warren would exempt her claims from the fact-checking she urges....