Since 2016, conservatives have noticed a disturbing trend on social media. The biggest and most popular social networks have appeared to censor, silence, or outright ban Trump supporters. Numerous influential conservative voices have been forced off major platforms. Now, it appears the Trump administration might be firing back.
Once upon a time, social media was a fun, friendly place. Billions of people from around the world used websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to connect with friends, speak their mind, and make a little bit of money (or a lot of money). Social media was celebrated as a force to help unite people in their struggle for freedom, as during the “Arab Spring.”
Then, something happened. Donald Trump was elected president. The liberals who ran Silicon Valley were horrified. Then started a trend where major social media platforms routinely censored anyone right of center.
It has become common practice for conservatives to be unfairly harassed, shadow banned, or silenced online. Major platforms have set ever-stricter rules to dictate speech. Conservatives are hammered over minor comments, while liberals who make death threats are given a pass.
Only a fool would deny social media’s attempt to censor conservatives by now. And it appears the White House is finally stepping in.
The Trump administration is considering setting up a panel to review cases of anti-conservative bias from major tech companies, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal…
President Trump is considering establishing a panel to review complaints of anticonservative bias on social media, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would likely draw pushback from technology companies and others.
The plans are still under discussion but could include the establishment of a White House-created commission that would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, these people said. The administration could also encourage similar reviews by federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they said. [Source: Breitbart]
As private companies, there isn’t much the government can do to “force” them to do anything. But social networks enjoy certain exemptions under the law. If a user on Facebook or the like is caught breaking the law, the website isn’t punished. That’s because they claim to be “platforms” not “publishers” and are not responsible for what people put on their sites.
But in recent years these sites have become increasingly controlling over what users can post. It’s pretty clear that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all the others only want certain conversations to be going on. Anyone that appears to support Trump—and gets even a little bit popular—can find themselves getting harassed by these platforms. There is a growing tendency by these websites to control what users can post.
That means they aren’t really platforms, are they? They are publishers, and should not be protected by the government.
A White House commission can put pressure on social media networks over their long history of censoring conservatives. It wouldn’t take long for the administration to uncover the years’ worth of proof that these Silicon Valley companies are trying to silence popular conservatives. That kind of revelation would hurt these sites in many ways.
Our culture celebrates free speech. But the people who run social media sites have more in common with Marxists, who want to control what we say, think, and see. Free speech is a threat to their political goal of getting more leftists into power. It’s pretty naïve to think they are not trying to use the massive influence their websites have to influence upcoming elections.
But will a White House commission happen? And if it does, will it be enough for social networks to change their ways?
I’m not holding my breath.