For years, NRB has warned of a growing list of incidents where Big Tech titans appeared to be censoring Christian and conservative speech on their platforms. Within the last year attention to this problem has skyrocketed, leading Members of Congress to turn up the heat on Silicon Valley. Now the President of the United States has called out the tech titans for viewpoint censorship.
In a series of tweets last weekend, President Trump said the giants are “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.” He indicated they appear to be targeting those on the political right, and declared, “Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen.”
Calling censorship “very dangerous,” the President also tweeted, “If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all.” Trump reiterated this idea at a West Virginia campaign rally this week where he indicated that he would prefer living with "fake news" than seeing “anybody — including liberals, socialists, anything — than have anybody stopped and censored.”
Some have attempted to deny this problem of viewpoint suppression — some Democrats in Congress even going so far as to call it a “hoax.” However, NRB has in fact documented a pattern of Christian and conservative content being censored by Silicon Valley titans. Its Internet Freedom Watch initiative (internetfreedomwatch.org) shows examples of censorship in a timeline dating back to Apple’s 2010 discrimination against the late Chuck Colson’s Manhattan Declaration app.
In a letter included in the official record of a House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on viewpoint suppression, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson said we were at a “pivotal moment.” He called on tech titans to do the right thing by “proactively and publicly declaring a robust and unapologetic stand for the free speech rights of their users.”
Johnson added, “We must determine if we are facing algorithmic or human discrimination and what is being done to correct this problem in either case.”
President Trump also notably asked in a tweet about who is making the censorship choices. He declared, “Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: August 24, 2018