On Tech Censorship Concerns, Sanders Video Encourages Followers: ‘Laugh in Their Face’

This week U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) posted a video on Twitter featuring a call for his followers to scoff at those who raise concerns about Big Tech’s conservative viewpoint suppression problem. In the piece, just over 90 seconds in length, a senior Sanders advisor dismisses out of hand that there is any evidence of censorship, argues that Facebook and Google help conservatives, and indicates the only appropriate response to those with viewpoint suppression concerns is to “laugh in their face.”

The Sanders video features clips from President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Notably, the day before Sanders’ video, Scalise tweeted, “Silicon Valley’s bias against conservatives is very real and on display every day. It’s time they start acknowledging it and being honest with the American people about where they stand.”

Indeed, the problem of viewpoint discrimination is real. While some may not wish it to be true, 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.

Scalise, who last year was nearly assassinated, has also this week been vocal against increasingly uncivil rhetoric coming from Democrat leaders. In a FOX News piece, he said, “As a survivor of a politically motivated attack, it is tragic to think this is an acceptable state of political discourse in our country. I refuse to stand for this and I will continue to call for an end to it. A healthy, strong democracy is not possible if anyone lives in fear of expressing their views.”

Thankfully, there are high-profile Democrats who are not following suit. Responding to recent negative remarks by former Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former First Lady Michelle Obama said on NBC TODAY, “Fear is not -- it's not a proper motivator. Hope wins out.”

It remains to be seen if Sanders, who was in serious contention to be the 2016 Democrat candidate for U.S. President, and others possibly eyeing 2020 will moderate their rhetoric, which reached a fever pitch leading up to last week’s confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Sanders has been unapologetic for expressing in a hearing last year that an individual should be disqualified from a federal leadership post based on the nominee’s belief that Christ is the only way of salvation.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: October 12, 2018

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