Conservative leaders joined together to call for equal treatment on tech and social media, releasing a statement Tuesday saying that “[s]ocial media censorship and online restriction of conservatives and their organizations have reached a crisis level.”
“Conservatives have encountered problems across platforms — Twitter, Facebook, Google, and its video platform YouTube especially,” reported the leaders, including NRB president & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson.
“Social media firms have banned gun videos and rejected pro-life advertisements. They have skewed search results and adjusted trending topics in ways that have harmed the right. Firms have restricted and deleted videos, even academic content. Conservative tech employees have found their speech limited and their careers harmed. And top tech companies have given preferential treatment to anointed legacy media outlets that also lean left,” the leaders continued.
“These same tech titans then work with groups openly hostile to conservatives to restrict speech,” they claimed.
According to the conservative leaders, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent hearings on Capitol Hill drew attention to how widespread the problem has become.
Now, in calling for equal treatment on tech and social media, the conservative leaders have banded together and say there are four key areas that social media companies must address to begin to rectify their credibility problem:
“Today, hate speech means anything liberals don’t like,” the leaders stated in explaining their second point. “Silencing those you disagree with is dangerous. If companies can’t tell users clearly what it is, then they shouldn’t try to regulate it.”
Echoing a recommendation long proposed by NRB, the leaders said tech giants “should afford their users nothing less than the free speech and free exercise of religion embodied in the First Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“That standard, the result of centuries of American jurisprudence, would enable the rightful blocking of content that threatens violence or spews obscenity, without trampling on free speech liberties that have long made the United States a beacon for freedom,” they added.
In concluding, the statement’s 63 signatories said social media companies “must address these complaints if they wish to have any credibility with the conservative movement and its tens of millions of supporters.”
“It is our hope they will do so in a positive way,” they concluded. “If the social media firms engage the conservative movement with the spirit of cooperation, we will do our best to assist them.”
Among the statement’s signatories are L. Brent Bozell III, founder and president of Media Research Center; Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association; and Richard P. Bott II, president and CEO of Bott Radio Network.
Click here to view the statement and a list of all the signatories.
By NRB Staff
Published: May 3, 2018