The top ranking Republican Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee came out swinging against big tech. In a hearing with the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, Jim Jordan got straight to the point.
While the hearing focused on anti-trust issues, Jordan brought up a longtime issue among Conservatives nationwide, and that is big tech’s proven track record of censoring them. Jordan opened his remarks with the intention of making his message clear, stating, “I’ll cut to the chase, big tech is out to get conservatives. That’s not a hunch, that’s not a suspicion, that’s a fact.” Jordan quickly listed a number of instances social media removed content. For example, Google has censored Breitbart News so intensely their traffic has decreased by 99%. Even President Trump’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended, and there are far too many instances of conservative voices having their Twitter accounts blocked completely. Jordan wanted Twitter to come before the Committee, but his request failed because they don’t have the same anti-trust issues as the other companies.
Google, in particular, has threatened to ban conservative websites like The Federalist, and censors content that conflicts with World Health Organization. Jordan brought up the problem of these big tech companies silencing voices, choosing their agenda based on their own beliefs. For example, while Planned Parenthood is pushed forward, pro-life organizations are censored.
Why this matters: Big tech has long been under fire for shadow banning, repressing conservative content, and blocking users. With no oversight, there are dozens of examples of powerful CEOs picking and choosing how people receive content. Top executives at Google in 2016 made significant donations to the Clinton campaign, and Jordan is concerned about the power these companies have to impact the elections. By choosing what Americans get to see, they have the ability to sway the popular opinion. He said that while the free market and competition is great, Jordan said censoring people impacts elections, and “if it does not end, there has to be consequences.” Republicans have long been toying with how to introduce legislation to protect free speech on social media, and eventually, legislation will be put forward to address this critical issue.