Big Tech’s well-documented censorship of conservative voices should concern every liberty-loving American.
That’s why I’m taking action to hold these online platforms accountable.
As Indiana’s Attorney General, I’m launching investigations into Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter to examine ways in which their behavior potentially has harmed consumers in our state.
One of my express duties as Attorney General is to protect consumers from harm caused by deceptive, unfair, or abusive business practices. In a free society, few assets are more important to citizens than access to information and the opportunity to express political viewpoints in meaningful forums.
In the Declaration of Independence, our nation’s founders proclaimed their grievances against the King of England based on the principle that government derives its “just powers” from the “consent of the governed.”
In modern times, social media platforms have become the foremost outlets through which average citizens express either their consent or objection to government policies.
These methods give citizens not only the chance to speak, but a chance to be heard — and a chance to rally behind elected officeholders and other public figures who represent their values.
We all can agree that government is constitutionally prohibited from suppressing political speech — that’s First Amendment 101 — while businesses have rights to regulate the kinds of speech they accommodate on their properties.
But digital behemoths such as Facebook, Twitter and others are unique. They have monopolistic power to control much of the nation’s information access and political dialogue. We therefore must sound an alarm when they use this power in a discriminatory way to suppress certain political views.
Everyone knows there are appropriate limits to free speech. No one has the right to threaten the safety of others or incite violence or spread defamatory lies. But that’s not the kind of censorship that concerns liberty-loving people.
Beyond the infamous banning of former President Donald Trump from Twitter, that platform went so far as blocking the spread of a New York Post story that exposed details of Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian dealings.
Simultaneously, Twitter had no problem spreading stories giving credibility to such hoaxes as Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia. Twitter even allowed China’s U.S. embassy to tweet propaganda justifying the mistreatment of Muslim minority women — only removing that tweet in response to intense public pressure (and a day after it permanently banned President Trump).
Clearly, Twitter has a particular bent against conservatives.
As I launch our investigations, I will explore all possible remedies that I can undertake as Indiana’s Attorney General to stop Big Tech’s violations of liberty.
In addition, I will support the enactment of laws by our state legislature and the U.S. Congress that safeguard citizens’ ability to freely access information online and express their views on social media.
The mega-billionaires who run Big Tech have plenty of means to protect their own prerogatives. I am more concerned about everyday Americans who have just as much right to the blessings of liberty as these rich and powerful magnates.
The corporate giants who control the digital universe must offer more than empty rhetoric to protect free speech. The ability to engage in open debate — across ideological and partisan divides — lies at the heart of America’s promise. This moment calls for us to defend the real-life process of liberty in action.
Todd Rokita is Indiana’s attorney general.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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