Columnist proposes fix for rampant censorship by ‘tech oligarchs’

by WorldTribune Staff, September 3, 2019

“Tech oligarchs” at Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other Silicon Valley giants are pushing a leftist agenda while trashing the First Amendment via widespread censoring of conservatives, Rep. Devin Nunes said in a Sept. 1 interview with Breitbart News.

Regulating social media and tech giants has been discussed widely, but a columnist suggested that changing current federal anti-discrimination law to include “political beliefs” could put a halt to the censorship.

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These oligarchs “have gone beyond the confines of their content moderation platforms, well into the field of content and news creation,” columnist Cheryl K. Chumley noted in a Sept. 3 analysis for The Washington Times.

Regulation of the social media giants “is inevitable,” Chumley wrote, but “with Democrats in charge of the House, and with social media favoring Democrats, it’s going to be later, rather than sooner, that regulation comes.”

Related: Google official: Don’t break us up; Smaller companies can’t prevent ‘next Trump situation’, June 24, 2019

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart’s SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125, Nunes said: “Congress has actually carved out a special provision in law for them because they were supposed to be an open square — an open public square. They’re the Internet. So they’re not treated like someone, say, some other kind of product would be treated, like a car, for example, or a kitchen appliance. They’ve had this special carveout for 20 years.”

Not long after the carveout was in place, “the censorship began,” Chumley noted. “Then the stifling of free thought started. Then the crackdown on conservatives commenced.”

Chumley cited the case of Lila Rose’s anti-abortion Live Action group, which has the “largest and most engaged online following in the pro-life movement,” as Newsweek described it.

Live Action was kicked off Pinterest “after one employee labeled the organization a pornography site,” Chumley noted. “That led to Live Action’s automatic block. Live Action was also prevented on Twitter from running advertisements — paid advertisements. And Live Action was also swept into Google’s reconfiguring of ‘health care’ topics so that searches on ‘abortion’ wouldn’t bring up Rose’s group.”

Chumley continued: “Yet these same social media sites insist they’re politically neutral. Still. To this day.”

Since conservatives, “after all, aren’t supposed to be in the business of regulating free markets,” Chumley wrote, a better solution would be to “amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that it adds ‘political beliefs’ or ‘political ideology’ to the list — so that the law would prevent employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of ‘sex, race, color, national origin and religion’ and political beliefs.”

Chumley continued: “Not only would that lead to more conservatives actually working at these social media outlets — balancing out the business, balancing out the business of censoring — but it would also cast a black shadow over political censorship. It would stick a stigma onto political censorship, and soon enough, after a court challenge or two — after a conservative Google employee, say, sued for discriminatory treatment by fellow liberal Google employees, or by a liberal Google boss — these social media companies would learn to control their anti-conservative impulses.”

Chumley concluded: “What’s better about this approach is that it’s not a government crackdown on free speech. It’s not government censorship. It’s free-market persuasion based on law, and it lets conservatives have their social media cake without having to eat their capitalist principles.”

Nunes, who is currently suing Twitter in Virginia, told Breitbart News Sunday that Twitter “has been the worst, especially to me. So if you look at what they’ve done, specifically to me, is they enforce their rules selectively. So I’m arguing they’ve operated their property negligibly. They’ve been negligent with the operation of their property, and they’re actually content developers. They have had it their way for a long time by having this ability to get out from lawsuits because Congress has actually carved out a special provision in law for them because they were supposed to be an open square — an open public square; they’re the Internet. So they’re not treated like someone like, say, some other kind of product would be treated like a car, for example, or a kitchen appliance. They’ve had this special carveout for 20 years.”

Especially since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Nunes argued, the tech giants have warped their products into pushing a certain ideology rather than being open platforms.

“Now, what has happened in the last two or three years, especially since President Trump was elected, is they now no longer are — it’s not an open square where people can just go on there and say whatever they want,” Nunes said. “They now are regulating the content, and they’re deciding how to regulate the content — and it’s clearly biased against conservatives. So we are looking at them for operating their property in a negligent way, and then we’re suing others for defamation. Look, this is not the way I want to go about it, especially for someone like me. I don’t like going to have to use the court system, but it’s really the system of last resort. And that’s where I’m at. If you go right now — don’t do it because I don’t use Google, and I don’t ask people to use Google — but if you did, you’d find hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fake news stories about me. The only way I can clean all this up is to have multiple retractions done by the defamers and the slanderers. This often goes back to the Russia hoax investigation that I ran, and we uncovered a lot of mischief, to say it politely.”

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