Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by JD Heyes
As the midterm elections approach, the social media giants – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google, primarily – are ramping up their efforts to censor and “shadow ban” conservative, pro-Trump media voices, but a new petition drive aimed at forcing them to respect the First Amendment is gaining momentum.
The grassroots movement — dubbed #ProtectDigitalSpeech– currently has about 22,000 signatures out of 100,000 needed to get White House attention, but the effort is growing rapidly as word spreads.
“The internet is the modern public square,” says the petition, formally titled, “Protect Free Speech in the Digital Age.”
“It is where political campaigns are fought and won, where journalism is created and distributed, and where grassroots movements are born,” it continues. “Yet, the free and open internet has become a controlled, censored space, monopolized by a few unaccountable corporations.
“By banning users from platforms, those corporations can effectively remove politically unwelcome Americans from the public square. That is repugnant to our shared values of free speech and freedom of the press,” said the petition, which was created Aug. 28 by political commentator and attorney Will Chamberlain.
— Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸 (@willchamberlain) August 28, 2018
And naturally, the social media behemoths get to decide who those “politically unwelcome Americans” are, based on their cultural, social, and political opinions. And those behemoths have decided that only Left-wing thought is worthy of presentation.
The petition seeks to empower the Trump administration to push Congress for legislation that would prohibit social media companies from banning any users over any speech that is protected by the First Amendment.
“The power to block lawful content should be in the hands of individual users – not Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey,” the petition said, referencing the founder of Facebook and co-founder and current CEO of Twitter, respectively.
In a video introducing the petition, Chamberlain notes that the objective is to convince Congress to begin regulating the platforms in the way that the government currently regulates other utilities, particularly the phone companies which also serve as vehicles for modern communication.
But rather than write a slew of new rules, the objective is much simpler: Just ensure that the platforms are not treating (in this case) conservative media, politicians, and voices unfairly, such as taking their marketing money and then banning or otherwise impeding their messages to followers.
In recent days, studies have shown that Google, for instance, is presenting a very one-sided view of POTUS Donald Trump. Of the search results for news about the president, 96 percent of the returns are from media sources presenting nothing but negative coverage.
The censorship of conservative voices and the downgrading of positive news coverage regarding the Trump administration has gotten the president’s attention, even before Chamberlain’s petition gets close to its goal of 100,000 signatures.
On Tuesday the president blasted Google and the other social media giants for the censorship.
“Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that’s a very serious thing and it’s a very serious charge,” Trump told reporters after a meeting with the president of FIFA, CNBC reported. “They better be careful because they can’t do that to people.”
He also promised action. Earlier, in a tweet, he wrote, “Illegal? 96% of … results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
POTUS’ chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, said Tuesday that the White House is “taking a look” at regulating social media.
Some Republicans are cautious, however. “We can all agree on one thing: Poison is being spread on the Internet, but what is poison? Somebody is going to have to step in and be a neutral arbiter of what can go on and what can’t,” tweeted Sen. John Neely of Louisiana. “I don’t want to see the government do that.”
Read more about social media censorship of conservatives at Conservative.news.