Monday, May 07, 2018 by Jayson Veley
The time for conservatives to band together and demand that their free speech rights be protected on the Internet is long overdue. Thankfully, it appears that some conservative leaders are now taking a stand and making a concerted effort to push for fair social media policies that don’t discriminate against people based on their political beliefs.
Prominent figures such as MRC Founder and President Brent Bozell and MRC Censorship Project Director Allen West issued a joint statement last week, demanding that social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube adopt four key principles to ensure that the free speech rights of conservative users are protected on their platforms. These four key principles are as follows:
1) Provide Transparency
Most conservatives that have had their content censored by Facebook, Twitter or YouTube know that there is often very little information provided as to why their content was censored in the first place. That being said, the first principle calls for transparency, so that everyone can see whether or not liberal groups on social media are being treated the same as groups that align with the right.
2) Provide Clarity
Specifically, provide clarity on what exactly is meant by the term “hate speech.” The problem with social media platforms that announce that they are making an effort to curb “hate speech” is that, more times than not, there isn’t a solid, coherent definition of the term itself. It can’t just be defined as anything that the liberals hate or disagree with, because silencing individuals based solely on the fact that they are on the opposite side of the political spectrum sets a dangerous precedent.
3) Provide Equal Footing for Conservatives
Networks like Google and YouTube have mostly aligned themselves with dishonest groups that are willing to do anything and everything to put a halt to the conservative movement, including the incredibly biased Southern Poverty Law Center. In order to offset this bias, these companies need to make equal room for conservative groups as advisers. Furthermore, conservatives should have just as much opportunity as their liberal counterparts when it comes to employment.
4) Mirror the First Amendment
It’s unfortunate that social media networks like Facebook and YouTube even have to be reminded to abide by the First Amendment, but alas, we have clearly reached that point. The freedom of speech is, and always has been, one of the key principles that separates America from all other parts of the world, and it needs to be applied everywhere – even on the Internet. Yet even though the Constitution gives citizens the right to speak their minds, Silicon Valley continues to act as though the First Amendment doesn’t exist. Just days ago, for example, a story published by the Daily Caller on the 300 missing text messages between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page was explicitly targeted by Facebook, which immediately began warning users that the story could be spam. Indeed, it’s very difficult to believe that there isn’t an underlying political bias driving Facebook’s push to combat what it considers to be “hate speech.” (Related: Facebook censors Natural News from people who want it, but won’t allow you to block Mark Zuckerberg’s feed.)
With any luck, these four demands will add increased pressure to networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and ultimately push them in the direction of free speech protections for all of their users, regardless of political affiliation. If not, then it is time for our elected representatives in Washington D.C. to take action to limit what social media networks can and cannot censor. (Related: If Google and Facebook are not regulated, then it will lead to open warfare in the streets.)