Sen. Marsha Blackburn: Big Tech Censorship Is Election Interference

November 17, 2020 

"I think they interfered with the elections," Blackburn determined. "Of course they did."

Blackburn recalled ubiquitous social media censorship of revelations related to Joe Biden's second son, Hunter Biden. "Look at what they executed. My goodness, they wouldn't put the New York Post story out there, and you know that these content moderators from one and the other [technology companies] were talking or communicating."

Blackburn added, "They were all on Joe Biden's team and getting to the bottom of how a lot of that happened is going to be important."


Blackburn described antitrust legislation as Big Tech's greatest fear.

"While they don't want to see privacy legislation, what they really don't want to have happen is to be caught on antitrust," Blackburn estimated. "Of course, Google is dealing with that now."

Blackburn continued, "Antitrust would force them to either go through a divestiture or a breakup. This is something that they're trying to avoid, but I think it is something that could end up being inevitable."

Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are part of a strategy to codify a "federal privacy standard" for digital user data, Blackburn remarked.

"The purpose of the hearing are to lay the groundwork for passing legislation that would implement a federal privacy standard," Blackburn stated. "This is something we need to do. One set of rules for the entire internet ecosystem with one regulator, and giving online users the ability to opt in for information that they want to share, rather than the social media platform just data mining every key that you click and then selling that to advertisers."

Blackburn co-sponsored the Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act, a legislative proposal to narrow the scope of technology companies' latitude with respect to political censorship by amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

Blackburn said, "The online platforms have been incredibly aggressive with their censorship, blocking, throttling, shadow-banning."

Congressional hearings with technology company executives allow elected officials hold Big Tech accountable, Blackburn estimated.

Blackburn's proposed legislation would end civil liability protections extended to technology companies defined by the CDA as "information content providers" if the companies' restriction of access to content does not satisfy an "objectively reasonable belief" that such content is "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, promoting self-harm, promoting terrorism, or unlawful."

Blackburn said her legislation "[defines] what they can and cannot censor." She observed the arbitrary and inconsistent application of Big Tech's political censorship.

"The last time we had Jack Dorsey in front of us, he had censored [President] Donald Trump -- at that point -- 65 times, right?" recalled Blackburn. "He had never censored [former Vice President] Joe Biden or the Ayatollah or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin or [Chinese President] Xi Jinping, because he thinks world's leaders need to have access to his platform. Are you kidding me?"

Blackburn described Big Tech's political censorship as election interference.

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