“The era of self-regulation for Silicon Valley is over,” says Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tech Task Force, in the wake of the latest Google censorship scandal involving the demonetization of The Federalist and ZeroHedge, a libertarian financial blog.
Yesterday, following the uproar over Google’s move to censor these websites and revelations of coordination with NBC and a British left-wing activist organization, conservatives across the country cried foul.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blasted Google’s powerful role in political censorship: “The culture of free speech in this country is under attack, and Google is helping lead the charge.”
Weighing in on Twitter, Blackburn warned, “Beware the power of Big Tech to cancel conservative voices. @Google chokes off ad revenue to @FDRLST and ZeroHedge to silence conservatives. We can’t let Google get away with anticompetitive conduct or bully competitors and consumers into submission.”
We can’t let Google get away with anticompetitive conduct or bully competitors and consumers into submission.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 17, 2020
“Today, the Department of Justice unveiled a proposal to reform Section 230’s liability shield,” Blackburn said in a statement. “These changes will modernize oversight of the Internet economy and hold giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter accountable when they overstep as the online speech police. No longer will we let Big Tech hide behind these liability protections as a pretense to bully competitors or to suppress free speech.”
Others, including Donald Trump Jr., noted on social media that Google choosing what information people see online could comprise election interference.
The GOP Senate needs to wake up & IMMEDIATELY subpoena & haul in the CEO of @Google for questioning.
Google is an out of control monopoly, with a leftwing political agenda, engaging in a clear campaign to silence dissent. It's election interference, full stop.
TIME TO STEP UP!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 16, 2020
It remains to be seen whether the task force or some other congressional committee will take up this inquiry.
Blackburn said she was looking forward to more meetings in the coming weeks, when the Tech Task Force will begin tackling the “online climate of competition for (tech) companies big and small.”
This article has been corrected since publication.