Members of The Federalist staff condemned big tech censorship on Tuesday and explained how Silicon Valley giants use their power to manipulate multiple sectors of American politics and society.
“We’ve seen big tech really put their hand on the lever when it came to this election in a lot of different respects,” Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “Not just the social media side, but in terms of their political donations and their support financially for efforts that led to a lot of changes in the way that voting happened in this year. And I think we’re going to see a number of policy ramifications for this.”
“We have seen these various corporations take on new responsibilities in dictating what is acceptable speech, what is acceptable positioning, or partisan allegiance in so many different ways in recent years,” he added.
Big tech’s growing power, Domenech said, extends far beyond just censoring people on social media.
“People need to understand the shift that’s happened. We’ve been talking for the past couple of years about social media, primarily the shiny object of Twitter and Facebook, but what we’re really talking about now are the guts of the internet, the infrastructure that’s underneath all of this,” Domenech explained. “It’s one thing to say you can’t use a platform to share information, to advertise, or something like that. It’s another to say you can’t use the equivalent of the roads, the water, the power that’s underneath the internet superstructure. And that’s something that I think is going to be a major factor going forward in terms of determining how our partisan divide is navigated in the coming years.”
According to Domenech, collusion between Silicon Valley giants to censor and de-platform people with whom they disagree is an issue the courts will increasingly address.
“I think frankly that President Trump missed a real opportunity there to push for major reforms within this space,” Domenech said. “Certainly, I do believe now that this is going to be a matter that is resolved primarily through the court system where we’ve seen people like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas raise the issue of Section 230 reform.”
Federalist Political Editor John Daniel Davidson also joined in the big tech conversation on Fox Business’s “Varney and Company,” saying that Silicon Valley’s political connections and overreach are things that need to be tackled.
“I think Democrats and the Biden administration panders and has been pandering to big tech for a long time.” Davidson said. “What we’re seeing right now is the largest power grab from corporate America that we’ve seen in modern times. These are, make no mistake, monopolies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple. And they are flexing their muscles right now and flipping the switches and exerting an unprecedented level of control over information in this country,” Davidson said.
Davidson also noted that big tech’s power only grows as more and more people are willing to use Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol as an excuse to censor and silence those who disagree with them.
“The media doesn’t have a problem with riots. The media only has a problem with riots if they disagree with the rioters’ ideological and political views,” Davidson said. “That is true of big tech as well, and it’s true of Democrats.”
“The riots at the capitol are going to be used as an excuse to crack down not just on the rioters … but the riots are going to be used to silence conservative voices, to silence anyone who brings up the fact that there was some fraud and irregularities in the election, and to crack down on center-right moderate Republicans,” he continued. “And we’re already seeing that.”
According to Davidson, it is up to Congress to act against these monopolies.
“We need to get creative. Congress will need to get involved. No question these are the purveyors of information in the 21st century saying that you’re not allowed to access web services like Amazon did with Parler,” Davidson said. “All the people that said, ‘If you don’t like Twitter or don’t like Facebook, go build your own.’ Well, the big tech monopolies will not allow us to do that. We need to start treating them like utilities, like roads and power lines.”