During a speech on Net Neutrality reform on Tuesday, FCC chairman Ajit Pai called out Twitter, YouTube and other Silicon Valley powerhouses for censoring conservative voices:
Now look: I love Twitter, and I use it all the time. But let’s not kid ourselves; when it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate. As just one of many examples, two months ago, Twitter blocked Representative Marsha Blackburn from advertising her Senate campaign launch video because it featured a pro-life message. Before that, during the so-called Day of Action, Twitter warned users that a link to a statement by one company on the topic of Internet regulation “may be unsafe.” And to say the least, the company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users. This conduct is many things, but it isn’t fighting for an open Internet.
And unfortunately, Twitter isn’t an outlier. Indeed, despite all the talk about the fear that broadband providers could decide what Internet content consumers can see, recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are in fact deciding what content they see. These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.
The examples from the past year alone are legion. App stores barring the doors to apps from even cigar aficionados because they are perceived to promote tobacco use. Streaming services restricting videos from the likes of conservative commentator Dennis Prager on subjects he considers “important to understanding American values.” Algorithms that decide what content you see (or don’t), but aren’t disclosed themselves. Online platforms secretly editing certain users’ comments. And of course, American companies caving to repressive foreign governments’ demands to block certain speech—conduct that would be repugnant to free expression if it occurred within our borders.
In this way, edge providers are a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint. That might explain why the CEO of a company called Cloudflare recently questioned whether “is it the right place for tech companies to be regulating the Internet.” He didn’t offer a solution, but remarked that “what I know is not the right answer is that a cabal of ten tech executives with names like Matthew, Mark, Jack, . . . Jeff are the ones choosing what content goes online and what content doesn’t go online.”
It's incredibly refreshing to see Pai speak out against the attack on conservative voices that has been taking place in this country for far too long. The left is on a mission to rip away the First Amendment rights so that dissenting opinions are silenced. Since social media giants like Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook are all operated by left-wingers, they have been able to step up their efforts to silence conservatives both before and since Trump won the election.
Unfortunately, it looks like this attack on conservative voices is only going to get worse in the coming years. The youngest adult progressives on college campuses have made that clear by launching violent protests whenever their schools so much as schedule a remotely conservative speaker.
Once these snowflakes graduate, they will make up the next generation of Silicon Valley, a place that is as youthful as it is progressive. While we applaud what Pai said, we doubt that any of these snowflakes will actually be listening...