Online censorship of conservatives is out of control, and the Media Research Center (MRC) is doing something about it. The MRC just launched #FreeSpeechAmerica, designed to push back against Big Tech’s abuse of power.
“Our position is that if they can do it to the President of the United States, they can do it to anyone, and in fact that is exactly what is happening,” said MRC founder and president Brent Bozell in a #FreeSpeechAmerica virtual launch event on September 17. “Every platform in Silicon Valley today is censoring conservatives.”
Conservatives Deserve Equal Footing
Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty Institute and a member of #FreeSpeechAmerica’s board of advisors, attended the launch Zoom session and used his comments to criticize Big Tech: “What we are seeing in the tech world right now is the greatest danger and encroachment to freedom of expression and thought, I think, in the history of our country.” He continued, “Tech companies are now an information highway, common couriers. And they control this information, and they’re engaging in extensive censorship.”
Dr. Robert Epstein, a social sciences researcher specializing in Google, joined in the call. He has testified in the Senate about the dangers of big tech censorship and warned about Google influencing the 2020 election, saying, “These companies, in this year, can shift up to 15 million votes.”
MRC Vice President of Techwatch, Business and Culture Dan Gainor introduced CensorTrack, the official website for #FreeSpeechAmerica. “CensorTrack.org is the first initiative of #FreeSpeechAmerica,” he explained. “Even though we’re dealing with Big Tech, we’ve gone back to the basics and are working actively, proving the problem. We’ve done that by creating an archive of incidents of bias, as well as a resource for people interested in the issue or writing about it.”
CensorTrack Has Five Sections:
1) Tech Company Bias, featuring an analysis of tech companies and the ways they’ve targeted the right, from big firms like Facebook to financial platforms and specialty sites.
2) Fact-Checker Spin, which targets some of the many ways so-called fact-checkers restrict content.
3) Censorship by Issue, which touches on the key category issues from what they do to the pro-life community, to hate speech, a catch-all phrase applied to virtually everything the left despises.
4) Key Players, which includes politicians, pundits and media figures.
5) Proposed Remedies, which include President Trump’s social media executive order to Section 230 proposals.
What is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act?
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 is one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the internet. It protects social media platforms, online forums, and internet companies from liability for anything posted by third parties on their websites.
However, “Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike,” the executive order stated.
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that Big Tech hides behind Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) whenever they censor you. She says, “it should be a shield for new companies, but this is more of a sword for Big Tech companies. What we are doing with Section 230 reform is clarifying who can use it, when they use it, how they are going to use it, and what it can apply to. And we’re changing language [that] allowed Big Tech to say well we find this, that, or the other objectionable.”
Bozell strongly suggested, “We think it’s time for this to be addressed. These are not impartial platforms, these are publishers and they have to be taken into account.” Thus, he announced, “We’re going to be coordinating our effort with those on Capitol Hill, trying to work in a bipartisan manner to take our concerns.”
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers
One of the powerful tools deployed by Big Tech to squelch opposing views is the relatively new idea of fact-checkers. News fact-checking sites have multiplied as voters seek to separate truth from propaganda, especially when it comes to politics, but even these supposedly objective outlets tend to skew left while posing as neutral third parties.
In theory, these fact-checking organizations target misstatements of fact. In practice, fact-checkers have become narrative police — targeting conservative content far more than liberal. Even when the facts are correct, fact-checkers do their best to undermine content they simply don’t like. If you’ve ever doubted the political objectivity of fact-checking sites like PolitiFact, and noticed that Snopes has an obviously liberal spin, you’re not alone.
In order to form your own opinions about candidates and legislation, you must have all the facts – from both sides. “In an era of ‘fake news’ and inaccurate reporting, it is important now more than ever that the fact-checkers themselves are exposed for their biases,” MRC President Brent Bozell said in a statement.
“MRC routinely finds instances when fact-checkers bend the truth or disproportionately target conservatives,” he said. “We are assigning our own rating to their judgments and will expose the worst offenders. Americans deserve the truth.”
The Media Research Center, America’s leading media watchdog, is a research and education organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In the summer of 2005, MRC launched NewsBusters, a website “dedicated to exposing and combating liberal media bias.” With a sophisticated 24-hour recording operation and a huge archive of news recordings dating back to 1987, NewsBusters is hard at work documenting and exposing liberal media bias and hypocrisy. In 2020, the MRC launched the #FreeSpeechAmerica project, designed to push back against Big Tech’s abuse of power by fact-checking the fact checkers. CensorTrack.org is the first initiative of #FreeSpeechAmerica.
Visit censortrack.org, where you can contact the Media Research Center if you have been censored, and help hold Big Tech accountable.