Congressman Smith Capitol Report: Censored & Banned
What do White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Republican Judiciary Committee leader Jim Jordan and President Trump’s Campaign all have in common? Each one of them had their social media accounts temporarily banned this week for sharing the New York Post’s story about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden and emails showing he leveraged his father’s roll as Vice President in his international business dealings. You aren’t missing anything, this is exactly what it looks like – companies such as Twitter and Facebook using their ability to control and censor the news, messages, and information seen by their hundreds of millions of users here in the United States to impact the outcome of the 2020 elections.
Last week, I raised alarms about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Megan Markle, using titles bestowed upon them by a foreign government to interfere with our elections. This week it is just a different type of elitists, Silicon Valley, trying to meddle in the Presidential elections to benefit their chosen candidate, Joe Biden. As a result of their actions, the Federal Elections Commission should immediately investigate these companies for providing undisclosed and potentially illegal campaign support to Joe Biden.
In this case, Twitter and Facebook hid behind a thinly veiled argument of not allowing the posting of hacked materials. If that was the case, why did they not ban stories about hacked tax information of President Trump? The truth is, this is just the latest in the most blatant examples of left leaning coastal tech types who hate republicans, hate President Trump, and hate middle America trying to do everything they can to influence the outcome of the upcoming elections. The double standard is absurd. Twitter and Facebook let stand wild conspiracy theories and made up fake negative news hits about President Trump, but they immediately take down and ban the circulation of news the American people deserve to know, but under their calculous is too damaging for Joe Biden to let stand. Stories from The New York Times, Washington Post and others later proven false, they let be circulated amongst millions and ‘trend’ on their platforms, but when it comes to anything critical of Joe Biden, they immediately take it down.
The censoring of conservative thought and speech is not something new on many of these social media platforms, it is something which has been going on for months and years, but this close to the most important election of our lifetime is a true abuse of power. Our own Senator, Josh Hawley, has been leading the fight in raising these concerns. I support his legislation which would remove the immunity granted to these social media companies which is currently preventing them from being held liable for their censoring of political speech. I am glad he has called a number of the executives from both Twitter and Facebook to come before the Senate to testify under oath to explain their actions. I am also pleased the Federal Communications Chairman has announced he will begin the process of reviewing and removing any special protections these social media platforms have which inhibit their ability to be held accountable by the American public for blocking citizens ability to express their political views.
Facebook, Twitter and others serve as important sources of news for millions of Americans. And that news should be open and accessible for all, free of bias from the underlying tech provider. When those companies overstep and let their own agenda directly impact the information and news put in front of Americans, then Congress not only has the right, but the responsibility to step in and level the playing field. Given their size, these companies play an ever-growing role in the dissemination of information. For me, I know one of the best ways to get this weekly column to many in rural parts of our district is to post these same words to my own Facebook and Twitter accounts. It is my hope you will be able to find them there this week, but given the topic, I’m not sure you will.