Democrats recently released plans to fight “Online Misinformation” that featured a blueprint for online censorship. While Congressional Democrats have cosponsored or cosponsored 18 Big Tech bills, they are not the only ones. This combination could lead to a rift in bipartisan support and raises serious questions about the real goals of these legislators.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) published its “Recommendations for Combating Online Misinformation,” which stated that social media companies “still have much to do to reduce the spread of disinformation.” The document featured a 14-point plan to solve the issue of the supposed spread of disinformation.
The plan urged companies to “[p]romote authoritative news over highly engaging news in content algorithms,” to “[e]nforce a comprehensive political misinformation policy” and to “[e]nforce rules on hate speech consistently and comprehensively.”
The DNC’s last recommendation, “[e]stablish a policy against the distribution of hacked materials,” is especially alarming. Big Tech companies interfered with the 2020 presidential election by censoring the incriminating scandals of then-candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Twitter falsely claimed Hunter’s laptop information was “hacked” material.
Internet Accountability Project founder and president Mike Davis exclusively told MRC Free Speech America that the “solution to misinformation is more free speech.” Davis explained, “While leftists want to censor and de-platform those deemed problematic to their interests … A competition of ideas will lead to a more informed American public. Silencing one side’s political opposition leads down a dangerous road. In China, the communist government has complete control over news and information—this is the logical conclusion of the effort by so-called ‘progressives’ to censor those with whom they disagree.”
Davis added, “Thankfully, both sides can agree that Big Tech is too big and too unaccountable, and they must be broken up and reined in for the good of the American consumer, economy and national security.” Davis said serious disagreements on censorship shouldn’t harm progress on bipartisan issues “such as antitrust modernization and enforcement.” Davis ended, “Ultimately, a more competitive Big Tech industry will produce more options for those who value free speech.”
In the recommendation, the DNC openedly acknowledged a partnership with social media platforms. “The DNC is working with major social media companies to combat platform manipulation and train our campaigns on how best to secure their accounts and protect their brands against disinformation,” the plan said. “Social media companies are ultimately responsible for combating abuse and disinformation on their systems, but as an Interested party, we’ve compiled this comparative policy analysis to present social media companies with additional potential solutions.” [Emphasis added].
These recommendations clearly show that the DNC is pro-censorship. According to MRC Free Speech America research, at least 18 bills related to social media and tech apps were sponsored by or cosponsored in the House or Senate by Democrats.
In some cases, pro-freedom bills can be found to actually hinder free speech. For example, the bipartisan Open App Markets Act prevents a “covered company” from imposing certain restrictions on apps, except if the company’s action is allegedly “necessary to achieve user privacy, security, or digital safety.” Bill co-sponsors Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with the DNC’s content moderation manifesto, claim that so-called “misinformation” online is dangerous, a warning sign for free speech.
Klobuchar is a well-known leftist Big Tech critic who has repeatedly called on for greater online censorship. Blumenthal and Sens. John Hickenlooper and Ed Markey, both Democrats from Massachusetts, have supported increased censorship.
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