MADISON — The Biden administration has joined forces with Big Tech in silencing speech they deem “problematic.” Conservative lawmakers, including U,S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh), are pushing back against what they say are government-sanctioned attacks on the First Amendment.
Johnson joined three other senators this week in co-sponsoring the Preserve Online Speech Act, which would require technology companies to disclose any U.S. or foreign government requests or recommendations regarding content moderation. The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), aims to combat the censorship coordination between Big Tech companies and governments across the globe, including the Biden administration.
Johnson also has co-sponsored the Disclose Government Censorship Act, seeking to end “the government-directed speech suppression and viewpoint censorship.”
The legislation comes after Biden’s mouthpiece, Jen Psaki, admitted the administration was flagging Facebook posts it found to contain “disinformation.” Last month, Psaki told reporters White House senior staff were working with “social media platforms” to confront “misinformation,” particularly regarding the pandemic.
“In terms of actions we are taking or that we’re working to take, I should say, from the federal government, we’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the surgeon general’s office. We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” she said.
The Democratic administration’s goal, according to Biden’s spin-centric press secretary, is to “get trusted content out there.” Republican lawmakers say Democrat Biden’s goal is to silence his conservative opponents.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media outlets have shut down speech they don’t like, mainly from conservatives. Some of that speech is coming from Republican members of congress, like Sen. Johnson. Youtube suspended the senator’s account in June after his office posted video of Johnson’s comments on Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the coronavirus. Youtube asserts Johnson violated company policy on misinformation.
Johnson’s not alone. A lot of conservatives have been censored or silenced altogether for their social media posts. Twitter and Facebook have suspended former President Trump’s accounts.
The senator sent a letter to Biden this week urging the administration to halt any actions it has or is currently undertaking to censor Americans’ speech. The letter asks for information on how the administration is carrying out the flagging of Americans’ speech no later than Aug. 9.
“It is outrageous the Biden administration is coordinating with Big Tech to infringe on American citizens’ First Amendment freedoms. Big Tech, the mainstream media and the administration have no credibility in determining what is and isn’t misinformation,” Johnson said, adding that the legislation will shed light on the Biden administration’s attempt to censor free speech.