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Opinion: Big tech equals big problems for conservative voices

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Last year, the Energy and Commerce Committee invited both Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter, to come and testify about transparency and accountability.

My focus during these hearings was on the apparent bias against conservative content and news outlets on each platform. As I asked questions concerning this issue, I was promised time and again that each company would take the necessary steps to end this unfortunate practice.

However, since the hearings, nothing has changed. In many cases, things have only gotten worse.

Recently, Twitter was under scrutiny for removing [an account for] the pro-life movie, “Unplanned,” from its platform. After outrage broke out on Twitter, it eventually reinstated the account, claiming it did not in fact violate any Twitter rules. Once being reinstated, the account mysteriously went from more than 150,000 followers to a little over 25,000 with no explanation as to why.

Sadly, Facebook isn’t much better.

Last year, Facebook censored paid ads for a pro-life movie. Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., protested, along with many others, saying this was a discriminatory act. Similar to Twitter, after backlash Facebook reinstated the ads and said they were accidentally removed. That is very hard to believe.

Other big tech companies, such as Google, also have been under fire for what many see as their bias against conservatives.

A recent example of this was last year when search results on Google listed the ideology of the California Republican Party as Nazism. After apologizing, however, Google jumped from the frying pan into the fire over a top search result that labeled a picture of a Republican state senator from North Carolina as a bigot.

As this problem gets worse, the American people are losing faith in big tech companies. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 72% of the public believes social media platforms censor content they believe is objectionable. In the poll, 85% of Republicans said they think this is a common practice, with more than 60% of Democrats also believing that.

I’ve never argued against policies that remove posts deemed unsafe for communities. However, it is clear there have been a number of instances where that’s not the case.

It’s unethical for big tech companies to decide what political content can and can’t be heard. All viewpoints deserve exposure.

U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R-Missouri, can be reached at (202) 909-3744. His Twitter handle is @USRepLong.


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