These Four States Are Fighting Big Tech Censorship
Censorship by Big Tech companies is becoming a growing reality for conservatives in the United States.
Following the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump, with Twitter CFO Ned Segal later confirming that he would continue to be barred from the platform even if he decides to run for a second term in the White House.
More recently, the social media giant suspended conservative commentator Steven Crowder from his account after he detailed instances of potential voter fraud. The tweet received a warning label explaining that users could not like or retweet the post “due to a risk of violence.”
Twitter’s censorship is not limited to individual pundits, though. Less than twenty-four hours after suspending Crowder, the platform placed a warning on the link for the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The alert stated that the link is “potentially spammy or unsafe.”
Some argue that technology firms have the right to moderate their own platforms. Others argue that given technology firms’ status as de-facto gatekeepers to the public square, censorship is a pressing threat to free speech under the First Amendment.
In response, several states are beginning to propose legislation that would penalise Big Tech companies for censorship.
Little-Known Civil Rights Law Could Bring Big Tech to Its Knees
SEATTLE—As state and federal lawmakers consider drafting new legislation to counter big tech censorship of dissenting political voices, few seem to realize that an anti-discrimination law already on the books could spell big trouble for big tech companies that engage in political censorship.
Ironically, the law was enacted by one of the most politically progressive cities in the country: Seattle.
Unlike most political jurisdictions in the United States, Seattle expressly forbids discrimination on the basis of “political ideology.” Seattle defines political ideology expansively as any idea or belief, or coordinated body of ideas or beliefs, relating to the purpose, conduct, organisation, function or basis of government and related institutions and activities, whether or not characteristic of any political party or group. This term includes membership in a political party or group and includes conduct, reasonably related to political ideology, which does not interfere with job performance.
Seattle’s sweeping ban on discrimination based on political ideology doesn’t just apply to employment or public accommodations. It also includes a “Fair Contracting Practices Ordinance” banning discrimination in contracting.
This is important because contracting includes almost anything a business does when interacting with consumers and other businesses. Whenever a business sells a product or a service to customers, it is contracting with those customers to provide something.
The potential reach of Seattle’s law is breathtaking.