Op-Ed: Big Tech Censorship Threatens Americans' Constitutional Rights
By: Brooke L. Rollins in Newsweek
Who rules in America? Is it a handful of unaccountable elites, who concoct and enforce standards arbitrarily? Or is it the American people? If the answer is the former, we should pack up the American experiment, issue aristocratic titles, and be done with the charade of having a Constitution. Big Tech’s actions to censor everyday Americans stagger the imagination. As our nation moves closer to being governed by unaccountable, unelected elites, we are here to hold them accountable because we aren’t ready to give up on the American experiment.
That doesn’t mean our fight will be easy. The outdated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides carte blanche immunity to Big Tech and allows these giants to circumvent Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech. What would have been dismissed a decade ago as paranoid dystopian fiction—a handful of technology companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter effectively seizing control of the American public square—is now our own grim reality.
Liberal elites have partnered with, protected and encouraged Big Tech in its attempts to limit the free flow of ideas and censor discourse. Take, for example, the censorship inflicted on some medical professionals in the early stages of COVID-19. At the time, experts studied, debated and explored the use of therapeutics such as hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. Debate, open dialogue and free criticism are crucial in science and medicine. But instead of allowing a healthy debate, Big Tech and the federal government colluded to portray entire groups of medical experts as proponents of misinformation—YouTube went so far as to censor content recommending the use of proven therapeutics by labeling it “Treatment Misinformation.” This censorship damaged the reputations of countless medical professionals and respected scientists who are now questioned and excoriated because of the one-sided set of “facts” determined by bureaucrats and tech giants.
But the examples don’t stop with the medical community. They continue with the schoolteachers, parents, millennial influencers, immigrants—everyday Americans—whose First Amendment rights were abridged. Just this past weekend YouTube removed the video of the America First Policy Institute’s press conference announcing former president Donald J. Trump’s lawsuit against Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These conglomerates continue to conspire against those who espouse beliefs contrary to their preferred narrative. Time and time again, Big Tech has demonstrated that it is determined to silence Americans’ voices and trample on our First Amendment rights. Putting America First means that we will continue to join with everyday Americans and defend our Constitution from these threats.
Today, Big Tech has its thumb on the scale in favor of one political ideology. Tomorrow, it could be censoring your viewpoint. It has turned away from the very principles of free speech that allow for its existence and has engaged in an Orwellian stifling of speech, ideas, assembly, religion and more. Big Tech has become an avenue for suppression, rather than a beacon of free expression.
Are the leaders of this country still the American people, the democratic citizenry, the men and women who do honest work every day and ask only for fair and equitable treatment in return? At the end of this challenge, we will find our answer.
This country just celebrated its 245th Independence Day. For the sake of future Independence Days, and for the sake of future American generations, we must fight for the people’s rule.
Brooke L. Rollins is president and chief executive officer at the America First Policy Institute and previously served as an assistant to the president and Director of the Domestic Policy Council under the Trump administration. You can learn more about the class action lawsuit by visiting TakeonBigTech.com.