Australian members of Parliament are curating their speeches to avoid triggering censorship from Big Tech platforms like YouTube and Facebook, according to United Australia Party (UAP) leader Craig Kelly MP.
In a wide-ranging interview with Emeritus Law Professor David Flint, Kelly, who last year resigned from the Liberal Party to join the UAP, said Big Tech companies had become the “de facto Hansard” in reference to the official transcript of Parliamentary debates used across Commonwealth countries.
“On the floor of Parliament, I have to think, ‘If I say these words, will YouTube delete this?’” he told Flint in an episode of Australia Calling, which can be viewed on The Epoch Times website, as well as Rumble and YouTube.
“I think we need to enshrine ‘freedom of speech,’ especially in the age of these large tech giants who have so much control of what goes into the media,” he said. “People talk about the Murdoch media having so much control, they have nothing on the control that Facebook and YouTube do.”
“It’s also controlling other groups like Sky News Australia and other independent media commentators who use YouTube and Facebook to post their interviews and content,” he added. “They know in certain areas if they talk about something which is contrary to the economic interests of those (Big Tech) companies, they will have their platforms taken down.”
Kelly called on the platforms to be recognised as publishers saying they could not have it “both ways.”
“Facebook and YouTube today have taken the role of the ‘Old Town Square.’ They’ve got the right to say who goes into the Town Square, who’s allowed to stand up on the soapbox, and who’s allowed to speak and who is not allowed to speak,” he said.
Big Tech’s moderation of content has become an increasingly contentious issue with concerns platforms are not doing enough to curb online bullying, while at the same time, warnings or suspensions have been handed out in response to discussion on politics or COVID-19.
For example, Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky, lead researcher at Vaxine which is behind Spikogen (or COVAX-19)—now being rolled out in Iran—had his LinkedIn account restricted over “multiple violations” of the user agreement.
According to an email from LinkedIn posted online by Petrovsky, the social media company took action against the researcher when he wrote comments questioning the efficacy of vaccines, the use of mandates, and the manufacturing safeguards behind the drugs.
“Which media channels to trust and have integrity? Does anyone find these comments offensive?” the professor wrote.
Part 3 of the interview with Craig Kelly MP coming Thursday, Jan. 27.