Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called out Twitter for flagging his question about possible election fraud, saying this was a precursor to censoring all debate on the platform.
“Twitter is flagging my question: Your government sent 1.1 million dead people stimulus checks. Wonder how many of these folks also voted absentee? So, now it is unacceptable to pose questions?” wrote Paul.
Twitter flagged Paul’s post with a link that reads, “this claim about election fraud is disputed.” And if you click on the link a Twitter page comes up that says “Voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare in the U.S., election experts confirm.” A number of Twitter posts are on the page such as “AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s errant assault on election integrity,” and “You may hear a lot about election ‘fraud’ in the coming days,” citing data points provided by the Brennan Center.
Although Twitter claims the question of dead people voting is disputed, it is a fact that in some states, it was found that dead people had cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election.
Further, it was found that more than 10,000 people confirmed or suspected to be deceased have returned their mail-in ballots to vote in Michigan, according to an analysis of the state’s election data.
Concerns are being raised about big tech’s control and influence in the United States with their ability to flag, restrict, and censor content and opposing views.
“There’s no regulator stopping them using that power, and it is going to have a big impact on what Americans are allowed to see, what Americans are allowed to read about,” which may amount to interfering with “this crucial election,” Allum Bokhari an investigative journalist said in an interview on The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders.”
Since the 2016 election when then-presidential nominee Donald Trump won, taking his opponents and those with far-left political views by surprise, including many at the big tech companies, according to Bokhari.
Big tech companies control most of the political speech and activity that takes place on their platforms, and this is “a really difficult situation,” Bokhari said. “So, if you’re going to try and organize against them, well they control the platforms where you’ll be organizing.”
Twitter did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
The growing rush to manipulate posts on its platform, and similar efforts by Facebook and other social media companies, has drawn increased attention from lawmakers and President Donald Trump, who are angling to make changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The section shields technology companies from liability for content posted on their platforms while letting them moderate it, but critics say the law needs to be altered because the companies typically target Republicans with labels and censorship.
“This liability shield has been pivotal in protecting online platforms from endless and potentially ruinous lawsuits. But it has also given these internet platforms the ability to control, stifle, and even censor content in whatever manner meets their respective standards,” Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said during an Oct. 28 hearing in Washington.
In October Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) unveiled legislation that would require big tech companies to adhere to the “First Amendment standard for their content moderation practices.” The bill would limit the immunity the companies have when they restrict speech or censor certain content, allowing for more accountability.
The Trump campaign has alleged voter fraud and said any declarations of victory are premature, with his team having launched multiple legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan. The president said on Tuesday that his campaign is making progress and said that he will ultimately be declared the winner of the 2020 election.
While Democrats celebrated Biden as the president-elect, most Republicans have said this is premature and only after the legal challenges are resolved will the winner be confirmed.
Ella Kietlinska and Jan Jekielek contributed to this report.