Social Media Censorship Against Conservatives Continues Unabated

January 6, 2022 Updated: January 9, 2022

Commentary

For many months, Twitter and Facebook (along with several other social media platforms) have gone out of their way to censor conservatives who dared to post factual information about COVID-19 that isn’t in line with Big Tech’s preferred ideology/narrative about the pandemic.

The latest victim of Twitter and Facebook’s collusion campaign happens to be a sitting member of Congress, which is a stunning display of the unadulterated power these Big Tech giants currently wield.

On Jan. 2, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was permanently banned by Twitter because she had the audacity to post government-provided statistics about adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine. A day later, Facebook also temporarily suspended Greene from its platform, claiming she was posting dangerous “misinformation.”

Greene did nothing of the sort. Far from posting so-called misinformation, she simply cited data provided by the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, commonly known as VAERS.

“We permanently suspended the account you referenced (@mtgreenee) for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” Twitter said in a statement. “We’ve been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy.”

Despite Twitter’s insistence, sans any evidence, Greene didn’t spout misinformation regarding the fact that thousands of Americans have experienced adverse events soon after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

As Greene described the situation, “Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth.” Amen to that.

Aside from the VAERS database, which provides a laundry list of Americans who have had suspected adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also come to the same conclusion.

According to the CDC website: “CDC and its partners are actively monitoring reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. … Cases of myocarditis reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) have occurred: After mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), especially in male adolescents and young adults.”

Although many may think Twitter and Facebook banning a sitting member of Congress isn’t that big of a deal, they would be wrong.

By banning Taylor Greene for purportedly violating its “misinformation” policy, Twitter and Facebook are sending a clear and chilling message to their billions of worldwide users: Free speech is dead.

But wait, aren’t Twitter and Facebook allowed to ban anyone for any reason? They’re private corporations, after all.

Well, that would be true if Twitter and Facebook were ordinary editorial publishers. But they’re not.

Unlike editorial publishers, such as websites and blogs, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook receive a protective shield under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

In short, social media platforms are shielded from legal liability concerning what users post, as long as the posts are not “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”

Nothing whatsoever in Greene’s recent posts could be remotely construed as falling into any of the above categories. Therefore, Twitter and Facebook, by censoring and banning the lawmaker, have blatantly violated the letter of the law as written under Section 230.

With a national midterm election in the offing, it’s integral that social media platforms quit playing politics and banning purveyors of information that Big Tech deems inconvenient to their preferred narrative, facts be damned.

Naturally, Big Tech will do everything in its power to retain its near-monopoly on the dissemination of information in today’s technological world. Make no mistake, it’s much easier to silence the likes of Greene or former President Donald Trump when their social media plug is pulled than it was years ago, before the advent of the internet and social media.

Yet there remains reason for hope. Perhaps Twitter and Facebook went too far this time. Perhaps more Americans are now becoming well aware that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have devolved from relatively open-minded forums into closed-minded echo chambers. Perhaps this latest and most blatant episode of censorship will cause a great migration from the monopolistic likes of Twitter and Facebook to upstart, free-speech social media platforms such as Parler.

The dystopian days wherein a handful of Big Tech monopolies control the dissemination of information, and therefore have an outsized influence over societal discourse, could soon see its demise.

As Americans, we ought to relish our unique freedoms, especially our right to freedom of speech. We should be dismayed that social media platforms would silence a sitting member of Congress for nothing other than posting pertinent information to we the people.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Chris Talgo
Chris Talgo is an editor at The Heartland Institute. Talgo writes op-eds, articles for Health Care News and Environmental and Climate News, and hosts podcasts.