Trump’s Lawsuit Could Deliver Big Blow to Big Tech

July 13, 2021 Updated: July 15, 2021

Commentary

Donald Trump is going to battle against one of the biggest threats to American freedom: big tech tyranny. After years of blatant censorship at the hands of big tech titans, the former president is fighting back.

On July 7, Trump held a press conference to outline his plan of attack: “Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as their CEOs: Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey.

“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people, and that’s exactly what they are doing. We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well. Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American.”

In contemporary America, social media has, for better or worse, become the modern town center.

Social media is the modern medium by which tens of millions of Americans communicate daily with each other. It’s also the medium by which tens of millions of Americans receive news on a daily basis.

With this being the case, it’s the responsibility of these social media platforms to ensure that all Americans have equal access to this modern megaphone. This principle is amplified by the fact that these same social media platforms receive blanket liability protection under the infamous Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

However, the big tech titans are openly abusing their government-granted liability shield. In fact, by censoring conservatives overwhelmingly, including then-President Trump, the big tech cabal is basically admitting that they’re biased entities, far from impartial.

An apt analogy: What if, when television was in its infancy, the government granted the industry legal protection against any and all lawsuits pertaining to what people said on air? Some would argue this is good because it would be robust protection for the freedom of speech. Others would likely argue that it is unnecessary and could lead to more problems down the road.

Taking the analogy one step further, what if the television giants colluded to ensure that only certain people and political perspectives would be allowed on air? And then, this handful of super-powerful television executives literally banned anyone who disagreed with their political ideology from appearing on television, ever, by not allowing other networks to even exist on the airwaves.

We the people would be outraged. Yet that’s exactly what’s occurring before our very eyes regarding Big Tech and its stranglehold on social media.

Over the past few months, many on the right have argued that the social media giants are private companies and therefore have no duty to ensure that their platforms welcome any and all.

But that’s not accurate. As stated before, the big tech titans are hardly private companies operating in a free market. Actually, they’re monopolies that operate in a government-granted protective bubble.

As Trump said, this is unconstitutional as well as un-American.

Time and again, we have witnessed social media behemoths blatantly stomp on Americans’ fundamental right to freedom of speech. What’s more, they’ve gone out of their way, especially in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, to squelch legitimate news stories that put their preferred public leaders in a bad light.

This is extremely dangerous. This goes against the core values and tenets of our nation. This behavior might be normal under repressive regimes, but it has absolutely no business taking place in the United States.

Fortunately, for those of us who value America’s founding ideals, the legal system offers a recourse for those who have had their rights violated by Big Tech. Trump’s lawsuit isn’t the be-all and end-all to this problem, but it certainly could offer a glimmer of hope to those of us who still hold the First Amendment dear to our hearts.

Chris Talgo is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.

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
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.