Conservatives on Capitol Hill are waging a multi-front war over the tech industry as punishment for bringing down President Trump and others on the right, according to Axios in Congress.
why does it matter: When you are in the minority, you discover who you are as a party. With the Republicans now searching for the Democrats, they are looking for a unified cause. This one, at least for now.
What we hear: Members speak again of breaking up companies, removing their legal protections, and calling their leaders to testify. But they were biting their tongues to prevent further damage to their brand after the Capitol siege.
But but but: Some have begun to launch attacks against companies, at least online and in conservative media.
- Senator Roger Wicker (R from Miss), who will lead the Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee, Ask for answers By Tuesday, chief executives at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter about their treatment of the Tories.
- During an appearance on Fox News last week, Walker said, “She’s already bigger than Donald Trump. It amounts to stifling freedom of speech.”
what are they saying: Senator Josh Hawley (R), who became the poster boy for bypassing the Republicans after the election, said Congress should consider breaking up the companies and endorse Trump’s call to scrap Article 230.
- This part of the Communications Etiquette Act protects platforms from liability for content posted by users.
- “We learned some time ago that technology monopolies were moving towards shutting down conservative voices. Now they have banned or censored many conservatives within days,” Hawley told Axios.
Other Republicans agree, Although it is unclear what they can do in the minority in Congress.
- Rep. Ken Buck (R from Colo) said: “President Trump’s censorship proves how strong the big tech companies can speak up in America.” “The way forward to rein in big tech companies is to tackle blatant antitrust crimes and support the state’s efforts to hold these companies accountable.”
Yes, but: Complaints about bias only reach far and wide, especially since the right-leaning pages perform particularly well on Facebook.
- Democrats and progressives, in particular, complain that the big tech companies have provided safe havens for the worst elements of the right, including white supremacists.
Hill damage control: Apple contacted Republican Party offices in an effort to explain and justify its suspension to Parler. A Republican aide in the House said Facebook also continued after Trump’s ban to discuss the Conservatives’ claims of censorship.
- Apple CEO, Tim Cook, told Fox News if Parler “get in moderation together,” he’ll be back on the app store.
- For Facebook, the Trump ban is a clear sign that the company is well aware of the rise of Democrats in Washington, but making adjustments with the Conservatives should remain a priority as well.