While the idea of a Democratic liberal going up against Big Tech isn’t foreign, we are finally starting to see that they are having some of the same issues that President Donald Trump and many other conservatives/Republicans have experienced.
For years, Trump has lamented the fact that the media and many Big Tech companies are biased towards the left and because they are so large and powerful, they can delete, suspend, or even discriminate views that they don’t agree with. Trump has made a point of naming Twitter, in particular of this.
However, since Trump is a Republican and hated by many left-loving liberals and the media that back them, his claims have been thrown aside as the rantings of a child.
But with 2020 elections coming up and the presidential campaigns and debates heating up, some of those from the left are beginning to see that bias as well. Companies no longer have the luxury of discriminating against Republicans only. Now they have to also decide which Democratic candidates to support and which ones not to.
Democratic presidential candidate and Representative Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii seems not to be favored and is seeing that bias first hand.
In her newest campaign video, she speaks of her recent dealings with Big Tech company, Google, and the lawsuit she is filing against them.
After the first round of Democratic debates, Gabbard’s name starting becoming more popular and well-known. However, according to her, Google disabled her ad account on their platform, no longer allowing her to advertise her campaign.
Since then she has filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against the tech giant.
Gabbard claims that Google purposefully denied her account so that other, more like Democratic candidates could be advertised without so much competition. “Google’s discriminatory actions against my campaign are reflective of how dangerous their complete dominance over the internet search is, and how the increasing dominance of big tech companies over our public discourse threatens our core American values,” she said in a recent interview with The New York Times.
In her video, she speaks about our right to free speech and how important it is to our nation and our history.
“Throughout this country’s history, our freedom of speech has always been viewed through a single lens. That we, the American people, can express ourselves openly, we can share ideas and we can peacefully protest without fear of punishment,” she said. “We could exercise this right without any censorship, threat of arrest or government intervention that would otherwise restrict our freedoms.”
She then goes on to describe how, in recent years, that right has been trampled on and is at risk of being taken away altogether if change does not happen.
“Now over the last two decades, technology has completely revolutionized how we as a society communicate. An enormous amount of public discourse now happens over the internet, where a very select handful of corporations yield enormous power over your access to information,” she stated. And she added, “Nearly 70% of all Americans now use Facebook. Google controls 88% of all internet searches in the United States, with 73% using their YouTube platform.”
The concern for Gabbard and many other Americans including our president is that with so much power and very little accountability from anyone else, these companies can do as they please, deciding “who and what is seen or heard,” as Gabbard says.
How many times have we seen companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter delete a post or suspend an account because of what was said or shown? And that isn’t to say that the idea is entirely wrong. There should be a way of keeping users accountable and dissuading the promotion of violence or discrimination.
But what Gabbard’s question and yours should be: who is keeping these tech giants accountable? Who decides what political viewpoints they can promote or not?
She even says that while particular speech can be unpleasant to hear or see, it should still be protected. “They have banned voices, who, while controversial and maybe even distasteful, have not incited violence or threatened others. Their sole offense was expressing a view that these corporations deemed unacceptable.”
And while we may not agree with all her policies, we have to admit “whether we are progressives or conservatives, left or right, if we do not stand united in this struggle to protect our freedoms, we all lose.”