Have you ever voiced your political opinion on social media? Have you ever shared your observations on something you experienced, saw, or read on your own social media page? What if I told you that Big Tech companies have people that make judgement calls about your positions, thoughts and comments and have the power to silence you temporarily — or for good.
We all know that the Constitution guarantees certain rights. One of those rights is freedom of speech, which assures that individuals can express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship. Let me be clear, I don’t agree with individuals making threats against others or posting racist statements or images. As a modern society we should all agree that calling people you disagree with derogatory names is protected speech but unacceptable and distasteful.
As a Black American who happens to be Republican, I get a lot of people on the left posting some of the most racist, demeaning, and insulting comments, photos, and threats against me all because of my political beliefs and race on social media. These people do this because they have no fear of retribution. Those faceless bullies feel they can hide behind their monitors or smart phones and not face any consequences for their actions because Big Tech has no problem with vicious attacks on conservatives.
What some of these Big Tech companies are doing is troubling: they are banning or silencing people over politics. Yes, your political views can get you suspended and even expelled from certain social media platforms. What is worse, Big Tech has a clear bias against conservatives. Remarkably, as they suspend and ban right-wing accounts, they have no problem with outright calls for violence from other areas of the political spectrum.
The former President of the United States of America who happens to be a billionaire and successful businessman was kicked off of Twitter and Facebook. Let’s think about this: if Big Tech is willing to ban a United States President, what do you think they can do to you? This is not an opinion piece about whether you think Donald J. Trump should or shouldn’t be banned from Facebook, this is about the principle of Big Tech using political views as leverage to silence people with whom they disagree.
If Big Tech feels your post about the election runs counter to what they believe to be true, they can silence you and ban you from their platform no matter how large or small your following is. Imagine if you saw something at your polling place that looked off or just did not seem right and you posted a statement about what you saw. If Big Tech disagrees, you can be shut down.
The subjectivity of the process by which Big Tech can silence individuals is problematic for all Americans and a warning sign that these monopolies have too much power, control, and influence.
Billions of people share their thoughts daily on social media platforms because they feel they have the right to express their opinions. However, that freedom is being trampled on by Silicon Valley elites who have been empowered to censor what everyday Americans post on their social media accounts.
Today, you might draft a “woke” post and it might be acceptable. Tomorrow it might be unacceptable, and you could be the latest victim of cancel culture. Democrat or Republican we need to be more vigilant about what is happening because they do not care if you are a Billionaire or making minimum wage. You can be President or a painter, if they do not like your politics – you can have your voice on social media removed. That to me does not feel American.
Paris Dennard is the National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs for the Republican National Committee (RNC). Follow him on Twitter: @PARISDENNARD.