House Republicans took tech CEOs to task over allegations that their companies intentionally blocked or otherwise censored conservative ideas.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, did not waste any time, rattling off a list of instances of unfair treatment during a hearing featuring testimony from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai.
“Big tech is out to get conservatives,” Jordan said early in the hearing. “That’s not a suspicion, that’s not a hunch. That’s a fact.”
Jordan then gave examples of suspected behavior, which included Google removing Breitbart articles from search results, Amazon’s Twitch streaming site suspending President Trump’s account, former Facebook employees admitting to censoring conservative views, Facebook itself acknowledging that they banned pro-life ads in 2018, Amazon Smile not allowing charitable donations to a pro-life group but allowing contributions to Planned Parenthood, and Facebook removing Trump campaign posts, among others noted by the New York Post‘s Miranda Devine.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., also piled on the tech giants, asking Zuckerberg why he fired Facebook exec Palmer Luckey after Luckey gave $10,000 to an organization opposing Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“When you fire people as a consequence of their politics, do you think that impacts the culture and perhaps empowers some of the content moderators to also treat people worse as a consequence of their politics?” Gaetz asked. Zuckerberg denied that he did this.
Later in the day, Jordan told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson what could happen to the tech companies if they engage in censorship.
“You got to work on Section 230, we’re looking at that,” Jordan said, referring to the law that says platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are not publishers and thus cannot be sued for statements other people make on their sites.
Jordan went on to mention possible antitrust issues if the Justice Department believes they are illegal monopolies, something Democrats like committee chairman Rep. David Ciciline, D-R.I., discussed during the hearing.
In the meantime, Jordan said he will continue to call out the tech companies “every time we see them become the facilitators of the mob to cancel people.”