The Morning Briefing: Big Tech CEOs Grilled by Senate About Free Speech and Censorship but Will Anything Change?

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Big Tech Comes to Washington (Sort Of)

Happy Thursday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Vinyl is overrated.

On Wednesday, the CEOs from Twitter, Facebook, and Google were sort of brought before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for a virtual hearing to discuss the companies’ fascist speech-police tendencies. There’s a lot of bad-faith behavior on the part of all three this election season and the Republicans on the committee raised some very legitimate concerns.

The three CEOs — Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai — all appeared before the committee voluntarily. That’s probably because they feel largely untouchable at the moment. They’re no doubt hoping that Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep gets elected and the Democrats take over the Senate. Should that happen, the very behavior that prompted yesterday’s hearing will be rewarded by the Dems.

Megan wrote yesterday that the Democrats on the committee would actually prefer that Big Tech get even more heavy-handed with their censorship ways. They’re all sitting around hoping they have the opportunity to plunge us into a dystopian nightmare.

Yesterday I posted about Twitter’s recent shadowbanning of certain tweets of mine. They’re banning anything I tweet at mainstream media accounts that’s critical.

Shadowbanning is the worst because it’s stealth censorship that they’re hoping they don’t get caught doing.

The best part of the hearing was the verbal you-know-what-whuppin’ that Sen. Ted Cruz gave Jack Dorsey, which Megan also wrote about:

Facebook and Twitter were caught limiting the reach of the article, which prompted a Senate inquiry. Ted Cruz came out swinging, calling Twitter “the biggest threat to free and fair elections” facing America today. He also set Jack Dorsey’s overlong beard on fire with this blistering observation about the power of Twitter to police speech in America.

“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear, and why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super PAC, silencing the views to the contrary of your political beliefs?” Cruz asked in one of the more heated exchanges of the hearing.

There’s video of the full exchange in Megan’s post and it’s quite entertaining.

Dorsey’s justifications for Twitter’s alleged policies are painfully inadequate. He insists that the platform has fair, uniform rules but in reality, they are arbitrary and biased.

Cruz’s remarks were harsh and necessary but will anything really be done? VodkaPundit, Bryan, and I were discussing this during our VIP Gold Live Chat on Wednesday. Cruz accused Dorsey of lying under oath to the Senate. Bryan said he’d like to see something actually done about that rather than Dorsey merely getting an upbraiding on, of all places, Twitter.

Thus far, only the Twitter upbraiding has happened.

The damage has already been done for this election. Cruz is right, however, about the threat that Twitter poses. Personally, I think Google is the bigger problem in the long run. Something has to be done, and it has to be more than the occasional dog-and-pony show hearing, which we’ve had a few of now.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a small-government guy like me is calling for federal intervention, but Big Tech is drunk with power and wielding it in an egregiously unfair manner. Somebody has to thwart it.

Four More Years

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.