60-Million-Strong Christian Group to Big Tech: Stop Censorship or Face Torrent of Lawsuits
On Thursday, National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President Jerry Johnson sent a final ultimatum to the CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, warning that if the big tech companies do not cease their censorship of Christian and conservative viewpoints, he would lead his organization's 60 million members in a campaign to remove legal protections Congress gave these companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The companies deny their patterns of bias against conservatives and Christians, but Johnson begged to differ.
"We have documented over many years that they are consistently censoring political debate between conservatives and liberals, religious and philosophical debate between Christians and non-Chirstians, on issues like life, marriage, and Islamic terrorism," Johnson told PJ Media on Monday. He also insisted that none of the companies responded to his letter.
That letter reiterated an ultimatum from September, in which Johnson set a concrete deadline of December 31, 2018.
If Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter "do not take concrete action against censorship of Christian and conservative viewpoints by the end of this calendar year, then NRB will be calling for new hearings," Johnson said in a statement Monday. "Specifically, we will call for a review of the 'Good Samaritan' section of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act."
"We prefer not to do that," the NRB president told PJ Media. "We are asking them to acknowledge the problem and adopt a voluntary free speech charter which would say, 'This is a free speech zone.'"
The companies did not acknowledge the problem, however. "We'll review the letter, but I want to emphasize that we apply our rules equally across the platform," a Twitter spokesperson told PJ Media. The representative pointed to a post from July denying the practice of "shadow banning" on Twitter and a link to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's September testimony.
The spokesperson also addressed the suspension of radio host and former congressional candidate Jesse Kelly, the latest act of Twitter censorship on Internet Freedom Watch's timeline. "The account was temporarily suspended for violating the Twitter Rules and has been reinstated. We have communicated directly with the account owner," the representative said.
Kelly has used his reinstated Twitter account to call out the continued censorship of conservative voices across the tech sphere. On Monday, he warned that YouTube's ban on Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes should concern all "right-leaning" people who make their living in the media world.