Freedom of the Press/Censorship

Republicans support the right to Freedom of the Press as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Un

  The First Amendment states 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It means that the government may not censor the press. The founders acknowledged the critical role the press had, at the time, of keeping citizens informed about the actions of government and government officials. 

It provided a check on the abuse of power. 

Why is this an issue in 2021?

Big Tech Censorship

In recent months, technology corporations (Big Tech) including Google, Facebook and Twitter, have come under scrutiny and have received criticism for censoring media content – cancelling user accounts – simply because they disagreed with the content. Their typical arguments about protecting users or preventing an insurrection against the government are weak at best.

This is clearly a violation of the principle of Free Speech, but it may also be a violation of the principle of Freedom of the Press. 

One aspect of the debate is whether Google, Facebook and Twitter are, or should be treated as, public services because they have acquired near-monopoly power and control in their respective areas of content. 

These companies are clearly operating their censorship in support of one political party, or at least support of the views of party leaders; censored content is primarily of the opposition. This is how an Oligarchy works – powerful corporations working hand-in-hand with the party in power to enlarge and maintain that power. That is the story of Russia and China. It should not be the story of the United States of America. 

There are no easy solutions. We do need to find ways and create reasonable legislation to end these practices and return fairness and openness to publishing information in the digital age.

Big Tech censorship must end.