US President Donald Trump summoned attorneys from different states on September 23 to discuss how to protect Americans from censorship, cancel culture, and consumer abuses inflicted by big tech companies.
At this roundtable in the White House, the president said that in recent years, some platforms exploit their power, acquire vast sums of personal data without consent, or rig their terms of service to coerce, mislead, or defraud.
For a decade, such platforms as Google and Youtube, Facebook, Twitter have kowtowed to Communist China and assisted with its propaganda. They have been driven by profits and thus become the running dogs of the CCP regime.
As the Attorney General has put it, “These platforms can abuse those positions of trust, whether by deciding which voices they’re going to amplify and which they’re going to throttle, and by improperly tracking and collecting user data and even facilitating criminal activity. So the increased size and power of these entities really exacerbates those concerns.”
Today’s discussion has focused on concrete legal steps to protect an open Internet and a free society, including steps to ensure the social media companies cannot deceive their users with hidden efforts to manipulate the spread of information.
These powerful technology platforms have tightened their grip over commerce and communications in America, according to the president. They’ve used this power to engage in unscrupulous business practices while simultaneously waging war on free enterprise and free expression.
Trump gave an example that Twitter routinely restricts posts expressing conservative views, even from the president himself.
President Trump has already issued an executive order on preventing online censorship. He has directed Attorney General Bill Barr to work with the state attorneys general as they enforce the state laws against deceptive business practices and social media abuses.
Online platforms play a vital role in our society. Nearly everyone relies on platforms now for — on a daily basis — to communicate, to share private information, buy goods, receive news and information, the Attorney General remarked.
Barr said that legislation Section 230 has addressed concerns about online censorship by requiring greater transparency and accountability when platforms remove lawful speech.
“We also will provide the ability for individuals to pursue civil claims against online platforms that engage in bad-faith censorship,” Barr added.
Senator Josh Hawley said, “It’s gotten a lot worse. And as these folks should know — reporters know, because these online platforms increasingly control the flow of news from journalists to the American public.”
Hawley told that “These are incredibly powerful platforms. They need to be held accountable.”
“If we don’t step up to the plate now and take a look at what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, we may never stop it. It may be just unstoppable,” State Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas said. “Some of them are — they’re really larger than countries and more powerful than countries. And they know more about people than we know about ourselves, which is a little scary.”
Paxton said to Bill Bar in particular that he appreciates the work the Attorney General is doing in the investigation of Google.
Lynn Fitch of Mississippi said that this roundtable is a good opportunity to hold these big tech companies accountable.
“This is an opportunity to — where they’ve been censoring our freedom of voices, and Americans are just not going to stand for that. And so I appreciate the opportunity for us to all work together to move forward with the changing of 230 and change the dynamics of expression for voices,” Fitch said.
Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia also held that “There needs to be accountability. There needs to be an advancement of the First Amendment.”
The President said he is committed to defending the freedom of speech. And his administration has committed to addressing potential abuses of online platforms in a number of important ways.
By Cloudy Seagail