In the 1970s, AT&T Corporation was the sole provider of telephone service throughout the country, and out of that came antitrust action from the federal government that led to the company’s breakup starting in 1984. Representative Gary Palmer (R-AL), the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, said he sees similarities in big tech of today and AT&T back then.
In an interview with Mobile, AL radio FM Talk 106.5 on Tuesday, the Alabama Republican lawmaker addressed actions taken by social media companies to suppress news stories that may not align with the companies’ politics.
According to Palmer, there were two areas of which he was concerned — free speech and antitrust.
“It’s a dilemma that we face because we support free speech, and that includes the right not to speak,” he said. “But they’re doing goes beyond that, in my opinion. I think this could impact the rights of their employees. For instance, if the employees had a different viewpoint than they did, then their right to hear the message, to get information about Hunter Biden’s corruption, should not be denied them because they work there. That’s one thing.”
“The other thing, though, that you touched on — I think it is an antitrust issue,” Palmer continued. “I think what you have here are monopolies, and when you talk about some of these bigger social media platforms, they’re pretty much owned by two companies. This may be one of those things that harkens back to what happened with AT&T 30 years ago. They broke them up, created the smaller companies. It benefitted the consumers. Prices came down. In this case, I think we’ve got people running the social media that could do great, great harm to the future of this country because of how they handle messages.”
“There is zero reason, Jeff, for a story that is in a reputable, well-established, long-standing media outlet like The New York Post to be suppressed on social media,” he added. “And the only reason they do it is because it doesn’t fit their narrative. ”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor