Former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage paid tribute to the late Andrew Breitbart at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Friday, pointing out how he warned conservatives that social media companies would use censorship to control the political conversation.
Farage explained how Breitbart, who died seven years ago on Friday aged just 43, advocated the use of social media for the advancement of conservative ideas but also warned that those in charge platforms would eventually try to censor such information from spreading.
“It is outrageous that Facebook says they’re a platform for all ideas, when actually they are censoring content,” Farage said. “You know, seven years ago today, Andrew Breitbart died suddenly. He was, in many ways, a pioneer of the movement and the argument that we could go behind the back of mainstream media and use social media to reach out audiences.”
He also called on lawmakers to “redefine” social media giants such as Facebook as publishers to help solve the issue.
“So we should not only pay tribute to him, but also his warning,” he continued. “He predicted that censorship would be used on social media to stifle debate. And we need our legislators to redefine organizations like Facebook as publishers so they are responsible for the content that they put out.”
Farage was not the only figure to pay tribute to Andrew Breitbart at this year’s conference. Conservative activist and writer Michelle Malkin, who worked with him on a variety of projects, also described him as a “disruptor” who fundamentally changed America’s political landscape.
“It may be a coincidence, or maybe it’s providential, that I am privileged enough to speak here today on the seven-year anniversary of Andrew Breitbart’s death,” Malkin said. “He was a disrupter among defenders of the status quo. We need more like him. That is the future.”