NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr said at CPAC on Saturday that Americans should be empowered to turn off social media companies’ “bias filters.”
Author and China expert Gordan Chang spoke with FCC Commissioners Carr and Michael O’Rielly about big tech, 5G, and Huawei.
Carr noted that the conservative base at CPAC has been vocal about the threat of social media companies censoring conservative and alternative voices on the Internet.
The FCC Commissioner said:
One thing I’ve heard loud and clear at this conference so far that touches on the Internet is free speech. There’s a lot of concern right now over conservative bias and online platforms, and I don’t think the answer to that is to do nothing. I’ve been speaking up about it.
Carr also cited reports that suggest that Twitter is testing whether to add labels to posts fromm world leaders and politicians if Twitter deems the post “harmfully misleading.”
Carr said that Americans should have the power to turn off social media companies’ “bias filters” that skew a social media users’ news feed. He went on:
There’s a leaked document recently from Twitter that said they were soon going to enable political ideologues to stamp tweets as misinformation based on their perspective. I don’t think that’s the right thing. Why not empower people to make decisions for themselves? If you don’t want MSNBC fact-checking the information you see on Twitter, I think you should be empowered to make that decision and turn those types of bias filters off.
This is not the first time that Republican FCC commissioners have criticized social media censorship. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has long criticized social media censorship and suggested that the country needs to think “seriously” about whether social media giants need to abide by “new transparency” requirements that would address Silicon Valley censorship.
Carr also criticized Google’s working with China on a censored social media engine for the country.
He said, “The hypocrisy here is stunning. Those in Silicon Valley have no problem telling the rest of the country what we should think, what we should believe, what our values are, and the second it comes getting into a country with nearly two billion people all of a sudden those values they preach go by the wayside.”