Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the founder of the House Media Fairness Caucus, says “there is just too much evidence” of censorship against conservatives in Silicon Valley for the Democrats to pretend it is not happening.
“There is just too much evidence that we have at hand showing that the social platforms have in fact been discriminating against conservative views, conservative organizations, conservative news media of all kinds,” Smith said when asked by Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor Amanda House for his thoughts on the Democratic Party’s claim that censorship of conservatives is an “imaginary narrative.”
“They’ve adjusted their algorithms, sometimes they have blocked or actually deleted information that’s conservative in nature. We have Google… designating as a hate group religious freedom organizations, border security organizations, pro-life organizations, so clearly they were targeting conservative-type viewpoints,” he continued.
“That’s the kind of thing that really worries us here. Our platforms, whether they be Facebook or anyone else, they’re supposed to be neutral. They’re supposed to be objective. And clearly, they have not been in the past.”
Smith then recalled that during the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Tuesday into social media content filtering practices, he “asked each of our witnesses [from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter] one question, and that is: would they publicly pledge to do everything they can to neutralize bias in the future?”
“All three said yes… so we’re going to hold them to that public pledge,” Smith proclaimed.
“None of them denied the bias in the past, which was I think important to their own credibility. There are just too many examples of their biases in the past, so I think we’re making progress. They know we’re looking over their shoulder, and we also know that these groups lean liberal, sometimes radically so, from the top to the bottom.”
“The owners are liberal, the management is liberal, the staff is liberal, and sometimes, intentionally or otherwise, that finds itself manifested in what they allow in the way of content,” Smith elaborated. “So we’re going to be monitoring them.”
As for how social media bias can be combated, Smith believes there are two primary ways:
First is to educate the American people about the extent of the bias. I mean, President Trump has received over 90 percent negative coverage since he’s been president. That’s an all-time high for any president.
The people who watch the news are aware of the bias. At least they’re aware of the criticism, the savagery directed towards the president, and the complete pervasive effort by the media to try to defeat Republicans and elect Democrats. That’s pretty obvious.
But a lot of people don’t realize that they’re witnessing a bias, and we want to make sure that we educate the American people and get them to sort of filter out the bias. That’s one thing we can do.
The second thing we can do is point out examples of media bias, and just remind the media of their absolutely awesome responsibility in a democracy to give the American people the facts and not tell them what to think.
“It very much worries me, and ought to worry the American people that a few executives with liberal backgrounds are deciding who defines what fake news is, who defines what hate speech is. That is very, very worrisome. Only because we’ve seen in the past how they’ve defined it for their own purposes.”
Despite Smith’s belief that the dominant social media companies are overwhelmingly biased, he does not think they should be reclassified under Section 230. He feels instead that if companies continued to be biased, another company will eventually replace them.
The congressman also congratulated President Trump for calling out fake news in the media, and defended his right to do so, explaining, “When the media intentionally prints or writes or distributes something that they know is false, that is fake news, and the president is right to call them out.”