A Free Market Alternative to Big Tech Censorship

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The war over social media censorship hit new lows when Twitter picked a fight with President Trump over “fact-checking” his Tweet regarding the dangers of mail-in voting. Trump promptly clapped back with an executive order, but due to legality issues it remains unclear how it or if it will be enforced.

This is a blessing! Many don’t stop and think about the disastrous long-term effects that knee-jerk reactions may have, and forget that government solutions are always worse than the problem. Stubborn politicians should look in the mirror and ask themselves “Would I want an unelected, leftist, deep state bureaucrat to have this power over online speech?” Instead of running to the federal government to impose online speech regulation, conservatives should be exploring the free market for an alternative.

The need for a new platform isn’t limited to censorship. Twitter recently deleted 174,000 Chinese government-linked accounts it concluded were fake and operated by the Chinese government to spread propaganda on topics ranging from its handling of the coronavirus pandemic to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. It is estimated that 40-50% of Twitter users could be inactive or bots.

Nobody is expecting to immediately, or completely leave Facebook or Twitter, but imagine if President Trump took his image, and lively voter base, elsewhere and started using a different platform. It would not only spark a massive trend and jumpstart the already-moving, free-market movement toward a better platform, but it would also curb the influence of propaganda from fake/inactive accounts, bots, and “Russian trolls.”

For instance, my employer FreedomWorks, along with major news publications like The Washington Times, prominent U.S. Reps like House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Senators like Rand Paul (R-KY), have started using the new, censorship-free platform “Parler.” Positioning itself as a truly free-speech platform, Parler is a free-market alternative to Twitter, even coining the hashtag #Twexit and partnering with political commentator Dan Bongino. Parler also sets itself apart because it does not mine or sell user data. 

After that, Trump economic advisor Stephen Moore observed recently Fox Business that "The more America’s Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have contributed to keeping America’s economy afloat during the coronavirus lockdown, the louder the voices to break them up or to tie them up into regulatory knots.”

Moore has a point. With the economy still very weak, it's probably unwise to be attacking some of the U.S.'s strongest businesses. Instead, let's keep the internet tax- and regulation-free.

William Paul manages social media at FreedomWorks.

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