Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Big Tech Companies Under Fire, Claims of Censorship and Interference in Election Have Gained Traction

Over the past few years Republicans have been seeing themselves increasingly in conflict with Big Tech companies. Some of the websites marked as “Big Tech” include Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and many more. The biggest problem Republicans have been facing with these companies is without a doubt censorship, especially during this year’s election. Many conservative individuals, whether they be politicians or regular citizens, have found that posts of theirs made on these websites have mysteriously been deleted without any reason or warning as to why. This is especially true in the case of the current Republican President Donald Trump himself who had many of his tweets hidden from public view, most of them being on or after election day with one such tweet stating “last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key states, in almost all instances Democrat run and controlled.” Twitter reacted almost instantaneously on any tweet President Trump posted, hiding them from the public’s view around just half an hour after they were posted. When called out on this by Republicans, Twitter justified their actions claiming that the president’s tweets were misleading or the claims made in them are or have been disputed. This claim is fairly shallow however, as Twitter has not hidden any of President-elect Joe Biden’s tweets from public view, which also tried to sway public opinion. They have taken minimal action against any Democratic tweets. Facebook has similarly been called out by conservatives for their censorship of Trump’s posts as they constantly placed notifications stating that the votes are still being counted and that a winner has not been determined for the election, so Trump shouldn’t claim victory just yet.

Due to this high amount of censorship, Republicans have held press conferences slamming these Big Tech companies, claiming that they intended to interfere in the election by hiding conservative messages supporting Trump and warning people about mail-in voting. Democrats also criticized companies, but did so because they claimed that they had used questionable tactics to become dominant forces in the global economy and industry such as using their powerful influence to acquire their competitors, have complete control over searches, or actual censorship that Republicans talked about, however only for Democrats themselves. All of this talk about Big Tech companies using their influence to censor and take advantage of others has made people consider removing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act passed by Congress, which gave online platforms complete immunity from any content their users posted whether it be slanderous, unlawful, or fraudulent. This idea was brought up and spread like wildfire after Twitter hid and blocked the sharing of a New York Post article on Hunter Biden from public view while also preventing the New York Post from posting for two weeks. Facebook similarly tried their best to limit the sharing of the article to the general public, although they never completely blocked it. Repealing Section 230 would certainly be beneficial as it would prevent these companies from interfering in future elections and other important events while also stopping them from blocking the spread of political news stories. In the end however, whether these companies are limited in their influence by the repeal of Section 230 almost doesn’t matter, as they have grown so powerful over the years that they can pretty much get away with doing any action they see fit, but hopefully the government can find a way to stop them.


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