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January 19, 2023

Biden Wants to ‘Unite Against Big Tech Abuses’

Wait … wasn’t his administration uniting with Big Tech to perpetrate abuses?

Someone recently wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed about Big Tech and put Joe Biden’s name on it. The president author begins with an argument about how wonderful Big Tech is but how dangerous it has become before proceeding to make recommendations for fixing things.

The American tech industry is the most innovative in the world. I’m proud of what it has accomplished, and of the many talented, committed people who work in this industry every day. But like many Americans, I’m concerned about how some in the industry collect, share and exploit our most personal data, deepen extremism and polarization in our country, tilt our economy’s playing field, violate the civil rights of women and minorities, and even put our children at risk.

As my administration works to address these challenges with the legal authority we have, I urge Democrats and Republicans to come together to pass strong bipartisan legislation to hold Big Tech accountable.

The glaring hypocrisy is almost too much to take.

Working across the aisle? Joe Biden and his administration have teamed up with the Leftmedia and Big Tech to silence and suppress Republicans. That has deepened polarization, tilted the playing field, violated the civil rights of women and minorities (and everyone else with the “wrong” opinions), and endangered children (think “transgender” movement). The “redlining” of free speech is one of the great threats to Liberty in our day, and much of it is thanks to the thought police of Big Tech working in service of Democrats.

Moreover, much of what Joe Biden and Big Tech did was to protect and conceal Joe Biden’s “personal” data from public scrutiny. Information on Hunter Biden’s laptop revealed the “Big Guy’s” lucrative influence-peddling corruption. Far from personal data, of course, that was incredibly relevant to the public. And if it had been reported rather than suppressed, voters could have made a fully informed choice in 2020.

Instead, we learned from the Twitter Files that Big Tech helped Biden win by concealing facts and duping voters. Since then, the federal government has been in bed with Twitter and Facebook, colluding over what speech can be spoken in the public square. “The legal authority we have,” indeed. The executive branch is almost certainly guilty of violating the First Amendment.

To be fair, Biden his ghost writer says some true things. “Big Tech companies collect huge amounts of data on the things we buy, on the websites we visit, on the places we go and, most troubling of all, on our children.” Yep, as we’ve argued before, you are the product for Big Tech. We also agree with the op-ed regarding the danger social media poses to children’s mental well-being.

Biden’s writer proposes addressing problems in three areas: Protecting privacy, reforming Section 230, and bringing “more competition back to the tech sector.”

It’s unfortunate, however, that how we address those issues will bring little agreement. For example, “Biden” proposes that “Big Tech companies … take responsibility for the content they spread and the algorithms they use.” Big Tech does hide behind Section 230 to claim no responsibility for content on the platform while also removing it as a publisher would do — which is implicitly acknowledging responsibility. The publisher/platform debate is the crux of the issue. Forcing Big Tech into “publisher” status as Biden recommends will lead to more censorship, not less, despite his argument that his aim is to “stop them from discriminating.”

Biden is the same guy, after all, who last September gave that disconcerting authoritarian speech denouncing half the country as incorrigible reprobates. He’s also the same guy who insisted that Facebook was “killing people” by allowing free speech about COVID and vaccines. Other examples of his idea of “unity” abound.

As for competition, remember when the Big Tech giants teamed up to throttle upstart Parler? That was just before Biden took office, and once there he never lifted a finger. We can’t recall him even mentioning it. Given that backdrop alone, his call for “more competition” rings awfully hollow.

What else rings hollow? The beginning of his concluding paragraph: “Our existing authority has limits.” Funny, but he’s said that very thing in the past about other subjects and then summarily ignored those limits in doing whatever he wanted anyway.

Suffice it to say, Big Tech does need reform, including in the areas “Biden” specifies. But he is among the worst messengers for reform because his track record and solutions are so utterly wrong.

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