Why We Ask: Our mission and operations are funded 100% by conservatives like you. Please help us continue to extend Liberty to the next generation and support the 2021 Year-End Campaign today.

Tony Perkins / May 8, 2021

GOP: Big Tech Is Playing a Losing Game of Monopoly

A lot of comparisons have been made between Big Tech and the robber barons of the 20th Century.

They may have their own policing, their own spies, currency, and even their own court, but Big Tech isn’t a government. And it’s certainly not our government. After months of watching Silicon Valley decide what is and isn’t speech, what is and isn’t science, and who is and isn’t welcome in the public square, Republicans have had it. The days of Facebook and Twitter operating like the world’s ruling empire are numbered, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) warns. And the latest high jinks over Donald Trump’s account will be one of a million reasons why.

To most people – including a growing number of liberal news outlets – the question isn’t whether the 45th president should have a social media presence. It’s whether companies like Mark Zuckerberg’s should be calling the shots on who can participate in the public debate. That’s a dangerous proposition, the Washington Post worries, regardless of what you think about Trump. Already, the Atlantic’s Adam Serwer points out, the fact that people are paying this much attention to what Facebook and others are doing is a problem in and of itself. “The fact that verdicts from the Supreme Court of Facebook are national news seem real bad.” It shows just how much unchecked power they wield.

Power, the real Supreme Court’s Clarence Thomas threatens, that must be reined in. And soon. “One person controls Facebook… and just two control Google,” the justice observed in an April order. In other words, three people have enough authority to pull anyone from the digital square – “even a commander-in-chief.” If a company, even a private one like Zuckerberg’s can shut you down because they disagree with you, we’re in frightening new territory as a nation.

“Big Tech apologists argue that private companies are free to censor as they please,” the New York Post points out. “And it’s true that the First Amendment prohibits only government from silencing viewpoints. But private ownership is never the beginning and end of constitutional analysis, not when there is so much at stake.” Thomas, who acknowledged that his court will be forced to weigh in on Big Tech’s censorship sooner rather than later, thinks it’s time to start lumping social media in with businesses like phone carriers. They also connect people with information, but they’re required to serve everyone without discrimination.

And discrimination, Senator Hawley argues, has been the name of the Big Tech game. They’ve just decided, “We’re going to censor and ban however we want to,” he said on “Washington Watch.” “And then we’re just supposed to take it. And I think we’ve got to get to the point where we say, ‘No, we’re not going to take it. We’re not going to allow companies like this, these Big Tech companies, to have so much power. We’re going to break them up.”

A lot of comparisons have been made between Big Tech and the robber barons of the 20th Century, when oil and rail tycoons had such an unprecedented monopoly. Hawley thinks this situation is worse. Those big companies, he pointed out, Standard Oil and others, “they didn’t have control over news. They didn’t have control over speech. They didn’t have control over information.” They didn’t put their fingers on the scales of a presidential election. But they did give us a roadmap, he said for how to move forward. “We know what to do. We did it a century ago.”

First, he argued, “We need new legislation that will make it clear that these tech companies cannot gobble up the entire United States economy and put it under their control.” Then, Hawley urged, Congress needs to strip away all of the legal immunity that’s let them run wild and without accountability for so long. “They shouldn’t get that sweetheart deal. If they’re going to keep engaging in this behavior, they should be treated like other media platforms, like other platforms in the country, and should have to answer to the same rules that these other platforms do.”

The problem, Hawley shook his head, is that Democrats have “fallen in love with Big Tech power.” In the past, they would have been the first ones on the anti-trust bandwagon. But now that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are silencing conservatives for the far-Left, they want more. Just this week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden thinks more needs to be done to crack down on speech. That’s the worst thing anyone who claims to want to unite the country could do.

As Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) put it in his usual colorful language, America can’t be controlled by “wokeristas.” If you want to be a crazy socialist radical, that’s okay, he said. “This is America. You can believe what you want.” But no one believes for a second that these social media platforms will regulate or censor Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) like they would Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “I’m not saying that Facebook’s politics are right or wrong. I’m saying they shouldn’t have politics. And the only way to get that straight is to regulate them.”

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.