A website aimed at monitoring what it considers to be the censorship of conservatives and conservative political opinions has been launched by the media watchdog the Media Research Center, “designed to help prove the extent of that censorship and rally supporters to stop it.”
CensorTrack.org is an initiative of the MRC’s #FreeSpeechAmerica effort, a coalition of conservatives from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and ex-Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to First Liberty Institute CEO Kelly Shackleford and Rappahannock Ventures Managing Partner Bill Walton.
“Our position is that if they can do it to the president of the United States, they can do it to anyone, and in fact that is exactly what is happening . . . every platform in Silicon Valley today is censoring conservatives,” Brent Bozell, the founder and president of the MRC, said during a virtual launch of the website Thursday.
The website has five sections, including an analysis of tech companies and their methods of stifling conservatives from firms such as Facebook to financial platforms and specialty sites; “Fact-Checker Spin,” noting the tactics of so-called fact-checkers to restrict content; “Censorship by Issue,” highlighting the subjects which it says are particularly targeted form abortion to what has been deemed “hate speech;” “Key Players,” featuring profiles of the major figures that influence technology companies and regulation; and “Policy Remedies.”
Among the many policy remedies is the removal or at least modification of what is known as “Section 230” protection of social media companies and platforms. The reference is to Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which shielded many Internet companies from lawsuits by giving them incentive to eradicate or minimize pornography accessible to children.
However, artificial intelligence has made much of the law obsolete, and some claim the web companies are using the law as a blanket, no longer acting as neutral repositories for information but rather – similar to news sites – editors of content. Calls have increase for them to be treated as active participants by removing their liability protection.
“What we are doing with Section 230 reform is clarifying who can use it, when they use it, how they are going to use it, and what it can apply to,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said during the event. “And we’re changing language, removing that otherwise objectionable language that has caused or allowed big tech to say, ‘Well we find this, that or the other objectionable.'”
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