05.18.22

Big Tech’s harmful censorship of Republican candidates

Big Tech in America has gone woke, and America sees it. From selective censorship of conservative viewpoints to policies that prop up the far-left’s agenda, these corporations have become the newest arm of the Democrat Party. With online platforms becoming increasingly central to the daily lives of many Americans, Silicon Valley companies have gained massive power to shape our politics, culture, and our elections. 

Central to successful political campaigns is a candidate’s ability to convey their ideas to the public. Since the arrival of radio and TV, politicians have leveraged these channels of mass communication to engage, persuade and mobilize. In the past decade, the Internet has been revolutionary in creating avenues to contact voters and supporters—in fact, digital platforms have become one of the top ways to reach more than 70 percent of all Americans. 

As more and more campaigns across party lines use?digital tools for fundraising and communicating directly to voters,?they’ve?become essential to political success. It?also raises?serious scrutiny on how the political bias of unaccountable Big Tech companies, who control these platforms, could dramatically impact election outcomes.? 

A new, nonpartisan study from researchers at North Carolina State University has unmistakably exposed Big Tech’s most egregious attempt to tilt the scale toward left-wing candidates. Ahead of the 2020 elections, the researchers found that Gmail, the most used email platform in the world, was a whopping seven times more likely to send conservative candidates’ emails to a spam folder than it was to send left-wing candidates’ emails to that unwanted destination.? 

By making it more difficult for right-of-center candidates to convey their message to voters, Gmail’s political bias dramatically hurt Republican candidates while benefiting their Democrat?counterparts. This is unacceptable. 

Gmail’s bias against conservative candidates is not the only example of unfairness. The payment processor?Stripe?cancelled campaign contributions?to candidates that took positions of which they disapproved. GoFundMe?suspended fundraising?for the Canadian Freedom Truckers in January. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile?temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s Peer To Peer text messaging campaign in the summer prior to the 2020 election. 

Republican campaigns have?tried to sound the alarm?when unexplainable issues with sending emails to supporters and potential voters happen or when large numbers of email addresses?mysteriously?will not work or end up in spam boxes, but to no avail.? 

This biased email process amounts to a massive corporate contribution to Democrat candidates and a de facto tax on Republicans candidates that are spending more resources to make up for the lost communication. The impact of email bias could be equivalent to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost fundraising, not to mention?Get Out the Vote (GOTV)?and other political communications that impact tens of millions of potential voters. 

The significant swing to one side of the political aisle?is alarming, and it?should?shock all?of?the?election watchdogs. 

It’s time we turn an eye to the power of Big Tech as much as we did when radio and TV altered elections. As these gatekeepers decide what views and voices Americans hear or don’t hear, they influence our elections. When they favor one party’s candidate, it’s not only an unfair disadvantage for the opponent, it’s a disservice to American voters. Blocking delivery of one campaign’s fundraising emails or GOTV messages can change the outcome in competitive races.? 

Electronic communication has an unprecedented impact on political discourse. Minimizing bias throughout the entire communications framework?is important to restoring trust in the election process.?It is something that we can no longer allow to happen with no repercussions. Candidates and voters on both sides of the aisle should have the confidence to know that the Big Tech gatekeepers are not blocking their access to information and voters.? 


By:  Senator Steve Daines
Source: The Hill