President Donald Trump said it so anyone could understand why he was suing Big Tech.
He said something everyone should be able to understand:
"If Big Tech can censor me, they can censor you."
I never believed it would come to this. I didn't think brute censorship could ever come to America. But I saw it begin in earnest in 2016 – as a response to Trump's unexpected election victory that year.
Trump was probably so busy as president, he didn't even notice it at first. But I did – I most certainly did. I called it out in a series of commentaries. I was apoplectic. It was my worst nightmare. It was the near-death of my business almost 20 years after a historic first – the first independent online journalism site, WND.
But President Trump had other things on his mind – understandably.
Recently, however, he has come out fighting Google, Facebook and Twitter hard.
"One of the gravest threats to our democracy today is a powerful group of Big Tech corporations that have teamed up with government to censor the free speech of the American people," he wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week. "This is not only wrong – it is unconstitutional. To restore free speech for myself and for every American, I am suing Big Tech to stop it."
Big Tech calls the shots as if they were in charge of the press. Of course, they are not – but they act as if they are. They terrorize independent, conservative and Christian sites like WND. They TELL our site what we can publish and what kind of audience we will be limited to. They see themselves as the only arbiters of "truth."
As Trump puts it: "Social media has become as central to free speech as town meeting halls, newspapers and television networks were in prior generations," he said. "The internet is the new public square. In recent years, however, Big Tech platforms have become increasingly brazen and shameless in censoring and discriminating against ideas, information and people on social media – banning users, deplatforming organizations, and aggressively blocking the free flow of information on which our democracy depends."
This is the reality of how the bullies work today.
"No longer are Big Tech giants simply removing specific threats of violence," Trump says. "They are manipulating and controlling the political debate itself. Consider content that was censored in the past year. Big Tech companies banned users from their platforms for publishing evidence that showed the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese lab, which even the corporate media now admits may be true. In the middle of a pandemic, Big Tech censored physicians from discussing potential treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, which studies have now shown does work to relieve symptoms of Covid-19. In the weeks before a presidential election, the platforms banned the New York Post – America's oldest newspaper – for publishing a story critical of Joe Biden's family, a story the Biden campaign did not even dispute."
Now Trump realizes WND's problem is everybody's problem – everyone who realizes how important a free press is to a free society.
"Perhaps most egregious," he added, "in the weeks after the election, Big Tech blocked the social-media accounts of the sitting president. If they can do it to me, they can do it to you – and believe me, they are."
President Trump acknowledged that this attack on free speech is doing enormous damage to America – the land of the free and the home of the brave.
"That is why in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I filed class-action lawsuits to force Big Tech to stop censoring the American people," he said. "The suits seek damages to deter such behavior in the future and injunctions restoring my accounts."
How did this happen?
"Our lawsuits argue that Big Tech companies are being used to impose illegal and unconstitutional government censorship," he explained. "In 1996 Congress sought to promote the growth of the internet by extending liability protections to internet platforms, recognizing that they were exactly that – platforms, not publishers. Unlike publishers, companies such as Facebook and Twitter can't be held legally liable for the content posted to their sites. Without this immunity, social media companies could not exist."
In effect, Trump says, Big Tech has become the government's censorship machine.
Trump continued: "Democrats in Congress are exploiting this leverage to coerce platforms into censoring their political opponents. In recent years, we have all watched Congress haul Big Tech CEOs before their committees and demand that they censor 'false' stories and 'disinformation' – labels determined by an army of partisan fact-checkers loyal to the Democrat Party. Further, Big Tech and government agencies are actively coordinating to remove content from the platforms according to the guidance of agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Big Tech and traditional media entities formed the Trusted News Initiative, which essentially takes instructions from the CDC about what information they need to 'combat.' The tech companies are doing the government's bidding, colluding to censor unapproved ideas."
What's Trump going to do about it?
"This coercion and coordination is unconstitutional," he said. "The Supreme Court has held that Congress can't use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself. In effect, Big Tech has been illegally deputized as the censorship arm of the U.S. government. This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American. Through these lawsuits, I intend to restore free speech for all Americans – Democrats, Republicans and independents. I will never stop fighting to defend the constitutional rights and sacred liberties of the American people."
Pray for the success of Donald Trump's lawsuit. It has taken five years to start a process that should have begun five years ago. On top of that, Big Tech is also depriving Americans of their legal right to earn a living in this business through its monopoly control of advertising. That's how they "rig" the news game.