Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced Wednesday an investigation into five Big Tech firms and their alleged censorship of conservative content.
The probe will focus on one of the largest Big Tech companies in the U.S., including Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Twitter. The attorney general will look at how these platforms have allegedly prevented users from seeing conservative-leaning content because of practices that censor or hide such views, according to an announcement from his office.
According to the press release, Rokita said that such actions against conservative content strip users of the ability to make “informed choices” which directly harms them.
Another target of the investigation: His office will also investigate Vanita Gupta, who President Joe Biden has nominated to be associate attorney general at the Department of Justice, for allegedly pushing for conservative content censorship. The announcement cited a meeting Gupta had with Twitter and Facebook where she called for “more rigorous rules and enforcement.”
Gupta herself made that comment in a statement to Time Magazine while discussing efforts to convince Facebook and Twitter to introduce stricter rules and hinder the flow of disinformation on the platform.
What he said: “In a free society, few assets are more important to consumers than access to information and the opportunity to express political viewpoints in meaningful forums. It is potentially harmful and unfair for these companies to manipulate content in ways they do not publicly discuss or that consumers do not fully understand,” the attorney general said in a statement.
How we got here: Republicans have accused Big Tech of a double standard based on users’ political standpoint. Specifically, they claim that companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon, unfairly silence conservatives on their respective platforms.
A recent example that irked conservatives is Amazon’s removal of Ryan T. Anderson’s book that critiqued transgenderism, titled “When Harry Became Sally: Responding To The Transgender Moment.” The book argues that hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery is not an effective treatment for gender dysphoria and that a high percentage of children who suffer from the condition recover with time. The arguments in the book were backed by research and studies on the subject.
Amazon claimed it took it down because the company now bans claims that transgenderism is a mental illness.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube also banned former President Trump shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Facebook recently deleted Lara Trump’s interview with the former president as the company said it doesn’t allow content “in the voice of Donald Trump.” The platform even warned her not to post it.
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