The Southwest Public Policy Institute is the latest addition to the Free Speech Alliance, joining over 90 organizations and individuals who oppose the silencing of conservative voices on social media.
You can find out more about the Free Speech Alliance at mrc.org/freespeechalliance.
Here’s the Problem.
Conservatives are under attack. Conservatives face an existential crisis as social media giants in collusion with the radical left root out and silence conservative speech on their platforms and across the Internet. This is the worst threat to free speech our country has ever faced.
The future of the conservative movement depends on our ability to communicate our message. If Facebook, Twitter, and Google censor conservatives on the Internet, the modern day public square, everything conservatives have fought for is at risk. The Left will control the narrative. The Internet is truly the new battleground for liberal media bias.
In April 2018, the Media Research Center released a groundbreaking report exposing efforts to censor conservatives and silence conservative speech from major online platforms. Our report was so impactful that US Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee cited it four separate times during a July 17, 2018 congressional hearing.
Our project reveals two concerns. 1) Online censorship is a very real and dangerous problem, the ramifications of which are far more troubling than many conservatives realize. 2) The problem is so dangerous that the MRC must take a stand against it.
Now — together with a Coalition of more than 90 conservative organizations — the MRC is letting tech giants know that we will not be silenced. We need the force of the entire conservative movement to win this battle.
The Mission of the Free Speech Alliance.
The Free Speech Alliance protects the free speech of conservatives online. We fight for transparency on social media and demand equal footing for conservatives on Twitter, Facebook, Google and the other platforms. We defend the incredible and revolutionary ideal of free speech in which American democracy is rooted.
We actively work with tech companies to ensure that they are protecting conservative speech online and that the radical left does not contaminate the national online dialogue with their bias.
The Alliance is calling on social media companies to address four key issues in order to begin to rectify their credibility problem and rebuild trust with conservatives:
- Provide Transparency: We need detailed information so everyone can see if liberal groups and users are being treated the same as those on the right. Social media companies operate in a black-box environment, only releasing anecdotes about reports on content and users when they think it necessary. This needs to change. The companies need to design open systems so that they can be held accountable, while giving weight to privacy concerns.
- Provide Clarity on ‘Hate Speech’: “Hate speech” is a common concern among social media companies, but no two firms define it the same way. Their definitions are vague and open to interpretation, and their interpretation often looks like an opportunity to silence thought. Today, hate speech means anything liberals don’t like. Silencing those you disagree with is dangerous. If companies can’t tell users clearly what it is, then they shouldn’t try to regulate it.
- Provide Equal Footing for Conservatives: Top social media firms, such as Google and YouTube, have chosen to work with dishonest groups that are actively opposed to the conservative movement, including the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those companies need to make equal room for conservative groups as advisers to offset this bias. That same attitude should be applied to employment diversity efforts. Tech companies need to embrace viewpoint diversity.
- Mirror the First Amendment: Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech and free exercise of religion embodied in the First Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. That standard, the result of centuries of American jurisprudence, would enable the rightful blocking of content that threatens violence or spews obscenity, without trampling on free speech liberties that have long made the United States a beacon for freedom.