MRC’s Dan Schneider and CPAC Panel Discuss ‘Gargantuan’ Size, Harm of Big Tech Censorship

March 2nd, 2023 6:03 PM

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider at the CPAC Big Tech panel Thursday that Big Tech is “one of the most relevant issues to our daily lives right now.” 

Schneider led a panel entitled, “Big Tech- Break ‘em Up, Bust ‘em Up, Put ‘em in Jail.” Schneider and Moody were joined by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes to discuss just how big Big Tech is, the harms it causes and whether the industry of giants still needs Section 230 liability protections. 

Schneider began the conversation by showing just how big the largest Big Tech companies really are. “It’s gargantuan,” he said. He noted that Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have a combined market capital of $8.67 trillion and that if they were a country, they would have one of the “largest econom[ies] on the planet,” surpassing even Japan’s GDP. “Never before has the world seen corporations with such size, and strength and power,” Schneider added, also implying that the companies are no longer in their “infancy” and don’t need the shelter of Section 230 liability protections. 

Sen. Braun noted that Republicans are divided on the issue of Section 230. “[W]e believe in free speech. We want all of that discussion to be had. Some, on the conservative side, get confused because they think you are tampering with free markets.” He went on to describe free market principles: “no barriers to entry, full transparency, full competition. That does not describe Big Tech,” he said. 

Perhaps no one knows this better than Nunes who has worked to provide an alternative platform to legacy Big Tech platforms in TruthSocial, but the challenges are no small feat. He explained that when he first began building, the major question was: “could we build something that Big Tech couldn’t tear down or couldn’t stop.”  He answered, “[t]he truth is, it can be done, but it is very, very difficult.” 

Nunes went on to explain the challenges Truth Social faces with the FCC. “We’ve proven that we can build a company, and we can stay up. Despite all the attacks, we’re fully isolated against, from Big Tech. They can’t kill us,” he said. “But how do you try to compete with these trillion dollar companies, like you said, if we don’t have access to the capital markets? So, it’s one thing to be a social media company, but if we want to grow and give all of these other people a bigger voice, and really open up the internet, we’ve got to be able to access people that want to invest with us.”

Sen. Braun, however, pointed out that the problem isn’t merely the size of Big Tech. “I’m one that thinks not only by size but then by behavior.” He went on to put Big Tech on notice “Someday you’ll be held to account just by your bad behavior alone,” the senator added. 

Moody agreed with Sen. Braun’s assessment. 

“Big isn’t always bad, but when it starts to harm, we want to minimize harm; we want to minimize any violation of somebody's rights,” Moody said. She went on to list the way Big Tech impacts everyday Americans: “violation of free speech, protecting our children, violation of privacy. All of these things are what people are complaining about and feeling every day.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.