Sen. Blackburn SKEWERS Zuckerberg for Running ‘Amok’ with Censorship

November 17th, 2020 5:25 PM

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) put Facebook on blast over its government-mandated censorship in other countries in a Nov. 17 hearing. 

The hearing, entitled “Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election,” featured testimony from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Blackburn brought up multiple examples of Facebook running “amok” with censorship. 

“You have used this power to run amok. You have used it to silence conservatives,” she argued. “You have used it to build your list. You have used this power to act like you hold all the power, that you can make these decisions. You have driven this cancel culture because you have not called to account your moderators. You have refused to take responsibility for your employees and their actions, so, thereby, reining you in on issues of privacy, data security, content moderation, liability protections, defining who is a publisher in the virtual space, that is up to us because you have proven you do not have the will, the strength, the ability, and you will not accept the responsibility to do it for yourselves.”

She referred to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as a “liability shield that [Facebook and Twitter have] turned into an opaque wall.” 

“Does Facebook routinely censor a user’s account at the behest of a foreign government?” asked Blackburn. When Zuckerberg replied with uncertainty, Blackburn responded by asking: “Did Facebook shut down and ban the account of a Vietnamese dissident because he criticized the government’s land policy?”

Blackburn also asked whether Facebook has an “anti-blasphemy policy” in Turkey, where it would “take down photos of the prophet Mohommed if the Turkish government orders it to do so.” Zuckerberg stated that Facebook does not have “a policy against that,” but was then shut down by Blackburn who answered for him: “The answer is yes.”

Blackburn brought up example after example of Facebook censorship all around the world, accusing the company of prioritizing “profit over principles.” 

The timing for this hearing is fitting, considering Twitter and Facebook’s constant censorship of posts related to the election. Senate Republicans had been itching for another chance to confront Twitter and Facebook about the censorship of the New York Post story that claimed to expose alleged corrupt dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine. A recent post-election poll conducted by MRC found that 36 percent of Biden voters were not aware of this story.  

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and Twitter at (415) 222-9670, and contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “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.