Media Research Center President Brent Bozell on Thursday warned of the “threat of censorship worldwide” from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Appearing on Varney & Co., he detailed the danger conservatives face: “It is worse than bias. It is censorship.... Never in history has there been a threat of censorship worldwide. These are worldwide platforms.”
Bozell cited a major MRC study on how online companies are suppressing speech. Talking to Stuart Varney, he warned: “Social media, which is now accessed by billions worldwide, one could argue is the conversation of the future. So just think about that. Conservatives being banned from the conversation.”
Bozell and over 60 other conservative leaders issued a joint statement urging leaders of new media companines to adopt four key principles.
A transcript of the Bozell appearance on Varney & Co. can be found below. Click "expand" to read more.
Varney & Co.
STUART VARNEY: All right. Next case. More than 60 conservatives leaders signed a letter demanding an end to censorship by big tech companies, like Facebook or Google. They say they curb — Facebook and Google— curb conservative points of view. Our next guest is one of the leaders who signed the letter, Brent Bozell. Media Research Center President. How are you going to fix this? I think you are absolutely right. You’re absolutely right there is liberal bias and anti-conservative bias. How do you propose to fix it?
BRENT BOZELL: Well, I think it is worse than a bias, Stuart. It is censorship. Conservatives have had a problem with the liberal news media primarily over bias. This is different. For the first time also to understand the scope of this problem, never in history has there been a threat of censorship worldwide. These are worldwide platforms. We studied 28 different accusations of censorship and in our analysis was pretty telling.
In 14 cases we found absolute evidence of censorship. In nine cases, we determined it was inconclusive because you could look at it two different ways. In five cases, we found that it was questionable. But when 50 percent of the accusations are provably true, then you've got a real problem with conservatives being censored out of the public conversation. Let's face it, social media, which is now accessed by billions worldwide, one could argue is the conversation of the future. So just think about that. Conservatives being banned from the conversation.
VARNEY: On a global scale. I think that is a very good point to make, Brent. Facebook, they say they're doing something about it. They hired former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl to audit political bias. Does that take us anywhere down the right road?
BOZELL: We don't know. First of all Facebook is making a public gesture about trying to
do something about this problem. And that's good. But we have four recommendations. One of them is clarity. What in the world do they mean by hate speech? Which is the big, big word. The second one is transparency. This will answer your question. How exactly is Facebook running its business? Nobody knows. Nobody knows who is making what decisions inside.
Until you know that you could put lipstick on a pig and you can hire all the lobbyists you want to in Washington but you'll never know. The third one is , conservatives do not have to have a seat but equal footing in this industry in an advisory capacity. Look, we outnumber liberals. If you represent the market conservatives should have a bigger voice there. Fourthly, abide by the First Amendment. Just follow First Amendment principles and you'll be okay.
VARNEY: The word hate speech, that's the key isn't it? That is the way you're always shut down. “That is hate speech! Shut up! Get out of here!” That's the key.
BOZELL: Now, let's look at that. You have advisory groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a radical left-wing organization that thrusts the word hate speech against things like Christians. So they're serving in an advisory capacity with some of these entities. They're defining what hate speech is. This is dangerous. So, let them tell us. By the way, it is not just these giants, also service companies like PayPal. They're participating in this as well. This is serious stuff, Stuart.
VARNEY: Yes it is, on a global scale. As we say it again, Brent Bozell, thank you very much for joining us. It’s always a pleasure.