Washington, D.C. – In an exclusive radio interview with Breitbart News Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sounded the alarm over the power wielded by Silicon Valley, describing the growing control information technology companies possess over the flow of information— in particular social media— as a “real and present danger” to American democracy.
“The nexus of power in media has moved from New York City to Silicon Valley,” Cruz told host Breitbart News Deputy Editor Amanda House, as he recommended that America “looks at all the tools we have to protect free speech and prevent[s] the Internet from becoming a vehicle for censorship.”
In a prior interview on Breitbart News Tonight on April 24, Cruz said:
“I think, number one, the growing power of tech to censor speech is a profound threat. We’re seeing now some two-thirds of Americans are getting their news through social media, and these tech companies are hard-left. They are are partisan Democrats, and what we’re seeing is they’re amplifying the views they agree with, those of liberal Democrats, and they are suppressing the views of conservatives. They are blocking conservatives.”
Cruz added, “The scope of the power is truly unprecedented. You think back to the heights of yellow journalism, when publisher William Randolph Hearst controlled much of media and in fact got America into the Spanish-American War. These tech companies have power William Randolph Hearst could never have imagined. The ability, if there’s a view they dislike, simply to silence it so that if you put a post out there, if you put a tweet out there, it simply goes into the void, into oblivion, and no one sees it. Likewise, they have the ability, if there are views they want to promote, to just have everything on your feed be the views they want to promote. That is invidious. It is invisible, and it is profoundly dangerous.”
During his most recent interview on Sunday, Cruz explained that the power wielded by tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter allow for a level of power that is “staggering” in terms of being able to control societal discourse.
“At this point, a handful of companies enjoy power that famed publisher William Randolph Hearst, at the height of yellow journalism, could never have imagined.”
“We’ve heard reports from whistleblowers of ‘shadowbanning’, where you simply tweet or post something and nobody sees it, it just goes into the void, goes into the ether.”
“Likewise, if there are views that a handful of tech companies like, they can favor those views and direct them to your feed so everything you see is the information they want you to see.”
“That is a level of power that is staggering, and I think it poses a real and present danger to our democratic system, particularly given the extreme left-wing bias of Silicon Valley. What we’ve seen over and over again, they’re acting to muzzle and silence conservative views, views they disagree with. That’s frightening.”
In both interviews Cruz warned that while social media companies currently enjoy protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants them immunity from liability for content posted by their users, if they choose to no longer operate as a neutral public forum they should lose their legal protection.
“It’s a special immunity from liability that nobody else gets,” said Cruz. “The basis for that immunity from liability was that they were neutral public forums, that they were not the ones speaking but rather it was the people speaking and posting on them.”
“Well, if they’re not going to be neutral public forums, if they’re going to be active political speakers, favoring one point of view and disfavoring another, they have a first amendment right to do that, but they have no entitlement to a special congressionally-created immunity from liability that nobody else enjoys.”