• Richard Easson

Former Acting AG Says DOJ Should Investigate Social Media Bias as Illegal Campaign Contributions

On Friday evening, former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to argue his view that the Department of Justice should investigate major tech giants' algorithms as illegal campaign contributions as they have been seemingly targeting and censoring conservative accounts and posts,

When asked if he thought the DOJ would be able to get to the bottom of the platforms' biased targeting, the former acting AG said “Yes, I actually do believe we are going to get to the bottom of this insidious, really, censorship of mostly conservative voices on social media,” he said. "And I think the Department of Justice has been looking at this issue, and I also believe that because of the way the algorithms that Facebook and Twitter and the like [are used] to provide your news feed, I think that could be viewed, and maybe viewed by this Department of Justice, as a campaign contribution, an illegal campaign contribution, that ultimately, I think, they will step in and take action."

Early on in the interview, Tucker called out Twitter's bias and even accused the company of "election interference far more profound than anything Russia ever did." His accusation was based on their flagging of one of President Trump's Tweets back in May opposing universal mail-in voting. Tucker continued "It's really not even a question of trying to get Trump reelected or helping Joe Biden. I think the implications are far more profound and long-lasting than that. Google singlehandedly can erode any public confidence in democracy, and I just wonder if people in the Department of Justice see this problem in those terms."

Whitaker responded "I think they do, and I think what is also happening among these companies, Facebook in particular, [is] they have so much data on their individual users that they can essentially manipulate what you see, how you see it, and therefore, based on the feedback loop that is provided, they can then try to influence you to...use a product [or] vote for a candidate."

The former acting AG also said that he could not see democracy in America thriving after another election cycle based on the way the social media platforms operate.

It's no surprise that the executives of these tech companies are progressives. Twitter and Facebook continuously flag, fact-check, delete, and suspend posts and accounts associated with conservatism or conservative speech. And remember the video that leaked a few years ago of Google executives whining and complaining at a company meeting that Trump had won the election? Google co-founder Sergey Brin was caught saying on the leaked video “You know, let’s face it, most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad for...because of the election. Myself, as an immigrant and a refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive and I know many of you do, too. And I think it’s a very stressful time and it conflicts with many of our values.”

It's self-explanatory, though, that the more these major companies target and censor a particular group or voice they dislike, the more they erode our First Amendment. With the clout and ability to influence that these tech companies hold, the DOJ should look into their biases against right-leaning individuals and speech. If they continue to get away with it, the more and more they will silence conservatives and will continue pushing the progressive agenda. This isn't to say that they should hide speech that comes from the left too, but that they shouldn't be promoting one side over another whatsoever as they have been doing.

This is one of the main differences between conservatives and liberals - conservatives promote free speech, not silence it.

(Cover photo: The Atlantic)