Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., railed against Twitter, Google and Facebook tech giants, claiming they improperly wield power over the content Internet users view by censoring conservative-leaning content.
Nunes currently suffered a loss in a defamation lawsuit he filed against Twitter, parody accounts known as “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow,” and a Republican strategist when a judge ruled that Twitter cannot be held liable for defamatory tweets because federal law classifies them as merely a platform, not a publisher.
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“Google, Facebook, and Twitter, okay; they’re the tech oligarchs, they’re tech tyrants,” Nunes told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” accusing them of furthering a left-wing agenda by controlling which media ends up being seen by their users — while the media is mostly “not only left-wing but it’s owned now by billionaire left-wingers.”
“There’s very few in the news media that are actually trying to get the facts out there,“ Nunes said. “When you have 92 percent of the searches going through Google, you might have a problem because when you plug that content into those three giant tech companies, it’s really starting to have an influence and an effect on the politics in this country.”
Nunes claimed that people are “getting funneled this garbage and fake news,” while “Republicans and conservatives are being driven out and off of” the Internet.
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The California Republican said that the Internet was supposed to be “a public square” where everyone could express their views, but “what’s happening on Twitter, Facebook and Google is we are being censored. Conservatives are being censored.”
The law that the judge in Nunes’ lawsuit cited that protects Twitter is Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which says that social media platforms are not legally considered the publishers of the statements that third parties post.
The law allows social media platforms to have and enforce terms of conduct and restrict offensive content. The tech giants have been accused of overstepping by controlling the content that appears beyond their terms of service.
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Both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have spoken out about Section 230 protections.
President Trump issued an executive order in May, clarifying that Section 230 does not protect platforms that “engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.” In a January New York Times interview, Biden criticized Section 230, saying that the protections should “be revoked.”
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.