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63 Conservative Leaders Unite For Fair Social Media Policies

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Conservative leaders are joining together to call for equal treatment on tech and social media. 

In a statement released Tuesday, a number of conservative organizations and leaders detailed their concerns: 

Social media censorship and online restriction of conservatives and their organizations have reached a crisis level. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hearings on Capitol Hill only served to draw attention to how widespread this problem has become. Conservative leaders now have banded together to call for equal treatment on tech and social media. 

Conservatives have encountered problems across platforms — Twitter, Facebook, Google, and its video platform YouTube especially. Social media firms have banned gun videos and rejected pro-life advertisements. They have skewed search results and adjusted trending topics in ways that have harmed the right. Firms have restricted and deleted videos, even academic content. Conservative tech employees have found their speech limited and their careers harmed. And top tech companies have given preferential treatment to anointed legacy media outlets that also lean left. These same tech titans then work with groups openly hostile to conservatives to restrict speech.

Here are four key areas that social media companies must address to begin to rectify their credibility problem:

1) Provide Transparency: We need detailed information so everyone can see if liberal groups and users are being treated the same as those on the right. Social media companies operate in a black-box environment, only releasing anecdotes about reports on content and users when they think it necessary. This needs to change. The companies need to design open systems so that they can be held accountable, while giving weight to privacy concerns.

2) Provide Clarity on ‘Hate Speech’: “Hate speech” is a common concern among social media companies, but no two firms define it the same way. Their definitions are vague and open to interpretation, and their interpretation often looks like an opportunity to silence thought. Today, hate speech means anything liberals don’t like. Silencing those you disagree with is dangerous. If companies can’t tell users clearly what it is, then they shouldn’t try to regulate it.

3) Provide Equal Footing for Conservatives: Top social media firms, such as Google and YouTube, have chosen to work with dishonest groups that are actively opposed to the conservative movement, including the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those companies need to make equal room for conservative groups as advisers to offset this bias. That same attitude should be applied to employment diversity efforts. Tech companies need to embrace viewpoint diversity.

4) Mirror the First Amendment: Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech and free exercise of religion embodied in the First Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. That standard, the result of centuries of American jurisprudence, would enable the rightful blocking of content that threatens violence or spews obscenity, without trampling on free speech liberties that have long made the United States a beacon for freedom.

Social media companies must address these complaints if they wish to have any credibility with the conservative movement and its tens of millions of supporters. It is our hope they will do so in a positive way. If the social media firms engage the conservative movement with the spirit of cooperation, we will do our best to assist them.

 

Signed (affiliations are for identification purposes only):

 

L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center

 

LTC Allen B. West (USA, Ret)

Director, MRC Censorship Project

Media Research Center

 

Lamar Smith (TX-21)

Chairman, Media Fairness Caucus

 

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson

President & CEO

National Religious Broadcasters &

Internet Freedom Watch

 

Lila Rose

President and Founder

Live Action

 

Tony Perkins

President

Family Research Council

 

Brigitte Gabriel

Founder and Chairman

ACT for America

 

The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Former Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan

 

 

David Bozell

President

For America Inc.

 

Ken Cuccinelli II

President

Senate Conservatives Fund

 

Dave N. Bossie

President

Citizens United

 

Jenny Beth Martin

Co-Founder

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund

 

Morton Blackwell

Chairman

Weyrich Lunch

 

Tim Wildmon

President

American Family Association

 

Ron Robinson

President

Young America’s Foundation

 

James O’Keefe

CEO

Project Veritas

 

Richard Viguerie

Founder

American Targeted Advertising

 

 

Becky Norton Dunlop

Senior White House Advisor

President Ronald Reagan

 

Kelly Shackelford

President and CEO

First Liberty Institute

 

Cleta Mitchell

Political Law Attorney

Washington, DC

 

Penny Young Nance

CEO and President

Concerned Women for America

 

Kristan Hawkins

President

Students for Life of America

 

Mathew Staver, Esq.

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

 

Phil Kerpen

President

American Commitment

 

Charles Copeland

President

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

 

Frank Gaffney

Founder, President, and CEO

Center for Security Policy

 

 

Brian Brown

President

National Organization for Marriage

 

Clifford D. May

Founder and President

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

 

Patrick Reilly

President

Cardinal Newman Society

 

Honorable Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.

President

Heartland Institute

 

Craig Shirley

Reagan Biographer and Presidential Historian

 

William A. Donohue, Ph.D.

President

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

 

C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc

 

James Martin

Founder and Chairman

60 Plus Association

 

Gary Bauer

President

American Values

 

 

 

Bob Adams

President

Revive America PAC

 

Elaine Donnelly

President

Center for Military Readiness

 

Ryan Bomberger

Chief Creative Officer

Radiance Foundation

 

Tricia Erickson

President, Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc

Publisher of TheConservativePundit.net

Author

 

Richard P. Bott, II

President and CEO

Bott Radio Network

 

Saul Anuzis

President

60 Plus Association

 

Floyd Brown

Publisher

Western Journal

 

Mark Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.

 

Susan A. Carleson

Chairman/CEO

American Civil Rights Union

 

Kevin Freeman

Founder

NSIC Institute

 

Angelo Codevilla

Senior Fellow

Claremont Institute

 

Paul Gessing

President

Rio Grande Foundation

 

T. Kenneth Cribb

President Emeritus

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

 

Colin Hanna

President

Let Freedom Ring

 

Francis DeLuca

President

Civitas Institute

 

John Hinderaker

President

Center of the American Experiment

 

Diana Banister

President

Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

 

Amy Kremer

Co-chair

Women for Trump

 

 

Tom Donelson

Chairman

Americas PAC

 

Gene Mills

President

Louisiana Family Forum

 

George Landrith

President

Frontiers of Freedom

 

Everett Piper

President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

 

Rod D. Martin

Founder and CEO

The Martin Organization

 

The Honorable Donald J. Devine

Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management

President Ronald Reagan

 

Tom McCabe

CEO

Freedom Foundation

 

Jeffrey G. Hunt

Chairman

Western Conservative Summit

 

Avik Roy

President

The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity

 

Patrick Brown

CEO

Liftable Media

 

 

 

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