After Wednesday’s hearing featuring the top executives of Facebook and Twitter on Capitol Hill, National Religious Broadcasters president and CEO Jerry A. Johnson called on tech companies to address the problem of online censorship of Christian and conservative viewpoints.
“Now – right now – it’s go-time for free speech. That is the message Silicon Valley must take away from yesterday’s hearing,” said Johnson. “Fix yourself or someone will try to fix you,” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson added, “NRB has for years suggested a free speech charter based on First Amendment jurisprudence as the basis for an industry-crafted code of conduct. I urge Jack Dorsey and his fellow Big Tech executives to assemble together immediately to fix the undeniable viewpoint suppression problem themselves.”
Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have come under heavy criticism for its perceived bias against conservatives.
While the NRB is urging Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Apple to do something about their censorship of Christian viewpoints, they are advocating for a “light touch” when it comes to the government regulating the internet.
The NRB urges the tech giants“to honor First Amendment values as refined by centuries of American jurisprudence and to faithfully apply those principles in their policies and practices.”
“It may or may not be intentional, but there is well-documented censorship, and that cannot be ignored forever by the people’s representatives in Congress,” declared Johnson. “We need to be very careful not to stifle innovation or, worse, to open the door to Big Brother or an internet Fairness Doctrine. However, light touch doesn’t mean no touch.”
Johnson concluded, “I agree with Rep. Morgan Griffith when he told Dorsey yesterday that the ideal is for the industry leaders – not the government – to take action on responsible standards, but that there is a problem and somebody has to do something. We at NRB stand ready to help however we can, but Big Tech executives must act now.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denied that his company is biased against conservatives during his testimony.
“Let me be clear about one important and foundational fact: Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules,” Dorsey said in his prepared testimony.