AG Barr Blasts Big Tech Censorship: 'Biggest Bait and Switch in History’
Attorney General calls out platforms fo conervative bias
Attorney General William Barr took aim at big tech companies for accumulating an overwhelming level of power by using what he termed as “the biggest bait and switch in history."
Barr suggested that dominant social media platforms baited people by first allowing diverse views, then closed the net by censoring views they didn't like.
Barr told “Verdict" with Ted Cruz:"
“We have antitrust investigation of all the major Internet platforms or most of the major Internet platforms, and that’s very much underway,” Barr said.
“I expect to be making decisions in the next few weeks about actions on that. I think during the summer we’ll see some developments," he added.
"But this issue of censorship is very troubling because our country was based and the Framers, as you know, believed the thing that would ultimately keep us free and keep a majority from repressing the minority is a lot of diversity of voices out there — a robust marketplace.”
“But these behemoths have gotten vast, strong control over the expression of views and the public forum here in the United States," Barr said.
"And they got there, and I’ve said this is the biggest bait and switch in history,” Barr continued.
“They got there by saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to be open to all views, you know, come join us because then you can have your views.’"
"So they built up this powerful network, very strong market power based on the representation that they were sort of open to all, as a sort of a bulletin board," Barr added.
"But then when they got that market power, now they’re censoring views just like the example you gave," he continued.
"And they’re now censoring views. And so we’re getting increasingly monolithic viewpoints being presented to the American people rather than the kind of robust debate.”
“So one thing we’re doing there is we’re saying that Rule 230, which is a rule that gave immunity to companies for taking down things and didn’t, therefore, convert them into a publisher where they’d be responsible for everything that appears on their site, we want to modify that so that they have to have clear terms of service,” Barr concluded.
“They have to show that what they took down they had reasonable grounds for saying it violated their terms of service. And they have to give notice and process to people’s whose content they take down. That’s one of the things that we’re proposing.”
Barr's comments come days after Facebook content moderators were caught admitting to anti-conservative bias and targeting supporters of President Donald Trump in an undercover video sting operation.
Activist group Project Veritas published secretly filmed footage were moderators appear to gloat about deleting content from Trump supporters.
"If someone is wearing a MAGA hat, I am going to delete them for terrorism," one of them brags on video.
In May, President Trump blasted Twitter accusing the social media platform of "interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election," after they placed a fact check warning on his tweet.
The president dropped the hammer with full force on Jack Dorsey's microblogging network, slamming Twitter for "stifling free speech" before declaring that "I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"
Trump has accused Twitter of election meddling after the social media site started to fact-check his tweets and add warnings to his posts.