Sen. Ted Cruz accused big tech companies of using their vast wealth as a weapon to prevent think tanks from lashing out at them for allegedly discriminating against conservatives.
“This is a serious problem,” the Texas Republican wrote in a tweet Thursday of Google’s donations. He suggested the company has something in common with the Chinese Communist Party: “Big Tech is like the CCP: they both use $$ to buy silence, acquiescence, or support.”
Cruz retweeted Federalist co-founder Ben Domenech, who noted in his tweet Wednesday that nobody from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) or Cato Institute criticized Google for “deplatforming” his outlet. Domenech was referring to an NBC report Tuesday suggesting Google demonetized The Federalist over its comment section. The company later disputed that claim.
Both Cato Institute and AEI are among a handful of conservative-leaning think tanks that receive contributions from Google, according to the company’s public policy transparency page.
This is a serious problem. Big Tech is like the CCP: they both use $$ to buy silence, acquiescence, or support.
Every think tank with integrity should wean themselves of both CCP & Big Tech $$ so they can have true objectivity & independence. https://t.co/X4fQrF2Ney
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 18, 2020
“Every think tank with integrity should wean themselves of both CCP & Big Tech $$ so they can have true objectivity & independence,” Cruz said. (RELATED: Conservative Think Tank Neglects To Disclose Google Backing In Study Hitting Sen. Hawley’s Big Tech Fight)
Cruz and other lawmakers are pushing for major changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law preventing tech companies from being sued for content that third-party users publish on their platforms. It’s a two decade–old law that Cruz blames for making it more difficult to hold tech platforms responsible for supposedly discriminating against conservatives.
Sen. Josh Hawley introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act in 2019, which seeks to dramatically amend Section 230. Congress passed the law in 1996 when the internet was young and growing. Congress was concerned at the time that subjecting the fledgling platform to the same civil liability as all other businesses would stymie growth.
Neither Cato nor AEI have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about Cruz and Domenech’s claims.
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