Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer criticized Big Tech’s purge of conservatives from their platforms as a process that “ends in even more anger and recrimination” during a Monday afternoon appearance on Fox News’ “Bill Hemmer Reports.”
Following last Wednesday’s riot by pro-Trump demonstrators at the U.S. Capitol, tech giants have purged the accounts of President Donald Trump and hundreds of thousands of conservatives. Apple, Google and Amazon have also managed to at least temporarily disable Parler, a social media platform popular among conservatives.
Fleischer told anchor Bill Hemmer that such censorship is a “slippery slope that leads all of us into a worse place.”
“Censorship never works,” he said. “Censorship doesn’t get rid of the ideas. It creates a more dangerous underground for the ideas to ferment in and it creates a worse bitterness and anger. And that is the problem, one-sided censorship, and that is increasingly what we are seeing. This will not end well.”
“This ends in a terrible place,” he continued after Hemmer played a clip of Rush Limbaugh speaking on the topic. “This ends in even more anger and recrimination. If you are the one side that this is being done to, if you start to realize that the only way you can communicate is to lash out, you will lash out. If you realize the way you can communicate is just to speak your mind, be heard, maybe your ideas are so bad they just filter into the ether and nobody pays attention, that is so much better.”
The former Bush White House press secretary asserted that social media companies have the “right to squelch debate if it wants to,” but insisted their decision to use that right is “making everything worse.” (RELATED: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Ripped For Tweet That Seemed To Mock Parler’s Deplatforming)
“This is how bad things have become when one side demands to squelch the other side,” he said. “They use their opportunities and free speech to demand to do it. What do you think the other side is going to feel?”