Democrats are missing the moment. Instead of going after Elon Musk for defending free speech and being transparent with the public about the alarming censorship and election interference that took place at Twitter during the 2020 election, they should be working alongside Republicans to investigate Big Tech.
We know that unchecked partisan content monitors and others at Twitter and Facebook meddled in the 2020 election by censoring accurate news reports on Hunter Biden’s laptop and suppressed information about its damning contents on its platforms to help Joe Biden get elected. Democrats ought to realize that if Silicon Valley can do that in a general election, they can also do it in a primary or any election, and no one is safe — in either party.
It’s possible, if not likely, that Democrat politicians are also victims of similar censorship, algorithm manipulations and other dirty tricks used by Big Tech against former President Donald Trump — and don’t know it.
Take Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020. If you recall, during the Democratic primary, she once dominated the field by a wide margin. “In the most recent George Washington University Politics Poll, the senator from Massachusetts leads the Democratic field with 28 percent of the vote. Sanders is second at 21 percent, and Biden, the front-runner since his entrance into the race, is at 18 percent. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala D. Harris each draw 5 percent,” The Washington Post reported in October 2019.
Yet despite her popularity among Democratic voters at the time, it’s no secret that Silicon Valley didn’t like Warren, nor did they want her to become president, because she vowed during the campaign that, if elected, she’d break up Big Tech.
In a March 2019 blog post on Warren’s official campaign site, she published an article titled “It’s Time To Break Up Amazon, Google, and Facebook.” She wrote, “Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation … my administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition — including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google.”
Clearly, Silicon Valley had a motive to stymie her campaign; they knew if Sleepy Joe got elected, he wouldn’t regulate Big Tech, no less break them up, decimating their bottom line and almighty influence. That said, instead of vilifying Musk, a whistleblower, Warren should be investigating if Facebook or Twitter censored or shadow-banned her social media posts and her supporters to help then-candidate Biden win the Democratic primary.
But that’s not all Big Tech could’ve done to tip the scales in Biden’s favor.
Did Big Tech amplify positive news stories about Biden’s campaign while suppressing favorable media reports about Warren? Did Silicon Valley rig its algorithms so that Team Biden’s campaign communications reached more Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts than Warren’s? If you recall, Biden beat Warren on Super Tuesday in her home state, coming in first place without campaigning there or visiting the state.
One can only wonder if his policies won over Massachusetts voters or if he got an unfair advantage and helping hand from Big Tech.
These are some of the questions Warren and her colleagues in Washington should be asking, instead of investigating Musk’s businesses and trying to make the Tesla CEO into the boogeyman. The fact is if Big Tech wanted Biden to become president, he’d first have to knock out his Democratic rivals in the primary. Were other Democratic presidential contenders harmed by Big Tech censorship and corruption?
And what about Google? Did the far-too-powerful monopolistic search engine also put its thumb on the scale by manipulating search results to benefit Biden versus his primary opponents? Without much-needed transparency and investigation, we’ll never know.
Bottom line: No one should assume that Big Tech is only targeting conservatives. Their deceitful censorship tactics and other apparatchiks can be used in any election affecting politicians in both parties. All the more reason Democrats and Republicans must work together to stop these abuses and hold bad actors to account.
Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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