OPINION: Censorship is #[email protected]&%$

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Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a big problem that comes with new waves of technology, censorship. Republican senators seized the opportunity to expose their censorship of conservatives directly in front of Twitter and Facebook executives.

Senator Ted Cruz slammed Twitter for censoring a quote by Mother Teresa, saying that “[a]bortion is profoundly anti-woman…” posted by Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization, president Marjorie Dannenfelser. The Twitter executive was left speechless and finally gave an unclear answer after Senator Cruz asked why this was deemed hate speech.

Senator Cruz continued, bringing up the movie Unplanned, which is based on the true story of a Planned Parenthood Director and Employee of the Year who saw an ultrasound of a baby fighting for its life during and abortion, which caused her to quit. Unplanned was denied advertising on multiple channels and on Google because of its “sensitive nature” while allowing pro-abortion clips and ads. 

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas slammed people on Twitter over censoring a Mother Teresa quote.

Then, within hours of the release of the movie, Twitter suspended its account because of a “mistake.” Backlash from conservatives got the Twitter account back, but shadow banning continued. Followers were taken away by Twitter, not even allowing Abby Johnson to follow the film made about her. Ultimately, Unplanned was able to regain followers (over 100K more than Planned Parenthood) but lost one of their only ways of advertising during the most crucial time for a movie, opening weekend.

Prager University, a digital company that spreads conservative videos, has multiple videos restricted and demonetized on YouTube, even though the videos do not violate the terms and conditions. Facebook previously blocked them, but apologized and has allowed them again. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls them a hate group, even in the company of actual hate groups like the KKK, simply because of their different ideology.

Censorship is a threat to democracy. It exists, especially for conservatives, in movies, social media, and most importantly, college campuses. Seeing this restriction in our tech companies is and should be scary. Yes, there is hate speech; Alex Jones and other radical conspiracy theorists should be taken off social media for the harm they cause for others, but we cannot allow big tech companies to label ideas hate speech, simply because they disagree with it. Diversity is not only racial or economic; it is also ideological. To suppress an idea is the same as suppressing diversity. As the French philosopher Voltaire said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”


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