Not quite sure yet which stance to hold on remedies for tech censorship. Much of the laws surrounding free speech and expression revolve around the philosophy of preventing the government from prohibiting or mandating speech. They were designed to protect us from a tyrannical government. But what do you do when the biggest threats to speech and expression come from unelected ideologues at the world’s largest tech companies? And besides, “muh, start your own company,” what is the avenue of attack when these companies step outside of the American philosophy of free speech, yet operate in America? When a company is large enough, with massive market value and worldwide reach, and they will even censor government accounts, is it time for the government to step in? Or does this then open the doors for government oversight on what is and is not allowed to be said on the internet? I look forward to your replies!
An Open Letter to President Trump on Section 230
By e-mail and First Class Mail
Dear Mr. President:
Gab AI Inc. (“Gab”) is a small company that has been a repeat victim of Big Tech’s immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
We are attacked by Big Tech because we stand for freedom and because we compete with their control over the flow of information online. We operate a social media site that has one core rule: political speech that is protected by the First Amendment is allowed on our site. We do not take sides.
We run an entirely legal business. We proactively engage with U.S. and international law enforcement to keep illegal activity, and criminals, off of our platform.
We refuse to censor legal speech. For this, we have been the target of extreme left-wing activists who have been successful in getting us banned from:
The Apple App Store, the Google Play App Store, the Mozilla Extension Store, and the Google Chrome Extension Store.
By payment platforms including Stripe, Paypal, Square, BitPay, Coinbase, and Visa.
By hosting companies including Joyent, Azure, Backblaze, and Amazon AWS.
By storefronts including Shopify and Gumroad.
By third party software tools including Embedly, Helpscout, Pusher, Medium, and Mailgun.
From crowdfunding websites including Patreon, StartEngine LA, and even our own whitelabeled portal when Amazon AWS refused to run it.
From Twitter Ads.
In short, Section 230 – and political bias – has allowed Big Tech to deplatform us from practically every single major resource required to operate our business.
We have every reason to hate Section 230.
But we want you to keep Section 230 exactly the way it is.
Section 230 helps the little guy. We seek to protect free speech on the Internet, and Section 230 is the only thing that stands between us and an avalanche of lawsuits from activist groups and foreign governments who don’t like what our millions of users and readers have to say. Without Section 230, we couldn’t stand up to these oppressive forces that want to eliminate free speech online. With Section 230, we can.
All over the world, the market is providing free speech-oriented alternatives to Big Tech. The single best thing you could do if you want to beat Twitter is NOT to abolish Section 230, which will take years and will hurt the companies you need to protect conservative thought – and indeed all free thought – on the Web.
The best thing you could do is to use sites like Gab.com to disseminate content and information your supporters need to read. The Free Speech Internet is growing fast as millions of people make the move over to Gab. If you join the Free Speech Internet it will grow even faster.
We have reserved an account for you at gab.com/realdonaldtrump. Do the right thing – do the effective thing, the thing that will help end Twitter and Facebook’s dominance over the Web for good – and get on Gab, and join us in our mission to make the Internet free again.
Andrew Torba, CEO Gab.com
October 16th, 2020
Jesus is King