Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has finally jumped into the fray of the discussion surrounding Big Tech’s rampant censorship in the United States – but only to fight on behalf of those who would like to freely criticize the Chinese government.
“TikTok owner ByteDance might find itself in legal trouble in the US over claims it’s censoring criticism of China in other parts of the world,” according to Engadget. “Senator Marco Rubio has sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly in light of the censorship allegations. He argued there was ‘ample & growing evidence’ TikTok was silencing US material to honor Chinese government policies, effectively letting it ‘suppress freedom of speech’ beyond its borders.”
To be clear, Rubio is willing to step in and fight TikTok, which may or may not be censoring Americans who criticize the Communist Chinese regime, but when it comes to fighting on behalf of Americans who have been censored for criticizing leftists and left-wing politicians – that is, Americans using their First Amendment rights to criticize the American government – Rubio, much like those Americans for whom he’s failed to fight, has been silent.
He made his gallant announcement on Twitter:
“Have already formally asked Trump administration to fully enforce anti-boycott laws that prohibit any U.S. person—including U.S. subsidiaries of Chinese companies from complying with foreign boycotts seeking to coerce U.S. companies to conform with #China’s government views,” he added.
But when will Rubio start asking questions about tech companies who silence Americans for discussing American politics? We’re not holding our breath. Most of the U.S. Congress has turned a blind eye as Americans like our own Laura Loomer, and other conservative reporters and activists like Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, and Alex Jones have been completely banned from Facebook and other Big Tech platforms like Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, Big Tech has played a large role in Rubio’s political career. In fact, out of all of the presidential candidates in 2016 both Democrat and Republican, Rubio was the sole beneficiary of campaign contributions from Big Tech titan Facebook. So, while Rubio takes a “principled stand” against TikTok, a popular but not ubiquitous fad app, in order to bolster his anti-censorship credibility, he’ll likely never stand up to the most powerful Big Tech companies in the world like Facebook, which is in his pocket.
“TikTok allegedly asked its moderators to pull mentions of topics like the Tiananmen Square massacre, Tibet’s calls for independence and other content that challenges the Chinese government’s version of events,” Engadget said. “The service said it had retired the guidelines in May and that it had been using a ‘blunt approach’ to minimizing drama on TikTok that included banning talk of all topics it deemed controversial, not just those from China.”
TikTok reportedly denies the allegations that it is censoring anti-Chinese content. Maybe after Rubio finishes tackling this case, he’ll get on with fighting the truly pernicious and anti-conservative tech giants.
Peter D'Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.
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