Massachusetts Should Divest From Big Tech [OPINION]
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts should take immediate steps to protect the free speech rights of all of its citizens, some of whom have been targeted by big tech companies because of their conservative political views. The Washington Examiner details legislative efforts in Florida that would do just that.
State Rep. Republican Randy Fine has written to Governor Ron DeSantis asking him to redirect funds away from various big tech companies. Fine told DeSantis, "It is clear that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in one-sided viewpoint discrimination targeting conservatives...and it is not disputed that Amazon, Apple, and Google are actively working to eliminate any alternative outlets where conservatives can speak freely."
In a subsequent tweet, Fine said of Big Tech, "They may get to decide who they do business with. So do we."
Florida Representative Anthony Sabatini has filed the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act." Sabatini tweeted that his legislation would "allow for a state cause of action (lawsuit) against large social media companies that censor user’s content." Sabatini says censorship is unacceptable, "Big-Tech censorship is a threat to our Republic."
Massachusets Governor Charlie Baker ought to pay attention to what is happening in Florida. Baker is not a Donald Trump supporter, and that is his right. But Baker has sworn to protect the free speech rights of all Massachusetts residents, including conservatives.
No state should do business with companies that seek to squelch the free speech of its citizens. That is un-American.
This is not a partisan issue. Restrictions on my free speech today will almost certainly be followed by restrictions on yours. We may not always be happy to hear what our political opponents have to say but we had better be damn ready to defend their right to say it or America as we know it will be lost forever.
Governor Charlie Baker and Treasurer Deb Goldberg should immediately divest Massachusetts from any business dealing with companies that are restricting free speech.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.