Ted Cruz threatens to regulate Facebook, Google and Twitter over charges of anti-conservative bias

 Republican lawmakers led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz threatened social media companies Wednesday with regulation, echoing repeated charges from President Donald Trumpand other top GOP officials that Facebook, Google and Twitter target the political speech of right-leaning users to limit their online reach.At issue is the opaque process with which these companies make decisions on what's allowed and not allowed on their platforms.

"What makes the threat of political censorship so problematic is the lack of transparency, the invisibility, the ability for a handful of giant tech companies to decide if a particular speaker is disfavored," Cruz said in his opening remarks during Wednesday's contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse."

Cruz said he'd consider charging "big tech" with antitrust violations or fraud or could remove the protection from liability provided by a decades-old federal law.

Conservatives have offered no evidence of systematic efforts to suppress political speech. The Silicon Valley tech companies say they strike a balance between users' rights to freely express themselves and keeping hate, abuse and misinformation off their platforms. They deny censorship of conservative voices but acknowledge they've made missteps in moderating content. They also concede that their staffers tend to be liberal.

 Read more at USA Today

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