Former GOP Congressman turned Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is taking a page out of Texas and Florida’s books and opening a huge investigation into five Big Tech giants whom he alleges have been censoring conservative content. Rokita has targeted Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter and is also investigating alleged actions by Associate US Attorney General nominee Vanita Gupta “to encourage the companies to censor conservative viewpoints.”
In a press release issued by the Indiana State Attorney General’s Office Rokita wrote,
“In a free society, few assets are more important to consumers than access to information and the opportunity to express political viewpoints in meaningful forums,” Attorney General Rokita said. “It is potentially harmful and unfair for these companies to manipulate content in ways they do not publicly discuss or that consumers do not fully understand.”
Gupta, who is President Joe Biden’s nominee to be associate U.S. attorney general, has allegedly met with Facebook and Twitter executives to urge “more rigorous rules and enforcement,” to use her own words as quoted in Time. Gupta, according to the Time article, stressed that it was important for social media platforms to be “tagging things and taking them down.”
AG Rokita Isn’t Alone, At Least 1 SCOTUS Justice Agrees
Rokita’s opinion seems to line up with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who according to CNBC,
“Suggested Monday that tech platforms could be regulated like utilities in what would be a major shift for services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.” He wrote, “There is a fair argument that some digital platforms are sufficiently akin to common carriers or places of accommodation to be regulated in this manner,” Thomas wrote.
Justice Thomas possesses a uniquely clear understanding of the challenges posed by the monopoly these companies enjoy. “A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,” he wrote. “But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.”
A Congressional report that went largely unnoticed from the then Republican House found that these very five tech giants “hold “monopoly power” in key business segments and have abused their dominance in the marketplace”. The House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel wrote that there was “significant evidence” to show that their anticompetitive conduct has hindered innovation, reduced consumer choice and weakened the democratic process.
“These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in and subject to appropriate oversight and enforcement,” the report said. “Our economy and democracy are at stake.”
However, the Federal Government, divided as it was under President Trump and now disinterested under the Biden-Harris regime has taken no action against them, it must fall to the states and their Attorneys General, like Mr. Rokita.