Rep. Blackburn, Parshall, Skorup on Free Speech, Privacy in the Age of Facebook, Google, Twitter

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council hosted a panel discussion today on the question of: Losing our voices: who owns free speech on the internet? In an era when 69 percent of American adults use social media platforms to express themselves, the free market powers of digital giants like Facebook, Google, and Twitter have collided with the free speech rights of citizen internet users. In the wake of a consistent pattern of censorship by tech companies of lawful but politically incorrect viewpoints—particularly those of conservatives and Christians—what is the legal status of digital free expression? Is big tech entitled to the information of its platform users? Panelists sought to answer questions such as: in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, can the tech giants be trusted to regulate themselves? What are the benefits and pitfalls of government intervention? And will Silicon Valley be the final arbiter of opinions and information in the virtual sphere?

Panelists included Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.); Craig Parshall, Special Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice; and Brent Skorup,  Senior Research Fellow in the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn said in her speech: “This has become a bipartisan effort. Congress is working on behalf of all Americans to protect their privacy.

ACLJ’s Craig Parshall commented in his remarks: “All conservatives want is an equal booth in the marketplace. All Christians want is an equal opportunity to proclaim the whole truth.”

Brent Skorup noted: “Despite the problems we have today, it has never been a better time to be a speaker and you’ve never had an easier time to have a global audience.”

To watch the full lecture, please see: