By Colton Pickard
It’s pretty clear to anyone that has been on social media in recent weeks that Big Tech has used its power to censor opinions that it might not necessarily agree with. Big Tech has targeted everyday people like you and me and now has started targeting the press. Social media is a revolutionary invention that quickly followed the rise of the internet. Millions of people rely on social media every day to get their news, memes, and any other kind of entertainment. That gives technology and social media companies a lot of power, and it seems they have abused that power.
Big Tech has so much power right now that they can silence the New York Post, which is the fourth-largest newspaper in America, in the name of disinformation before there is any evidence that the newspaper could be spreading fake news.1 After a standoff and questioning from Congress, Twitter changed its policy and unlocked the New York Post’s account.2 So far, it seems like the Post has won the battle as they report the account has gained about 190,000 followers since Twitter initially locked its account. 3
So now, the question is, should the federal government regulate Big Tech? Well, for conservatives who have been censored, the answer is often that we need to regulate Big Tech. Both Republicans and Democrats support the federal government regulating Big Tech, and I did too before I read the Foundation for Economic Education’s article on the issue.4 In the article, author Brad Polumbo argues that it would be a bad idea for the federal government to regulate Big Tech. In Polumbo’s argument, he stated, “From left to right, the intentions behind these regulatory proposals are often good … Unfortunately, in their haphazard rush to score political points through government action, would-be regulators from both parties are forgetting the inevitable “knowledge problem” that plagues any central planners who try to dictate the minutiae of complicated industries from the halls of Washington DC.”
The road to big government intervention is paved with good intentions. Everything the federal government does is meant with good intentions. A good policy, on the other hand, is something that can be debated. Another issue with Congress writing bills to regulate Big Tech is most of the congress members know very little, if anything, about social media. Would you let a bartender write laws about the economy? Oh, wait. Sorry NY-14.
Regardless of your political affiliation, think if the opposing party was writing the law, would you trust them to do the right thing for you? Probably not, which means it’s probably not a good idea to let the federal government regulate social media. I’m sure most of you will disagree with my proposal of not regulating social media by the federal government. Still, we have to find a solution to the issues surrounding Big Tech without giving the federal government more power because more regulation will lead to less innovation and competition, and more lobbying, which is something that no one wants. The people decide which Big Tech companies will be successful, not the government. Maybe we should choose wisely moving forward and use social media platforms that value free speech.
Colton Pickard is a Journalism major with a focus in sports and politics at Middle Tennessee State University. Colton is involved with multiple political organizations on campus and is fighting for freedom and educating his peers on the real dangers of socialism.