WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Censorship is normally a bad thing in a nation that values freedom of speech.
Republicans have been complaining recently that Google, Facebook and Twitter have been censoring conservative opinions and Republicans.
But can censorship be a good thing, too?
Andy Parker thinks yes. He’s the father of TV journalist Alison Parker, who was shot to death on live television. Video of Alison’s murder was posted online, and Parker says companies like Google should be required to keep content like that off their platforms.
“The murder of Alison is still on YouTube, and I’ve been fighting to take that off,” said Parker.
Andy Parker has taken his fight to Capitol Hill. At a hearing about online censorship, Parker urged lawmakers to regulate social media platforms.
Tech companies face a balancing act. On the one hand, Parker insists Congress should require the companies to take down disturbing videos such as his daughter’s murder. On the other hand, the president and Republicans are slamming social media platforms for censoring conservative voices.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that’s wrong. “This must change. Google can not simply hide behind its algorithms. Big tech’s algorithms only do what humans at Google tell them to,” Cruz said.
Tech company giants Twitter and Facebook admit to banning some high profile personalities for what the companies call hate speech.
A Google representative defended his company’s content. “Our job, which we take seriously, is to deliver to users the most relevant and authoritative information out there. Studies have shown that we do just that,” said Karan Bhatia.
Cruz is urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate how the companies curate content. But Parker said his priority is making sure tech giants are held accountable.
“Anyone on both sides of the aisle can look at my situation and go this stuff shouldn’t be there. Murder should not be on the internet,” Parker said.
President Trump said he plans to meet with social media representatives at the White House next month.