Gmail is already using “loaded dice” to favor Democrat candidates, he says. And now the Biden administration is creating an election-year “Disinformation Governance Board,” which Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley also warns will surely be used to crack down on conservative speech.
Researchers at North Carolina State University recently discovered that Gmail algorithms sent 59% more Republican fundraising emails to spam folders than Democrat ones during the 2020 election.
In a letter Wednesday, Hawley challenged Google CEO Sundar Pichai to explain the blaring bias and rectify it. The Missouri Republican argued in the letter, however, that “political dice-loading is nothing new for your company,” noting it “abruptly threatened to remove the conservative website The Federalist from the Google Ads platform, based on the contents of its comments section.”
Hawley also reminded Pichai that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, “routinely deplatforms or demonetizes individuals because of their conservative speech. And a Wall Street Journal investigation found that Google manually adjusts its algorithm and autocomplete suggestions to disfavor certain viewpoints.”
Then, on Thursday, Hawley sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas opposing “with deep concern” the department’s creation of a Disinformation Governance Board.
The Biden board, according to one news report, is ostensibly designed “to counter disinformation coming from Russia as well as misleading information that human smugglers circulate to target migrants hoping to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Hawley, and many other conservatives engaged in a pitched battle with the government and Big Tech for their freedom of speech, aren’t buying that explanation.
Hawley wrote to Mayorkas that it can only be assumed “that the sole purpose of this new Disinformation Governance Board will be to marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech. This is dangerous and un-American. The board should be immediately dissolved.
“I confess, I at first thought this announcement was satire. Surely no American administration would ever use the power of government to sit in judgment on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens. Sadly, I was mistaken. Rather than protecting our border or the American homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans’ speech your priority.”
“This is an effort to monitor the First Amendment activity of American citizens,” Hawley further said in an interview with The Heartlander on Thursday. “That is wrong. I think it’s unconstitutional. They have been trying to put their thumb on the scale in favor of liberal speech and against conservatives and anybody else they disagree with from the moment they came into office.”
Google has too, he says, armed with the North Carolina State study.
“Google gets a lot of benefits in the United States government, not least a special immunity from lawsuits in many, many cases. I think we need to reconsider all of that.”
Another focus of late for Hawley this week is his strident opposition to Biden nominee Nancy Abudu for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Abudu is the strategic litigation director for the highly controversial and far-left Southern Poverty Law Center – which Hawley took to task in Abudu’s confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hawley noted to Abudu that in 2019, “the SPLC paid $3.4 million in response to defamation lawsuits; 2019 was the year Charity Watch gave your organization an ‘F’ rating. The SPLC has been labeled by the left-wing policy journal Current Affairs as an outright fraud that uses willful deception designed to scare liberals into writing checks.”
As reported by Laurel Duggan of The Daily Caller News Foundation, “The SPLC publishes an annual ‘Hate Map,’ which features several conservative and Christian organizations, including the Family Research Council …”
In his questioning of Abudu, Hawley recalled one liberal journalist who named the SPLC “one of the greatest frauds in American life,” and another prominent liberal who once declined an award named after SPLC’s founder because “the SPLC has long been run by a conman and a fraud.”
The National Religious Broadcasters announced its own opposition to Abudu on Tuesday, writing that “Ms. Abudu’s professional commitment to the Southern Poverty Law Center suggests hostility to the First Amendment rights of organizations like our membership.
“As a professional association representing the interests of Christian communicators, including those directly targeted by the SPLC, we are greatly concerned by the nomination of an individual in senior management at the disreputable SPLC to the federal bench.”