Conservatives Urge Fairer Social Media Policies

By Craig Bannister | May 1, 2018 | 4:10pm EDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Social media censorship and online restriction of conservatives and their organizations have reached a crisis level, conservative leaders said Tuesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hearings on Capitol Hill only served to draw attention to how widespread this problem has become, they said in a statement.

In the statement, the conservative leaders call for equal treatment on tech and social media:

Conservatives have encountered problems across platforms — Twitter, Facebook, Google, and its video platform YouTube especially. Social media firms have banned gun videos and rejected pro-life advertisements. They have skewed search results and adjusted trending topics in ways that have harmed the right. Firms have restricted and deleted videos, even academic content. Conservative tech employees have found their speech limited and their careers harmed. And top tech companies have given preferential treatment to anointed legacy media outlets that also lean left. These same tech titans then work with groups openly hostile to conservatives to restrict speech.

Here are four key areas that social media companies must address to begin to rectify their credibility problem:

1) Provide Transparency: We need detailed information so everyone can see if liberal groups and users are being treated the same as those on the right. Social media companies operate in a black-box environment, only releasing anecdotes about reports on content and users when they think it necessary. This needs to change. The companies need to design open systems so that they can be held accountable, while giving weight to privacy concerns.

2) Provide Clarity on ‘Hate Speech’: “Hate speech” is a common concern among social media companies, but no two firms define it the same way. Their definitions are vague and open to interpretation, and their interpretation often looks like an opportunity to silence thought. Today, hate speech means anything liberals don’t like. Silencing those you disagree with is dangerous. If companies can’t tell users clearly what it is, then they shouldn’t try to regulate it.

3) Provide Equal Footing for Conservatives: Top social media firms, such as Google and YouTube, have chosen to work with dishonest groups that are actively opposed to the conservative movement, including the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those companies need to make equal room for conservative groups as advisers to offset this bias. That same attitude should be applied to employment diversity efforts. Tech companies need to embrace viewpoint diversity.

4) Mirror the First Amendment: Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech and free exercise of religion embodied in the First Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. That standard, the result of centuries of American jurisprudence, would enable the rightful blocking of content that threatens violence or spews obscenity, without trampling on free speech liberties that have long made the United States a beacon for freedom.

Social media companies must address these complaints if they wish to have any credibility with the conservative movement and its tens of millions of supporters. It is our hope they will do so in a positive way. If the social media firms engage the conservative movement with the spirit of cooperation, we will do our best to assist them.

Signed (affiliations are for identification purposes only):


L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


LTC Allen B. West (USA, Ret)

Director, MRC Censorship Project

Media Research Center


Lamar Smith (TX-21)

Chairman, Media Fairness Caucus


Dr. Jerry A. Johnson

President & CEO

National Religious Broadcasters &

Internet Freedom Watch


Lila Rose

President and Founder

Live Action


Tony Perkins


Family Research Council


Brigitte Gabriel

Founder and Chairman

ACT for America


The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Former Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan


David Bozell


For America Inc.


Ken Cuccinelli II


Senate Conservatives Fund


Dave N. Bossie


Citizens United


Jenny Beth Martin


Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund


Morton Blackwell


Weyrich Lunch


Tim Wildmon


American Family Association


Ron Robinson


Young America’s Foundation


James O’Keefe


Project Veritas


Richard Viguerie


American Targeted Advertising


Becky Norton Dunlop

Senior White House Advisor

President Ronald Reagan


Kelly Shackelford

President and CEO

First Liberty Institute


Cleta Mitchell

Political Law Attorney

Washington, DC


Penny Young Nance

CEO and President

Concerned Women for America


Kristan Hawkins


Students for Life of America


Mathew Staver, Esq.

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel


Phil Kerpen


American Commitment


Charles Copeland


Intercollegiate Studies Institute


Frank Gaffney

Founder, President, and CEO

Center for Security Policy


Brian Brown


National Organization for Marriage


Clifford D. May

Founder and President

Foundation for Defense of Democracies


Patrick Reilly


Cardinal Newman Society


Honorable Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.


Heartland Institute


Craig Shirley

Reagan Biographer and Presidential Historian


William A. Donohue, Ph.D.


Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights


C. Preston Noell III


Tradition, Family, Property, Inc


James Martin

Founder and Chairman

60 Plus Association


Gary Bauer


American Values


Bob Adams


Revive America PAC


Elaine Donnelly


Center for Military Readiness


Ryan Bomberger

Chief Creative Officer

Radiance Foundation


Tricia Erickson

President, Angel Pictures & Publicity, Inc

Publisher of



Richard P. Bott, II

President and CEO

Bott Radio Network


Saul Anuzis


60 Plus Association


Floyd Brown


Western Journal


Mark Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.


Susan A. Carleson


American Civil Rights Union


Kevin Freeman


NSIC Institute


Angelo Codevilla

Senior Fellow

Claremont Institute


Paul Gessing


Rio Grande Foundation


T. Kenneth Cribb

President Emeritus

Intercollegiate Studies Institute


Colin Hanna


Let Freedom Ring


Francis DeLuca


Civitas Institute


John Hinderaker


Center of the American Experiment


Diana Banister


Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

Amy Kremer


Women for Trump


Tom Donelson


Americas PAC


Gene Mills


Louisiana Family Forum


George Landrith


Frontiers of Freedom


Everett Piper


Oklahoma Wesleyan University


Rod D. Martin

Founder and CEO

The Martin Organization


The Honorable Donald J. Devine

Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management

President Ronald Reagan


Tom McCabe


Freedom Foundation


Jeffrey G. Hunt


Western Conservative Summit


Avik Roy


The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity


Patrick Brown


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