In a pre-recorded message for Christian communicators at Proclaim 18, the National Religious Broadcasters’ international Christian media convention, Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai said conservatives must take the fight for their free speech to Silicon Valley.
Pledging that he, also, would be found on the “newest and most important battlefield in the fight for free speech,” the internet, Pai warned that action, not just rhetoric, was vital now, according to The Christian Post.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” he said, quoting James 1:22.
Pai called free speech the “foundation of our great nation” and noted that in recent years, the commitment of some Americans to protect the free speech rights of all had faltered.
Pai cited the results of a recent Pew Research survey that indicated 40 percent of American millennials favor government censorship of “potentially offensive speech.”
Too often today, the mantra seems to be: ‘Free speech for me but not for thee,'” he said.
“Despite vows from powerful online platforms that they will stay true to internet freedom and openness, we have seen them block or discriminate against lawful content they don’t like, whether it’s online or over the airwaves,” Pai said of social media behemoths like Facebook, Google and Twitter.
“Just as the virtue of free expression is timeless, so, it appears, is the fight to defend it,” he said. “We need to reaffirm our nation’s commitment to free expression.”
“That’s why I haven’t been afraid to call out censorship when I see it,” Pai added. “I pledge to you today that I will continue to fight for your right to have your voices heard.”
In a similar vein, a petition on the White House website, entitled the “Internet Bill of Rights,” demands that online “forums and social networks which provide free access to the public are a digital place of assembly, and individuals using such methods for public communication should not be subjected to censorship due to political beliefs or differing ideas.”
The petition garnered about 25,000 signatures in less than two weeks. (Interested citizens can read and sign that petition here.)
“We should act in service of a larger purpose,” Pai said. “So let’s do that.
“Let us all work together to lift up one another and to uphold the freedoms and principles that make this the greatest nation in history,” added.
You can watch Pai’s comments in their entirety here:
Independent research recently concluded by The Western Journal demonstrated how important free speech on social media actually is.
Using third-party data about 50 news organizations, The Journal determined that liberal-leaning sites were receiving about 2 percent more desktop traffic from Facebook after recent algorithm changes than they had prior to the changes, whereas conservative-leaning sites had lost 14 percent of similar traffic.
A Pew Research Center study determined in 2017 that “two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media — with two-in-ten doing so often.”
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