Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who participated in a White House roundtable on technology censorship earlier today with President Trump and Attorney General Barr, released the following statement regarding yesterday’s roundtable:
“Earlier today, I joined President Trump, Attorney General Barr, along with other state attorneys general to discuss censorship in technology and on social media. I appreciate the President and the Attorney General’s leadership on this issue, an issue that’s incredibly important to me as Missouri’s Chief Legal Officer. In 2019, roughly 72% of Americans said that they use at least one form of social media. These social media sites are intertwined into each of our lives and our daily routines, and because of the size and scope of each of these social media giants – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and more – it’s imperative that we ensure that those companies are acting responsibly and not stifling Americans’ First Amendment rights and freedoms.
As my fellow state attorneys general and I discussed with the President and the Attorney General earlier today, there are troubling instances of ‘fact checking’ by major social media outlets like Twitter that amount to selective censorship at worst and inconsistent application of terms of service at best. Social media sites like Twitter should be a forum where divergent opinions can meet and freedom of speech is protected, not a forum where certain opinions are valued over others. They can allow political debate and enjoy Section 230 protection, or they can promote some views and silence others without Section 230 protection. They can’t have it both ways. I will continue to work with other state attorneys general to explore our options to ensure that social media companies aren’t stifling freedom of speech.”