Pompeo says Big Tech censorship is ‘authoritarianism’ disguised as ‘moral righteousness’

‘It’s similar to what we’re seeing in Twitter and Facebook and Apple and on too many university campuses today. It’s not who we are. It’s not who we are as Americans.’
Wed Jan 13, 2021 - 4:16 pm EST
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Shutterstock

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has weighed in on the recent Big Tech censorship, calling it “authoritarianism” and “morally wrong.”

Pompeo made the comments speaking at Voice of America (VOA), an international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress, on Monday, in an address which was publicized across the world.

Among many topics, Pompeo dealt with the matter of the recent explosion of Big Tech censorship following the Capitol protests, which has resulted in President Donald Trump being banned from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, along with thousands of other conservatives.

Prior to his address, some VOA employees had protested the speech, alleging that it “endangers public health and safety, violates law, rule and regulation and grossly wastes government resources.”

“They didn’t want the voice of American diplomacy to be broadcast on the Voice of America,” Pompeo noted. “We’re all part of institutions with duties and responsibilities higher and bigger and more important than any one of us individually. But this kind of censorial instinct is dangerous. It’s morally wrong. Indeed, it’s against your statutory mandate here at VOA.”

Continuing, the Secretary of State linked Big Tech’s censorship to disguised “authoritarianism”: “censorship, wokeness, political correctness — it all points in one direction: authoritarianism cloaked as moral righteousness.”

“It’s similar to what we’re seeing in Twitter and Facebook and Apple and on too many university campuses today. It’s not who we are. It’s not who we are as Americans. And it’s not what Voice of America should be.”

“It’s time that we simply put wokeism to sleep, and you can lead the way,” he added. “You all know, that’s why you came here.”

A few days before, Pompeo had highlighted the danger of such censorship on social media in a tweet: “Silencing speech is dangerous. It’s un-American. Sadly, this isn’t a new tactic of the Left. They’ve worked to silence opposing voices for years. We cannot let them silence 75M Americans. This isn’t the CCP.”

Pompeo’s address came a day before President Trump also spoke out against the censorship which has occurred in the last week. Giving an impromptu statement to the press at Joint Base Andrews, before flying to Alamo, Texas, the president warned that Big Tech censorship was a “catastrophic mistake.”

“I think that Big Tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country,” Trump said. “I believe it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They’re dividing and divisive, and they’re showing something that I’ve been predicting for a long time. I’ve been predicting it for a long time and people didn’t act on it, but I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake, and very, very bad for our country.”

“And that’s leading others to do the same thing, and it causes a lot of problems and a lot of danger. Big mistake — they shouldn’t be doing it. But there’s always a counter move when they do that. I’ve never seen such anger as I see right now, and that’s a terrible thing, terrible thing.”

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A number of world leaders have since criticized the decision to block Trump from social media platforms, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel terming it “problematic.” Merkel’s spokesman related that Big Tech executives “bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence,” adding, however, that the right to express one’s own opinion is of “elementary significance.”

“This fundamental right can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators — not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms,” Merkel added through her spokesman.

Her words were supported by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who stated: “I don’t like anyone being censored or taking away the right to transmit a message on Twitter or Face[book]. I do not agree with that; I do not accept that.”

In fact, even the leftist American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has raised concerns about Trump’s social media censorship, not out of support for the president, but due to Twitter’s “unchecked power.”

Kate Ruane, ACLU senior legislative counsel, said in a statement: “We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.”

  big tech, big tech censorship, censorship, mike pompeo, social media, voice of america

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