Sen. Cruz Slams Facebook for Suspending Political Ads Before Election Day, Other Measures
September 4, 2020
HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on The Constitution, today issued the following statement condemning Facebook's decision to block new political advertising the week before Election Day, as well as measures to limit posts they deem to be "misinformation," including statements about the risks of mail-in voter fraud:
"Just as social media companies had an outsized role in influencing our presidential election in 2016, Facebook and its Silicon Valley Tech billionaires are doubling down on their stifling of First Amendment rights just as we approach the final months of this election cycle.
"Facebook's decision to ban new political ads in the week leading up to Election Day is just the latest example of Big Tech's repeated attempts to manipulate Americans' votes. Blocking the publishing of new ads in the final week of the election will prevent candidates from making their case to voters at a critical time and could impact how people vote at the polls.
"Similarly, Facebook's decision to label statements it disagrees with-including statements about the risk of voter fraud-as "misinformation" does nothing to advance democracy. All it does is place a thumb on the scale for the candidates Big Tech supports. I have long said that mandating mail-in voting will invite ballot harvesting and voter fraud, an undeniable fact. But Facebook's announcement suggests it will label this as misinformation while allowing the Left to indulge in voting conspiracy theories.
"These actions threaten the integrity of our elections and the future of our democracy. We must take action now to curtail Big Tech's influence and protect free speech as this election draws to a close."
Sen. Cruz has long warned that Big Tech censorship is "the single greatest threat to democracy." As chairman of the Senate Judiciary's Subcommittee on The Constitution and a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Cruz is working to hold Big Tech accountable to the American people:
- Chaired multiple hearings with representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Google, where he raised his concerns about the technology companies engaging in a disturbing pattern of political censorship.
- Heard testimony from Dennis Prager of PragerU, whose videos are routinely censored on YouTube, and Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist who testified that Google's biased search results swung a minimum of 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
- Sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, urging him to remove language in U.S. trade agreements similar to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides "near -blanket legal immunity" to technology companies.
- Wrote an op-ed in The Hill in response to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's announcement last week banning all political ads from the platform, calling the move "profoundly harmful."
- Sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai raising concerns about Google's latest actions to censor political speech with which it disagrees.