Free speech online is an issue that should concern everyone, regardless of political persuasion. To combat the issue, several executives have started an organization to stand up against Big Tech censorship.
The First and Fourteenth Institute (FAFI) claimed to advocate for free speech online, despite the different political leanings of its founders, including one blatant leftist. “We believe this question of censorship is a non-partisan concern that will deeply affect the ability of our country to achieve fairness and progress going forward,” Co-founder Mike Matthys said.
The future of free speech appeared to be a matter of grave concern for FAFI. Matthys said that Big Tech censorship “is targeting conservative persons today, [and] it may target liberal persons in the future,” in an interview with Fox News.
FAFI’s other co-founders also cited concerns over online censorship. Co-founder Brian Jackson explained: “I decided to help co- found[sic] FAFI after being concerned by media handling of election stories, and later became further concerned to see a well-known author have one of his books removed from Amazon without so much as an explanation.”
Despite the fact that FAFI’s website described him as a “[l]eader in Al Gore’s Climate Reality organization,” John Quinn also helped co-found the organization. He said, “[A]fter observing [his] friends, including a well-respected journalist, getting blocked on Facebook for posting articles on how other countries like South Africa are using well-known medicines to help people with Covid or Lyme disease. It seems these platforms may be following their own science rather than allowing users to post scientific information from abroad.”
Matthys also called out Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), who wrote letters to the heads of multiple TV providers in February 2021. The letters demanded answers to questions such as: “Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate any disinformation?” and “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN?”
Unsurprisingly, the letters made no mention of any liberal news organization. And Matthys saw right through them. “After seeing leaders in Congress write a letter to regulated TV companies like Comcast and AT&T, I recognized this as an effort at government censorship of certain TV channels with whom these leaders of Congress disagreed on political issues,” Matthys said on the website.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.