Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday the Trump administration is continuing to "lean into" investigating the claim social media and other tech companies are censoring content and opinions contrary to liberal doctrine, promising to preserve the freedom of speech and freedom of press on the Internet.
Speaking with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow on SiriusXM's "Breitbart News Daily," Pence addressed in broad terms the actions of tech companies such as Facebook, Google and particularly Twitter.
Last week, Twitter removed a Breitbart's livestream news conference of the medical group America's Frontline Doctors held on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding what it said was misinformation on the novel coronavirus.
It was also removed from YouTube.
Twitter claimed the livestream was a violation of its "COVID-19 misinformation policy," Breitbart News reported. Among the claims made by some of the participants of the event was the promotion of the half-century old anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as possible treatment for the novel coronavirus.
The group's website has been removed by the tech company squarespace.com.
"We're going to do our very best every day between now and election day and for four more years after that to make sure that we preserve the freedom of speech and freedom of the press on the Internet," Pence said.
Marlow also said one of Breitbart News' Twitter accounts was "shuttered" until the video of the press conference was deleted.
Pence said the Trump administration was working to ensure freedom of opinion on social media platforms, which have enjoyed liability protection under the 1996 Communications Decency Act by claiming they are merely "passive bulleting boards" of information.
He referred to last week's action by President Donald Trump, which formally requested the Federal Communication Commission reinterpret the law particularly in regard to social media companies which selectively choose which user content to allow and which to block, edit or censor.
"Well, freedom of speech is the bedrock of American democracy, that's why our founding fathers enshrined the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, in the first amendment of the constitution and I want all your listeners to know as they've seen this president and our administration take action to prevent online censorship in the past, that we're going to continue to lean into this effort," Pence said.
"As you know, last summer the Department of Justice launched a broad antitrust review of big tech, that's ongoing. The president this summer signed an executive order that set into motion a series of actions that launched a tech bias reporting tool at the White House and called on the FTC to consider action whenever is appropriate to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts affecting commerce, etc."
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