I have been fighting for conservative causes for over 30 years.
Here is an undeniable fact — broad access to conservative speech has never been greater.
More conservatives can deliver content to more people than at any time in our history.
Gone are the days when a handful of newspapers or networks denied access to conservatives of the only broad based media available, conservative messages now reach billions of people across multiple social media platforms.
Conservatives dominate the top ranks of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
As of this writing, Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder and Franklin Graham are among the top performing link posts on Facebook.
Even though these platforms make content moderation decisions angering many conservatives, social media remains the most effective tool conservatives have ever had.
Conservative social media platforms are also growing increasingly fast, with big increases at Parler, Gettr, and Rumble. Donald Trump’s TRUTH Social announced it will launch in the first quarter of this year, and is gearing-up to handle 70 million subscribers --- about the same number of Americans who voted for President Trump in 2020.
TRUTH Social is teaming up with the new, conservative infrastructure provider RightForge, where there’s no danger of being shut-down by vendors who bend to pressure from woke media and customers.
Conservative innovators are using the freedom of the market place to challenge these platforms that skew left to provide a viable alternative.
TRUTH Social aims to host family-friendly content, as explained by CEO Devin Nunes: "This is a quality, user-friendly product. We want this to be something that you're not worried about your kids or your grandparents being on."
That means TRUTH Social is going to moderate content.
So that means the Left will go after them and other conservative-leaning platforms with whatever tools are available to silence them, including a tool being advocated by Republican state legislators.
New laws like those enacted last year in Florida and Texas would authorize lawsuits by users whose posts were restricted because of the "viewpoint" expressed, such as if the left shared false and negative news and views about Donald Trump and his supporters.
These new laws would also make it difficult to take down content violating a platform’s community standards, including the use of protected speech such as profanity, disinformation, hateful statements, and nudity, making it hard for TRUTH Social to deliver on Mr. Nunes’ promise.
Several state lawmakers are now considering legislation similar to the Texas law that is now blocked by federal courts (injunction is being appealed by Texas).
Under these bills, haters of Donald Trump could generate millions of lawful but awful posts that make TRUTH Social a terrible experience for intended users and for advertisers.
But if TRUTH Social restricts or removes those inappropriate posts, progressive billionaires like Tom Steyer (and others) can bankroll a bevy of lawsuits that are specifically authorized by these new laws.
While many conservatives are angry over how Donald Trump and some high-profile conservatives are treated on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, legislation like we’ve seen in Florida and Texas are exactly the wrong response.
Those laws would be turned into weapons that progressives use against President Trump and his followers on new, conservative social media platforms.
A far better response is for conservatives to leave laws in place that allow social media platforms — like TRUTH Social — to remove or restrict content that violates community standards that suit their audience and advertisers.
Bad behavior of liberal social media platforms should not cause conservatives to abandon our principles of free expression without government interference. The best answer to a lie is the truth, not a regulator or a court deciding what is the lie and the truth.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is a Newsmax senior political analyst and debuted with the network during its special election coverage. Sen. Santorum has an expansive background in politics having served two terms as a Republican senator from Pennsylvania.
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