What’s the relationship between conservatives and social media? It’s not thriving, at the very least. You’ve probably heard of Parler, a “free speech” townhall type platform popularized by conservatives aiming to escape big tech social platforms. Almost as quickly as it gained traction, the site was de-platformed by app stores and even an Amazon web server. Many of its former users wondered where to go next. Is there a future for conservatives on social media? Some say de-platforming is happening to both sides, and people should stay on the big platforms to make their voices heard. Others say it’s a free market: Conservatives should find platforms that allow them to speak.
In this Millennial Minute debate, David Grasso hears from New Journey PAC chief of staff AJ Swinson and Pensive Politics podcast host Christian Watson.
Does censorship exist?
Swinson acknowledges that Parler wasn’t perfect but stated the platform was mistreated. Twitter has had years to apologize for missteps and to fix its mistakes; Parler was kicked out at the first call of blame. Watson says that censorship exists against both sides and agreed that it is wrong in all cases.
Fight or flight?
Watson believes that people should stay and let their voices be heard on the big tech social platforms. He doesn’t mind people leaving for a while to make a point and drive down the companies’ stocks. But he thinks they should ultimately go back and create diverse conversations on the platforms.
Conversely, Swinson’s answer is the free market. Conservatives shouldn’t support the platforms that they don’t trust. They have the power to move their business elsewhere. While Parler may not be the solution, other alternative solutions may arise.
More or less regulation?
Section 230 is a piece of legislation that protects social platforms from what happens on their sites, but should we keep it? Swinson says that removing Section 230 also would remove its protections from platforms like Parler, but the government shouldn’t try to fix this issue with legislation.
What do you think? Should conservatives find another public arena for conversation or stay on the big tech platforms? Should we have more regulation? Let us know in the comments. And check out the full debate above!