Devin Nunes, a man who has sued Twitter to stop freedom of speech, went on Fox News Sunday to tell the world that Republicans—like Devin Nunes—have lost their freedom to communicate with one another. He said this on Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday Fox news show that is watched by around 1.5 million people every week. Nunes is specifically talking about Parler, the right-wing alternative social media site that Nunes was an early devotee of. At the end of last week, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Google, and others shut down Trump’s social media accounts. Trump is still the president of the United States and has all kinds of avenues from which he could shriek his brand of narcissistic bigotry, but for many conservatives, this was the last straw in the war against conservatism.
Nunes tells viewers that there is “no longer a free and open social media company of site for any American to get on any longer.” The power-abusing Nunes, a man who may have used his position on the House Intelligence Committee to investigate political opponents like Hillary Clinton using super dubious actors like Giuliani associate Lev Parnas wants you to know that he’s lost 3 million followers on Parler. Saying that this act is “clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights, the rico statue,” Nunes called on the government to open “a racketeering investigation on all the people who coordinated this attack on not only a company but on all of those like us, like me, like you, Maria.”
The next best part of this push for Parler as the true right-wing conservative Republican utopia of freedom of speech is this tremendous statement by Nunes: “Unlike the fake social media sites, we know that everybody that’s on Parler, because you get certified. it’s actually a very safe platform and if you break the law on Parler, the FBI can subpoena to find out who those people are.” This is an interesting point coming from the Second Amendment touting, the-government-is-trying-to-register-everybody-with-a-microchip-and-arrest-you conservative. It’s almost like his whole ideology is bullshit and he’s mostly just stressed out that whatever revenue he was pulling in from his Parler successes has been cut down.
At the end of last week, Twitter, Facebook, and others shut down the accounts of right \-wingers like Trump, citing the violence in the Capitol on Jan. 6 of this year. Parler was subsequently squashed by Apple, Google, and other platforms, which refused to host the app and platform. This move, in essence, choked off Parler’s ability to work as a social media platform. Does it violate the First Amendment of the Constitution? No. Is this an attack on free speech? That is a real question that needs to be answered.
The first thing to acknowledge here is that when Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the big tech companies like Facebook and Twitter to be broken up, most of us agreed that these companies have too much monopolistic power. The need to strengthen our anti-trust laws and break up monopolies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook are important for a variety of reasons. However, it is clear from the Republican Party’s positions on the matter that Nunes and friends haven’t suddenly turned into Big Bill Haywood of the IWW.