Dem senator defends social media platforms deleting content: 'Not the same as government censorship'

Dem senator defends social media platforms deleting content: 'Not the same as government censorship'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyWant to improve health care? Get Americans off of their couches Situation in Yemen should lead us to return to a constitutional foreign policy Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war MORE (D-Conn.) defended statements he made Monday advocating for social media companies to shut down some users.

Murphy contended that private companies choosing to keep their platforms from spreading “hate and lies is not the same as government censorship.”

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On Monday, Murphy had urged social media companies to do more to combat misinformation and hatred on their platforms. He said on Twitter that sites like Facebook and YouTube “must do more than take down one website” for the “survival of our democracy.”

“They are private companies that shouldn’t knowingly spread lies and hate,” Murphy also tweeted.

Murphy was responding to Facebook's decision to remove four pages linked to the controversial right-wing site Infowars from its platform on Monday.

Conservatives, including The Daily Wire’s founder Ben Shapiro and conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter, criticized Murphy’s statements as being anti-free speech, amid a larger debate involving conservatives accusing social media platforms of bias. 

Apple, Facebook, Pinterest and Spotify each removed pages associated with Jones and Infowars over violations of their codes of conduct over the last few days. Facebook specifically cited Jones’s “dehumanizing language” regarding “people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants” in their announcement of the decision.

Many of the companies have affirmed their commitment to free speech in the aftermath. An Apple spokesperson reiterated the company’s commitment to “representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”