On November 15th, FOI Executive Director Christie-Lee McNally penned a letter to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley applauding his decision to open an investigation into Google’s monopoly power. Hawley’s investigation will examine Google’s potential violations of Missouri’s consumer protection and anti-trust laws. Christie applauded Hawley’s decision to open the investigation and encouraged him to include in his investigation an examination of Google’s use of censorship, particularly of conservative voices, and alteration of search results on its flagship search engine and other platforms like YouTube. She argued that these infractions are dangerous to the continued preservation of free speech Here’s the full letter:
November 15, 2017
The Honorable Josh Hawley
Missouri Attorney General’s Office
Supreme Court Building
207 W. High St.
P.O. Box 899
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Mr. Attorney General,
I’d like to first applaud your decision to issue a subpoena to Google over potential violations of Missouri’s consumer protection and anti-trust laws. I agree that Google has operated unchecked for too long and its tendency to misappropriate content from rivals and relegate competitor’s websites in search results is dangerous and irresponsible. Nothing less than a full investigation is necessary to address these problems.
Although Google’s monopoly is destructive and a danger to the citizens of Missouri, I strongly believe that some of the firm’s practices pose a threat to the fabric of American democracy itself. I am talking about censorship, which Google has, on a regular basis, exercised with little remorse against conservative voices on the internet for decades.
As the Executive Director of Free Our Internet, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating citizens about the war the tech-left has waged on them for almost twenty years, I take very seriously the need to hold Google accountable for its efforts to use its vast reach and monopoly power to promulgate one side of the political spectrum. You see, Google, through its primary search engine and other platforms like YouTube, has very clearly been pushing a liberal agenda, censoring only conservative voices and collaborating with other tech giants to amplify liberal messaging. As a tech company so large that its services are essentially a public utility at this point, this kind of political meddling is unacceptable and dangerous.
Countless examples of Google’s meddling and hypocrisy are out there. The company demonetized the videos of Diamond & Silk, a popular duo of African-American YouTubers known for their vocal support of President Donald Trump, in August 2017 prior to the Presidential election with little explanation given. Similarly, PragerU, a conservative educational site, found just recently that YouTube had begun restricting some of its content, preventing it from monetization. If these examples and countless others like them are not enough, look no further than the firing of former Google employee James Damore, who was let go after a memo he penned on the liberal bias of the company’s internal politics went viral.
On top of these instances, Google is just now coming off of a campaign against the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. I know that you supported this bill along with all forty-nine other state Attorneys General and for good reason – websites like Backpage.com that enable sex trafficking must be stopped. Unfortunately, it seems that Google is more concerned with maintaining its own lack of accountability, as the company went so far as to alter search results for “section 230” to direct to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s campaign against the legislation.
With these examples in mind, I would encourage you to broaden your probe of Google to include a robust look at the company’s very overt efforts to influence the ideological leanings of Missourians and the American electorate as a whole. Google’s power and influence are global, and with that power comes a charge to allow private citizens to make their own decisions and express themselves as they please. In this way, Google’s growing monopoly power threatens not only perfect competition, enterprise, and entrepreneurship, but the core principles of our great nation and the First Amendment itself.
Free Our Internet