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Texas Attorney General Demands Big Tech Explain Shunning of Parler

Peter Blumberg
·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Big Tech has some explaining to do to assure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that this week’s take-down of Parler LLC isn’t a political hit job on a conservative social media upstart.

“The public deserves the truth about how these companies moderate and possibly eliminate speech they disagree with,” Paxton said in a statement Wednesday announcing formal requests for information from Google, Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. about their content moderation policies and practices.

Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Amazon suspended its web-hosting service for the platform over concern that it has failed to effectively police violent content. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, meanwhile, have blocked President Donald Trump’s accounts in his final days in office.

Paxton, a Republican and a staunch supporter of Trump, said his interest is in making sure the internet is a level playing field for free speech.

“The seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President of the United States and several leading voices not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of Big Tech companies,” he said in the statement.

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