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Censorship top issue animating US conservative base: Trump pollster

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Censorship and taking on the Big Tech are the top issues animating the US conservative base as a Democrat takes power as the president, says a Trump pollster.

“This will be the defining issue for conservatives going forward in the same way that immigration was the defining issue that catapulted Donald Trump in 2016,” Trump pollster Jim McLaughlin was quoted as saying in report by The Hill. “The issue of freedom of speech and taking on Big Tech, it’s top of mind for conservatives, but also I think for regular voters in battlegrounds that feel like something is wrong. I don’t think the media and Big Tech have any idea about the can of worms they’ve opened.”

Since the former President Donald Trump was banned from his favorite social media, a crackdown has begun on conservative figures and media outlets promoting dangerous conspiracy theories about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump refuses to accept.

“We’re living now with the consequences of this experiment of misinformation and extremism that was allowed to boil over,” said Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, which has organized boycotts of Fox News. “Now we’ve reached the tipping point. The right is bugging out and trying to frame this as cancel culture, but I think they’re missing just how angry everyone is at them right now.”

On the other hand, there is the argument that many media outlets in the US are private and should be able to freely cover news they find fit for their audiences.

“These companies are private and have every right to not carry speech they don’t want,” said Jessica Melugin, the associate director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Technology and Innovation. “I don’t want to minimize the feelings and frustrations people have with these platforms, which are sincere, but at the end of the day this is a business decision.”

Over the weekend, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch warned about a “wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation.”

“This rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility,” Murdoch said. “Too many people have fought too hard in too many places for freedom of speech to be suppressed by this awful woke orthodoxy.”

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