Big Tech may slowly be responding to pressure from Republicans in Congress who are demanding less censorship of conservative content – or it just might be a smart business decision.
Shortly after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Apple dumped the conservative Twitter alternative Parler from its app store. The actual Twitter de-platformed the president of the United States and other Big Tech sites followed suit. This week, after some minor tweaks and a letter from Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Representative Ken Buck (R-Colorado), Parler is back on Apple's app store.
Clare Morell of the Ethics & Public Policy Center says while it might be mere "pin pricks" to the tech giants, Republican pressure appears to be having an effect.
"I think another big turning point was Attorney General [William] Barr filing a pretty big anti-trust lawsuit against Google. [That] really started to tip the scale," she tells One News Now – adding that it's also possibly capitalism taking effect.
"There's a possibility for them to make concessions as public outcry and pressure grows, because at the end of the day they are businesses and they're motivated to appeal to their consumer base," says Morell.
But Dan Gainor of MRC TechWatch argues that Silicon Valley still has a stranglehold on conservative organizations and businesses.
"Google controls 92% of search," he emphasizes. "When Google flipped the switch sometime last July, a whole bunch of conservative organizations simply stopped being found in Google search."
And he warns that only a fraction of Big Tech's "weapons" to silence conservatives has been revealed thus far.
"We haven't gotten to ones that they haven't tried yet," he explains. "[For example], suppose smartphones or Internet services decide that certain content is forbidden?"
One News Now reported last week that a prominent pro-family organization plans to launch its own video streaming platform this summer as a way to prevent being banned by Big Tech because they don't agree with the content.