Matt Dolan: “My Pro-Israel Op-ed Was Censored by Big Tech. It’s Part of a Much Larger Problem.”

In case you missed, Matt Dolan is out with an op-ed in The Washington Times explaining the broader ramifications of his pro-Israel advocacy being censored by Big Tech. On October 27, the Columbus Dispatch ran an opinion piece authored by Dolan in which he stood in solidarity with Israel and their right to defend themselves against Hamas terrorists. Shortly thereafter, X, the social media giant formerly known as Twitter, suppressed Matt Dolan’s pro-Israel content on their platform, branding it “violent speech.” The content remains suppressed today.

My Pro-Israel Op-ed Was Censored by Big Tech. It’s Part of a Much Larger Problem.
By Matt Dolan, Opinion | November 22, 2023

“America must stand with Israel. Full stop. We should provide Israel with the support they need to destroy Hamas.”

Those words were enough to get me censored by Big Tech.

Nineteen words, paired together with a pro-Israel op-ed I wrote that were published in the Columbus Dispatchremain suppressed as “violent speech” by X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. 

My words surely pale in comparison to the literal acts of violence, barbarity and war perpetrated by Hamas on October 7, the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Hamas massacred innocent civilians, pregnant women, and children, leaving 1,400 innocents dead, including 29 Americans. We now measure in weeks the elapsed time Israeli and U.S. citizens have been held hostage by Hamas, all while the Iran-backed terrorist network uses schools and hospitals as veritable shields in Gaza.

And X classifies my words as violent.

At its root, the rise in anti-Israel demonstrations in America can largely be attributed to people and platforms in positions of authority normalizing shameful conduct. From the streets of Western capitals to college campuses to the halls of Congress, hate speech meant to intimidate Jews is disguised as free speech. This has seeped into the policymaking realm as well with so-called populist Republicans joining rhetorical forces with liberal professors and the Squad, calling on the U.S. to refrain from offering further funding, weapons and intelligence to defend Israel. It’s a disgrace.

The ongoing systematic suppression and de-platforming of conservative voices by major tech companies should trouble users, news consumers, and policymakers alike. The freedom to express divergent opinions – and cold-blooded facts, no matter how inconvenient for some – is a fundamental right. When such liberties are curtailed, it jeopardizes the essence of our democratic values.

Examples of Big Tech censorship are both inescapable and irrefutable. Sometimes they are brazen and outright; other times, they are dressed up in platitudes about “violent speech” or “objectionable content.” But the outcome is still the same, voices that these left-leaning companies don’t agree with are deemed “unacceptable” and are silenced.

Conservatives understand well how the pervasive nature of censorship shapes public opinion, distorts the marketplace of ideas and impacts the electoral process. For example, it was reported by the Washington Examiner that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin directed his political committee not to use Eventbrite in the wake of the platform’s suppression of conservative voices and promotion of antisemitic events. 

The First Amendment is the most sacred right we have as Americans. It is a constant theme that authoritarian regimes in Tehran, Moscow, Beijing and elsewhere are threatened by freedom. They suppress speech to quell resistance and push their own agenda. This is precisely why now is not the time for fence sitting here in America. 

Fact are facts, and free speech is not akin to hate speech that incites violence and intimidation. You either condemn these actions or you condone it. The argument that private platforms reserve the right to set their own rules is valid, but it shouldn’t provide cover for biased practices that stifle one ideological viewpoint over another.

As Big Tech’s influence over everyday American life and our elections remains unchecked, a policy response is not only appropriate, it’s warranted. The digital public square must be open to a multitude of opinions, encouraging debate, dialogue, and the free exchange of ideas. Any attempt to silence one side diminishes the richness of this dialogue, undermines freedom, and threatens the cornerstone of our democracy.

Matt Dolan is a state senator from Ohio and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.