Hawaii congresswoman and 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently filed a lawsuit against Google for suspending her campaign's Google Ads account after she was one of the most-searched candidates since appearing in the Democratic presidential debate.
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The account was later reinstated but after that crucial window of opportunity right after a televised debate, Gabbard told FOX Business. She said they never gave her campaign a reason as to why it was shut down.
In an issue that seems to bipartisan, President Trump slammed Google on what he claimed was anti-conservative bias. He said his administration is "watching Google very closely."
"We're suing Google because of the power that these big tech monopolies have over influencing our public discourse, our freedom of speech, and really, ultimately, our fair elections because if they can do this to me as a sitting member of Congress, running for the highest office of the land, this means they can do it to anyone running for office at any level in this country or any person if they don't like what you're saying," Gabbard said.
If they can do this to me ... they can do it to anyone running for office at any level ... if they don't like what you're saying.
The complaint claims Google shut down her account because during the debate, she mentioned her support for net neutrality and because she has often been vocal in her worry about Google's power in the marketplace.
Google released a statement that said it does not apply bias toward any political parties or beliefs.
Gabbard claims this is less about her and more about protecting the American people.
"Eighty-eight percent of all Internet searches in the United States take place in Google," Gabbard said. "[It's] 92 percent in the world. So when you look at a monopoly like Google having total control of what pops up when you search for something, this is what we're talking about."
She said she feels there are two approaches America should take to combat this:
- Break up these big tech companies' monopolies
- Look legislatively at what kind of accountability should be put in place to make sure there's not an infringement on freedom of speech and increase fairness.
As of now, Google does not have to adhere to political advertising laws that currently govern television broadcasting units, which don't allow broadcasters to censor or discriminate against federal candidates when it comes to airing their advertisements.
Gabbard said it's imperative to ask what is in the best interest of the American people, to make sure civil liberties are protected and that national security is crucial. She agrees with President Trump that there needs to be more regulation of big tech firms.