Big Tech to make conservatives 'second-class citizens' without pushback, Heritage Foundation warns

Fox News Flash top headlines for February 7

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com.

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

FIRST ON FOX: The Heritage Foundation warns in a new report that Big Tech censorship will make conservatives "second-class citizens" without mounted pushback.

Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the new report by the conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., which it calls "an authoritative assessment" on how Big Tech has "weaponized unprecedented power and influence to silence Americans," undermined freedom and "fundamentally" reshaped American society.

The new report comes amid growing calls from people on the left for Spotify, a popular music streaming platform, to remove comedian Joe Rogan from its platform.

JOE ROGAN CONTROVERSY: EX-MUMFORD & SONS MEMBER COMPARES CALLS TO NIX SPOTIFY PODCAST TO SOVIET-ERA CENSORSHIP

Dr. Kevin Roberts serves as the seventh president in Heritage’s 48-year history. (Heritage Foundation)

Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts decried Big Tech as "the enemy of the people" and said "these powerful corporations’ undeniable service to leftist ideology eerily mirrors oppressive behavior by totalitarian governments to silence opposition and relegate those with whom they disagree to second-class citizens."

"Every single American should be concerned by Big Tech’s manipulation of the free market to exploit consumers, censor conservatives, target children, expand chilling surveillance programs, and selectively limit access to the modern public square." he continued. "It’s going to take all of us to fight back against Big Tech and ensure these companies are held to account for their unchecked, flagrant abuses of power and undermining of the common good."

Kara Frederick, the author of the report, said in the release that "corporations do not have the right to undermine the basic values and rights that make our republic the beacon of freedom and opportunity that it is today, nor should they be allowed to undermine the common good by manipulating the very system that has enriched them in the first place."

"That is exactly what Big Tech has done in recent years," Frederick continued. "The answer to these abuses is true accountability. That’s why we are releasing this set of recommendations – to give policymakers at all levels of government a roadmap on how to end Big Tech’s pernicious influence as we know it and its ability to work hand-in-glove with governments to police speech."

Frederick also called for "aggressive and meaningful reforms that will ensure all Americans are guaranteed freedom of expression and access in the digital space" and warned that "Big Tech has increasingly and systematically exercised control of information and access to the digital space in ways that undermine our republic."

"Heritage’s recommendations go right to the heart of this influence," she added.

The reportkicks off by arguing that too many "gatekeepers of information for the American public – elite media, academia, government institutions, and various organs of the culture – are captured by leftist ideology."

"As the past year has borne out, Big Tech companies are not afraid to exercise their power in the service of this ideology," the report reads. "Given their positions as global oligopolies, the ability of Big Tech companies to manipulate the flow of information renders their actions transformative."

Joe Rogan during the UFC 247 ceremonial weigh-in at Toyota Center on Feb. 7, 2020, in Houston, Texas.

Joe Rogan during the UFC 247 ceremonial weigh-in at Toyota Center on Feb. 7, 2020, in Houston, Texas. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images  |  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo. Photo editing by Fox Newss.  )

It goes on to warn that Americans should be "concerned about Big Tech’s willingness to shut off direct access to digital information, their demonstrated pattern of information manipulation, and their impact on America’s culture of free speech."

"Beyond this, the growing symbiosis between Big Tech and government, the constriction of digital life, the pernicious targeting and exploitation of the next generation, and the expansion of digital surveillance will accelerate the stratification of American society," it continues.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The report also warns that if "current patterns are not disrupted, conservatives will bear the brunt of this tech-enabled classification system implemented hand-in-glove with the government."

"To avoid this fate, conservatives should act now – to fight, to build, and to restore the principles of free expression and the democratic promise of technology," it reads. "The stakes are rising by the day."

"If we do not confront this tech-enabled stratification now, conservatives will be relegated to the status of second-class citizens, constrained within a patchwork of technical restrictions or cut off entirely from the new digital world," the report concludes.

Houston Keene Fox News