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Today, a select group of massive media and tech conglomerates choose what millions of Americans read and hear. Censorship has become a huge topic of concern. Big Tech companies have promised to create platforms that foster dialogue and open discussions of ideas in a globalizing world. Yet these same companies have been selectively silencing the voices of those whom they do not ideologically agree with. Although some might argue that offensive or harmful speech ought to be censored, tech giants have only engaged in “ideological censorship,” snuffing out those who present views contrary to their own.

Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney have brought the issue of censorship to our own backyard, urging twelve cable, satellite, and streaming companies to take action specifically against conservative news platforms. They have attempted to justify this by claiming that, “Experts have noted that the right-wing media ecosystem is “much more susceptible...to disinformation, lies, and half-truths.” However, is there a limit to what would justify censoring the media or does everyone have to constantly live in fear of their platform being taken away from them? Is flat out censoring an entire group’s views to avoid possible misinformation really the right step? Or is it a violation of the United States Constitution and paving the way for tech companies and the government to continue encroaching on the rights of Americans??

Constitutional Implications: The first amendment of the United States Constitution declares that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Censorship, in the form of suppressing specific political beliefs on platforms built to engineer open dialogue, is unacceptable. Political and private censors seek to infringe on these citizens’ constitutional rights—the freedom of expression and the freedom of speech—by putting restrictions on what is shown in the media. They claim that they are doing it for the benefits of the American people by removing the so-called “polluted” information. Imagine living in a country where only one-sided information is presented to the people. Imagine not being able to express your opinions, your emotions, or even factual evidence, simply because they do not fit under a specific group of representatives’ standards. These censors’ aggressive stance against even a single line of the Constitution, albeit indirectly, raises alarming questions about the rest of our constitutional rights - what comes next? This is not the America we want to live in.

Rishi’s run for congress is to protect the integrity of our first amendment. Unlike Rep. Eshoo, Rishi will never seek to silence voices on either side of the aisle. Rishi is not interested in partisan politics, but in addressing the challenges of America. Rishi, a hi-tech executive and Saratoga councilmember, is against the stifling of your voice and will ensure that every American voice is heard and allowed to express, whether we agree, disagree, or fall somewhere in between.