Long an outspoken critic of pandemic-related censorship, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Monday announced that he would cease use of Big Tech social media platforms altogether, starting with YouTube, in protest of those firms’ restrictions on free speech, as the Washington Times reports.
According to the senator’s office, the only exceptions he plans to make to the self-imposed exile is when he wishes to post videos to YouTube criticizing its policies or to encourage viewers to visit competitor video site Rumble.
“Today, I begin my exodus from Big Tech, starting with the worst censor of all, YouTube,” Paul declared in a statement explaining the move.
The lawmaker continued, “As a libertarian-leaning senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, however, those of us who believe that truth comes from disputation and that the marketplace of ideas is a prerequisite for innovation should shun the close-minded censors and take our ideas elsewhere, which is exactly what I am doing.”
Earlier this year, YouTube imposed a one-week block on Paul’s ability to post videos, citing a supposed violation of its policies regarding COVID-19 misinformation, when the senator attempted to question the effectiveness of masks in halting the spread of the coronavirus, as the Times further noted, a move that contributed to his decision to depart from the platform once and for all.
Paul is not the only high-profile individual blasting Big Tech censorship in recent days, particularly in the wake of Twitter’s decision to bar Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) from its platform on Sunday over alleged violations of its “COVID-19 misinformation” policy, as NBC News reported.
In response, former President Donald Trump – himself a well-known target of Big Tech censorship and bans – declared Twitter “a disgrace to democracy,” according to The Hill, adding that the company “shouldn’t be allowed to do business in this Country. Marjorie Taylor Greene has a huge constituency of honest, patriotic, hard-working people. They don’t deserve what’s happened to them on places like low-life Twitter and Facebook.”
The propensity of Big Tech firms to boot those who express viewpoints that dissent from the mainstream liberal orthodoxy has also spurred a recent exodus to social media platform GETTR by high-profile names including podcaster Joe Rogan, mRNA vaccine pioneer Dr. Robert Malone, and more.
As Sen. Paul emphasized in his announcement, “Many in Congress, on the Left and the Right, want to break up or regulate Big Tech, but few of these loud voices have actually stepped up and quit using Big Tech,” and hopefully his will be the first of many noteworthy departures from their oppressive grip on information yet to come in 2022.