As some of the world’s largest tech and social media companies silence and delete accounts of those they disagree with, the Texas Attorney General is taking action.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued civil investigative demands to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and Apple, wanting answers about their censorship policies and their recent termination and blocking of the social media application Parler.

“For years, these Big Tech companies have silenced voices in the social media sphere and shut down competing companies and platforms,” said Paxton in a press release. “It has only grown worse in recent months. And just last week, this discriminatory action included the unprecedented step of removing and blocking President Donald Trump from online media platforms.”

In addition to deleting President Trump’s account, tech companies have been purging numerous other non-leftists from their sites—such as former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, whom Facebook suddenly blocked and locked out this week.

“With no explanation other than ‘repeatedly going against our community standards,’ [Facebook] has blocked me from managing my page,” Paul tweeted on Monday. “Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified.”

“First Amendment rights and transparency must be maintained for a free online community to operate and thrive. However, the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the president of the United States and several leading voices not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of Big Tech companies,” said Paxton.

“Every American should be concerned about this large-scale silencing and the effects it will have on the future of free speech,” Paxton concluded. “The public deserves the truth about how these companies moderate and possibly eliminate speech they disagree with. I am hopeful that these companies will set aside partisan politics and cooperate with these CIDs in order to get to the bottom of this contention and ensure a truly free online community consistent with the highest American ideals.”

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.