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Kari Lake wants an Az law banning Big Tech 'censorship' of conservatives
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Kari Lake wants an Az law banning Big Tech 'censorship' of conservatives

  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at a campaign event in Tucson.
    Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.comRepublican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at a campaign event in Tucson.

Kari Lake wants to implement laws in Arizona that stop social media platforms from censoring speech from Arizonans on their sites, Lake told conservative talk show host Steven Crowder in an interview Tuesday

“It is absolutely outrageous and it should be criminal to take somebody who’s running for office and take their voice away for political reasons,” Lake said. 

Crowder has previously been banned from YouTube for hate speech and is currently on a two-week suspension for violating the platform’s harassment, threats and cyberbullying policy.

Lake’s statement came a day after Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state Mark Finchem was temporarily banned from Twitter for violating unspecified rules, before the platform’s new owner, Elon Musk reinstated his account. 

Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor, said she’d like Arizona to pass laws similar to those already on the books in Texas and Florida. 

Lake herself is a prolific Twitter poster, promoting campaign events, interviews and regularly calling out and poking fun at her Democratic opponent Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. 

Texas passed a law last year that stops large social media platforms from banning posts based on the poster’s political viewpoints. 

NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which challenged the Texas law in court, said it prevents social media platforms from rooting out extremism and foreign propaganda from their sites. The Texas law was temporarily blocked and then reinstated by an appeals court in September. 

Most of the Florida law, also passed last year, is currently enjoined after a district and an appeals court agreed that it violated the social media platforms’ First Amendment rights to determine what speech is expressed on their sites. 

The Florida law bars social media platforms from taking down the accounts of journalistic enterprises and Florida candidates for office, and it also requires use of the same criteria across platforms to determine which posts and accounts are taken down. 

“It’s a town square, it’s a place where ideas are floated, and we need to have freedom of speech,” Lake told Crowder about what she views as an inalienable right to speak on social media platforms. 

Lake and Crowder both have some skin in the game when it comes to social media censorship, after an episode of Crowder’s show posted in August that featured an interview with Lake was removed from YouTube for spreading election conspiracy theories. 

During that interview, Lake told Crowder she believes that Joe Biden is not a legitimate president, saying Donald Trump beat him in the 2020 election, a claim she’s spread with no evidence throughout her campaign for governor. 

“We had a botched, corrupt election in Arizona,” Lake said during the Aug. 11 interview, citing supposed evidence including the partisan “audit” of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, which found no evidence of fraud.  

Crowder’s show has been suspended from YouTube multiple times, the most recent of which is a two-week suspension that started over the weekend and which Crowder called “election interference” because it stops him from posting content on YouTube until after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. 

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.


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