Steve King

Republican Congressman Steve King convened a hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C. to examine complaints that conservatives are being censored on college campuses and by social media companies.

“Fortunately, Americans are beginning to recognize this quiet trend in our society in which one group or another systematically silences another’s beliefs with which they disagree,” King said. King led the hearing in the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. He says conservative voices are being “stifled” on college campuses.

“The academic freedom is threatened when professors fear retaliation or administrative sway for what they choose to research or teach or even discuss in a casual setting,” King said. King accused YouTube, Facebook and Google of banning users based on their conservative political views.

“When anyone is silenced, the result is censorship and it’s plain and simple, but it takes a more sinister form, particularly in settings that claim to champion open discourse and when it’s performed quietly behind closed doors,” King said. “And also, in many cases, only the person who is censored knows what’s happened, and, even then, the person often doesn’t know how or why it’s happened.”

Tech-company executives say it’s in their business interests to have people of all viewpoints use their products. Democrats on the panel said this was the third Republican-led hearing this year on the issue and accused Republicans of using it to rally voters for the midterm elections.

(Photo courtesy of Congressman King’s office)