Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. But today, both public and private entities pose threats to our fundamental freedoms.

As Viewpoint Diversity Score chief Jeremy Tedesco writes in a recent Townhall op-ed, “the government’s unprecedented co-opting of major corporations to censor and intimidate everyday citizens is becoming more and more normal by the hour.”

Tedesco, who serves as Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Engagement at Alliance Defending Freedom, highlights a recent House Committee report showing that Amazon partnered with the White House to hide books with messages the government didn’t like:

In a string of posts on X, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) unveiled subpoenaed documents that show officials in the Biden White House pressuring Amazon to suppress and censor books that challenged the government’s authorized narrative on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy…

Just three days after the White House first reached out, the trillion-dollar behemoth launched an internal “Do Not Promote” list targeting books that questioned the official COVID-19 response plan. As Jordan went on to note, Amazon also “considered other ways ‘to reduce the visibility’ of certain books that the Biden White House disliked.”

Tedesco also points out that Amazon’s collaboration to censor was “the second deeply troubling report his House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government made public in a matter of weeks.” He recounts the first report released last month:

In mid-January, Jordan shed light on the fact that federal law enforcement agencies, under the auspice of investigating criminal activity committed on Jan. 6, 2021, partnered with major banks and payment processors to flag Americans’ purchases from stores like Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as those related to “religious texts” including Bibles.

Everyone should be concerned about the way America’s largest corporations are contributing to censorship, Tedesco writes. “This kind of surveillance is terrifying. It’s straight out of 1984. No citizen of a free country should live in fear that their bank might be working with law enforcement to flag them as a "threat" for shopping at Cabela’s or buying “religious texts.” 

Threats like these are why ADF recently filed two friend-of-the-court briefs for upcoming cases at the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the destructive nexus of government and corporate power.

“If our freedom is to continue, that trend must be stopped in its tracks,” Tedesco writes. “Not only in the Oval Office, but also in the C-suites of America’s largest companies.”

Correcting corporate threats to our fundamental freedom is the aim of Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index. With its in-depth research and model policies, the Index shows companies where they’re falling short and provides them with what they need to correct course.

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