Though Warren’s regulatory agenda has long been an object of ridicule for conservatives, many flocked to her call to break up the tech giants, which they view with increasing suspicion. In particular, conservatives have grown increasingly convinced that social media companies are engaged in a pattern of shadow and even overt censorship of their viewpoints—through algorithmic changes to user feeds and even outright bans from the platforms.
Hot points have included the banning of right-wing provocateurs and a short-lived Twitter prohibition on a campaign ad from then-Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Last year, pro-Trump commentators “Diamond & Silk” appeared at a congressional hearing to allege that Facebook was “shadow-banning” conservatives on social media to reduce their visibility.
Those tensions have prompted more calls from the right for the tech giants to be broken up. In 2017, conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter called for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to assign Justice Department attorneys to “breaking up these enormous, bloated, anti-competitive conglomerates.” And in language reminiscent of Warren’s own progressive rhetoric, National Review writer Victor Davis Hanson has called the tech founders the “new robber barons.”