‘Conservatives Will Cease To Exist Online’: CPAC Speakers Fret About the Tech Bogeyman

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Some panelists at the conservative conference want to give the government more power over social media.

There hasn’t been much love for social media companies at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a massive annual D.C. gathering of the American right.

With its colossal presence, CPAC has the power to drive messaging within the Republican Party, and this year’s meeting—replete with anti-tech sentiment—will be no different. A source familiar with the conference’s planning process tells Reason that some conservatives during plenary sessions voiced their opposition to the big-tech hostility, yet the organizers apparently ignored those concerns. Plenty of conservatives still hold tightly to free speech absolutism and limited government, but anyone watching CPAC could easily forget that.

The anti-tech fervor took center stage on Friday morning, with Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.), and Donald Trump, Jr., each of whom presented their case against social media with claims of censorship and bias against conservatives.

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