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Published On: Thu, Sep 27th, 2018

ADF’s Jeremy Tedesco to testify on ‘The State of Intellectual Freedom in America’ at the House hearing

Alliance Defending Freedom Vice President of U.S. Advocacy Jeremy Tedesco will testify Thursday at a House subcommittee hearing titled “The State of Intellectual Freedom in America.” Tedesco will join university professors and other free speech experts testifying before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, chaired by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

“We live in a time when the need for productive civil discourse has perhaps never been more urgent, yet the obstacles to achieving it have never seemed more insurmountable,” said Tedesco. “ADF is committed to cultivating a society typified by the free exchange of ideas and respect and tolerance for those with whom we disagree. These uniquely American and constitutional principles are essential in a diverse society like ours, and they enable us to peacefully coexist with each other. But, sadly, several of the most influential technology giants are endangering the vitality of these core American principles. Silicon Valley’s digital gatekeepers have frequently promised an open marketplace of ideas and to support free expression. Instead, they rely on and partner with far-left advocacy groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to enforce arbitrary ‘hate speech’ codes.”

“We understand that there are no easy solutions to these issues,” Tedesco continued, “but we ask Congress to use its considerable influence to encourage Silicon Valley companies to abide by their representations. They shouldn’t promise an open and robust marketplace of ideas but then collaborate with biased and discredited groups like the SPLC to shut down one side of an ideological debate.”

ADF has been targeted because of the close alliance between tech giants and the SPLC. Earlier this year, Amazon excluded ADF from the AmazonSmile program—which allows customers to donate a small percentage of their purchases to a charitable nonprofit—solely because SPLC incorrectly labels ADF a “hate group.” Amazon likewise bars many other conservative and religious charities because the SPLC has labeled them “hate groups” for disagreeing with its far-left views.

The SPLC has lost enormous credibility, most recently by issuing a public apology and paying nearly $3.5 million to settle a threatened defamation lawsuit by Muslim reformer Maajid Mawaz, whom the SPLC had falsely labeled an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

 

photo/ jessica45

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