Alliance Defending Freedom and Christian financial technology firm Inspire Insight conducted a study called the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index to uncover the extent to which the most influential U.S. companies protect free speech. The results were “abysmal.”

The Business Index looked at 50 Fortune 1000 companies with the greatest potential to impact religious freedom and free speech in the U.S. including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bank of America, and many others.

The businesses scored an average of 12% out of 100 when it comes to how well they protect free speech.

“The results of our inaugural Business Index reveal that there is much work to be done,” wrote ADF’s Jeremy Tedesco and Inspire Insight’s Robert Netzly in an op ed. “Company scores ranged between 2% and 35%, with the average overall score an abysmal 12%. The poor showing confirms that there is an alarming trend among major corporations to favor virtue-signaling even at the expense of fundamental American freedoms.”

These findings are deeply concerning because these companies hold immense power over our culture. They serve millions of people and organizations daily while determining which information is widely circulated and which is swept under the rug.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram serve as the public forums of our time. In recent years, they have been increasingly censoring viewpoints and punishing people simply for sharing the Truth.

Twitter has banned or suspended conservative leaders, including former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and several others, simply for sharing viewpoints that fell outside the limits of the company’s approved speech. For example, the platform banned conservative commentator Matt Walsh for speaking the truth about transgenderism earlier this year.

YouTube is also notorious for censoring conservative voices such as Prager University.

The platform recently banned content intended to help individuals who struggle with same-sex attractions. It no longer allows videos to be posted that promote a sexual shift from “gay” to “straight.”

In the name of wokeness, individuals are being denied the help they need and the Truth that may set them free from the shackles imposed by secular culture.

Further, by stifling the free exchange of ideas, these companies are threatening democracy and the very fabric of our nation. Free and fair elections are not possible without a free press. How can American citizens cast a fair and informed vote when our public forums promote a singular worldview and suppress the truth?

Our nation was built on the idea that free speech ought to be protected in the public sphere. This is one of the many reasons the United States is so exceptional. Since our country’s founding, Americans have enjoyed unique capability of speaking out against the government and standing for the Truth without fear of repercussions. Now, that appears to be changing.

Most importantly, to restrict the freedom of God’s creation is to violate God’s design. God endowed each of us with the right to free speech for a reason, and we must demand the protection of that right for the sake of human dignity and our country’s endurance.

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” -Benjamin Franklin.