Big Tech’s War on Free Speech

On January 8, in the wake of the protests two days earlier at the U.S. Capitol that left five dead and derailed congressional debate over election fraud, Twitter and Facebook permanently banned President Trump from their platforms. Jack Dorsey, the scruffy billionaire CEO of Twitter, apparently banned Trump while vacationing in French Polynesia.

This action by Twitter and Facebook, while shocking, should not surprise anyone. This is the latest salvo in a war that began the day Trump declared his candidacy. In a series of calculated escalations that will be recounted here, Big Tech has achieved something that would have been unthinkable four years ago, the cancellation of a U.S. President.

Twitter, in a statement said “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Surprisingly, because this is rarely done by any of the social media platforms when they ban someone, Twitter identified two tweets made by the President on January 8 that resulted in their decision to ban him.

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

And, shortly after that:

“To all of those who have asked, I will […] Read More

Announcing Winston84 – A Directory to Suppressed Content

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth.” ~ Winston Smith, 1984, by George Orwell

This week the Center for American Greatness is pleased to announce a new resource for lovers of the First Amendment. A searchable directory—Winston84—to online content that has been censored.

The phenomenon of online censorship, which has steadily increased over the past few years, hardly requires explanation. Beginning in earnest in 2016, the censorship disproportionately impacts conservatives and nationalists, who find their social media content “shadowbanned,” “deboosted,” “throttled down,” “demonetized,” or, in the ultimate (and very common) sanction, “deplatformed.” All too often, these content providers even have their websites taken down by their ISP providers, and their online fundraising accounts terminated.

For those of us paying attention, these attacks by online communications monopolies have been unrelenting, but the censorship has reached new extremes. Last week, Twitter made it impossible to post a link to an article about content potentially embarrassing to candidate Joe Biden, published by one of the oldest newspapers in America. Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter have now censored social media accounts belonging to the Trump reelection campaign 65 times.

The recent wave of censorship goes well beyond presidential politics.

In just the last two weeks, YouTube, following similar actions by Facebook and Twitter, deleted more than 30 channels with significant audiences which they identified as posting “Qanon conspiracy theories,” […] Read More

The Power of Big Tech is Greater Than Ever

Earlier this month Twitter engaged in what has become all to common among the online communications giants, they banned conservative content from their platform. This time, their targets were conservative humorists.

Two of the banned accounts, Titania McGrath and the Babylon Bee, offer some of the most hilarious satire to be found anywhere. And as with any great satire, sometimes at first glance, the uninitiated will not even realize its a joke.

After a few days, Twitter reinstated both of these accounts, but another target of the ban, the satirist Jarvis DuPont, remains inaccessible. DuPont’s musings can still be found on Spectator USA, but because the focus of his ridicule was trans ideology – which constitutes the uttermost pinnacle of intersectional sanctity – he shall never be seen on Twitter again.

It is difficult to overstate the global power of these companies. Not quite two years ago, in an article entitled (all too accurately) “How Big Tech Will Swing the Midterms, Then Take Over the World,” a financial snapshot of the seven biggest high tech and social media companies was included. That graphic is reproduced below:These are companies of almost unimaginable financial power. Twitter, the smallest kid on the block, by far, in terms of their market value, back in late 2018 was nonetheless sitting on nearly six billion dollars in cash. That’s cold hard cash, sitting in their checking account.

Together, these seven companies, which collectively exercise almost absolute control over what information […] Read More

Big Tech’s Escalating War on Free Speech

On June 19 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld 9-0 the right to freedom of speech, even so-called “hate speech.” From Justice Alito: “the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought that we hate.” And from Justice Kennedy, “A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all.”

Tell that to the big tech. Because for them, “hate speech” is any point of view that is in opposition to the political agenda favored by the people who run the big tech companies, and control the platforms that have become the 21st Century version of a public square.

While this is an ongoing story, it is important to understand the theme. It is not “big tech platforms censor conservative and nationalist speech by defining it as “hate speech.” Rather the theme is more accurately and ominously characterized as “big tech platforms are continuously widening the criteria for what sorts of conservative and nationalist content are defined as hate speech.”

The first big wave of censorship was back in 2017 when websites offering full-blown neo-Nazi content, such as the notorious “Daily Stormer,” were deplatformed. Nobody wanted to defend the right of these content creators to go on publishing, even though on principle, they still should have had “the freedom to express the thought that we hate.”

The next wave of deplatforming took place […] Read More

A Directory of Politically Incorrect, Algorithmically Suppressed Vloggers

Anyone who doesn’t believe conservatives are being systematically suppressed by the communications monopolies of big tech is either not paying attention, hopelessly biased, or thoroughly brainwashed.

The process of suppression takes many forms. It isn’t merely suppression of conservative viewpoints on the major social media platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter), but suppression of the related apps (Apple, Amazon), exclusion from the principal funding sites (Patreon, Kickstarter, GoFundMe), exclusion from the major online payment processors (PayPal, Stripe), and in some cases even access denial by the ISPs (AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon).

In most cases, suppression has not been total. One of the first to be banished, Alex Jones, still has his “Infowars” website; one of the more recent casualties also survives online as a stand alone, the relaunched Milo Yiannopoulos’s “Dangerous” website. But in the monopolistic communications infrastructure of social media platforms, apps and funding sites, they don’t exist. If you don’t know where to look for these orphaned websites, you won’t find them.

Suppression of conservative content began in earnest after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, intensified further in the months immediately preceding the 2018 midterms, and further still with the wave of purges that took place in the Spring of 2019. This story has been told again and again, a very recent example would be testimony by Dennis Prager before the U.S. Senate on July 16th.

Finding the Vloggers Who Have Been Suppressed

It is impossible to track every conservative who has been suppressed online. […] Read More