Issues & Insights

The Cold Civil War: Social Media Bans Threaten Free Speech For All

Donald Trump banned tweet. Source: The guardian, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

I&I Editorial

After last week’s Washington, D.C., protests, it didn’t take long for the Big Tech billionaires who own, control and run much of the internet and social media to reveal what they truly are: willing tools, a Fifth Column even, of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and enemies of free speech. A reckoning is due.

In a scene reminiscent of “The Godfather,” the Big Tech companies moved aggressively last weekend to “settle all family business” by deplatforming President Donald Trump, his supporters, a swath of the conservative movement, and anyone else who dares to voice an “unWoke” opinion.

Triggered and emboldened by a direct request from former First Lady Michelle Obama, Twitter did as told, leading to a bizarre cascade of “me-too” social media activity. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all blacklisted Trump and, in some cases, his followers.

“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,” Twitter said, via a statement.

But as American Greatness points out, the tweets in question are not violent at all:

The 75 million 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 not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.

Since Friday, the purge of conservatives has grown, with 70,000 accounts related to Trump and his supporters reportedly removed from Twitter.

Meanwhile, an ABC News executive even called for “cleansing” American media of Trump and his movement. Cleansing. This is straight-up fascist rhetoric, the kind that often serves as a euphemistic prelude for much uglier action, including violence.

But has ABC or any other major media been banned by Twitter for their violent rhetoric? How about the 10 times in recent months when Democratic officials called for violence in reaction to Trump? Are they now suffering the sting of social media isolation?

What about last summer, when top Democratic officials, including both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden running mate Kamala Harris, excused and repeatedly egged on violent protests and riots by far-left extremist groups Black Lives Matter and Antifa?

The answer to all: No. Why? Big Tech and the constellation of lesser companies that orbit around it are objectively aligned with the Democratic Party and the progressive-socialist policies it now openly espouses.

The Big Tech attack even knee-capped Twitter-alternative Parler, with Amazon doing the dirty work by taking the center-right social media alternative off its cloud service entirely after Apple and Google pushed Parler off their servers. It amounts to a brutal attack on a competitor by a cabal of politically active American firms.

That we live in a nation where such an act is possible speaks volumes for how degraded our public discourse, the rule of law and respect for the Constitution have become.

It was just Oct. 28 of last year that the Big Tech CEOs sat before a Senate committee as it investigated social media, piously intoning their denials of any kind of political bias whatsoever, and apologizing for any excesses committed by their employees.

“I hear the concerns and acknowledge them,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said, rejecting any complaints of favoritism toward Democrats. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai likewise denied any political bias.

This weekend’s actions by Big Tech or Big Talk or whatever you call them, shattered that phony pretense. It showed the Big Tech moguls and their Big Media cronies to be little more than propagandists for the Democratic Party, and brutal antagonists to all things Trump and Republican.

A handful of socialist tech billionaires allied with the Democratic Party now control speech in America. Their indoctrination on the Democrats’ behalf, including the removal of conservative voices, should be viewed as what they are: Illegal in-kind donations to the Democratic Party.

Worse still, Big Tech has revealed itself to be an enemy of our constitutional American Republic, conceived and built on the idea of unalienable rights. That especially includes the no. 1 right enumerated in our Constitution: free speech.

Even leftist foreign leaders expressed alarm at the censorship of Trump, among them Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Yes, that’s how bad it is.

The attacks on speech, especially the shutdown of Parler, are serious antitrust and civil rights violations. Parler has already sued Amazon, citing both antitrust and breach of contract. Speaking to Fox News, California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes called the coordinated attack on Parler by the Big Tech cabal a violation of “the RICO statute.”

We agree. The social media giants have way overstepped their bounds and now pose a clear danger to American free speech. And it won’t end there. Religious belief, gun ownership, the right to own property, and other basic liberties will come in for the same treatment.

Can anything done about this totalitarian, anti-American behavior? Yes.

Find alternatives to these companies (and there will soon be many) and use them.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department and FBI must investigate Big Tech’s predatory anti-competitive behavior and attacks on free speech — before there’s no free speech left to protect. Contact your representative and tell them to do something. They work for you.

While we’re at it, there’s a movement in Congress to strip Big Tech of its protections against lawsuits under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The idea behind Sec. 230 was that social media were merely neutral conveyors of information, not players in the political game.

That’s the grandest lie of all.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

4 comments

  • I&I writes an editorial condemning social media for supposedly attacking conservatives free speech, then post a disclaimer they have the right to review and monitor your post. State rules of participation. Is I&I not self-aware? They need to explain how they are any different from twitter.

    • How are we different from Twitter? Well, let’s see. Twitter is a massive social media platform. I&I is a comparatively tiny news and opinion publisher. We state our point of view clearly on our site, and we take responsibility for everything we publish, including comments from readers.

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