Time to Stand Up Against Big Tech
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Editor’s Note: This piece was coauthored by Jim McCoy.
The ongoing effort to destroy the world’s oldest democracy and replace it with a socialist or neo-Marxist form of government has its usual enablers. Groups include the Sixteen Thirty Fund and New Venture Fund, the Ford Foundation flush with former Obama officials, and city, state officials and district attorneys funded by George Soros head the list.
Somewhat opaque are power-crazed billionaires like Michael Bloomberg who hope to gain inordinate influence in the new government order, many of whom are executives at the Big Tech (BT) companies. As their coup progresses, wield enormous leverage, playing a super-sized role in this leftist crusade. They view themselves as members of an emerging oligarchy in the new Harris-Biden regime
In their book Big Tech Tyrants, Brown and Cefaratti offer credible evidence that the BT-3 (Facebook, Google and Twitter) have silently transitioned from social media platforms to publishers, presenting not necessarily what users want but what the platform’s executives believe users should see. The Wall Street Journal has credibly accused Amazon of denying advertising rights for competitors’ products on their website. Since the 2016 election, BT has also been actively shadow-banning (blocking or partially blocking users of their content from an online community so that it will not be readily apparent to them).
Conservatives have failed to adequately identify, assess, and confront the BT monopoly as it runs roughshod over our constitutional rights of free speech. Yet under federal antitrust law and the Sherman Antitrust Act, it is illegal to pursue or maintain a monopoly. The DOJ could and must pursue BT violations on its own as it did against Microsoft in 1998. C.net.com lists four examples discussed but not acted upon at the congressional committee hearing: 1) Amazon’s purchase and destruction of competitor Diapers.com; 2) Facebook’s power to acquire competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp; 3) Google’s ability to dominate competitors in online advertising because of its ownership of the platform; 4) Apple’s control of apps and music through its app store.
This adds insult to injury when legitimate grievances are expostulated to affectless BT executives who function above our law. The time to take decisive steps is long overdue. Such bold steps, however, were not taken in July of this year when the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple were lightly grilled by the feckless House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, & Administrative Law. Their oversight action was more symbolic than substantive. Most of our Congressional Republicans have acted impotently or not at all amid BT’s censoring of our right to freedom of conservative speech.
Julie Kelly in American Greatness observes, “Senate Republicans, despite years of bluster, failed to rein in these rogue entities either by revoking their protected status as “platforms” or revising campaign finance laws that would require social media giants to report in-kind campaign donations to Democrats for censoring conservative content and Republican officials without applying the same standard to members of the other party.” She demonstrates that Twitter has been flagging posts that warn voters about the very real risks of mail-in ballots and concludes, “Caught flat-footed last time around, this powerful coalition wants revenge and redemption—and our BT masters are only too happy to help.”
Hillary Clinton spilled the beans on BT’s threat to free speech and our political process. On September 16th, she tweeted, “We can have democracy—or we can have social networks that allow the spread of weaponized disinformation about our elections, but we can’t have both. Facebook, Twitter, and Google can and must act before the damage is done.” Hillary’s proposed action requires BT companies to ramp up their already active censoring of conservative news outlets and websites. BT companies, with their leftist sympathies, seem more than willing to participate in the censorship of conservative voices. Tucker Carlson demonstrated how powerful the BT companies can be in the censorship of conservative outlets. Sadly, advertisers on his show have fallen drastically despite his #1 rating in the timeslot.
When an NBC employee objected to the content of two competitors, the Federalist and ZeroHedge (both conservative outlets), Google threatened to ban the two companies from their ad platform unless they deleted unmoderated comment sections. It is clearly against the First Amendment to forbid readers from commenting on articles published in the Federalist and ZeroHedge. The Federalist complied with Google’s threat. ZeroHedge did not and was demonetized by Google. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has already promoted the Biden campaign talking point that America won’t know for weeks who the winner of the 2020 election really is. Facebook has already removed accounts like Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA and its affiliated accounts, and Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette.com. Other conservative pages removed by Facebook include American News (5.5M followers), Mr. Conservative (2.1M followers), Conservative 101 (2.1M followers), Proud to Be Conservative (2.2M followers), and at least three others. Facebook offers a list of their “Top Reporters.” They explain that “one way to do this is by fostering strong connections between journalists and readers.” As we might expect, since the MSM is filled with radically partisan journalists, their foremost reporter list contains mostly leftists, strongly opposed to the Trump presidency. BT also continues to advance the disproven Russian collusion mantra.
Simply imploring BT to stop promoting Democrat talking points is a fool’s errand. For one thing, BT has formed a well-financed trade group called +accountable tech. Their ironic goal is to keep BT from having to be accountable for its biased actions, and blatant abuses of freedom of speech guarantees. Their webpage states, “If social media platforms continue business as usual, they will be weaponized to exacerbate all of these threats. Unchecked lies about mail-in ballots and fraud will suppress votes. Baseless claims of election-rigging will sow chaos and inflame tensions. And extremists will organize and advocate for violence.” They are, however, promoting extending vote-counting until Harris-Biden wins.
The target on Donald Trump’s back grows larger since he is one of the few politicians to owe the BT bullies nothing. On September 24, 2020, the Washington Post’s Michael Balsamo and March Gordon wrote that the Department of Justice was expected to take antitrust action against Google in the coming weeks. Better yet, Congress must write new laws that tailor antitrust laws to the online platforms and economy and revise their Section 230 legal immunity. We need a new beginning and much more must be done; just don’t hold your breath. Freedom-loving Americans must pressure our congress-creatures before our freedoms are lost forever.