What was the most disturbing event last week in the U.S.? More troubling than the mob besieging and breaking into the capital last Wednesday, is the “apparently coordinated attack by Big Tech to destroy free speech,” warns Roger Kimball in American Greatness.
Tech Oligarchs’ Unchecked Power
In a conversation with journalist Glenn Greenwald, reports Kimball, Tucker Carlson cautioned that we are seeing a “tiny handful of tech oligarchs” elevated to a position of essentially untrammeled power to determine what we see, what we hear, and with whom we may communicate.
The banning of President Trump also shows how far the big-tech oligarchs are prepared to go in order to retain their absurd and damaging monopolies, adds the Spectator’s Dominic Green.
After the 2016 elections, social media promised to clean up their act. The digital fiascos of the 2020 election and its aftermath confirm that Big Tech is incapable of being the value-free guarantor of the modern public square. Instead, it has been heavy-handed and incompetent: blatantly intervening on behalf of the Democrats (the silencing of the New York Post for running the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop, the pompous tagging of Trump’s tweets as unverified), yet incapable of stemming the tide of cross-party incitement and lies.
Big Tech: Unaccountable, Dangerous
No one elected Big Tech, Mr. Kimball points out.
But they are in many respects “more powerful than any nation state,” unaccountable and overwhelmingly representing a far-left point of view.
On Friday, we learned that Twitter had banned the president of the United States from its platform. Facebook and other media quickly followed suit. General Mike Flynn and the lawyer Sidney Powell were also “de-platformed” as were several other prominent conservatives
But we know now that such actions are but the tip of the Big Tech iceberg. Again, Tucker Carlson zeroed in on the terrifying reality of our situation. It wasn’t just that President Trump and some of his supporters were silenced. The entire media ecosphere went into overdrive to muzzle opinions with which they disagree.
On Friday, Google announced that it was excluding the app for the Twitter alternative Parler from its platform. Saturday night, Apple removed Parler from its app store. And as I write, Amazon announced that as of midnight Sunday, Parler’s data would be removed from its servers. Why? Two reasons. First, because conservatives are flocking to Parler in their disgust with Twitter, so there is a commercial reason. But the second reason is pure politics.
As Parler’s CEO John Matze noted, “Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies.”
The conflict now is between what Samuel Huntington called the “American Creed” – a belief in the sanctity of individual liberty, private property, and limited government – versus the assault on that creed by the forces of “progressive” political correctness and identity politics, concludes Mr. Kimball.
Biden took more money from Big Tech than any candidate in American history, reports Mr. Greene.
Donations to the Democrats by Bay Area residents rose from $163 million in 2016 to $199 million in 2020. Bay Area residents gave $800,000 to Trump in 2016, and $22 million in 2020.
That says all we need to know about who Silicon Valley thought would give it an easy ride.
Big Tech wanted Biden, the lesser threat, to win, and it did its best to make sure he did. But it failed to pre-empt the riot at the Capitol, which was promoted, premeditated and live-streamed on social media.
Big Tech has landed heavily on free speech, and led with its left foot too. This is the policy that the Biden administration wants, and the Biden administration is the government that Big Tech bought. This isn’t overreach: this is the embrace we cannot escape.
(After the Capital was stormed last Wednesday, Parler, the pro-free speech social media platform, was booted from both the Apple app and Google Play stores. Next up, Amazon, which hosted Parler on its web servers, shut down Parler’s servers, forcing the company to scramble to find new web hosts.)