— Published with Permission of TheNewAmerican.com —
With social media giants becoming increasingly hostile to anyone who disagrees with statist and globalist ideology, a growing chorus of voices is sounding the alarm. Christians, conservatives, libertarians, patriots, and more have all been purged from key platforms. On Capitol Hill and across America, outrage over the politically motivated “censorship” is escalating. Now, with lawsuits flying and calls for regulation getting louder, a number of legal issues confront the Internet behemoths — Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google, and more — that could see dramatic changes in the years ahead.
Some critics of the social-media purges are hoping government will step in. Noting that the feds have been intimately involved in the development of social media from the start, more than a few prominent voices want Congress to approve an “Internet Bill of Rights.” The measure would basically extend protections enshrined in the First and Fourth amendments to the online world. Other critics are hoping the federal government will use anti-trust statutes to crack down on Internet “monopolies,” potentially breaking them up and introducing more competition.
An expanding movement with support in Washington, D.C., seeks to enforce provisions of an obscure federal statute that would require the Internet giants to be politically neutral or assume legal liability for user-generated content. Lawsuits on some of these issues are already making their way through the courts. Even in congressional races, the issue of censorship by government-aligned Internet companies is becoming a hot topic. And as Internet giants such as YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and more continue purging dissenting voices, the calls for action are likely to keep growing louder.
Social-media companies involved in the effort to cleanse the Internet of “thought crimes” have tried to downplay concerns, pretending that it has nothing to do with politics. Twitter, for instance, released a statement claiming its censorship regime is not political. “We enforce our rules without political bias,” the company claimed, even as a growing barrage of lawsuits claims otherwise. Based on recent developments, the claim rings hollow, purge victims say. YouTube has even partnered with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, widely described as an anti-Christian hate group, to censor video content.
The unprecedented crackdown on conservative and Christian speech has ensnared some of the most powerful and influential voices in American media, including conservative talk-radio titan Alex Jones and his Infowars media empire. Other targets of the recent purges include “Health Ranger” Mike Adams of Natural News, an enormously influential service focusing on natural health. Also caught up has been Prager University, a non-profit education service that has attracted a massive following. A number of popular YouTube channels were taken down for allegedly promoting “conspiracy theories.” Facebook even censored popular Christian evangelist Julio Severo for posting a well-known Bible verse, which the company deemed “hate speech” before reversing its decision in the wake of an international outcry.
Investigative journalist and best-selling author Jerome Corsi, whose own YouTube channel was taken down before being put back online without explanation, told The New American that the status quo when it comes to social media is unacceptable. While conservatives are typically reluctant to call for federal action, Corsi argued that it has now become hard to tell where the Internet giants end and the government begins.
In Corsi’s case, YouTube pulled some of his videos that had been up for weeks, claiming they had allegedly violated some “community standard” against “harassment and bullying.” Except his videos were neither harassing nor bullying. Then they pulled his whole channel. Corsi, who serves as Washington bureau chief for Infowars, got to work fighting back, challenging former Google boss and Hillary Clinton backer Eric Schmidt — a regular attendee at the secretive Bilderberg meetings — while making as much noise as possible. Eventually, his story was picked up by top media outlets across America.
Corsi also said the agenda behind the accelerating purges was clear. “The mainstream media is desperately fighting for its survival,” he said. “And the way to do it is to get the social-media companies to throw out every other viewpoint.” Noting that violent “Antifa” hate is welcome across the social-media platforms, while the Bible and the support for Second Amendment are increasingly being purged, Corsi said the establishment was trying to eliminate the visibility of views that are not aligned with its agenda.
In particular, Corsi expressed frustration over the fact that the far-left leadership of the Internet companies was completely in bed with government and left-wing politicians such as the Clinton family. “These companies are so penetrated by the intelligence agencies you wonder if they aren’t just new names for the agencies,” he said, noting that the U.S. government’s intelligence apparatus had even funded many of the firms and was harvesting unfathomable amounts of data about Americans from them. “When you get to the heart of what’s going on in social media, it’s an intelligence operation. That’s what I was seeking to expose. This is no longer just a private enterprise… Social media has become a backdoor for Big Brother.”
Because of the intimate government involvement and because the Internet companies could ramp up the purge ahead of the 2018 elections and swing the vote, Corsi said it was time for government to take action. Among other ideas, he touted the concept of an “Internet Bill of Rights” that would apply to the online world the free speech protections, due process protections, and protection from surveillance and data-gathering without warrants contained in the U.S. Constitution. Alternatively, he suggested anti-trust investigations could be helpful. And finally, Corsi called for an official investigation into what the companies have been doing.
Another victim of the purge, Natural News’ Adams, said the mass take-down of voices exposing the establishment was a precursor to something much worse. “What you need to understand about what’s happening is that this is the opening salvo of an actual war that the Left will soon take kinetic,” he said, arguing that the silencing of pro-America voices across the Internet was merely step one. “Then they stage another mass shooting false flag and use it to abolish the Second Amendment.”
“At this point, you have no First Amendment rights left, and you have no Second Amendment ability to defend yourself against left-wing tyrants,” continued Adams, whose health-focused website has become enormously popular among liberals and conservatives. “From here, they then fabricate fake accusations against their political targets and call for their arrest, knowing that people who have been silenced have no way to defend themselves against false accusations, as they’ve all been silenced by decree.” The mass purges are also a precursor to more election fraud, assaults on liberty, and worse, he added.
Describing recent developments as the “worst purge of conservative voices in the history of the Internet,” popular Christian writer and congressional candidate Michael Snyder vowed to keep fighting. “There appears to be a coordinated effort to target conservative viewpoints, because similar voices on the left are not receiving equal treatment,” he explained. “If I win my race for Congress on May 15th, I am going to make fighting this sort of censorship one of my top priorities once I get to Washington.”
A number of major Christian voices are speaking out, too. “First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out — because I found them offensive,” wrote Dr. Michael Brown, a nationally syndicated radio host at Charisma News. “Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out — because I found them obnoxious. Then they came for Prager U, and I did not speak out — because I found them opinionated. Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out — because I have my own life to live. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
In response to the purges, a number of prominent voices are calling for an all-hands-on-deck effort to fight back. And some top lawmakers are taking note. At a recent Senate hearing, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) began by asking representatives of the Internet giants — Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — whether they consider themselves to be “neutral” in providing a forum for public discussion. All of them answered yes.
But then Cruz highlighted the fact that a Twitter official was caught on hidden camera by Project Veritas investigators bragging about “shadow banning” conservatives, a tactic that hides the victims’ posts from others without the targeted individual even realizing that his content is not being seen by anyone. The senator from Texas also noted that Twitter initially blocked an announcement by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) due to the content being pro-life.
“The pattern of political censorship we are seeing across the technology companies is highly concerning,” Senator Cruz said in his closing remarks. “And the opening question I asked of whether you are a neutral public forum — if you are a neutral public forum, that does not allow for political editorializing and censorship. And if you are not a neutral public forum, the entire predicate for liability immunity under the CDA [Communications Decency Act] is claiming to be a neutral public forum, so you cannot have it both ways.”
A number of prominent conservative, Christian, and patriotic voices have called for the social-media giants to either remain neutral, or be subjected to liability under the Communications Decency Act. But while it has become clear that conservative and Christian speech is not welcome on establishment-controlled social media, the companies claim to be responding to market demands in a politically neutral manner. Of course, it is clear that there is no political neutrality. But it is true that same prominent establishment-controlled companies have been lobbying for precisely the sort of purges that have recently taken place.
Unilever, for example, which has been hard at work pushing the man-made global-warming hypothesis and promoting the scandal-plagued United Nations as the savior of humanity, recently threatened to quit advertising unless social-media companies censor more viewpoints that the extremist company considers “extreme,” “divisive,” or “fake news.” CNN, meanwhile, which has been widely ridiculed by President Trump and his supporters for peddling “fake news,” has been working overtime to have YouTube shut down Alex Jones and his channels, which collectively have more than two million subscribers and over 1.5 billion views on the Google-owned video platform.
But Alex Jones and Infowars, working with others, are not going to take it lying down. According to various sources, the alternative media giant is preparing to unveil an alternative to YouTube very soon. The goal is to make the establishment-controlled video platform obsolete. At the same time, with Facebook facing a crisis as users spend less and less time on the manipulative platform, a number of new social-media firms are popping up, hoping to become an alternative to the establishment-run giants that received government backing and continue to partner with government.
Some of the lawsuits and regulatory efforts targeting the purges by Internet giants may succeed. But as the establishment’s propaganda becomes increasingly obvious and outlandish, truth-seeking people will continue seeking out the facts that the establishment wants hidden. Already, the election of Trump has exposed the establishment media as fringe, and far-less powerful than commonly believed. If the social-media companies keep it up, they, too, may end up destroying their own businesses. Preserving the free market and the First Amendment will be key. Regardless of what happens, though, the growing hunger for truth is not going away — and as long as a market for truth exists, the truth will be supplied.