The unprecedented Twitter and Amazon “de-platforming” of President Donald Trump and his official White House account is egregiously appalling and menacing.
Never could I have imagined throughout my previous 82 years of marvelous American life experience ever to witness a time of such profanely disturbing attacks on foundational civil liberties and First Amendment rights.
How could it possibly happen for a duly elected standing leader of a land, which above all values freedom of belief and expression, to be denied those very rights by diktat of unelected media censors?
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was on record audaciously telling his employees that banning the president of the United States’ account was just the beginning … a clear message that modern media moguls need answer to no higher power.
Who could have foreseen the immensity of unbridled control that has become vested in a handful of companies that can now refuse to provide services to absolutely any person or enterprise that depends upon access to an online, interconnected world … the communication backbone of all modern business transactions, advertising and political campaigning, and routine coordination with internal and external entities?
Against all American independent thought principles and free speech guarantees, Facebook and other media platforms have somehow come to wield final discretion through anonymous “fact-checkers” who determine what information is deemed “false,” or otherwise “disallowed.” Once “canceled,” an author source typically has little or no recourse for appeal.
Records show that major social and mainstream media employees donate overwhelmingly to Democratic political candidates. Such bias is blatantly evident in prevalent tendencies to censor authors and content that ideologically fall in disagreement with sanctioned progressive orthodoxies.
Meanwhile, free-market attempts to establish and utilize alternative social media options have crashed into crushing opposition by collaborating Big Tech monopolists.
Many millions of Parler platform subscribers experienced a blackout when Google and Apple terminated the fledgling competitor’s mobile app, and the company was kicked off Amazon’s servers.
The open press is closing to authors with heterodox conservative views and content.
A former Facebook executive suggested that conservative news outlets, including Newsmax, be de-platformed for the proliferation of “radical views.” Speaking on CNN, he said, “we have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences.”
Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times called for “pressure on advertisers to withdraw from Fox News so long as it functions as an extremist madrasa.” He added that “cable providers should be asked why they distribute channels that peddle lies.”
After all, these are among the same organizations that relentlessly pumped the phony “Trump Russian collusion” narrative and impeachment theater throughout most of his presidency while refusing to cover explosively scandalous Biden family Ukraine, China, and Russia influence-peddling allegations during the 2020 election run-up.
Twitter cooperated in the coverup by blocking the New York Post from releasing the story on social media.
An emerging cancel culture appetite for viewpoint suppression is spreading among institutions and interest groups that once stood among the staunchest champions of free speech.
An open letter, signed by more than 500 “publishing professionals” (authors, publishers, designers, and so on), called on the industry to reject books written by anyone who had anything to do with the Trump administration.
The proclamation states: “We believe in the power of words, and we are tired of the industry we love enriching the monsters among us, and we will do whatever is in our power to stop it.”
Blacklisting and other intimidation strategies are being openly targeted to purge individuals and organizations holding “dangerous” pro-Trump conservative views.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., reprehensibly suggested to CNN that all national guard members assigned to protect the Capitol during Biden’s inauguration should be vetted to screen out those who voted for Trump as a “suspect group.”
Alluding to past leaders of other countries who were “killed by their own people,” Cohen ominously intimated that they “might want to do something.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., has proposed that Biden election fraud “conspiracy theorists” be “deprogrammed” through existing government programs established to “deradicalize” brain-washed adherents who exist in a “misinformation bubble.”
“We need to double, triple or quadruple the funding for these programs,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Wall Street titans are joining in an unholy alliance with Big Tech and Media moguls as arbiters of “woke washing” ideologies and activities behind some very misinformed leftist causes.
An example — among many — is Goldman Sachs’ virtue-signaling refusal to support progressively out-of-favor fossil fuel projects in favor of enormously costly, inefficient taxpayer-subsidized “green energy” programs promoted by rent-seeking wind and solar lobbies.
Former New York University professor Michael Rectenwald, author of “The Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” warns that American’s have been caught off guard by a new type of tyrannical regime.
Whereas totalitarian regimes are commonly understood as constituting a government headed by a dictator that regiments the economy, censors the media, and quells popular dissent by force, that’s not the case in America.
Instead, the head of government is controlled by a new ruling class of unelected big government bureaucrats, sponsoring special interest lobbies and pandering media cronies … all too often working in concert together to erode and avoid democratic constitutional checks and balances enshrined in America’s founding documents.
As for my own warning, I’ll refer to a simple admonition I offered in my 2019 book, “The Weaponization of AI and the Internet.”
Be very cautious of all-too-seductive invitations to trade away precious privacy [and other basic rights] for promises of increased convenience, efficiency, and security from predators [including Big Government, Big Tech, Big Business, Big Media].
Consider the fate of a frog in a shallow pan of water placed over a flame, complacently adjusting to the temperature change until it’s too late to jump out.
That, my friends, is happening in America.
Please pay close attention to those who have their hands on the temperature dial.