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Thomas Gallatin / January 11, 2021

Big Tech’s Free Speech Purge Begins

Silicon Valley tycoons acted in concert to remove social media startup Parler as conservatives flocked to the platform.

In the aftermath of the brief but ugly occupation of the Capitol building by a split fraction of one percent of those who reportedly were in attendance at a Trump rally earlier in the day, the social media giants Twitter and Facebook, working in concert to enforce the Democrat and Leftmedia narrative, used the Capitol riot as a smokescreen to justify the suspension of President Donald Trump’s account – dubiously claiming the purpose was to prevent further incitement of violence. While Twitter’s ban on the president was initially temporary, it quickly followed Facebook’s lead in permanently banning Trump.

But that was just the beginning. Silicon Valley tycoons elected to go full Orwellian by not only deplatforming Trump but also going after recent social media startup Parler, which conservatives and Trump supporters have been flocking to in droves in recent months. Google was the first to initiate the purge, announcing that it had banned the Parler app from its store because it claimed the free speech-promoting platform had failed to follow Google’s guidelines against preventing violent speech. Hours later, Apple followed suit by banning Parler from its app store.

Then came what might become the nail in Parler’s coffin. Amazon Web Services suspended its hosting service for Parler, and prospects for an adequate replacement aren’t great. “It’s devastating is what it is. It’s an assault on everybody,” Parler CEO John Matze explained. “They all worked together to make sure at the same time we would lose access to not only our apps, but they are actually shutting all our servers off.”

“They made an attempt to not only kill the app, but to actually destroy the entire company,” he added. “We’re going to try our best to get back online as quickly as possible. But we’re having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us. Because if Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t approve, they won’t.” Matze noted that Amazon’s actions have affected Parler’s 20 million subscribers.

Predictably, Amazon justified its action with false equivalency, asserting that it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.” It’s a sick twist on the game of sharks and minnows — become a censor, or you’ll be censored.

The clear goal for the totalitarian Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts is to consolidate power by creating the dubious notion that Trump and anyone who supported him, including the Republican Party and conservatives en masse, are dangerous pariahs who must be silenced. Nothing could be more anti-American or dangerous to our national discourse.

Do Democrats want a civil war?

The reason behind Big Tech’s willingness to squelch free speech likely has as much to do with cronyism as it does ideology. Democrats have long blamed social media for allowing Trump’s 2016 election, and they have repeatedly demanded that “misinformation” and “hate speech” be removed from these supposedly “open forum” platforms. Big Tech seeks to curry favor with Democrats, now in control of both houses of Congress and the executive branch, with the aim of getting the federal government to back off its trustbusting and regulatory efforts. Secondly, these tech giants have found a convenient excuse to underhandedly suppress marketplace competition.

Finally, the hypocrisy of Big Tech would be funny if it wasn’t such a dire threat to Liberty itself. In a classic example of a statement that didn’t age well, back in 2015, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey insisted, “Twitter stands for freedom of expression. Twitter stands for speaking truth to power.” Now Dorsey and his fellow fascist tech tycoons are using their near monopolistic powers to silence anyone attempting to say unapproved things.

Meanwhile, Big Tech seems to have no problem with actual dictators like Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei using its platforms to call for violence against Israel and the U.S., or with hosting the Chinese-created TikTok app, which is notorious for stealing user data. Oh, and trending on Twitter over the weekend? “Hang Mike Pence.”

(Updated.)


Update 1/22: Parler lost its first legal battle with Amazon when a federal judge ruled that Parler’s claim of breach of contract didn’t stand up to scrutiny. In essence, Amazon and other Big Tech companies set up terms of service so skewed toward themselves that they can use any or no reason at all to suspend your service, and you have no recourse.

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