Figures from across the alternative media including Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit, Margaret Howell of Right Side Broadcasting, and anti-Islamization activist Pamela Geller met in Washington D.C yesterday to discuss the threat of social media censorship and how it can be resisted.
Hoft, who organized the panel, opened with a statement highlighting the importance of social media to the grassroots conservative movement.
Due to endemic bias, Hoft noted that “conservatives in America have finally … turned away from the mainstream media.” During the general election, he continued, they looked to the alternative media on the internet, including The Gateway Pundit and Breitbart News, to stay informed.
Watch — Censorship Conference Part I:
Hoft praised the public for seeking out the truth in the face of propaganda. “When the Soviet Union was around, and all other satellite countries, people there wanted to get the truth. They knew they weren’t getting the truth from their establishment media, so they went to Voice of America … People always found the channels, because people want to hear the truth.”
Hoft ended his introduction with an urgent call for conservative lawmakers to address the issue.
“Conservative politicians and Republicans need to stand up now. If they don’t we’re going to be squashed out of existence.”
Michelle Malkin also spoke to the panel, noting her legal battle with YouTube in 2006 after the platform censored a video featuring Theo Van Gogh, Salman Rushdie, and other targets of murderous Islamic extremists.
Malkin recommended “relentless exposure” and the organization of independent information networks by the conservative grassroots to combat the issue.
Margaret Howell of Right Side Broadcasting Network highlighted how RSBN has been hit by social media censorship following the election, losing 95 percent of ad revenue, in addition to mysterious black screens on their live streams, which YouTube allegedly blames on “technical issues.”
Pamela Geller argued that the election of Trump “escalated the war for free speech,” adding that the establishment and the left “blamed” social media platforms for allowing right-wing ideas to spread. Geller called on the government to ensure the neutrality of web platforms.
“Facebook and YouTube and Twitter [are] the public square… Just like last century, the telephone is your machine. We need government intervention to ensure social media adheres to our free speech rights.”
Tech entrepreneur Marlene Jaeckel said that there were still conservatives working in tech, and that “underground networks” of Trump supporters exist in Silicon Valley. She also recounted her own personal story of being ostracized from Google’s tech circles due to conservative politics.
Watch — Censorship Conference Part II:
“People in tech companies who identify and conservatives and identify as libertarians as terrified to speak out at the moment,” said Jaeckel.
Author Oleg Atbashian, who grew up in the USSR, highlighted his experience of censorship targeting his satirical website, ThePeoplesCube.com, which had been mistakenly flagged as “hate speech” on cloud databases. Atbashian noted how in the USSR, younger generations always found ways to evade the regime’s censorship and access pro-freedom, pro-west broadcasts.