Big tech’s coordinated purge of InfoWars — which was hit by bans from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube in rapid succession — did not occur in a vacuum. On this issue, Silicon Valley bowed to CNN journalists and Democrat politicians who ceaselessly lobbied for the site to be censored.
It’s a sign of how the concentration of power in America has shifted from big government to big tech that politicians are now lobbying tech companies rather than the other way round, but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the past few months, as Democrats applied relentless pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants to censor InfoWars.
Chief among them was Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), who demanded that a Facebook representative “explain” their decision not to ban InfoWars at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on social media censorship last month. Calling Jones as “well-known conspiracy theorist” whose “brand is bullying,” Deutch also demanded Google’s representative explain how many strikes it would take for a channel on Google-owned YouTube to be deleted.
He then asked Google’s representative if they thought conspiracy theories were a “problem,” and asked her to explain the company’s planned solutions. It seems that YouTube has now come up with a solution: ban the channels that Rep. Deutch objects to.
At a previous hearing on social media censorship, Deutch, who represents Parkland, Florida, attacked tech companies for allowing “vile and outrageous and offensive garbage” on their platforms.
Multiple other congressional Democrats, including Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Jim Hines, and Ted Lieu have attacked the very idea of big tech censorship, calling Republican concerns a “conspiracy theory” and defending the right of tech giants to censor whomever they want.
Far-left media also played a role in demanding tech giants appoint themselves as the arbiters of free speech. Here’s the Guardian attacking Facebook for continuing to host InfoWars, and here’s BuzzFeed’s Joe Bernstein wondering why Twitter hasn’t followed Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and Apple in today’s purge. Bernstein was retweeted by CNN’s Oliver Darcy by the way.
— Joe Bernstein (@Bernstein) August 6, 2018
“Facebook Wants To Cut Down On Misinformation. So Why Isn’t It Doing Anything About InfoWars” was the not-so-subtle headline at the Washington Post last month.
Perhaps the most strident was CNN, which repeatedly lobbied YouTube to demonetize InfoWars and ban Alex Jones. They also went after Facebook on the same issue, stating the social media “struggles to explain why InfoWars isn’t banned.” News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch has also attacked big tech for allowing “scurrilous news sources” to gain traction on the web.
What does this mean? It means that Democrats are pressuring social media companies to give them free political favors by granting them a free platform while denying one to their critics.
It also means that the corporate media are all working overtime to remove their competitors on social media.
And it’s working.