The media director for a website fighting the battle for free speech on college campuses joined others in expressing approval of the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe blacklisting conservatives they label “dangerous” from Facebook and other social media platforms.
Campus Reform Media Director Cabot Phillips joined Never Trumper Rick Wilson and a variety of other conservative pundits in giving his stamp of approval to Facebook and its subsidiary company Instagram’s recent blacklisting of multiple prominent conservative personalities they labeled “dangerous,” including YouTube star Paul Joseph Watson,
Watson says that he had never once received a notice for violating the platforms’ “terms of service.”
Conservatives took to Twitter to defend those affected by the ban, particularly Watson, who was the only conservative among those blacklisted to still have a Twitter account, and whose content is considered “relatively tame” by many mainstream conservatives who view this recent blacklisting as an advancing normality involving censorship perpetrated by Silicon Valley overlords.
I have had so many kind messages from people defending me today. The ones who didn’t defend me are notable by their absence.
Like I semi understand you not leaping to the defense of actual nutcases, but to blacklist the mild mannered, introverted English dude? Strange.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) May 3, 2019
Not all conservatives, however, stood up for Internet free speech. Some chose to remain silent, while others used the blacklist as an opportunity to defend Silicon Valley monopolies, expressing their support for the companies curtailing public discourse.
Cabot Phillips, the media director for a blog fighting for free speech on college campuses, went on a Twitter tirade following the ban, supporting big tech companies’ right to deny him and others from using their services.
Reminder for my conservative friends tonight:
Private companies have every right to deny you access to their platform. Because it's their platform. You don't have a constitutional right to a Facebook or Twitter account.
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) May 3, 2019
“Reminder for my conservative friends tonight,” began Phillips, “Private companies have every right to deny you access to their platform. Because it’s their platform. You don’t have a constiutional right to a Facebook or Twitter account.”
“Yes, it’s incredibly hypocritical for them to portray themselves as free speech bastions, then censor views they don’t like,” acknowledged the media director in his following tweet, “HOWEVER, they built their product and the government should not be able to compel them to provide it to people against their will.”
Phillips went on to elaborate on his argument by using a bizarre example, in which he compared the giant social media monopoly built by Mark Zuckerberg to small Mom-and-Pop businesses.
Do you really want to give the federal government the power to mandate that you do business with people even if it goes against your conscience?
Remember the Colorado baker? I thought conservatives agreed that government compulsion is bad?
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) May 3, 2019
“Do you really want to give the federal government the power to mandate that you do business with people even if it goes against your conscience?” said Phillips, “Remember the Colorado baker? I thought conservatives agreed that government compulsion is bad?”
Phillips’ example comparing Facebook to a small cake shop in the Midwest fails to note that the tech giant is not a mere private company operating within a “free market,” as Facebook and Instagram are monopolies with an exorbitant amount of power to shape public opinion, and a market dominated by monopolies is not actually “free.” Not to mention that no bakeshop has ever enjoyed special exemptions under federal law, as the social media companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Even if one were to entertain the notion that a small, family-run business is somehow equivalent to a powerful monopoly, it is also important to note that the Christian cake shop Phillips references did not actually deny the LGBTQ community the opportunity to buy products in its store, but rather, it wouldn’t create customized products for them.
Moreover, the censorship will not be limited to the users who have been banned. Supporters of those individuals may also be blacklisted by the platforms — or forced to remove content — if they are caught sharing material that promotes the content of those who have committed Thoughtcrime.
“There are two solutions to the problem,” insists Phillips, “Big gov option: Force Twitter and Facebook to allow all people on their platform,” or “Free market option: Let consumers decide what products/platforms they want to use, and let the market incentivize companies like Facebook to be more fair.”
Phillips was not alone in his observation that Facebook should be free to blacklist anyone it wants to. A variety of Never Trump and establishment pundits made similar comments. Several examples include:
Wow… Did you see what Milo, Alex Jones, and Farrakahn posted on Instagram?
No. No, you did not. 😂
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 2, 2019
Serious question to "conservatives" who want the gov't to regulate social media: what do you do when the GOP loses control of the White House & Congress? That day will come, even if only temporarily. When it does, do you want President AOC appointing the regulators?
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) May 2, 2019
I wrote this almost a year ago and i feel the same today. https://t.co/PyujbB5Lwf
— Ben (@BenHowe) May 3, 2019
What a baby. Get a job. https://t.co/cOYxafaRns
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) May 3, 2019
The argument that the free market competitors to Facebook and Instagram will one day arrive on the scene to break up monopolies on their own is a logical fallacy, given that these small or new competitors would not be operating in a free market by taking on a monopolies. True competitors to the Masters of the Universe often face serious anti-competitive obstacles from established players. Free speech social media Gab has faced many obstacles, including Google and Apple denying their apps, payment processors shutting them down, and even web registrars attempting to erase their website from the Internet altogether. Phillips did not have an example of a mom-and-pop store taking this kind of action.
There have been, however, other proposed solutions to Silicon Valley’s censorship, such as amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, antitrust measures, and addressing potential cases of fraud and deception.
Breitbart News reached out to Campus Reform editor-in-chief Lawrence Jones for comment, but did not receive a reply in time before publication.