Along with the president, conservatives de-platformed in a coordinated operation.
It will probably go down as the Friday Night massacre. Only it didn’t end Friday night and it won’t end for quite a while.
On Friday night, Twitter permanently banned President Trump’s account. The move was soon followed by Facebook and Instagram.
Over the weekend, scores of conservative voices – those who have never advocated for any violence – had also been de-platformed. The ones who still had a voice watched as their followers disappeared by the tens of thousands.
Entire communities were wiped off of Facebook – like the Walkaway movement, a peaceful group of “red-pilled” former Leftists, which had a half a million followers on the platform.
By Sunday morning, Big Tech had shut down Parler, a free-speech app that deigned not to censor any voices, conservatives included. In a coordinated effort, Google and Apple deleted Parler app from their stores and Amazon, whose server hosted the app, took it off-line.
In addition, CNN launched a campaign to get cable carriers to refuse to air Fox News as well as other conservative channels. On its website, CNN’s Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy wrote,
“It’s hard, for instance, to imagine they’d carry a fringe and conspiratorial network like InfoWars. So why do AT&T (which I should note is CNN’s parent company), CenturyLink, and Verizon carry OAN? Why do AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Dish carry Newsmax? And why do they all carry Fox — which is, frankly, at times just as irresponsible and dangerous with its platform as its smaller competitor networks?”
Also over the weekend, passengers on a Delta flight were reportedly thrown off the plane after having a private conversation in support of President Trump.
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) January 9, 2021
BlazeTV journalist Elijah Schaffer as well as YouTube influencer Karlyn Borysenko, among others, were put on the government’s no-fly list following the events at the Capitol in which pro-Trump demonstrators invaded the building. Schaffer had police permission to enter the Capitol building to document the events. Borysenko, a prominent voice in the Walkaway movement, attended the peaceful “Stop the Steal Rally” in Washington, D.C., and was nowhere near the inside of the Capitol building.
Many more examples could be added to this list.
Free speech, along with the right to peaceful protest and freedom of movement, are the linchpins of our liberty. Without these rights – all of which are guaranteed to us by the Constitution – we are no different from communist China or the former Soviet Union.
Big Tech has been engaging in the suppression of free speech for months. But what was previously a slippery slope to censorship of conservative voices suddenly became an avalanche over the weekend taking us to a new reality.
The Far Left arm of the Democrat party has been agitating for years for Big Tech to censor conservative voices on their various platforms, threatening action against them if they don’t. Now that Democrats control the House, Senate and presidency, the move by Big Tech comes as no surprise – both ideologically and business-wise.
Ideologically, Big Tech gets to squash their nemeses. Business-wise, this just might be the most efficient move to get radical Dems off their backs. In any event, it’s not a good combination for the future of free speech in America.
Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has become a bastion of Far Left ideology in recent years, said in a statement,
“ … it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.”
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 9, 2021
For those who would argue that Big Tech are private companies that owe us nothing, for better or worse, being able to communicate on social media platforms has become “indispensable” (in the words of the ACLU) in our society – especially during the current pandemic.
The very reason why the government has kept their hands off Big Tech until now has been because they had committed to be open channels of communication. Congress specifically granted immunity from libel prosecution to online platforms through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act so that these platforms would remain “forum[s] for a true diversity of political discourse.”
And for those who would argue that Trump’s language amounts to incitement to violence and thus should be banned, we have laws for this. To date, Trump has not violated those laws, according to the most respected legal experts.
History professor Dr. Richard Beeman relates in Perspectives on the Constitution the following anecdote:
“There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created.
His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
The brevity of that response should not cause us to under-value its essential meaning: democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people, they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.”
Depriving a voice to the 75 million ordinary citizens who voted for President Trump in the 2020 election will create a pressure cooker that, when it explodes, will make the brief Capitol Building takeover look like child’s play.
Ideas, no matter how bad one group thinks they are, don’t go away because they are suppressed. Rather, they begin to fall under the purview of extremists, which have their own agenda for the accelerated destruction of America.
“Offensive” speech or not, better we should talk in the open and let the best ideas prevail.
EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.