For a few years, some on the right have avoided the issue of what's going on in social media. While social media companies have ratcheted down their ability to deplatform the traditional and always leftist notions and stance, we only heard “we are a private company.” The notion is that when a private monopoly blocks the free speech of any topic it's okay because they're a private business and are conservative, which is why they worship freedom of enterprise and private property. The answer is always like “if you don't like how they operate, start your own social media platform.” It's a reasonable assumption that, in the present, with the problems facing Parler, TruthSocial, and others who might be competitors, the absurdity of this blatant assertion will be obvious.
It was evident in the early years the extent to which social media is making use of its power to influence political campaigns. Federal law on elections requires broadcasters to provide candidates for federal offices their best prices for advertisements as well as being not allowed to restrict advertisements for certain candidates. Thus, when a gorgeous conservative candidate from Cambodian heritage ran a politically-motivated advertisement that showed a few frames of the horrors of Khmer Rouge's Communist killing fields, Facebook banned her ad. The same thing happened in the year 2018; Facebook allowed an advertisement by an organization called the North Dakota Democrat Party on behalf of former Senator Heidi Heitkamp that warned hunters that they could lose their license to hunt when they vote. If you're not a liberal Democrat, this kind of behavior is considered a crime. In the year 2019, Twitter temporarily banned Senator Mitch McConnell because his campaign account featured left-wing protesters who wished for the death of him and his spouse.
In the COVID chaos, the social media platforms slipped into line with the continuously changing and mostly fake news pushed out via Anthony Fauci and his posse. Any criticism or disagreement with government actions was met with the threat of immediate punishment.
You might still say that the social media companies were adhering to their natural freedom-loving and progressive tendencies. They are private businesses and not part of the government which is why we should be supportive of the suppression of free speech. This is, at a minimum, as much an enlightenment to liberty as drag queen story time at your local daycare.
At the beginning of commercial radio in the early days, secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover observed:
It is not possible to believe that any individual or group will ever have the power to decide what information is available to the American citizens. … The American people should not let any individual or organization put himself in a position that they are able to control the content that is broadcast to the general public.
However we're more educated today, so how did he even know?
In the past few weeks, new information has been released which suggests that the major social media companies do not act as free agents, but rather act as agents for the Federal government. This is a major new development.
In the late-fifties, a Rhode Island state commission on obscenity would inform a major book distributor who served the state of Rhode Island which books they believed had “obscene, indecent or impure language, or manifestly tending to the corruption of the youth.” Based on this communication, the book distributor could prohibit the book from being sold to customers in Rhode Island. In the end, however, the US Supreme Court ruled that, even though the company was an individual business that was not a government entity, prohibiting the distribution of the books it was the government that used the company as an agent. The reason for this was to permit the government to act its job by “advising” the company rather than a procedure that could be subject to challenge in court and thus was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In the past, one of my personal favorite writers, Alex Berenson, was removed from Twitter because he had published research papers and opinions against the COVID hyperbole. Berenson had the means to pursue a legal claim in court against Twitter but was fired when most of the controversy around COVID had been resolved. In the course of the legal process, Berenson was sent an email by Biden's White House to Twitter directing that Berenson be removed from Twitter due to the difficulties he was causing them. The reality that Berenson was operating prior to the mail and was then removed from Twitter after receiving the mail appears to suggest that Twitter did so at the direction of Biden's White House.
During the presidential election in 2020 , the epic story of Hunter Biden's laptop which included Russian hookers, crack smoking, and underage girls became a sensation. Twitter banned all mentions of the story. They even went as far to close The New York Post's account on Twitter due to promotion of its front page report, and to block the Twitter account of President Trump's campaign in response to the reference. It could, if seen in the light of day, appear to be an act taken by a private business. Then Facebook's chief of staff Mark Zuckerberg gave an interview with Joe Rogan in which this incident came up.
In the conversation, Zuckerberg acknowledges that the FBI approached Facebook regarding censoring the mention of in the Biden notebook, saying it was “disinformation.” Zuckerberg says that it was the most heroic of his actions that Facebook chose to implement an algorithm that made it more difficult to publish information concerning this Hunter Biden notebook instead of banning the notebook altogether. The interviewer appears to affirm that an FBI visit also influenced Twitter's actions.
It's difficult to imagine an event in which the two instances that federal agencies intervened with social media companies to stop the flow of information within the United States were Berenson's ban and the crackdown on information about the laptop of former President Biden. Actually, the entire COVID crackdown is now looking more like a government-run information operation rather than a group of high-strung, morgan-haired, gender-questioning, tongue-pierced SJWs who are rabidly wishing karma on us. If social media companies limit information flow on the basis of the federal government's demand and it is not allowed to continue, they must stop. Requests from authorities like the FBI as well as the White House are not trivial and could result in the imprisonment of you or close your business when you don't comply with their requests. Conservatives must realize that we are in the midst of a period of proto-fascism in which large private corporations are acting to serve as an arm of state to carry out things that the government is not able to. The only way to stop this is through a Congress and a Justice Department that is ready to take these massive companies up, and a president who is willing to imprison and financially ruin the individuals who obstructed the information accessible to the American citizens.