If you wonder why so many Twitter twits are panicking at the idea of Elon Musk buying the company and bringing back free speech, here are just a couple of the most recent examples of how Big Tech companies have become addicted to censoring speech. Claiming they’re fighting “disinformation” or “dangerous” rhetoric is just a fig leaf to cover their irresistible urge to censor any opinion or even unassailable fact that undermines leftist narratives.
First, meet social influencers Cole and Savannah LaBrant, a popular Christian couple with over 10 million Instagram followers and 13 million YouTube subscribers. They made a documentary on abortion. It doesn’t vilify anyone: it just talks to pro-life doctors, a doctor who stopped doing abortions, and women who opted not to get abortions, and tells their stories and the truth about what abortion really is (hint: it’s not “reproductive justice” or some other fuzzy euphemism.) It also talks about Embrace Grace, a non-profit that helps women in crisis pregnancies.
After getting some angry complaints from the pro-abortion crowd, Instagram removed the video. YouTube allowed it to stay up, but demonetized it, even though all ad revenues go to local pregnancy centers.
Now, exhibit B (and a headache that this newsletter deals with regularly): Issues & Insights conducts regular polls with the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP.) TIPP has been the most accurate pollster in the last five presidential elections. In March, the I&I/TIPP poll found that nearly two-thirds of America’s registered voters said they believe that decisions about COVID restrictions are driven by politics and not science. Majorities of almost every political, ideological and identity group agreed.
Yet Google’s AdSense stripped ads from the article, claiming it contained “dangerous or derogatory content,” and had to be “fixed” if they wanted ad revenue back. I&I requested a review, but Google rejected the request.
Please note that the poll didn’t declare that politics rather than science rules COVID decisions. That would be a statement of opinion. Instead, it stated the hard fact that a majority of registered voters surveyed believe that. I&I pointed out that, ironically, an earlier poll found that by a 59-29% margin, Americans disapprove of social media suspending users for expressing opposing views on COVID. The only group that approved of such censorship was Democrats (44-42%.) Liberals were evenly split at 43-43%. All other groups strongly disapproved.
When these sites first began violating their obligation to be neutral platforms to maintain their federal protection against lawsuits, they claimed it was necessary to stop “dangerous” extreme speech, like the promotion of terrorism or Nazism. Do you see anything “dangerous” in the examples above?
They’ve redefined "dangerous speech" as anything that might be dangerous to the far-left “progressive” political agenda, which can mean anything from a solid fact to an intelligent, informed opinion. They have become the real danger to society; and if they have no respect for the law that grants them immunity from lawsuits, then it’s high time that law got revoked and let the lawsuits flow like mighty rivers.
It’s either that, or Elon Musk might have to buy all of them.