So, it seems that Big Tech will continue to kick former GOP President Donald J. Trump off the major communications platforms in America.
And Americans are being asked to believe this is because he poses a continuing threat to Democracy.
How gullible do you have to be to buy that explanation?
This week, a Facebook appointed advisory group and YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, ratified the continued suspension of Trump from their platforms. Twitter has permanently banned Trump.
Trump is the pivotal figure in the Republican Party because 75 million Americans voted for him in 2020. Trump is not only being silenced but he is stymied with respect to fundraising.
Trump’s ban from the modern-day public square could have serious consequences for the GOP in the next election, which will decide control of the Congress.
Two Party System?
The United States has a two-party political system but one party, the GOP, has had one hand tied behind its back by three left-leaning billionaires from Silicon Valley, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter.
Mobbing occurs when bullies gang up to drive out an individual who is perceived to have a weakness or to silence that person by inflicting psychological pain.
This is what happened to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, after he delivered a thoughtful and respectful response to Democratic President Joe Biden’s address to the nation on Wednesday.
Mobbing is a scurrilous form of harassment that, in this case, was clearly intended to discredit Scott’s speech by attacking his racial identity.
Scott is the lone GOP African American in the U.S. Senate.
Liberal progressive “thinkers” seem to find it acceptable to use a racist slur to refer to an African American politician simply because he has a different vision for how to address racial problems that have resisted resolution in America for many decades.
After Scott’s speech, a hashtag began trending on Twitter – #UncleTim. This refers to the term “Uncle Tom” and was intended to portray Scott as a black man who is excessively subservient to white people. Scott was ridiculed in thousands of tweets for 11 hours until Twitter finally shut it down.
It is ironic that an opinion piece in The Washington Post this week argued in favor of regulating companies that dominate our communication infrastructure.
The author, Zephyr Teachout, defended Twitter’s decision to ban President Donald J. Trump from its platform but expressed concern about the threat of “extreme concentration” of corporate power in communications.
Now here’s where irony comes in:
Teachout didn’t mention (understandably) that the owner of the newspaper that hosted her column is Jeff Bezos, who also owns Amazon and its subsidiary, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading cloud hosting provider in the country. Bezos is undeniably a dominant force – perhaps the dominant force – in communications and communications’ infrastructure in the United States.
AWS calls itself “the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform… ” It hosts Twitter, Facebook and Linked in, as well as Neflix, ESPN, BBC, Dow Jones, Reddit, Hearst Corp., Turner Broadcasting, top U.S. agencies, (i.e. Department of State and the Food and Drug Administration) and many others.
After Twitter knocked the President off the internet, conservatives flocked by the tens of thousands to Parler, which offers similar services with an emphasis on free speech. Twitter’s stock plunged by seven percent and the Parler app skyrocketed to the top of app store charts.
AWS abruptly “suspended” its provision of cloud hosting services to Parler on Jan. 9, claiming Parler was used to coordinate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building. Parler states in an antitrust lawsuit filed against AWS on Wednesday that no one who has been publicly identified in the Jan. 6 incident even has a Parler account. And yet, Parler has gone completely dark.
In the course of a week, big tech has gone from being one of the great threats to American democracy to being the self-proclaimed savior of American democracy.
Congress last year was discussing using federal anti-trust laws to break up Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, Inc’s Google for engaging in anti-competitive, monopolistic business practices.
A bipartisan Congressional investigation concluded: “These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in and subject to appropriate oversight and enforcement. Our economy and democracy are at stake.”
Meanwhile, the leaders of Google, Facebook and Twitter were hauled before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to answer charges they engage in selective censorship of Republican content on the internet. They denied it but GOP pressed for repeal of a federal law that protects these platforms from lawsuits.
Big tech was on the defensive then but things have changed.
Given recent events, it is stunning that in the past week big tech literally shut down speech over the Internet by the GOP President of the United States, various high-ranking GOP elected officials and prominent conservative commentators. They also nuked the social network Parler, a rising alternative to Twitter.
Google, Facebook and Twitter justify their actions by claiming the GOP targets pose a threat to democracy because they questioned the integrity of the recent Presidential election. The platforms blame their targets for a small group of thugs breaking into the Capitol building – which at the time had virtually no security measures in place – during a Jan. 6 Trump rally on election fraud.