The Irony of Internet Censorship

  23 Jul 2019

When the Internet went public 30 years ago, its key purpose was to help people access and share information.

“The World Wide Web project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system,” wrote Internet creator Tim Berner-Lee.

The Internet was always intended to facilitate the free exchange of information and ideas. Before Tim decided on the name “World Wide Web,” he considered titles such as “The Mine of Information” and “The Information Mesh.”

While the Internet has long since evolved past its original purpose, the World Wide Web continues to function as an invaluable source of information for the public. And while the government has long shied away from regulating that source, the public is now demanding the government step in to stop Big Tech’s censorship of conservative thought.

The Problem

While the media has long since abandoned objective reporting for partisan reporting, all one must to do learn the other side of the story is switch the television from CNN to Fox.

It doesn’t work the same way online, where search engines and social media sites can push conservative stories out of view without consequence.

Roughly 66% of Americans get their news through social media.

“By almost any measure the giant tech companies today are larger, and more powerful, than Standard Oil was when it was broken up,” says Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R). “And if we have tech companies using the powers of monopoly to censor political speech, I think that raises real antitrust issues.”

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allows social media companies to remove any content they consider “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”

But based on court rulings, Section 230 is giving social media companies the power to remove users and content for any reason.

Critics argue that sites like Facebook and Twitter should not be covered by Section 230 because they are not behaving as neutral forums.

“Both Facebook and Twitter are currently considered to be open ‘publishers’ under Section 230…which exempts them from legal liability for the content posted on their websites,” explains conservative magazine Human Events. “However, it’s hard to argue that they are acting merely as bystanding ‘publishers’ when they are in fact operating as the exact opposite – promoting the ideas, posts, and people they agree with by allowing them to be viewed on their platforms and censoring the ideas, posts, and people with whom they do not agree.”

Conservatives’ fight with Big Tech exploded in 2016 when social media companies were accused of filtering content related to the presidential election.

A key example is Google, which was caught prioritizing negative search results for Donald Trump and prioritizing positive search results for Hillary Clinton. Last month, an investigation by the Daily Caller revealed a Google “blacklist” that keeps ‘inappropriate’ content from appearing in special search features. The blacklist includes conservative websites Breitbart, American Spectator, and The Gateway Pundit.

This sort of speech suppression is the ultimate fall from grace for the World Wide Web, which should be doing its best to preserve the First Amendment.

The Solution

As Daily Caller contributor Alex Sears explains, conservatives are faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem: “How do we, as conservatives, handle a group of corporations – whose rules we agreed to – who are now stepping on our right to free speech?”

Of the few solutions to be presented, most favor a big government approach that is out of line with conservative principles. That leaves us with an impossible choice: Do we argue for zero regulation (thus paving the way for increased hate content and pornography) or do we swallow the pill and submit to terms and conditions that threaten freedom of speech?

 Mr. Sears has an idea that falls somewhere in the middle.

Social media companies rely on their users to generate profit, so it makes sense for those users to be compensated. What Sears has proposed is legislation that requires tech companies to compensate individuals who are banned from their platforms.

“Any person who is banned from a platform must be paid whatever money that platform made from their activity, and the banned user must also be provided with a list of places their data was sold,” writes Sears.

In May, Facebook expelled conservative users Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Paul Nehlen.

“Reports are true. I have been banned by Facebook,” tweeted Watson, a right-leaning YouTube personality. “Was given no reason. I broke none of their rules. In an authoritarian society controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, all dissent must be purged.”

The same month, Twitter banned a handful of conservatives including actor James Woods.

“How is it that James Woods is currently being banned on Twitter, but Jim Carrey is not? It’s certainly not any standard based on “hate,” wrote Senator Cruz. “Carrey’s latest Twitter ‘art’ shows Bill Barr drowning in a sea of vomit…How ‘bout we let everybody speak and the People decide?”

Under Sears’s proposal, Watson and Woods would receive compensation based on the money generated by their activity on Facebook and Twitter.

“This legislation would circumvent any terms document and give users more insight into the money-making aspect of social media,” explains Sears. “It would also allow companies to continue banning users but at a tangible cost.”

 Sears’s proposal is bipartisan by its very nature and would likely kick-start a campaign to introduce better solutions. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

0 thoughts on “The Irony of Internet Censorship

  1. Most people do not know this but everybody hollers about Obama is guilty of this type of treason. Obama is guilty of that type of treason. But the biggest type of treason I believe he is guilty of what is that he gave the Internet away to the world a few years ago. It was not his to give away the fact that the United States no longer can pull the plug on the Internet if we were to desire to means that we no longer have that authority. Google Could simply pull up stakes and relocate somewhere else and yet engage in the same type of censorship.

    The Internet is supposed to be the wild wild West. The only things that we should be policing on the Internet or child pornography and true threats against human life. Other than that if you get cyber bullied or whatever else it’s just too damn bad. Grow a thicker skin for god’s sake.

  2. Many so-called conservative internet opinion sites are using a service called DISQUS to manage their “comment” section. DISQUS is far from conservative and routinely blocks some commenters. I am one of these that is ALWAYS blocked by DISQUS. When that happens I attempt to inform the sponsor, but that is usually to no avail because there is no working email address to use to let them know this is going on. I just end up defining them as junk mail and blocking them. There is really nothing else I can do.

  3. I AGREE FACE BOOK IS PICKING ON ME AND LATELY I CANNOT EXPRESS ANYTHING THAT I HAVE EVEN HEARD ON THE NEWS BY THEIR COMMUNITY STANDARDS WHICH ARE COMMUNITY DOUBLE STANDARDS. SO ANYTHING I SAY THEY SAY VIOLATES THEIR COMMUNITY STANDARDS AND WHO ARE THEY TO JUDGE WHAT COMMUNITY STANDARDS THEY CAN CHOOSE PERIOD. THEY REMOVE ME FOR A MONTH LATELY QUITE FREQUENTLY AND YET THEY POST I HAVE MANY LIKES AND MANY PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MY COMMENTS BY THE THOUSANDS. I WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE COMMUNITY DOES LIKE ANSWERS TO FOREIGN TERRORITS AND WE ALSO HAVE SOME IN OUR CONGRESS THAT ARE ANTI-AMERICAN AND ANTI ISRAEL AND ANTI-WHAT EVER THEY CHOOSE TO GO AGAINST AND WE ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO STAND UP TO THEM. NOW THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA I GREW UP IN. AN AMERICAN SEVERA HILL.

  4. I have been censured on a few sites because I post the truth, nothing unlawful or untrue, but it goes against the “LIBERAL GOOGLE, YOUTUBE, TWITTER, AND FACEBOOK, SO THE BLOCK ME !

  5. I have been censured by : GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, FOR TRYING TOO POST A CONSERVATIVE POINT OF VIEW, NOTHING VIOLENT OR UNTRUE, BUT JUST AGAINST THE lIBERAL SOCIALIST MARXIST POINT OF VIEW, SO THE BLOCK MY COMMENTS !

  6. Great insights but I reject Sear’s plan entirely. Basically it is far too cumbersome and it ain’t gonna happen. In all of this we are forgetting that so-called “hate speech” is protected under the 1st Amendment. And the reality is that Big Tech is secretly defining “hate speech” as anything that questions the globalist agenda: the UN’s Agenda21, Agenda2030 and all the other crap that has emanated from the UN over past decades. Few even understand that Rockefeller and the Rothschild family basically formed the UN.

    So basically the Big Tech companies must be relegated as utilities. And except for a few exceptions — threatening to kill someone — Big Tech should no longer be able to censor “free speech.” And in the rare case that they do censor an Anti-Globaliist – their main targets – there must be recourse and transparency. As it stands Big Tech is now “judge, jury and executioner.” And in allowing the such power they are essentially destroying the 1st Amendment in real time.

    I have been banned from Facebook with 4, 30 day suspensions, in the past 9 months: ostensibly for hate speech. I don’t hate anyone unless it is deserved. In one instance I was suspended for satirically suggesting the ISIS members — who had murdered the husband’s of Christian Azidi’s and sexually enslaved the wives and daughters — should be fed to the sharks. Well excuuuuuuuse me! Yep I got a 30 day suspension for that which is when I learned that there is no recourse. There is no mechanism by which I can challenge their claim of hate speech.

    The fact is I reside in Dearborn which has one of the largest Muslim populations in the US. I think the vast majority of our Muslim population is just fine. It would be Islamophobic if I were to paint all Muslims as terrorists, for example. But it is not Islamophobic to point out that CAIR is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. And it is. It is not Islamophobic to point out the ISIS is involved in the genocide of Christians and Muslims as well. Sunni Muslims kill both Christians and Shiite Muslims. Shiite Muslims kill both Christians and Sunni Muslims. So we can’t talk about THAT reality? Do you see how insane this is getting.

    So the reality here is that I got censored because I simply pointed out the truth: ISIS members are terrible human’s. Anyone want to argue that point? But part of the UN’s Agenda21 is to foster the migration of millions of Muslims in the the US, Canada and the EU. So even legitimate concerns about allowing even more Muslim immigration must be censored as “hate speech.” And this is insane. I mean just because I have a problem with the Italian Mafia does not mean I hate all Italians. But if there was a UN plan to bring in millions of Italians I suppose I would be considered “Italiaphobic?” LOL.

    A similar thing happened when Lou Dobb’s had a guest that exposed that both our own government (USAID) and Soros were really behind the caravan’s. That our own government is involved was not to be disclosed. So FOX suspended the guest “forever” under the guise that he was being Anti-Semitic because Soros is Jewish. No FOX suspended him for telling the truth: our own government is financing the caravans that our invading our country. I suppose to be consistent he was suspended for being Judeophobic. This is a load of crap. Again, most Jewish people are just fine. Soros is an international scum bag who just happens to be Jewish.

    And as much as I like Tucker Carlson, and a few other FOX anchors, they absolutely have to know they are part of the Globalist censorship agenda. Had any of the actually stood up for the guest they would have also been fired in a New York second. The only sin of the guest was not Judeophobia. The sin of the guest is he exposed the fact our own government is financing the god damn caravans. Wake up America.

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