2018 a banner year for Silicon Valley censorship; How much farther will they go in 2019?

In March 2018, Daniel Greenfield called Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory “the Reichstag fire of internet censorship” designed to end free speech.  Looking back, 2018 can be seen as a banner year for Silicon Valley censorship, all of which appears designed to bring about a Soviet-style regime of controlled speech online, where only one point of view is permitted while others are banned for questionable reasons.

“It’s no coincidence that the central conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election involves free speech or that the solution is internet censorship,” he wrote. “The claim that Russian trolls and bots rigged the election has zero actual evidence behind it. But it’s a convenient tool for not only delegitimizing Trump, but the very idea of a free and open internet where anyone can say anything they choose.”

Shortly before the 2018 election, Facebook engaged in a Krystallnacht-style purge of more than 800 accounts and pages, many of which were politically conservative in nature.

There’s more — much more.  Facebook started 2018 by tearing down a Christian page while ignoring death threats against the pastor who ran the page.  The jihad continued against the page and its moderators, with multiple tear-downs and a clear double-standard applied against the ministry.  Even though the page followed Facebook’s directions, it was still targeted, while threatening posts against page owners and moderators were permitted by the social media giant.

Facebook’s apparent bias against Christians was seen throughout the year, as we reported here, here, here, here and here.  The site censored a picture of Santa Claus kneeling before the baby Jesus, falsely calling it “violent” and hammered evangelist Franklin Graham for a 2016 post on North Carolina’s bathroom bill.

GOP candidates like Erin Cruz, Elizabeth Heng, Matt Caldwell and Austen Petersen were targeted by Facebook moderators and one black conservative was banned for a time after announcing a possible run for office.

And that’s not all.  The social media giant told one user that a picture of a puppy violates their nebulous standards and warranted a 30-day ban.  The company also called a picture of the U.S. flag “spam,” and an administrator of one conservative page was slapped for allegedly scheduling posts too fast.

A video on the Star-Spangled Banner was censored and the company claimed that posts critical of a New Mexico terrorist constituted “hate speech.” A portion of the Declaration of Independence was also flagged by Facebook as “hate speech.”

Additionally, posts critical of those who enter the country illegally have been deemed “hate speech,” and company moderators are apparently censoring posts critical of the illegal suspect in the shooting death of Cpl. Ronil Singh.

There’s more, but you get the idea.  In December, the New York Times reported on a 1,400+ page document outlining Facebook’s rules for governing global speech.  According to the Times, “numerous gaps, biases and outright errors” were found in the way moderators determine what speech is considered appropriate for the platform.

As a result of the ongoing censorship, a number of alternative sites have sprung up and legislative efforts have begun to deal with Facebook’s political and religious censorship.  And it’s no surprise that conservative no longer trust the platform.

Facebook, however, is not the only Silicon Valley tech giant censoring non-leftist content.

Twitter, for example, now thinks U.S. and Canadian bloggers are subject to Pakistani blasphemy laws.  The site also banned Marine veteran Jesse Kelly with no explanation.  In October, Jeff Dunetz reported that ten conservative accounts on the site were banned with no reason given whatsoever.

Benghazi hero Kris Paronto was also banned by Twitter after a tweet critical of Barack Obama.  And another user was slapped after criticizing Maxine Waters, the California Democrat obsessed with impeachment and conspiracy theories involving Russia.

There’s more, as we noted here, here, here and here.  And this was just in 2018.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey even admitted the company leans left.

Despite all the evidence that Silicon Valley tech companies have now become, for all practical purposes, a clear and present danger to freedom and the American idea of democracy, apologists like Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat bought and paid for by Google and Facebook, maintain there is no censorship whatsoever.

Of course, there’s issues with Google, and we learned in 2018 that companies which handle online payments — like Intuit — are targeting non-politically-correct industries.  And who can forget the Orwellian “un-personing” of Alex Jones?

Democrats are now set to take control of the House of Representatives, and it’s fairly safe to say that they have no desire to stop Silicon Valley censorship.  Which means that free online speech will probably take a number of hits over the next two years.

How much worse will it get?  One can only guess, but from what we’ve seen in the last year, free speech may very well become a thing of the past if Silicon Valley is allowed to have its way.

Happy New Year…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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