The Great Disconnect 7 - Tech Lords' War on Free Speech

Freedom can't exist if you can't speak your mind.

Since you have gone to the trouble to find and read this article, which, so far as we know, is not available anywhere in the mass media but only buried in the unsearchable bowels of the Internet, we can safely conclude that you are in favor of freedom of speech for all: the unknown as the famous, the weak as the powerful, the poor as the rich.  Otherwise you'd just stick to the New York Times and MSNBC, the premier party organs of our dominant leftist elites, and would have neither the desire nor the concern to garner contrarian facts and truth elsewhere.

But, as we've seen throughout this series, facts and reality strenuously oppose the doctrinaire positions of the Left right across the board.  It's no wonder that, as with every other essential American freedom, the Left has declared war on free speech.

Of course, they are far from alone in this; freedom of speech has always been as offensive to tyrants as holy water is to vampires, and often even more dramatically.

The fundamental problem with freedom of speech is that rulers and bureaucrats don't like to be criticized, particularly if the criticisms are correct.  Powerful people unhesitatingly use the power of the state to suppress dissent.

We see a recent example of this in the FBI raid on Project Veritas.  The Fibbies were ostensibly investigating a stolen diary - hardly a legitimate use of federal police powers - but the fact that some of Project Veritas' legal documents were leaked to the New York Times whom Project Veritas is suing lends doubt to the cover story.  Project Veritas has a long and infamous history of recording leftists telling evil and disgusting truths about their activities and real goals, and then trumpeting them to the world; it would certainly be in the best interests of the Left if the Project Veritas team were thrown in a deep dark hole, whether legally, figuratively, or literally, and buried there never to be heard from again.

The problem of using police powers to suppress free speech is particularly fraught in the social media era when private businesses have unprecedented power to control the public square.  It used to be said that the freedom of the press applied only to whomever owned one, but even in the era of the press barons - Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, the Sulzbergers and their ilk - there were always more than one and they often disagreed with each other.  No matter your political views, you could almost always find a powerful press baron who agreed with you and would gladly promote something resembling your point of view.

For a short time the Internet turned ordinary people like Matt Drudge into publishers, but now that huge businesses such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, et. al. control such a high percentage of worldwide information flow, they control what may be said and what may not.  If the Tech Lords, like the press barons of old, disagreed with each other, this wouldn't be so much of a problem.

But, in fact, they do agree: like the rest of our elites and institutions, they march lockstep with the furthest-left rubbish they think people can be made to swallow.  There is no powerful tech organization strongly pushing conservatism and censoring leftism, even Islamofascist terrorism or misogynistic "transgender" fetishism.

Since Donald J. Trump descended his golden escalator and stepped into the front pages of history, the right to freedom of speech which Americans have fought for and died to protect has been curtailed by our liberal tech lords and the mandarins of our national media.  In fearful hatred and disgust of a man who owes and gives them no deference, they gleefully censor conservative views from giant global platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and of course nearly every newspaper and TV news channel across the fruited plain if not the globe.

Some say that these are private businesses and thus are permitted to censor as they please, even when our government is expressly not permitted to do that.  On its face, that seems correct - after all, we certainly are under no obligation to spout the blathering of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or the treasonous bigotry of Ilhan Omar on these pages, which we own and control, at least until the Tech Lords put pressure on our ISP to de-platform us.

It has been revealed, however, that Facebook permits government employees to log onto a special portal and specify which articles should be suppressed.  In Manhattan Community Access Corp. et el. v. Halleck et al., our Supreme Court ruled that an ostensibly private business becomes a government actor "when the entity exercises 'powers traditionally exclusively reserved to the State.'"

Based on this case, Mr. Trump argues that accepting government direction on what to censor makes Facebook, Twitter, and other "private businesses" into government actors which means that their censorship is unconstitutional.  This issue of how much they have to pay him for damaging his Constitutional rights is grinding its way through the courts.  We are eager to see how it plays out.

In the meantime, one need look no further than the tech lords' systematic suppression of the New York Post expose of the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop.  The Post is the fourth largest newspaper in America, and the oldest in terms of continuous publication.  If there is still such a thing as a traditional mainstream professional journalistic organization, the Post surely qualifies as one by any objective standard.

Yet Twitter suspended the Post's account and unilaterally blocked any tweet which mentioned Hunter, the laptop, or the 10% being set aside for the "Big Guy" - presumably Joe Biden himself, then running for President.  This was an enormous in-kind contribution to Mr. Biden's campaign that made the election anything but fair - surveys of Biden voters have found that, had they known beforehand about the Biden crime family's corruption, they wouldn't have voted for him.

Having found that censorship reduces the number of fake ballots needed to swing the election, the Left is increasing their efforts to make it harder for conservative views to be heard.  The Post reports:

From Kyle Rittenhouse to Brett Kavanaugh, Nick Sandmann and Hunter Biden's laptop, the public has gotten horrific distortions blared by "the amplifying loop that connects agenda-driving traditional news organizations, culture-shaping digital sites, knowledge-delimiting search engines, and information-controlling social media platforms," roars The Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker - falsehoods from "the people who loudly proclaim their credentials as guardians of the truth." Now they'd "like to drive out facts and arguments they don't approve of." Major media outfits are hiring anti-"misinformation" reporters - not to correct their own errors: "They want the memory-holing of the Hunter Biden story to be the model for all news dissemination." Hence the push to get Facebook regulated: "They want the primary channels of digital information" to be as "closed as the rest of the media is."

The Post took the opening provided by the Rittenhouse verdict to remind us how harmful Big Tech censorship was in the months before the trial:

Facebook exerts dangerous power over public discourse - and Exhibit A is the tech giant's censorship of commentary on the Kyle Rittenhouse case, a media critic told The Post Saturday. ...

"One of the big things that they did was manipulate the search engine so you couldn't even find any references to Kyle Rittenhouse," Dan Gainor, vice president of the Media Research Center, told The Post. "They're out of touch with normal people."

But Facebook didn't only restrict search content for Rittenhouse - it actively blocked its users from posting any pro-Rittenhouse material.

Public messages supporting Rittenhouse - some using the phrase "Free Kyle" - were removed. Even legal analysis arguing the merits of his self-defense case disappeared.

"We've designated the shooting in Kenosha a mass murder and are removing posts in support of the shooter," Facebook said at the time.

Talk about appointing themselves judge, jury and executioner!  What happened to "innocent until proved guilty?"  Is that limited to Democrats?

Of course this idea applies only to favored Democrat causes: Tara Reid's accusations of sexual assault by Mr. Biden were ignored, and similar accusations against Gov Cuomo (D-NY) were also ignored until it was convenient to dump him to stop the spread of accusations of killing old people by bringing covid patients into nursing homes which might damage other Big Bad Blue governors.

The New York Post Shines Their Light

The Post has such an acute understanding of the perils to the freedom not only of the press but of individuals who disagree with the prevailing orthodoxy that we diligently follow their coverage of issues pertaining to freedom of speech.

A recent article "Student suspended for saying there are only two genders, lawsuit claims" discusses a New Hampshire freshman who is suing his high school district after he was suspended from athletics for saying there are "only two genders."  He violated school policy by refusing to use specific pronouns requested by classmates who claim genders other than their birth sex.

"He in fact denied, and will continue to deny, that any person can belong to a gender other than that of 'male' or 'female'" the lawsuit says.

This is another case of authorities seeking to claim a power they don't have.  By definition, gender-specific pronouns are used when speaking in the third person, so the subject is not being addressed directly.  He or she may not even be present, yet this absent person presumes to enforce an Orwellian speech code when they aren't even there?

It's not just high school students who have to put up with such nonsense; even the most august institutions cannot stand up for their traditional beliefs, as we see in the Post's  "Thousands register for geophysicist's lecture after MIT caved to 'Twitter mob'":

Thousands of people have registered to attend a geophysicist's remote lecture hosted by Princeton - after MIT canceled his initial one when a woke "Twitter mob" waged a war against him over his views on merit-based college admissions.

Dorian Abbot, an associate professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, last week slammed MIT for caving to cancel culture after his upcoming public lecture on climate and the potential for life on other planets was axed.

The Post commented on the New York Times' attitude toward MIT canceling the talk:

The New York Times ran a report the other day on the canceling of University of Chicago geophysicist Dorian Abbot for his dissenting views on affirmative action. The paper quoted a Williams College geosciences professor, Phoebe A. Cohen, who supports Abbot's shunning. She explained her dim view of academic freedom thusly: "This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated."

Ah, yes, that poisoned fruit of the patriarchy - intellectual debate and rigor.

Nobody seems to appreciate the degree of intellectual rigor that's part of the daily labor of the men who climb poles to fix wires to keep the lights on.  If they abandon rigor for a moment, they'll electrocute themselves and our lights will go out along with theirs.

The Post also published an article by two MIT alumni who are dismayed that their alma mater has turned so counterfactual, in "MIT alums: We can't support a school that caved to woke mentality":

They discuss MIT firing their chaplain for sending a message to his flock saying George Floyd "had not lived a virtuous life" (based on his multiple criminal convictions) and that "most people in the country have framed [Floyd's death] as an act of racism. I don't think we know that."  The article then criticizes mandatory racial grievance training and goes into detail about the "grievance" that drove the cancel mob:

The most vivid illustration of how far the university has sunk is the disgraceful cancellation of University of Chicago professor Dorian Abbot. When MIT invited the distinguished geophysicist to give a public lecture, he seemed a natural choice, "a scientific star who studies climate change and whether planets in distant solar systems might harbor atmospheres conducive to life," in the words of the New York Times.

But Abbot had committed the mortal sin of arguing, in Newsweek, that the implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives on college campuses "violates the ethical and legal principle of equal treatment" and "treats persons as merely means to an end, giving primacy to a statistic over the individuality of a human being."

MIT should be a place of cutting-edge technology based on individual intellectual merit, but their abandoning this principle should be no surprise.  The National Science Foundation has been paying attention to race and gender when awarding research grants instead of focusing on excellence.  MIT is, after all, a business.  If MIT must join the church of diversity to scoop up research funding, then diverse it shall be.

Big Tech Reaches Overseas

MIT not only cancels unapproved campus speakers in America, its Technology Review magazine advocates censorship overseas.  They accuse Facebook of not only promoting "misinformation," they say that by letting "fake news" advertise, Facebook pays for misinformation.

In 2015, six of the 10 websites in Myanmar getting the most engagement on Facebook were from legitimate media, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-run tool. A year later, Facebook (which recently rebranded to Meta) offered global access to Instant Articles, a program publishers could use to monetize their content.  [emphasis added]

One year after that rollout, legitimate publishers accounted for only two of the top 10 publishers on Facebook in Myanmar. By 2018, they accounted for zero. All the engagement had instead gone to fake news and clickbait websites. In a country where Facebook is synonymous with the Internet, the low-grade content overwhelmed other information sources[emphasis added]

How arrogant can they get?!  MIT blithely assumes that they, in their august technocratic wisdom, know better than the citizens of Myanmar what constitutes "legitimate media" and deplores the fact that the deplorable citizenry prefer "low-grade content."

MIT asserts that the problem lies in "instant articles" by which obscure "clickbait" web sites can earn billions of dollars by direct deposit from Facebook:

Instant Articles quickly fell out of favor with its original cohort of big mainstream publishers. For them, the payouts weren't high enough compared with other available forms of monetization. But that was not true for publishers in the Global South, which Facebook began accepting into the program in 2016. In 2018, the company reported paying out $1.5 billion to publishers and app developers (who can also participate in Audience Network). By 2019, that figure had reached multiple billions. ...

Clickbait actors cropped up in Myanmar overnight. With the right recipe for producing engaging and evocative content, they could generate thousands of US dollars a month in ad revenue, or 10 times the average monthly salary - paid to them directly by Facebook.

This reaction is typical of arrogant ivy-tower liberals.  The money Facebook pays out comes from advertisers who don't pay for clicks for fun - they pay for clicks by people who might buy their products.  Enough people who click voluntarily choose to spend their very own money supporting the advertisers that it is worthwhile for advertisers to pay for those clicks - if it weren't, advertisers wouldn't do it.

In their insufferable arrogance, MIT is claiming a) to know the difference between fact and fiction in Myanmar, that b) Myanmar citizens don't have the right to receive ads in this manner, and that c) Facebook must exercise more editorial control over what appears on its platform.

Without saying so plainly, MIT wants Facebook to admit that they are in fact in the publishing business and exercise editorial judgment, as we've argued for some time!

The problem, as always, is deciding who will determine the difference between fact and fiction?  We've argued for a long time that the only cure for fake news is real news.  We certainly can't trust the Tech Lords - they sat on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal until after the 2020 election and censored the "lab leak" theory of the origin of the Corona virus as long as they could.

Given their demonstrated tendency to tilt the news in favor of political positions they favor, our technocrats are the last group we'd trust to separate fact from fiction.  Sadly, MIT is adding itself to the list of untrustworthy organizations.

It's Not Just Social Media

We could fill several pages with a litany of horribles showing leftist bias throughout the entire tech media ecosystem.  To name but a few of the more notorious,GoFundMe blocked Rittenhouse fans from raising money for his legal defense while hosting campaigns seeking donations for Black Lives Matter rioters.  They weren't alone in defunding Kyle - so did Discover Card, Facebook, Fundly, Twitter, and Instagram.  Coming on top of J. P. Morgan defunding a conservative meeting starring Donald Trump Jr., we conservatives can be forgiven for feeling a bit paranoid about being censored - as the saying goes, even paranoids have enemies.

The Post interviewed Nellie Bowles, a former reporter for the New York Times.

Bowles said she was sent to report on the "mainstream liberal argument" that vandalizing buildings for racial justice was not detrimental because businesses had insurance.

"It turned out to be not true," Bowles wrote. "The part of Kenosha that people burned in the riots was the poor, multi-racial commercial district, full of small, underinsured cell phone shops and car lots. It was very sad to see and to hear from people who had suffered."

Bowles said she filed her story, and editors told her it would not run until after the election, citing "space, timing, tweaks," according to her post.

The piece eventually ran after Joe Biden won the election, Bowles said.

The Post also reports that Yale Law School has accepted unsubstantiated accusations against a tenured faculty member who supported Justice Kavanaugh:

For reasons that appear to be associated with her support for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, the school seems to have a vendetta against Professor Amy Chua. Chua was banned from teaching Yale Law's important "small group" classes after being accused of, well, something. A deep-dive investigative report by The New York Times found no evidence that Chua had actually done anything wrong.

As the Times reports it, Yale Law School gave way too much credence to unsubstantiated and anonymous student complaints, in a manner that makes a mockery of the principles of justice that any law school should stand for[emphasis added]

The More Things Change

Some of us remember the history of the "Berkeley Free Speech Movement."  Back in the 1960's, public universities in California had enacted numerous regulations limiting students' political activities.  At the University of California, Berkeley, student groups taking part in any on- or off-campus political activities were banned from campus.

After many protests, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement (FSM) was born. Students and faculty eventually came to see the FSM with its push for freedom of speech both on-campus and off-campus as a moral imperative.

That was, of course, then, and this is now.  Once their ideas gained power, the FSM leaders started suppressing ideas and speech they disliked even to the point of rioting against disfavored ideas being presented on campus at all.

How odd!  Talk about the shoe being on the other foot.  This time, however, claiming that accurate arithmetic is a tool of white supremacy will have serious repercussions.  We can't maintain our cell phone network, the Internet, or our high-tech agriculture without accurate arithmetic, hard work, planting and reaping on time, and a reverence for factual rigor - in fact, just those things that no less an august authority as the Smithsonian Institution identified as being characteristic of "white culture".  As we've pointed out before, if we lose our high-tech capabilities, the lights will go out and half our population will starve.

In all probability, that half which doesn't starve will include few if any independent young single Beautiful People enjoying the nightlife of the naked city, and even fewer welfare- and drug-addicted baby mamas; survivors of just about any kind of apocalypse are those with strong, tightly-knit family, extended-family, and community groups used to operating in a more practical, down-to-earth knowledge-based environment.  In the next article in this series, we'll explore how the Left is working overtime to destroy those too.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Media.
Reader Comments

Another good one in this series. We're on the same road the Greek and Roman empires trod. I, personally, think the final spike will be loss of the dollar's standing as the world reserve currency.

January 16, 2022 10:13 PM
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