The media, academy and Big Tech are suppressing facts about the harms caused by COVID-19 lockdown policies, especially for younger generations, Gov. Ron DeSantis and public health experts said in a “roundtable discussion” on the novel coronavirus Monday.
These powerful American institutions are also misleading their audiences about the public health results from Florida’s open approach, which contrasted sharply with most states, they said.
The potential Republican presidential candidate hammered Google and its YouTube platform in particular for removing his earlier COVID-19 roundtable with the same doctors, branding it “misinformation.” Even some Florida news stations had their coverage removed.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a new bill on Monday that would break up several large companies in the United States, with a particular focus on the Big Tech companies, as reported by the Daily Caller.
The bill is called the “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act,” and aims to combat “anti-competitive big business” such as “Big Banks, Big Telecom, and Big Pharma.” In his press release announcing the new legislation, Hawley said that “a small group of woke mega-corporations control the products Americans can buy, the information Americans can receive, and the speech Americans can engage in.”
“These monopoly powers control our speech, our economy, our country,” Hawley continued, “and their control has only grown because Washington has aided and abetted their quest for endless power.”
Prager University, founded by radio host Dennis Prager, has been permanently blacklisted from Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.
“Tik Tok has permanently banned PragerU from its platform for ‘multiple violations’ of their community guidelines,” PragerU wrote in a tweet on Thursday. “This is blatant censorship.” The organization started a petition over TikTok’s blacklisting.
Nearly 300 Americans face a slew of charges related to the melee on Capitol Hill last January. As I’ve reported over the past few months, offenses range from assaulting a police officer to destroying government property to trespassing.
More than 70 protestors stand accused of “aiding and abetting” various crimes; even people who didn’t vandalize the Capitol or even enter the building have been charged with helping others do damage and interrupt Congress’ certification of the Electoral College results.
Nonviolent offenders languish behind bars for months, denied bail, and transported to Washington, D.C. to await delayed trials. Federal prosecutors suggest President Trump could be indicted for fueling the chaos that day. Democratic congressmen want their Republican colleagues held accountable for their alleged role, too.
Nearly all members of Congress who oversee privacy and antitrust issues have received donations or lobbying money from Big Tech, according to a Public Citizen report.
Ninety-four percent of lawmakers on Capitol Hill with jurisdiction over key Big Tech issues have received money from the industry, according to the Public Citizen report released Wednesday. Altogether, Big Tech political action committees (PAC) and lobbyists contributed roughly $3.2 million to lawmakers who are specifically tasked with regulating the industry.
Following the announcement that six books by the world-renowned children’s author Dr. Seuss would be banned due to alleged “racist imagery,” sales of the author’s books have soared on various online retailers, even as other Big Tech companies attempt to further suppress such sales, as reported by Fox News.
The Lone Star State, like Florida, is moving to outlaw viewpoint discrimination on social media platforms.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined State Sen. Bryan Hughes at a press conference Friday afternoon to discuss a new bill that will prohibit social media companies from censoring opposing viewpoints.
“The First Amendment is under assault by these social media companies and that is not going to be tolerated in Texas,” Abbott declared.
The purges began shortly after the revolution. For all its haste and ill-preparedness, the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, led by the perpetually temperamental Vladimir Lenin and fueled by a fierce devotion to Marxism, quickly gave rise to the vast and unimaginably harsh Soviet labor camp system that would come to be known as the “gulag.” As the leader of the newly established Russian Soviet Republic, Lenin wasted no time in ordering the establishment of decrees calling for the severe punishment of anyone deemed a “class enemy” to the new Soviet Republic.
From the perspective of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, class enemies were those who had opposed the Marxist Bolshevik Revolution and often consisted of individuals the Bolsheviks contemptuously regarded as privileged in their social class. These so-called class enemies, a term which eventually became synonymous with the “bourgeoisie,” ostensibly posed a threat to the proletariat-ruled, Marxist utopia Lenin was promising to the masses.
A trio of pro-Trump groups are ready to wage a massive battle against Silicon Valley titans of industry after the former president was drummed off social media prior to leaving office.
“The Center for American Restoration, the new organization stood up by former Trump administration official Russ Vought, is leading a coalition of groups calling for a ‘proliferation of legislative activity’ to reform Big Tech,” Axios reported.
On Tuesday, Big Tech giant Twitter announced that it had banned approximately 373 accounts for allegedly posting content that “undermined faith in the NATO alliance and its stability,” as reported by Breitbart.
Twitter claimed that the accounts in question were part of “state-linked information operations” that were supposedly linked to the governments of Russia, Iran, and Armenia. Of the 373, 130 were targeted “based on intel provided by the FBI” that claimed the accounts had attempted to “disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 U.S. presidential debate.”
When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis takes the stage to deliver a welcoming address at the Conservative Political Action Conference on his home field in Orlando Friday, it will be as a fast-rising force in the conservative movement and an increasingly plausible and popular contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024.
DeSantis will be followed in the spotlight on the first full day of CPAC 2021 by a succession of marquee GOP names vying to woo the party’s conservative base at the movement’s signature annual gathering of the tribes. Among them will be potential 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls and aspiring heirs to the leadership of their party’s populist conservative wing, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, of Texas, Arkansas and Missouri, respectively.
In a 10-minute video, Project Veritas exposed Salesforce executives bashing the GOP for the mostly peaceful protests at the Capitol on January 6, just weeks after the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company unexpectedly severed ties with the journalistic nonprofit.
The footage from virtual meetings held by high-level executives was sent to Project Veritas by a whistleblower inside the company, according to Veritas’ founder James O’Keefe.
by Craig Klein Salesforce has shut down the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) ability to send emails through their platform. Salesforce.com is a Silicon Valley-based giant in the enterprise software space with over $13 billion in revenue. The company was founded by Marc Benioff in 1999, who acquired Time Magazine…
Employees at Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, donated at least $15.1 million to President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, according to Open Secrets.
The donations eclipsed the amount given from employees in the banking and legal sectors, according to The Wall Street Journal. The five companies were also the largest fundraising sources for Biden’s campaign.
A study from New York University released on Monday that dismisses conservative allegations of Big Tech bias and calls for President Joe Biden to establish a Digital Regulatory Agency was funded by Craig Newmark, a billionaire tech titan who donated $100,000 to Biden’s campaign victory fund.
The study, entitled “False Accusation: The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives,” also defends decisions by Facebook and Twitter to both ban President Donald Trump from their platforms last month, and to limit circulation of a story from The New York Post weeks before the election about emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop.
For those making their arguments about whether Section 230 should be repealed or reformed to protect conservatives on social media, it’s time to declare that this ship sailed long ago. Most of the world has now come to accept that these monolithic platforms can remove people or their content at will. The banning of President Trump and a host of other conservatives from all major platforms has proven this point beyond dispute.
A handful of conservative organizations have signed onto a letter to House Republicans stating their opposition to any proposed anti-trust action against Big Tech companies, according to Breitbart.
The 10-page letter, addressed to Congressmen Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), declared on behalf of these groups that “both sides of the aisle are pushing for the weaponization of anti-trust, either as a tool to punish corporate actors with whom they disagree or out of a presupposition that big is bad.”
Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said Monday that Hungary is considering sanctions against big tech firms over alleged “systemic abuses” of free speech, Reuters reported.
Varga plans to meet with the Hungarian Competition Authority this week to discuss possible penalties for what he says are unfair commercial practices utilized by social media firms including Facebook and Twitter, according to Reuters. In addition, the minister plans to convene a meeting with the state-sponsored Digital Freedom Committee.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into the content moderation policies of multiple Silicon Valley based tech companies after President Trump was permanently banned from Twitter last week.
Paxton’s office demanded four big tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon and Google provide information relating to their censoring of conservative speech as well as their termination of the popular conservative social media app Parler from their platforms.
If we’re going to be objective about it, we’ve got to give the Mark Zuckerbergs, Jeff Bezoses and Jack Dorseys of the world their due — the apps they’ve created are some of the greatest technological marvels in history.
Big Tech’s coordinated silencing of conservative voices, including President Trump’s, signals a crossing of the Rubicon in the debate over government involvement to protect free speech.
Even conservatives like me, who have long argued that small-business competition is the best way to moderate the tech oligarchs’ power, recognize that government may now have an interest in making some large companies, such as basic web-hosting platforms, utilities akin to AT&T.
YouTube became the latest social media platform to ban President Donald Trump, announcing late Tuesday that he wouldn’t be able to post new content for seven days.
YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, said it took the action against Trump because of the potential for violence to be sparked from his content. The massive video-sharing platform joined Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Reddit and many others in suspending or banning the president, Axios reported.
Twitter has reportedly purged over 70,000 accounts from its platform for sharing “harmful QAnon-associated content.”
The social media website began cracking down on Twitter activity after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday, committing acts of vandalism and postponing the certification process as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the building.
Last week Silicon Valley silenced the president. In unison, the social media giants, with an assist from Amazon and Apple, also eliminated their most popular conservative competitor and announced that their own moderation policies would now extend to other companies. Meanwhile, CNN openly called for Fox News to be banned from cable, while a major talk radio network issued new speech rules to its hosts, extending tech’s moderation policies to the offline world. Beyond all this, Congress and the European Union called for powerful new regulation of online speech.
A legislative counsel member from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday warned that the suspension of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts wielded “unchecked power” by large tech companies, Breitbart reported.
Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU warned in a statement that the decision to suspend Trump from social media platforms could set a precedent for big tech companies to silence less privileged voices.
The Mainstream Media Are to blame for the D.C. rioting. Through four years they relentlessly pursued a single-minded goal: to take down the fairly-and-squarely democratically elected presidency of Donald Trump. Towards that end, they escalated non-stories into major “news” and elevated non-entities into major public figures. As they did in 2014 with the tragic crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, they contorted serious news into theater and abandoned their duties to investigate honestly and report dispassionately, fairly, and responsibly.
An anti-Trump group funded heavily by Reid Hoffman, a liberal billionaire tech titan who’s bankrolled political disinformation peddlers, contributed $620,000 to a legal fund for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the controversial Steele dossier, financial filings show.
According to IRS filings, The group Integrity First for America (IFA) made the contribution in 2018 for the legal defense fund of Bean LLC, the holding company for Fusion GPS.
The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the U.S. Department of Commerce seeking access to communication records of conservative individuals and groups that are fighting to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Their FOIA request with Department of Commerce sub-agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) targets “emails, text messages, and other communications from NTIA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Adam Candeub, who was recently named to a senior position at the Department of Justice, and others.”
Tech giant and Internet video pioneer YouTube this week announced that it will begin to remove videos challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election, a policy it plans to enforce even as numerous videos remain up challenging the outcome of the 2016 election in which Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday that she is leading a coalition of dozens of states to file a lawsuit against social media giant Facebook.
James, along with the attorneys general of 47 other states and the Federal Trade Commission, accuse Facebook of using its dominant market position to acquire and otherwise crush competitors, tactics that amount to monopolistic abuse that harm users.
As a “socially distanced” Thanksgiving nears, and as the worst year of modern American history begins drawing to a close, our readers can be excused for thinking there are very unwelcome developments and needed adjustments extant in our culture and society.
The CEOs of Twitter and Facebook returned Tuesday to Capitol Hill, this time to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
While focused on Twitter’s blocking of a New York Post story about the Biden family’s business dealings overseas and the social media giants’ immunity from lawsuit under the Communications Decency Act, the hearing veered into other topics as well.
European Union regulators filed antitrust charges Tuesday against Amazon, accusing the e-commerce giant of using its access to data from companies that sell products on its platform to gain an unfair advantage over them.
The charges, filed two years after the bloc’s antitrust enforcer began looking into the company, are the latest effort by European regulators to curb the power of big technology companies. Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner in charge of competition issues, has slapped Google with antitrust fines totaling nearly $10 billion and opened twin antitrust investigations this summer into Apple. The EU’s executive Commission also opened a second investigation Tuesday into whether Amazon favors product offers and merchants that use its own logistics and delivery system.
Facebook seems to be presenting a “Catch-22” for conservatives who are fed up with censorship: In order to leave Facebook yet let contacts know how to find them, they must risk Facebook’s censorship to let those contacts know.
Project Veritas has often documented Facebook’s bias against conservatives and its deletions of their posts.
Some who say they are tired of that bias are trying microblogging/social networking site Parler. They say they see Parler as a free-speech alternative to Twitter. Forbes in June ran an interview with Parler founder John Matze and how the site has grown to be a conservative presence in only two years.
President Donald Trump may be subject to increased censorship on his personal Twitter account if he loses the election and becomes a private citizen, according to Twitter.
Twitter allows for public officials to push the community guidelines further than private citizens in the interest of information and direct engagement of users with their elected officials, according to an official statement from the website.
Texas attorney Kellye SoRelle and members of Lawyers for Trump sent a copy of a video to Texas Scorecard of individuals moving what she claims are ballots in the middle of the night on Nov. 4 in Detroit.
In the video, a white van is seen parked in front of polling location at 2:40 a.m. A box is taken out of the van and placed into a red wagon, which is then pulled inside the facility. SoRelle video recorded and photographed the activity, which Texas Scorecard published on its website.
by Victor Davis Hanson Until Donald Trump’s arrival, the globalist revolution was almost solidified and institutionalized – with the United States increasingly its greatest and most “woke” advocate. We know its bipartisan establishment contours. China would inherit the world in 20 or 30 years. The self-appointed task of American…
After a series of mishaps involving muted senators, virtual cross-talk, and “connectivity issues” befuddling one of the world’s most tech-savvy men, the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday for what has now become a performative ritual: senators of both parties yell about different aspects of social media, the tech giants respond with bland, vague, noncommittal statements. And nothing substantive happens.
This is exactly where the Senate Commerce Committee found itself on Wednesday, when Big Tech was confronted with a host of critics and without any defenders—but ultimately very little in the way of committed follow-up from legislators.
It’s safe to say that Big Tech hasn’t had a great month.
Google received a beating at the Supreme Court for allegedly stealing the coding needed to create Android. Congress subpoenaed Facebook and Twitter for deliberately blocking news coverage potentially damaging to one political party — a move that culminated in a high-profile hearing yesterday. And now, the Department of Justice has charged Google with illegally maintaining its search and advertising monopoly.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress Wednesday that the FBI warned him months ago that Facebook should be on “heightened alert” about “hack and leak operations” that could be part of a foreign disinformation campaign in the final weeks before the 2020 election.
The Facebook honcho made the remarks during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing where he testified alongside Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
Apple has ramped up development of its own search engine technology as antitrust U.S. and European Union regulators scrutinize Google, according to a Financial Times report.
The Silicon Valley tech giant has subtly started the transition away from its reliance on the Google search engine, The Financial Times reported. Apple’s latest software update iOS 14, for example, directs users directly to links when they search for a term on their device’s home screen.
A year ago, University of Georgia professor Cas Mudde took to Twitter and asked: “How do you manage to stay informed about political news and stay mentally balanced?” In his next tweet, he confessed too much time on social media was contributing to anxiety and depression.
With this, Mudde expressed a sentiment many social media users share. As we discuss policy issues tied to social media—tech regulation, free speech, foreign influence—we shouldn’t lose sight of the damaging psychological effects of today’s information environment. You may not want to hear this a week before the election, but social media addiction is a public health issue. Big Tech is the new Big Tobacco.
With next week’s election looming, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were scolded by Republicans at a Senate hearing Wednesday for alleged anti-conservative bias in the companies’ social media platforms and received a warning of coming restrictions from Congress.
Lawmakers of both parties are assessing the companies’ tremendous power to disseminate speech and ideas, and are looking to challenge their long-enjoyed bedrock legal protections for online speech.
Since the early stages of the coronavirus crisis, any viewpoint or research running afoul of the accepted doctrine conceived by the credentialed class has been censored.
Social media platforms, internet search engines, and other monopolistic guardians of information decided at the very beginning that they would determine which content would be available for public consumption; “false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them” would be subjected to Facebook’s reject button, according to a January 2020 statement released by the company.
On Wednesday morning, the Star published my commentary on free speech. Little did I know when I wrote it or the editors when they published it, the whole concept of free speech online was about to blow up in an incredibly spectacular way.
In the wake of allegations of big tech companies suppressing political speech and news stories on their platforms, Republican senators and congressmen introduced legislation to amend Section 230, part of a federal code that regulates third-party content on the internet.
Federal Communication Communications (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai also weighed in on Thursday after senators announced they were subpoenaing Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey.