It’s becoming an all-too-familiar story.
A Gospel music group, Zion’s Joy! posted its latest music video for fans on Facebook, spent $100 with the social media giant to “boost” its visibility, which got the post dropped because Facebook saw it as “political advertising.”
It wasn’t political advertising. That’s absurd. There was no politics in it – just joyful praise music to Jesus.
That’s just the latest scandal in how Facebook has become an arbitrary and capricious censor of content it doesn’t like on the biggest town hall in America, compromising the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
But the real scandal is bigger than that, as a House Judiciary Committee hearing illustrated Tuesday.
While Facebook is blocking content because of its crazy, irrational determination it is political advertising, Facebook and Google and the rest of the Silicon Valley cartel, have become de facto providers of massive amounts of content that indeed is politically loaded and the equivalent of many millions of dollars of free or in-kind advertising to the Democratic Party and its agenda.
How do Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon all get away with this?
- Because they are apparently too big to fail and unaccountable to government oversight; and
- Because the Democrats in Congress obfuscate and change the subject whenever Republicans hold hearings, like Tuesday’s effort, to show the way these companies are not only blocking content they find objectionable, mislabeling content as political, while accusing others of doing what it does routinely as a matter of course – permitting one viewpoint to dominate their platforms.
Let’s face facts: The real media in the U.S. today – the media with the most clout – are Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. Most people get their news and information from these sources. But none of them is a publisher, legally. They are actually more like public utilities that carry the message of only select media. Therefore, they do not have the constitutional protection the press has. Imagine if your electric company sent out political messages every day for the Republican Party and its ideas. Wouldn’t that be seen as “in-kind contributions” by the Federal Elections Commission? Of course it would. So, how do the public utilities that carry the news and information most Americans receive every day – namely Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon – get away with it?
It’s a phenomenon that has happened over time, without debate, without notice, without question.
And it has to be stopped if we are ever to have another free election in this country.
The internet cartel is literally the biggest cultural and political force in America today. Yet, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out these growing monopolies are overtly political animals who, for instance, have all chosen the Southern Poverty Law Center as a partner in setting content standards and practices.
The SPLC is one of America’s most rabid, left-wing extremist organizations. For instance, It routinely labels President Trump a “hater,” a “racist,” a “fascist.” This is the organization Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon all rely on as the arbiter of what’s news and what is not, what kind of speech is acceptable and what kind is not and which individuals and organizations are responsible and which are not.
Is there any doubt these powerful corporations are partisans and unfairly using their privileged positions as powerful utilities to shape the political culture?
It’s time for them to be held accountable. They are not simply private corporations with the right to do whatever they want. They dominate communications in the 21st century like communications have never been dominated before in American history. It’s way past time for government to step in because it is the only force powerful enough to challenge this cartel that is changing the political culture by controlling the debate and discourse of the nation.
Previous related columns:
Here’s a scary thought – Google.gov
The death of the First Freedom
Google-Facebook vs. America
Google, Facebook and the war on 1st Amendment
The worst ‘fake news’ – Google News
Open letter to Trump on Google-Facebook-Amazon threat
Google-Facebook speech police killing 1st Amendment
Endangered species: Independent media, free speech
Is Amazon following censorious path of Google-Facebook?
Google – an ideological, anti-Christian bully
The clear and present danger of Google-Facebook
What about a day without Google-Facebook?
Drudge warned us all about Google-Facebook
Google-Facebook control of speech is threat to nation
Threat to independent media worse than you know
The greatest threat to free speech, privacy in America
Never before have so few controlled so much debate