There’s no question that the major tech companies of Facebook, Twitter, and Google had a major part to play in the 2020 elections. All three corporations were started by and are run by left-leaning managers. As such, they have clearly put their corporate muscle on Biden and the Democrat’s side; not just because they hate Trump, but because they want any Democrat in any position of power, rather than a Republican.
This trend has been increasing over the last several years, ever since Donald Trump used social media so successfully to connect with his followers in the 2016 elections. While he was merely copying from the playbook of former president Obama, who used social media so successfully in his two presidential campaigns, there appears to have been a double-standard that has been applied.
These companies claim that they aren’t publishers, but merely platforms and as such, are entitled to certain legal protections. But as platforms, they are not legally permitted to edit content, merely to provide user-generated content. But more and more conservatives, both individuals and organizations, are finding their content blocked, which means that these media giants are curating content, determining what viewers will see.
There have been Congressional hearings on this in the last couple of years, but the legal ground is slippery enough that no action has been taken against these companies. But things are finally reaching a tipping point, where some powerful voices on the left are not agreeing with those on the right, that tech giants are going too far, infringing on people’s First Amendment rights.
The specific trigger for this has been Twitter’s permanent blocking of President Trump’s account. They, along with others, have hindered the president’s ability to communicate with the public in the past, but this is apparently a step too far. Even the ACLU, which usually advocates for left-leaning causes, is taking a stand in support of Trump, saying that they are crossing the line.
As has been stated by a number of prominent progressives, the very fact that they have blocked Trump’s access and his account means that they are capable of doing that to anyone. The more astute on the left are finally realizing that the same could be done to them.
The problem is one of unbiased neutrality, something that doesn’t exist. While there are many on the left, in these tech companies, in the mainstream media, and elsewhere, who claim that they are unbiased, one only needs to watch what they do to see clear bias. It only looks unbiased to them, because the decisions they make are in favor of their viewpoint. But were the shoe on the other foot, you could be sure they would scream. Hence, Trump’s comments before the storming of the Capitol building are taken as “inciting riots” when much bolder comments, clearly calling for violence in the BLM protests, are allowed to pass.
These businesses are so powerful, they are now controlling what people think, by controlling the information that they receive. To maintain that control, they are also blocking attempts by others to start alternative social media platforms, which will not carry their built-in bias. Specifically, they have shut down Parler, a conservative alternative to Twitter, which has been growing rapidly.
With Democrats in control of both Houses of Congress and the presidency, it is doubtful that anything will be done in the near future to correct this misuse of power. We may have to go back to older means of communication, just to be able to talk with one another.