“In those wretched countries where a
man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call any thing else his
own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of the nation,
must begin by subduing the freedom of speech; a thing terrible to
- Cato, quoted by Benjamin Franklin
We need to have a serious talk. Things are going to get a little political. Long-time readers will know that I never talk politics, but I have to right now because content creators like myself are being directly threatened by this situation... and so is the horse world, and the entire free world, for that matter. Let's dive right into things. Remember, you can click the underlined links on every story to learn more.
Do you remember that blog post I did on Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart? I exposed her phony horse rescue. I detailed her lies and scams, including how she claimed to be a veteran, how she sold crippled horses as sound, and how her many Go Fund Me campaigns went directly into her own pocket instead of to help animals. Well the main post on Amanda got taken down by Google (who owns the Blogger platform). It got completely wiped from my account. Not just unpublished or hidden, so that I could still have access to it, but totally deleted. They did it without any prior warning, and without telling me. One day, I went to go edit it, and it was just gone. Why? Because Google didn't think it was ethical. I have no idea how many other blog posts of mine have been taken down-- again, Google doesn't tell me. They just make things disappear. That should scare you.
In 2016, Google deleted the blog of Dennis Cooper, a famous writer who lost ten years of work, including a novel. Why? Because Cooper writes poems, plays, and novels about homosexuality, fetishes, drugs, love, prostitution, pain, loss, punk music, death, etc.
Google has censored news articles, ads, blog posts, videos, and creators from its platforms. The majority of these are conservative (including Alex Jones, Tulsi Gabbard, Praeger University, etc) but plenty of leftist content has been banned too. A group of LGBTQ vloggers recently sued Google for censoring their content on Youtube. Even when Google doesn't outright ban content, it alters search and display algorithms, making some content harder to find and less likely to appear in your news feeds.
In July 2019, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee held hearings about Google's censorship, during which Dr. Robert Epstein, who has a PhD from Harvard, testified that, Here's his full article, with many more disturbing revelations: The New Censorship.
Other examples of recent censorship:
- Youtube and Facebook have taken down videos of medical doctors urging an end to lockdowns, and doctors promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine. This includes a video by doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, which was promoted by CEO Elon Musk.
- Instagram has banned or blurred photos of people at gun ranges, saying they "promote violence." Facebook and Instagram don't allow retailers to run ads that promote the sale or use of firearms (even within the context of US military members or hunting).
- Recently, Google and Apple banned Parler, the "free speech app" from their app stores, and Amazon shut down its servers. They claim this was because some people used Parler to help organize the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. However, other people used Twitter and Facebook to organize the January 6th riots and many prior BLM and Antifa riots, and those platforms were not shut down. Amazon owns about 1/3 to 1/2 of the internet, by the way.
- Facebook has banned posts selling animals, including sheep and cattle. Selling "weapons" (even pocket knives) is also not allowed.
- Fundraising sites like Patreon, GooglePay, and PayPal have blocked companies like Gab (a free speech Twitter alternative) from collecting donations.
- Twitter has temporarily or permanently blocked many users for their views, including rapper Zuby (for replying "ok dude" to an account later identified as belonging to a trans person) and of course, President Donald Trump.
The First Amendment states that the government can't restrict speech. It doesn't say anything about Twitter or Google:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
1) Free speech isn't just a legal term. It's a cultural value. Americans have a deep and abiding faith in free speech. From our founding fathers to the American Library Association, free speech has been enshrined in our country as a basic human right. From Nazi Germany's book burnings to China's ban of Tienneman Square photos, we recognize that restricting words and ideas is tyranny, pure and simple. Even when companies aren't forced to allow free speech, there is a tradition of allowing it. (Or there used to be.)
2) Because Google, Facebook, and Amazon control such a large swath of the internet, there aren't viable alternatives. Any alternative that is created is wiped out by Big Tech (as with Parler). That means that in effect, they are monopolies. We have laws that prevent other large corporations (like utilities) from abusing their power. Shouldn't we do the same for Big Tech?
3) There's a legal argument to be made for enforcing free speech based on the distinction between a "platform" and a "publisher." A publisher is responsible for all the content it publishes-- for example, you can sue the New York Times for defamation, if you want. A platform is not responsible-- you can't sue Facebook for what your mean neighbor posted about you (or even when a terrorist threatens you). This rule is laid out in section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Congress created it so that companies could facilitate “forum[s] for a true diversity of political discourse.” In other words, it was a trade-off: tech companies would help us all have free speech conversations with one another, and in return, no one could sue them. This is a very valuable gift for companies, amounting to billions of dollars saved on lawsuits. But if Big Tech isn't allowing free speech, should they still be protected from lawsuits? Senator Ted Cruz reasoned that, “in order to be protected by Section 230, companies like Facebook should be neutral public forums." That means that they could still moderate content like spam and actual threats of violence, but they shouldn't be allowed to delete political content they don't like.
4) Even if you agree with every single one of Big Tech's bans so far, there WILL come a day when YOU are censored. We saw this recently with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Rowling is politically pretty far left, and has been vocal about it-- but she has recently been on the receiving end of death threats, book burnings, and tons of nasty letters. Why? Because she dared to say that perhaps feminism is endangered when men can demand to be recognized as women, and perhaps young girls struggling with self esteem issues shouldn't be pushed into becoming "trans."
6) While you can argue that nobody is forced to use Twitter or Facebook or Google, everybody is supposed to obey the laws. And our laws are increasingly violating the First Amendment. Why? Culture predicts law. Although we pretend we are a logical society built on laws and principals, in reality we tend to experience cultural shifts and then create laws to accommodate them. When we allow our culture to slide towards censorship, our laws will soon follow. For example, New York City recently banned the act of calling anyone an illegal immigrant. Even if the person is an illegal immigrant. You can also receive a $250,000 fine for telling someone to "speak English." NYC also banned any kind of "discrimination" based on citizenship, even though they acknowledge that it's actually required by Federal law:
"The NYCHRL acknowledges that different treatment of individuals based on immigration status may be explicitly required under federal or state law with respect to hiring. ...employers are not permitted to knowingly hire or employ individuals without work authorization. Federal law allows employers to prefer to hire a U.S. citizen or national over a noncitizen..."
Scary stuff. Ready for some more?
Here are three people who were recently fired from their jobs because they either wanted to keep politics out of their jobs, or they talked about politics in their private lives:
This month in Flagstaff, Arizona, librarian Ron Kelley received an email invitation from the ALA to join the Black Lives Matter movement. Mr. Kelley replied with an email in which he argued that libraries should remain neutral and apolitical. He was fired from his job, which he had been at for nine years.
In Windsor, Vermont, a school principal created a post on her private Facebook pageabout Black Lives Matter, saying in part, “I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, but I DO NOT agree with the coercive measures taken to get to this point across…” She was fired.
Use These Free Speech Social Media Alternatives:
Gab (Twitter alternative)
MeWe (Facebook alternative)
Parler is coming back!
BitChute (Youtube alternative)
Minds (the "anti-Facebook")
Signal (Messenger alternative)
Cancel Your Amazon Accounts
Amazon "owns" 1/3 to 1/2 of the internet, including Amazon Prime, Audible, Goodreads, Shopbop, Twitch, Whole Foods, Kindle, Alexa, Echo, Ring Doorbells, half of the servers that host all websites on the internet, and much more. Cancel any accounts you have with them. Tell them you oppose their censorship, their data collection (spying), and their deals with China.
Even if local products aren't as good, they can't get any better if they don't have the money to do so. Shop locally, or pretty soon, there won't be anywhere local to shop!
Stop Using Google
This is the toughest one. Google owns Android, which means it owns 85% of the smartphone market. It also owns Fitbit, Blogger, Youtube, Adsense (which controls most internet ads), and of course all of the Google features-- Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Search.
Alternatives are tough to find, but possible. For your search engine, use DuckDuckGo or Bing. Buy a refurbished used smartphone, or if you have to have a new one, buy an off-brand. Take your documents off of Google and put them on a thumb drive or external hard drive.
Stop Watching Mainstream Media
There are no unbiased news organizations left, only opinion peddlers. Turn off FOX, MSN, CNN, and all of the others.
Subscribe to your local newspaper, and promote local news networks.
Here is a program to remove mainstream media from Youtube search results.
Try following one of these independent news sources.
You can also try Daily Wire or OAN (both right leaning, but they're open about it).
Get Involved in Local Politics
Run for school board. Run for city council. Get on your library's board. We need people from all walks of life to stand up for our freedoms-- and it all starts on the local level.
Cancel Your Facebook and Instagram Accounts
Facebook owns Instagram, and both platforms are heavily censored. If you can't entirely delete your accounts because of your job, limit what you use them for.
You can also try this "Facebook Container," which works with Firefox and prevents Facebook from tracking you around the web.
Further Reading & Watching:
Don’t Let Google Get Away with Censorship
The College Fix: Censorship on America's College Campuses
Here are six videos of Democrats calling for violence or physical confrontations that are still active on Twitter
Video: How China Censors the Internet
Video: On Incitement to Violence: A Dangerously Expanding Definition & a Free Speech Impeachment
Video: Virginia Police Chief Fired for Charging BLM Statue VandalsVideo CEO of 'unbiased' social media platform, Clouthub, speaks out against censorship
Video: Forbes: Why Big Tech's Censorship Is A Big Mistake
A Contagion of Hatred and Hysteria (Anti-Lockdown Doctors Receiving Death Threats)
UW Madison to Remove Memorial Rock Because of 1920s Nickname at Cost of $30- $75KVideo: ‘If It Was Black Lives Matter’ | Joe & Kamala’s Upside Down Capitol Raid Reaction
Words You Can’t Use on College Campuses: Crazy, Thug,
Lame, Third World and More
Twitter blocks medical journal after it published a positive study on Ivermectin treatment for coronavirus
Johns Hopkins Newsletter Questions CV Deaths, Then Quickly Retracts | ‘Spreading Misinformation’
Processor Normal Wang, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, demoted after saying doctors should be judged on merit, not race.
Mark Herring, a Dean of Library Services at Winthrop University, was censored and harassed for using the phrase “Wuhan Virus” in a library journal op-ed.
Leslie Neal-Boylan, Dean of Nursing at UMass-Lowell, lost her job after sharing this “racist” email with students and faculty: “I am writing to express my concern and condemnation of the recent (and past) acts of violence against people of color… I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone. BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS.”
Reclaim the Net https://reclaimthenet.org/