Ajit Pai, the FCC Chairman, is in the news today for blasting Twitter over its censorship of conservatives which is being cited as a reason to repeal #NetNeutrality rules:
“Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, blasted Twitter on Tuesday for what he said was a push to “discriminate” against conservatives, during an aggressive defense of his agency’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules.
Speaking during an event hosted by the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank, Pai accused Twitter of hypocrisy for its criticism of the FCC’s plan to repeal the Obama-era regulation.
“When it comes to a free and open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem,” Pai said. “The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”
Twitter, Google and Facebook have been vocal opponents of the FCC’s proposal to repeal net neutrality, joining others who say the repeal will harm the flow of information on the Internet. On the other side, Internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have supported the FCC’s push, which it says will allow the Internet to return to the free market environment it was created in.
The FCC is expected to repeal the Obama-era regulations, which are aimed at ensuring all websites are treated equally by Internet providers, at its Dec. 14 meeting. …”
Silicon Valley isn’t going to find any sympathy from our community while they engage in censorship for partisan reasons. The idea that these companies are content neutral is farcical when Google is stealing domains. I’ve never been censored by Verizon or Comcast on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League. On the other hand, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and AirBnb have spent the whole year engaging in viewpoint discrimination against the Alt-Right.
At the same time, I am not sure what stake we have in this debate. If Net Neutrality stays or goes, it isn’t going to have any direct effect on the political censorship on Silicon Valley’s social media platforms. Instead, the political censorship will only have an indirect effect by making large swathes of the public automatically hostile to Silicon Valley’s political agenda. The end of Net Neutrality would be a victory for telecom companies, but not necessarily a victory for us.
In studying the year that has passed, I found that social media censorship and defunding the Alt-Right was one of four long term trends that was set in motion by Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Less than two weeks later, Twitter launched a purge of Alt-Right accounts. Almost immediately, the ADL sprung into action to promote censorship on large social media platforms in a report called Control-Alt-Delete. The ADL would later announce in March it was opening “a state-of-the-art command center in Silicon Valley to combat the growing threat posed by hate online.”
“SAN FRANCISCO — Executives from Facebook, Snapchat and other tech-oriented organizations will help the Anti-Defamation League develop guidelines aimed at better rooting out online hate speech.
The ADL’s new Center for Technology and Society, which officially launched Monday at the group’s Never is Now! summit and is fueled by grants from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, will lean on its new board members to develop strategies for social network platforms trying to tackle incendiary rhetoric in an open forum.
“Now more than ever, as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other discrimination has exploded online, it’s critical that we are bringing the best resources we can amass to this fight,” CTS director Brittan Heller said in a statement. …”
Everything from Google rigging its algorithm, Twitter purges and deverification, YouTube demonetization, Facebook censoring “fake news,” Reddit purging Alt-Right communities and Lauren Southern being booted off Patreon is part of a sweeping plan to deplatform and demonetize the Alt-Right for Democrats can retake power in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
President Trump and the Republican Party reaped tremendous benefits from all the online energy that went into the 2016 presidential election. In the words of David Brock of Media Matters, “generally speaking and simply put, Democrats got clobbered in the digital space.” It was the Alt-Right that clobbered them and now Democrats and Silicon Valley are working to ensure that never happens again by imposing all of these “hate speech” codes on social media platforms.
Where are the Republicans on this? Passing the Charlottesville resolution. Repealing the Net Neutrality rules for the telecoms. Virtue signaling on Twitter. It would be an understatement to say that Trump and the Republicans have been useless in fighting back against this. As we migrate to Alt-Tech platforms, we ought to reconsider whether energizing the GOP is in our interest. It seems to be doing a whole lot of good for them while doing a whole lot of harm for us.
Note: As the OD Timeline makes clear, this has nothing to do with Charlottesville. It had been going on since Trump’s victory in the 2016 election and even before that. The Unite the Right rally was seized on as an excuse to accelerate a preexisting agenda.