Big Tech plays their hand in election interference - with censorship
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Assistant Opinions Editor
One of the biggest fears of a free society is the restriction of information. This fear has been a shadow that has been coming closer and closer, as the power of Silicon valley technocrats increases by the day. The monster we ignored has now arrived in all of its terrifying power, as Facebook and Twitter have decided to censor a report by the New York Post regarding Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and their ties to Ukranian and Chinese corporations. The Post’s report on the Bidens accuses them of directly influencing American foreign policy to enrich themselves. I will not go into further detail to the contents of the report as this is not what this article is about. This article is about the reaction, and possible collusion, of Silicon valley tech monopolies.
It was only a year ago when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We can defend as best as we can, but our government is the one that has the tools to apply pressure to Russia, not us." It is now supremely ironic that Zuckerberg is now head of a mega corporation; one directly influencing the political process by censoring what could be a potentially deep scandal- one that could ruin the careers of many a politician. Facebook policy communications manager Andy Stone recently made a tweet detailing the “dethrottling” of the New York Post’s article. It is also worth noting that Andy Stone formerly worked for a Democrat super PAC as a communications director. Furthermore, Stone also worked for former Senator Barbara Stone as her press secretary. Needless to say, this man is a firm Democrat through and through. It would be excusable if he were one amongst many. But Silicon Valley isn’t particularly known for being a red region.
According to an article published by The Hill, Facebook’s employees donated $824,600 to Democratic candidates. That is seventy percent of all donations from the company’s employees. The numbers are much the same across other large corporations in the area, although admittedly Twitter’s stats weren’t mentioned. Big Tech’s issues with censorship, especially censoring conservative voices, has a troublesome history already. Zuckerberg already had to answer for this in front of Congress. To say tech giants have a bias for Democrats is an understatement. The official reasoning behind the cut in distribution of the Post’s article was that Twitter and Facebook do not tolerate the information of hackers. It looks like Facebook and Twitter believe Edward Snowden should be in jail, or that the information from the leakers of the Pentagon Papers is null and void because they were “hackers”.
Indeed, Facebook and Twitter had no issues allowing uncorroborated facts from “anonymous sources” to spread freely on their platforms. In fact, blatant conspiracy theories are allowed and actively spread throughout the two sites. Fake and edited pictures of politicians are just a normal part of the Facebook experience. Twitter is another area inhabited by raving political voices, pundits yelling at the wind with sketchy facts and twisted narratives. Considering this, it really is grand to hear Twitter and Facebook claim to be a great harbinger of truth.
But that’s the reality we live in, and that reality includes the fact that a corporation with power will use it. Truth is what the powerful want it to be. Why should Zuckerberg and Stone decide what you think is true? Is it really about truth, or is it really about making sure their candidate wins? Sure, one can simply go on the New York Post’s website and see the article that way for themselves. But to say that the exposure of their website is comparable to Twitter and Facebook is laughable.
To my final point, it is a little coincidental that Facebook and Twitter decided to take action against this piece on the same day, right around the time the article from the Post was published. This is heavily delving into the realm of conjecture, but it is a point worth noting that corporate collusion is illegal.
The solution is simple to these conglomerates. It’s time to dust off Teddy Roosevelt’s trusty trust bust hammer.