First Amendment Banned as they move to Censor the Internet
In a move to recover control over the flow of information, the government and corporate owned mainstream media is working to shut down the Internet as we know it today and replace it with their own “clean” version.
The video-sharing website, YouTube, owned by Google since late 2006, has succumbed to the pressure of corporate and government agencies to do it’s part in “cleaning up” the Internet. It has removed thousands of video’s from public view and terminated accounts for those expressing things deemed inappropriate by some nameless bureaucrat. They often defend their censorship by claiming to protect copyright infringement.
“A coordinated censorship attack is being waged against the entire independent media by Google, YouTube and Facebook. After we were banned by Google for nearly a week, now Facebook is deliberately blocking the sharing of our stories to further censor our important reporting for human freedom and medical choice.” – From Mike Adams at The Health Ranger
The popular alternative media channel run by InfoWars radio host Alex Jones was blocked for two weeks by YouTube over accusations that it posted “conspiracy theories” about the Parkland High School shootings. YouTube, Apple and Facebook have since completely removed Alex Jones and his Infowars website, citing repeated violations of policies against hate speech and glorifying violence.
InfoWars contributor Jerome Corsi also reports that his YouTube account has been terminated.
Independent journalist Mike Cernovich reported that a video he uploaded of left-wing Antifa activists chanting death threats had been taken down by YouTube. The video shows Antifa shouting violent threats at attendees of Cernovich’s Night for Freedom event in Washington DC.
“New membership on my Facebook page has stopped dead. My best YouTube videos cannot be found. All because I posted videos of myself going on Fox News.” – Doug Wead See the offending video here.
According to a recent post on the official YouTube blog, “We’ll soon be applying tougher treatment to videos that aren’t illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism. If we find that these videos don’t violate our policies but contain controversial religious or supremacist content, they will be placed in a limited state. The videos will remain on YouTube behind an interstitial, won’t be recommended, won’t be monetized, and won’t have key features including comments, suggested videos, and likes.” YouTube is also planning to artificially alter its search results so that searches for “sensitive” topics on YouTube no longer return the most popular videos, but a “playlist of curated YouTube videos that directly confront and debunk violent extremist messages.”
So, do you think these God hating progressives might consider pro-life messages or messages calling homosexuality a sin to be “controversial religious content”? Well, yeah. They already are.
In 2017, Facebook shut down the account for popular blogger Elizabeth Johnston, also known as “The Activist Mommy,” for expressing biblical views on homosexuality. She argued that the Bible does not condone homosexuality and she quoted scriptures from the Old and New Testament to support her. Facebook quickly removed the post and suspended Johnston’s account on three separate occasions. Facebook told Johnston her post did not “follow the Facebook Community Standards.”
The Jeremiah Project website has been a victim of this censorship, too. It has lost many of its rankings for relevant keywords in the Google search. Where for years the website enjoyed front page listings for numerous relevant keyword phrases. Suddenly, the site was pushed back to a page 7 or later result. This is what has been termed, “shadow banning.”
The effect of that is, of course, a tremendous reduction in traffic. The reduced traffic has negatively impacted the sites income, generating only a fraction of the traffic and income it once did a year ago and beyond.
Take for example a Google search for the term “new world order.” What do you get?
The first results are pages that debunk the new world order as a conspiracy theory. Those are followed by listings for books sold by Amazon about the new world order or pages that extol the virtues of a more positive view of a new world order. Then you get listings for articles written by the mainstream media that largely water down the topic making it seem like a harmless political term. Not until, page 3 of the results do you find an entry for the alternative view of the new world order. Then, sprinkled among the many non-conspiratorial or entertainment sites on the following pages are a few alternative sites exposing the true agenda of the new world order. The once top ranked Jeremiah Project article on the new world order has been relegated to page 7.
As you peruse the pages here on the Jeremiah Project, you’re likely to encounter in increasing number of examples of the YouTube purge of conservative voices. It seems almost faster than I can post videos to this website, YouTube takes that video down or terminates the owner’s account. Take note of that when you see a video that has been replaced with the notice of termination.
How Google presents its search results do have a huge impact on what people believe to be true.
Here’s another interesting search you can try for yourself. Search Google images for “white couple.” What do you notice about a high number of its results? Not exactly an accurate representation of a white couple. Or try this one… search Google images for “idiot”. Do the results give you any clue about their political bent?
Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are Private Companies
Now, I understand some will argue since these social media giants are not the government, they can’t violate the first amendment or free speech. The constitutional and other legal protections that prohibit or limit government censorship of the Internet do not generally apply to private corporations. They are private companies, not the government, and can do whatever they want.
Where were those with that argument when Jack Phillips, the owner of the non-government Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined to make a cake for the wedding celebration of two gay men in 2012? Or what about when Aaron and Melissa Klein, Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Portland Oregon refused to bake a cake for a lesbian homosexual ceremony in 2013? They weren’t from the government. What about when Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, whose company, Elane Photography, refused service for the 2007 commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple? Again, no government intervention denying these services.
The above cases were pretty focused on an individual and not a large swath of people. If those companies had colluded with national cake makers or photography associations to refuse service to homosexuals across the nation, that would probably be grounds for prosecution and I’m sure would not be allowed.
Tobias B. Wolff, a University of Pennsylvania law professor representing lesbian Vanessa Willock in the above case said the issue was a simple one: “Whatever service you provide, you must not discriminate against customers when you engage in public commerce.”
Isn’t YouTube engaging in public commerce? Seems to me that Google and YouTube have a virtual monopoly on search results and online video, and certainly are engaging in public commerce. Using Wolff’s rationale, YouTube will be infringing on the Constitutional rights of those YouTubers being censored.
Following the de-platforming of Alex Jones and others on Faceook, some argue that the First Amendment does not apply because they, too, are a private company. While that may be true, technically, in practice there’s more to the story. There seems to be a growing gray area between private enterprise and government. What responsibility do these public-private partnerships have when dealing with the American consumer? Where do you draw the line between the freedoms of private industry and the responsibility of government when the two are intertwined?
Where did Facebook get a large portion of their startup capital?
According to their website, In-Q-Tel ,formerly Peleus, or “IQT is the not-for-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to U.S. government agencies that keep our nation safe.” Their history pages states, “CIA leaders recognized that technological innovation had largely shifted from the purview of government R&D and large organizations to entrepreneurs and the startup community who were developing much-needed technologies more quickly and less expensively, and continue to do so today.”
“In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.” [James Corbett]
According to James Corbett, “The publicly available record on the Facebook/In-Q-Tel connection is tenuous. Facebook received $12.7 million in venture capital from Accel, whose manager, James Breyer, now sits on their board. He was formerly the chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, whose board included Gilman Louie, then the CEO of In-Q-Tel. The connection is indirect, but the suggestion of CIA involvement with Facebook, however tangential, is disturbing in the light of Facebook’s history of violating the privacy of its users.”
Apart from the Constitutional question, what does the censorship ability of social media giants like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and others say about your democratic access to information on the Internet to all sides of an issue? If this action is allowed to stand, you will be denied that access and only hear the side of the issue that Godless collectivists want you to hear.
Now I don’t have a problem with the social media giants or any company for that matter to responsibly choose to limit the content they make available or allow others to make available on the Internet. Censoring obscene, defamatory, threats to national security, material promoting illegal activities, theft of intellectual property, and inciting violence would actually be their social responsibility to protect their customers from the predatory practices of criminals. But, that’s NOT what they’re doing here. They’re censoring voices that contradict their political perspectives.
I also don’t have a problem with a company limiting the content based upon the relevancy to their values and mission.
Google’s stated mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” YouTube’s stated mission is “to give everyone a voice and show them the world. We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories.” Twitter states they “believe in free expression and think every voice has the power to impact the world.” Facebook says their mission is “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
The problem arises from “who” decides it is worthy of censorship? When these gatekeepers censor opposing political views, religious beliefs, or opinions that differ from their own, I believe they have crossed a line that leads to totalitarianism. That’s exactly what Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and other despots did to assuage the public to their authoritarian rule.
It seems to me that Google’s practice of shadow banning information it disagrees with does not make it universally accessible and useful. YouTube’s removal of video’s it disagrees with does not give everyone a voice to share and build community through their stories. Twitter’s banning of messages is not exactly free expression where every voice is given power to impact the world. And Facebook’s de-platforming of people it disagrees with does not build community, bring the world closer together, or allow people to express what matters to them.
I believe we’re at a crossroad here. One road leads to the tyranny of the elite. The other road leads to what the Declaration of Independence said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These companies need to return to their stated values and mission and live up to their commitments. If they choose to become simply propaganda arms of the government or platforms for some political agenda, fine… but they should at least be transparent enough to own up to it. Hiding behind empty words like, universally accessible, give everyone a voice, free expression, or express what matters to them is deceptive and dishonest. My hope is that they will come to their senses and fulfill the sentiments they publicly state in their mission statements without all the Orwellian doublespeak. That will go to make America great again.
“We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.” – John F. Kennedy