By Royal Alexander/Opinion
Trump is banned while Ayatollah Khameni, head of a murderous Iranian regime, still allowed
The long-anticipated purging of conservatives and conservative speech has begun. We have our first preview of life under the Left as Twitter purges Pres. Trump and others while Parler faces bans from Apple and Google. Now Amazon has kicked Parler off of its web hosting service as well.
These powerful tech companies are making aggressive moves against conservative figures on their respective platforms, with Twitter purging prominent conservative accounts including President Trump, who received a permanent ban. Apple has now threatened to ban new social media app Parler from its app store over its allegedly insufficient “content moderation policies.” Google outright banned the Parler app from its own software-sharing system.
Twitter on Friday also banned the accounts of Sidney Powell, former federal prosecutor and election attorney, and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, for supposedly violating the company’s content rules. Numerous conservative political figures, commentators and journalists have also reported having hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers deleted. Among numerous others, Fox News Channel’s Brian Kilmeade and commentators Todd Starnes and Terrence K. Williams report losing tens of thousands of followers in just a few hours. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has responded that “silencing speech is dangerous. It’s un-American. Sadly, this isn’t a new tactic of the Left. They’ve worked to silence opposing voices for years. We can’t let them silence 75 million Americans. This isn’t the CCP.”
As we know, Parler has presented itself as a free speech alternative to Twitter and has attracted a flood of new users. It now faces major pressure from Apple to tighten and make more restrictive its content rules. As noted above, Apple has notified Parler that it would ban it from its App Store software sharing system if Parler did not “reform” its policies to restrict what Apple deems “violent speech.” This is the very definition of censorship.
It’s important to truthfully acknowledge what we are seeing now. Censorship of speech and expression may be new to us but it’s not new to Twitter, Google, and Facebook. These tech giants, in the interest of making huge sums of money, have been willing to “collaborate” with highly repressive governments in countries like China, Iran and Russia in the suppression of speech.
Suffice it to say that this is not a road we as a nation want to go down. When companies like these wield unchecked power to remove large numbers of people from their platforms—platforms that have become indispensable to free speech that shapes our public discourse—we face a grave danger.
Our constitutionally protected freedom of speech and expression, as well as our guarantee of religious liberty, are too closely tied to our rights as free citizens to ever allow censorship in this manner. The only legitimate response to speech we strongly object to is not to censor or suppress that speech but to answer it with more speech that explains the defect or error of it. Totalitarian and authoritarian states—not the United States—employ these tools to keep their citizens oppressed and enslaved. We simply cannot allow or embrace actions of this kind.
Note: YouTube announced it is suspending President Donald Trump’s Channel – January 13, 2021
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