Silicon Valley Is Killing Free Speech. Only One Man Can Save Us Now…, by James Delingpole.
Everyone on the right knows [that free speech is under threat] because they have all experienced at first hand what it’s like to live in a culture where you cannot speak your mind without being punished for it.
Sometimes – speaking up for Brexit or Donald Trump at a London dinner party, say – it merely leads to social ostracism; or losing friends who probably never deserved to have you as a friend anyway.
Too often, though, the consequences are far more serious than that: loss of work; denial of promotion; the destruction of your business or your income stream; a full scale social media bullying campaign orchestrated by the SJW hate mob followed by the curtailment of your career; police investigation; even arrest and imprisonment.
If you agree with the PC fantasies, you have total freedom — nay, encouragement — to speak. Otherwise, you are silenced by any means possible short of physical violence (or sometimes more, e.g. Tommy Robinson). The left behave like a subtle form of Islam.
To appreciate how bad the problem is, follow [Ezra] Levant’s suggested thought-experiment.
“Imagine if you were having a conversation on your cellphone and you got a memo from your cellphone company saying: ‘We heard you talking about certain things on the phone and we didn’t like that. So if you don’t stop having those conversations we’re going to cancel your cellphone contract.”
As Levant says, you’d be outraged. You’d say: “You’re just a phone. Just a platform. I can say whatever the hell I want.”
Except with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Amazon and the rest it is clearly the case that you cannot say whatever you like. …
The difference between Jeff Bezos and JD Rockefeller is that whereas Rockefeller just controlled oil, Bezos and his ilk control “ideas, information, perception of the world.”
As Levant says:
“He can make you vanish in a moment. He’s got a half billion contract with the CIA. The new monopoly – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Amazon are far more powerful politically and ideologically than John Rockefeller ever was.”
It gets worse. Whatever threat these organizations pose to individual freedoms, the way they work in cahoots with governments is more dangerous still. Levant:
“Governments say: ‘Ah. I could censor my enemies but that’s subject to debate and scrutiny and hearings and challenges and constitutional matters and transparency. But, what if I have a private tete-a-tete with the head of Facebook I say: ‘You shut down this Alternative für Deutschland, you gotta shut down this Marine le Pen for me, we can’t have another Brexit, another Trump. Can you, my Democrat friends in San Francisco the most left-wing city in America, can you put your finger on the scale just a little bit? Because if I – Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel – do that, there’ll be squawking, there’ll be law suits. But if I just whisper in your ear that we’ll go easy on your tax avoidance and we won’t hold you culpable for hate speech, you’ll shut down Tommy Robinson…” It gets worse. Whatever threat these organizations pose to individual freedoms, the way they work in cahoots with governments is more dangerous still.” …
If free speech goes, Western Civilization dies with it. Trump gets that, I think.
In climate change my wife and I have been systematically shut up and demonized for over a decade.
hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Charles