The dark night of censorship is not only threatening, it is already here. The most recent case, one of hundreds, if not thousands, is that of Dave Rubin, a popular conservative commentator with a large following on Twitter. Rubin tweeted this:
They want a federal vaccination mandate for vaccines that clearly don’t work as promised a few weeks ago. People are receiving and transmitting Covid despite vax. Also, now they are preparing us for booster injections. A sane society would pause. We do not live in a sane society.
Rubin’s statements of fact were, I believe, completely correct. They told us that if we got vaccinated, we would be free at home. Without masks, don’t worry about covid. Therefore, everyone should get vaccinated. In a matter of weeks, that changed. We are now told that, contrary to CDC expectations, vaccinated people are contracting and transmitting COVID in substantial numbers. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it’s the reason for another round of hysteria, with masking mandates and closures in sight.
To those truthful statements, Rubin added the view that our society should “pause.” The exact meaning of “pause” is unclear, but presumably it refers to a step back from hysteria and renewed destructive mandates. That is an opinion that, in all likelihood, is shared by the majority of Americans.
But Twitter blocked Rubin’s ability to recite those facts and add his opinion:
Twitter stated that it was a violation of its policy “on the dissemination of misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
As always, Twitter simply refuses to explain its censorship decision beyond these categorical and general statements. It’s unclear whether Twitter is calling these facts misinformation or challenging Rubin’s take on a hiatus. It does not matter. Twitter doesn’t like your point of view and doesn’t want others to read or discuss it.
As Tyler Durden points out in the link, this censorship is exactly what Democratic politicians have been urging Twitter, Facebook, and others to do in congressional hearings and other forums. By suppressing facts and opinions that diverge from the Democratic Party line, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and other tech companies are repeating the despicable role played by Pravda, Tass, FARS, Granma, Xinhua News, and other state or state-dominated bodies. censorship in totalitarian countries.
The idea that the censorship of Twitter et al. It has no remedy because they are private companies is ridiculous. When they cut communications at the behest of the government, they are state actors subject to the First Amendment.
Additionally, the monolithic left-wing tech companies – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft – control a vast majority of the places Americans communicate about current affairs. Still, his control is not entirely complete. But that could change. The far left is awash in cash; It could buy out all the telecommunications companies and ban conservatives from talking on the phone. Would that be acceptable? Similarly, the money bags on the left would easily pay for all the printers in America. Would it be okay for leftists to buy up all the presses and refuse to print anything that differs from the Biden administration’s line?
Our freedoms are threatened as they have not been in a long time. The question is what to do about it. Private action is appropriate; we should support non-leftist alternatives to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, for example. But that is not going to be enough. The major platforms can be natural monopolies due to network effects, and I don’t know how individual action can create alternatives to the Amazon web host domain or the Apple-Google duopoly.
We need to get the government to act while we can. Specifically, we must encourage as many states as possible to legislate against internet censorship. In my opinion, the best way to do this is through state legislation that creates a private cause of action when a technology platform discriminates on political or philosophical grounds. I will not elaborate on this idea; I have drafted a bill to this effect that I have included here. The basic idea of that proposed law is to prohibit discrimination in the moderation of content on social networking sites on the basis of race, sex, religion, or political orientation. The bill was introduced in the Minnesota legislature and sparked panic from the tech giants, who mobilized to oppose it.
More on that legislative concept here, here and here. Others have suggested alternative legislative frameworks that may also be helpful. Regardless, a sense of urgency is required. Our freedoms are slipping away and we have to act aggressively to get them back.