Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill on targeting social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, for their repeated and aggressive suppression of conservative speech.
Article by Douglas Blair from Daily Signal.
The legislation would fine social media companies if they deplatform candidates for state office during election season, as well as make it easier for private citizens to sue tech giants.
DeSantis has firsthand experience of tech companies censoring content for arbitrary reasons. Back in April, the governor posted a town hall meeting featuring doctors from Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard medical schools on YouTube.
In response to a question from DeSantis on the need for children to wear masks, the doctors all agreed that it was unnecessary.
YouTube promptly took the video down for “medical misinformation,” then issued a statement saying it wasn’t politically motivated.
Conservatives have already begun hitting back against tech giants on an individual level. One example is commentator and comedian Steven Crowder, who recently announced he would be suing YouTube over its inconsistent and targeted enforcement of its rules.
As Heritage Foundation research fellow Kara Frederick explained, “In March, YouTube demonetized Crowder’s channel and issued his first demerit of 2021 on grounds that one of his videos contained COVID-19 misinformation. In April, Crowder earned ‘strike two’ under the pretext of harassment and cyberbullying. One more infraction in the designated 90-day window, and he will be permanently cut off from his 5 million YouTube followers.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
While the individual actions taken by conservatives, such as Crowder, are a start, what Florida is doing will set the tone for how conservatives fight back against Big Tech on a bigger and more organized scale.
Censorship by social media platforms is an existential threat to the conservative movement, but the movement has struggled thus far to coalesce around a single solution. This difficulty of finding standardized solutions is why bills such as the one DeSantis signed May 24 are useful.
The battle to preserve conservative voices online must be fought on many fronts. In addition to the individual level, free markets must also be involved.
There are private businesses that exemplify this principle of free market solutions. For example, Right Forge is a data-hosting company that refuses to take down content that isn’t explicitly illegal, and has a set of core principles based on the Constitution. Likewise, content platform Locals allows brands and creators to upload and manage their own community of supporters, with minimal interference from the larger platform.
As the tech giants continue to strangle dissent, disgruntled lovers of free speech will create platforms that value liberty of expression. Companies that value free and open expression should receive conservative support, as that will begin to put pressure on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to respect those values or lose conservative support.
But just as importantly as individual or free market efforts, the fight to protect conservative speech should be waged in the states.
The states, unlike the overly broad and all-encompassing federal government, can be localized test sites for the most effective solutions to censorship.
Conservatives can see what policies are the most effective at holding tech companies to account, keeping them transparent, and preventing social media companies from abusing their power over public discourse.
The war to preserve conservative thought and speech on the internet will be long and grueling. It’s good that state governors, such as DeSantis, are leading the charge, telling YouTube and its ilk that the right will fight back.
Individuals and states must keep up the pressure. If we don’t, there might soon be no safe harbors left.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are pacing to be short by about $3700 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.