control every newspaper in America, as far as I know, except the
Manchester Union Leader. They control CBS, ABC, NBC and every cable
network except Fox News. They control what is left of the news
magazines, and pretty much every other magazine, too. Only talk radio
and the pesky internet lie outside their grasp, so that is where they
seek to impose censorship.
they have a problem: the First Amendment. The government can’t
suppress conservative speech on the ground that it is “hate speech,”
i.e., something that liberals don’t like. That was recently reaffirmed
by a 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court.
liberals have outsourced censorship of the internet to the tech titans
of Silicon Valley.
most political conversation these days occurs not on the “free”
internet, where independent sites like Power Line reside, but rather
on social media–Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. Other players
include Google (in its search capacity), Apple, Pinterest, Spotify,
etc. Happily–if you are a leftist–all of these tech companies are run
by liberals. And because they are private companies, they are not
constrained by the First Amendment. They can restrict or ban
conservative communications on the ground that they are “hate speech,”
or on no grounds whatsoever, with impunity.
that is exactly what they are doing. This is a big topic. I brought it
up this morning while hosting the Laura Ingraham radio show, and it
blew up, ultimately consuming half of the three-hour show. Many
aspects of the left’s outsourcing of censorship to liberal-run
corporations need to be explored, but for now, this is an astonishing
example: “Silicon Valley Strikes Back: Facebook Censors PragerU
After Google Lawsuit.”
Prager is probably the foremost public intellectual of our time. His
Prager University has been wildly successful. It brings a much-needed
conservative antidote to the liberal nonsense to which so many
Americans, especially young people, are subjected. That has made
Prager a key target of the Left.
started when YouTube downgraded PragerU’s videos. Weird: PragerU’s
videos are enormously popular, and YouTube makes money when people
watch videos. Moreover, PragerU’s videos are among the most
high-quality, intellectually sound productions on YouTube.
Nevertheless, YouTube (which is owned by Google) has tried to suppress
traffic to PragerU’s products. PragerU has sued Google as a result. So
this is the latest:
has shadow banned PragerU into complete silence to its more than 3
million followers, internal analytics revealed.
last 9 posts have been completely censored reaching 0 of our 3
million followers,” PragerU media personality Will Witt posted on
Facebook Friday. “At least two of our videos were deleted last night
for ‘hate speech’ including a post of our most recent video with The
Conservative Millennial, Make Men Masculine Again.”
Facebook analytics reveal that as of Thursday, Aug. 16, at 10:00 PM
PDT, posts by PragerU on the social media platform have been
completely invisible to its more than 3 million followers,” PragerU
reported in a news release Friday. “Currently, visitors to PragerU’s
Facebook page are unable to see any of its most recent posts.”
is a first for us,” PragerU Chief Marketing Officer Craig Strazzeri
said in a statement. “While we’ve experienced blatant discrimination
from Google/YouTube, which is why we’ve filed legal action against
them, this represents a whole new level of censorship by Facebook.
at this point, Facebook has provided little clarity saying it will
get back to us in another two to three business days, which in the
world of social media might as well be an eternity.”
titans stick together. Two weeks ago, Apple, Facebook, YouTube and
Spotify simultaneously “de-platformed” Alex Jones and Infowars.
Twitter held out briefly, and then, in response to demands from
liberals, also banned Jones and Infowars. I have never paid attention
to Infowars and have no idea whether its content has merit. But
simultaneous bans and suspensions across platforms can hardly be
coincidental. The phrase “combination or conspiracy in restraint of
trade” comes to mind.
any event, any claim by the Left that companies aligned with it are
merely cleansing themselves of disreputable content would be absurd.
First, PragerU is among the most reputable content on the internet.
Second, they have taken no action against left-wing extremists like
the fascist Antifa, which disseminates its hate speech freely on every
social media platform I am aware of.
Left’s attempt to outsource censorship to its Silicon Valley allies is
one of the most important issues of our time. The proper solution may
lie in creating competitive platforms, or in legislative, regulatory
or judicial action. Perhaps platforms fitting a particular legal
definition should be regulated as public utilities. After all, Federal
Express doesn’t refuse to deliver packages to the National Review
office on the ground that they may contain conservative
communications, and telephone companies haven’t tried to cut off
connections when two conservatives are talking. Why should Facebook,
Twitter and YouTube be permitted to engage in political