When conservatives decry the censorship that is prevalent on social media today, there are certain so-called “free market” advocates who claim that Facebook, Twitter, et al. are allowed to do that because “their business, their rules.” Leaving aside the fact that these social media companies achieved their position not through free market principles but through enforcement of anti-free market intellectual property laws, there are significant problems with private censorship.
What we now know for certain, even though most of us guessed at it before, is that this “private” censorship isn’t actually private. Much of the censorship of conservatives and others who dare question the Establishment narrative is coming at the directive of Deep State actors who are encouraging social media companies to censor those whom the State believes are dangerous.
It isn’t just Twitter that engages in censorship either. Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged recently that Facebook’s decision to label the Hunter Biden laptop story misinformation and censor mentions of it on Facebook was due to being warned about it by the FBI. How many people wanted to share that story but couldn’t because Facebook preemptively kept them from doing so? And perhaps more importantly, how might greater knowledge of the laptop have influenced the election in November?
Behind every social media censorship decision there is likely a government hand nudging companies to censor. And that’s why conservatives have been so vocal in decrying censorship on social media.
We know this isn’t just companies acting on their own, as liberal as they may be. No company willingly wants to alienate half of its customer base, at least not if they want to stay in business. They undertake these actions when the cost of displeasing the government becomes greater than the cost of displeasing consumers.
What we have to hope for is for Republicans to grow a spine when they take control of Congress next year and forcefully investigate this collusion and cooperation between government agencies and social media companies. This fascist behavior cannot be allowed to stand.
Political grandstanding and talking a big game in hearings isn’t going to cut it either. Now is a time for action, not for making promises and failing to deliver. And if Republicans in Congress fail to appreciate the necessity for rooting out this kind of behavior, they’ll only have themselves to blame when they fall victim to it in the future.