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Sunday, January 17, 2021

This Is How Conservatives Get Erased From the Internet

Two companies, Google and Apple, each control about half of the smartphone market. So when the two companies made a move against Parler, the conservative social media alternative, it effectively erased its app from existence. Joining the party was a third member of the FAANG Big Tech consortium, Amazon, which deplatformed Parler from Amazon Web Services.

AWS controls a third of the cloud marketplace. Microsoft and Google are in 2nd and 3rd place.

Blocking an app doesn’t permanently kill a social networking service, though it places it at a structural disadvantage, but Apple and Google can flag sites as unsafe through their browsers.

Google’s Chrome commands 45% of the browser market in America while Apple’s Safari has a little under 40%. While browser flags can be currently bypassed, it would add a further structural disadvantage that would make people less likely to use the service, and there’s nothing stopping Apple and Google from permanently blocking access to any conservative site.

There are other browsers, but Google and Apple could kick any browser off their app stores that doesn’t comply with a blocklist of ‘unsafe’ sites, further narrowing the potential browser options.

With desktops and laptops, Microsoft and Apple can block access to sites at the operating system level by using their built-in antivirus software. That can also be turned off. For now.

Google controls over 80% of search traffic. Facebook controls some 80% of social media. Being delisted and deplatformed by them can be all but fatal to any site trying to attract new users.

Some conservatives take refuge in the illusion of alternatives from smaller companies, but in the oligarchy, smaller companies usually directly or indirectly rely on services from Big Tech.

DuckDuckGo, for example, serves up searches from Microsoft’s Bing. Many smaller alternative companies are likewise dependent on Big Tech players. The small companies conservatives take refuge in are still reliant on the infrastructure of the big players and can be easily pressured into joining their boycotts or have their own services cut off by the Big Tech oligarchy.

There are workarounds for all of these, but when visiting a conservative site turns into the equivalent of going to a speakeasy, that eliminates much of the potential user base.

Sites can also be crushed at the domain level, banishing them to the dark web.

If conservatives distributing information becomes as onerous as Chinese political dissidents bypassing the Great Firewall, what will be left of the conservative movement online?

It will take more manufactured emergencies to unlock some of these options, but there should be little doubt that they will be. The Democrats and their media allies invented the threat of “disinformation” out of thin air and still can’t properly explain what it means. But they successfully used it to engage in a massive online purge of their political opponents.

A violent clash or a random shooting by an unstable man will unlock another censorship tier. But it could just as easily be another conservative politician winning when he’s supposed to lose.

Direct deplatforming is only the crudest tool. Pressure campaigns have targeted advertising and payment options for conservative sites. Google, again, controls 37% of the digital ad market. Payment options at the top are controlled by the same old team of players. That’s what happened when the David Horowitz Freedom Center was cut off by Visa and Mastercard.

The ‘killer app’ though won’t be direct internet censorship, but corporate cancel culture.

Instead of Facebook deleting your post, you will be fired from your job for posting it. If you own a small business, larger suppliers and companies will no longer work with you. If you belong to a trade association, you’ll be ousted. If your business requires a license, you will lose it.

This isn’t a paranoid fantasy. It’s happening right now.

In November, I wrote about how the National Association of Realtors had modified its regulations to allow members to be forced out of the business over their social media posts.

"Doesn’t this mean that if I post my opinion online and someone doesn’t agree with it, that I can lose my membership and be forced out of the business?" the NAR FAQ asks.

That’s not an isolated policy. Similar moves are underway in various trade associations which would treat politically incorrect views as a violation of professional obligations. Cancel culture isn’t a new phenomenon, but this is the industrialization of cancel culture which takes it from an isolated phenomenon to a collective system of enforcement like China’s social credit score.

This includes monitoring social media profiles and flagging employees, renters, or businesses with conservative views as a potential risk.

Yelp has already implemented a similar program for some eateries. It’s not alone.

Big Tech censorship is a symptom of a much bigger problem which is the criminalization of conservative views within the corporate world. The FAANG bloc has led the way, but big business has been slowly tilting leftward. The giant multinationals are the worst offenders, at least when it comes to public virtue signaling, and they control a great deal of the economy.

Conservatives never asked companies to adopt their political views. Leftists made it mandatory and organized pressure campaigns from the outside and the inside to make it happen.

That’s why they won. It’s why conservatives are losing.

Leftists took over academia and cultural industries by organizing networks inside and then imposing their own leadership and institutional ideologies that made their views mandatory and left no room for dissent, while conservatives failed to organize a common front against them..

Naming major conservative musicians and movie stars was easy. Now name one. Under 40.

The same takeover is happening at a slower pace inside the corporate world, backed by diversity quotas and social responsibility statements. I wrote about this at length in my Freedom Center pamphlet, Thought Control, Inc, and internet censorship is a symptom of that threat.

The whole threat will erase conservatives from the internet and from public life.

Can conservatives influence, campaign, and win elections under these conditions? The endgame here is eliminating conservatives as a meaningful political force in America.

That’s the scale of the threat. Conservatives have spent too long ignoring it. And even now they underestimate the sheer scale of the strategy to erase them from the marketplace of ideas.

But Big Tech isn’t as powerful as it seems. It’s vulnerable and it’s worried.

That’s why Big Tech waited until it was confident that the Senate would be in the hands of the Democrats before it made its big move against Trump. That’s weakness, not strength.

Forcing out President Trump was a priority for Big Tech, not only for political, but economic reasons. The Trump administration was the first to aggressively go after Google and Facebook on antitrust grounds. It’s no coincidence that Google is a Biden Inaugural Committee donor.

President Trump was the first GOP president to stop being a cheap corporate date. Republicans, even some in the MAGA class, are happy to trade favorable legislation for contributions with economic interests, from Big Tech to the media, that hate conservatives.

Democrats trade legislation for contributions, but they also demand political allegiance.

When corporations hire Democrat operatives, they get lobbyists for their business interests who still push leftist political agendas, but when corporations hire Republicans, all they get is lobbyists who ignore the fact that the interests they represent are bad for conservatives.

The Left understood that corporate policy is national policy. Its members adopted conservative boycotts of companies behaving immorally just when conservatives decided to abandon them. Leftists chose brands based on their politics, while conservatives had no idea what the politics of their cable company or breakfast cereal were. That’s why corporate politics turned leftist.

Democrat elected officials help companies who share their views and hurt those who don’t. Republicans help companies who give them money even while they’re crushing conservatives.

And if that doesn’t change, there will be fewer Republicans and a lot fewer conservatives.

The only way it’s going to change is if conservatives stop paying attention to what their elected officials are saying and start paying attention to what they’re doing on behalf of lobbyists.

The battle for the corporation, unlike academia and the media, isn’t a lost cause. But it actually needs to be fought. And one of the best tools for that fight is duplicating the Left’s infrastructure for monitoring the interactions between politicians and corporate interests, and demanding that the politicians represent conservatives, not just their campaign war chests, with corporations.

Conservatives view the corporate landscape as an amorphous free market while leftists see friendly and unfriendly companies. After generations of this, the market has become a lot more leftist and a lot less free. Conservatives need a better response to this crisis than to roll out the old claims about their commitment to a free system which failed in academia and the media.

Instead, conservatives may need to start viewing corporations in the same way, using political power to pressure companies into adopting conservative positions, funding conservative priorities, and protecting the civil rights of conservatives, while crippling the business interests of companies that serve as the major funders of leftist agendas and deny conservative civil rights.

Imagine if Republican legislators actually used government contracts, copyright law, and regulatory oversight to extract meaningful cultural concessions, instead of just campaign contributions, from AT&T, Disney, and Facebook: just to name a few examples.

If you want to imagine a country where conservatives aren’t just fighting a rear-guard action against an ascendant radical movement that is taking over everything, that’s the place to start.

This may strike some free market fundamentalists as anathema, but a better word is survival.

There is nothing free about a market controlled by a Big Tech oligarchy, a handful of multinationals and giant chains, and corporate fronts for Chinese business interests.

The only way to ‘free’ the market is to make it more open by demolishing the oligarchy.

Facebook and Twitter censorship may be what conservatives see immediately, but the big picture is the erasure of conservatism as a movement from America.

It didn’t have to happen. It still doesn’t.

Conservatives have lost their grip on many key institutions, but they still have a foothold on political power. The question is whether they’re willing to use it before they lose that too.








Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

This article first appeared exclusively at Front Page Magazine.

18 comments:

  1. Anonymous17/1/21

    Conservatives out-coercing business seems as nuts
    as out-spending Lefties on welfare. Not our game.

    There are two kinds of business players: Freedom
    loving creators and dirty tricksters. Deregulation
    and lower taxation encourages the creators.
    Leftism promotes the tricksters.

    Democrats live by bribes and grift; they understand
    their game well. RINOs are even more dishonest.

    Trump’s greatest gift may turn out to be our
    Liberty Wake-Up Call.

    Charlie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, we're awake but what the hell can we do about it?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18/1/21

      Excellent point, Josh. America’s past
      greatness stemmed from our Protestant
      European Work Ethic, voters were land
      owners. Andrew Breitbart’s culture
      driven politics may prevail if we have
      enough motivated, achieving patriots.
      Leftists are predominantly sissies, so
      we have a chance.

      Charlie

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19/1/21

      Then you'll be exterminated. The real world isn't interested in your philosophical purity. It only recognizes winning numbers...and you've admitted that you are willing to fight for them.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous18/1/21

    A fait accompli, coup d'etat far left purge.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Try naming more than three conservatives with political power and will to take on the Leftist cancer (stage 4) that has already overtaken every significant aspect of our culture. Perhaps I’m overly pessimistic, but I think that, short of a civil war and de-fedaralizing, we are past the point of return. “It” is here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I noticed the mention of DuckDuckGo. I thought they used Yahoo, not Microsoft. Anyway, is there anything to say about MeWe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yahoo doesn't have a global search engine with an index (the only kind that counts), only Google and Microsoft do.

      Google doesn't let anyone reuse its index. Microsoft does.

      Delete
  5. hey! i have a GREAT idea! let's do away with cash and go ALL DIGITAL MONEY! who's with me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. money that is intangible and can be easily erased has obvious pitfalls

      Delete
  6. Anonymous18/1/21

    I sometimes wonder whether people understand the meaning of 20%. Perhaps giving an example will help.

    Let us start with a bag of candy. In the bag you have 100 pieces of candy. 99 pieces of candy are green and one candy is red. In order to get to 20% one has to remove 95 pieces of green candy. The bag now contains 4 pieces of green candy and one red candy, or one out of five red candies (20%). The major part of the job is already completed since you have removed 95 pieces of candy. The remaining work is to remove just 4 green candies.

    That tells the reader just how close Iran is to a red candy.

    However, even this is likely a lie. I seem to recall that Iranians were observers when N. Korean made several tests. The question I have is just who actually manufactured the device? It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the device was made with a lot of help from Iran. For all I know the whole test was to try out an Iranian device.

    If that is the case then they already have a device. So what are they up too? I suspect they are trying to develop a miniature device that will fit on a rocket and many more units.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous18/1/21

    “It didn’t have to happen”: no, if Pres Trump had called a state of emergency and suspended the law and Congress the day after the fraudulent election then maybe the current situation wouldn’t have happened. Also dumping Barr and Wray etc etc. But what do I know, living 5000 miles away in a small town??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19/1/21

      I suspect that doing what you have suggested would have forced Pence to remove Trump and result in impeachment. I think a better idea would have been to sequester the voting machines and have them tested. I think one voting machine was tested and showed a false number. Why Trump’s legal team didn’t act seems very strange. Almost like his team was not doing their job. In fact, it seems to me that many of his staff were secretly undermining his plans. Look at those that made claims after their departure.

      For several years the Republicans said that if given a chance they would overturn the unaffordable health act. Seems that when given the chance they calculate just what would be needed to fail. Don’t forget all those so-called conservatives that seemed to work to get rid of him. Seems to me there has been a huge team effort to limit his goals and arrange an outcome. Even those things that Republicans allowed to happen may now be overturned. The only thing that the new team will be stuck with is having the embassy moved. That is because the Congress was depending that the President would automatically delay the move every six months. Now the Congress would have to vote to overturn the bill. Seems that even Democrats aren’t ready to make such a public act at this time.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous19/1/21

    Once again I want to explain how a tax law change effects mainly the middle class. Somewhere I heard that the wealthiest people pay about 15% of the taxes. If true that suggests that less than 1% of the population pays a huge part of what the treasury takes in. This begs a simple question. At what point does a wealthy person pay their fair share? Wasn’t that the basic issue Clinton asked?

    In order to calculate what a tax increase means one needs to count the number of people you speak about. You than have calculate how much you are looking for. Finally you have to be sure their income even matches that cash amount. Don’t forget income tax is based on net income after deductions. It is not based on wealth. Someone can have assets of billions of dollars, yet income tax is based on “income” not wealth. Capital gains kicks in when something is sold.

    Let us use a simple calculation that can easily be adjusted. Let us say that the top 1,000 people will have their taxes increase such as the average cost is one million more dollars. The total gain is only one billion dollars. So if you want to go from 1,000 to 2,000 people you only double the total to two billion. If you want to calculate 2,000 times two million dollars you end up with four billion. Again, that assumes that their actual net income commands an average of two million.

    Now let us do a similar calculation for the middle class that also pays a net positive tax. Asking the same two questions of population size and the tax increase. There are at least 10 million, if not double or triple, that pay something. When lifting the top bracket you also effect the entire curve. Taking an average of $1,000 per unit and multiplying ten million people you have a windfall of 10 billion dollars to the treasury. Twenty million eligible people results in 20 billion dollars. Since some middle class people make several million a year the average tax increase may be $5-10,000 a year.

    The bottom line is that it is the middle class that is the real source of tax dollars and the super wealthy will be window dressing to sell the idea to the people. Especially to those that will be able to avoid paying much.

    Taking 1-5 billion from the super wealthy will hardly mean anything, especially when some have assets of 100 billion. However, draining 100 billion from the middle class will seriously damage the economic situation.

    Taking the above and reversing the tax means that a huge amount of money is being distributed mainly to the middle class. Imagine what happens if each one of the millions of beneficiaries is now able to go to a restaurant one time. That means tens of millions of times the industry will profit.

    Now it makes sense that a tax increase helps the economy. And, a better economy and generate higher taxes for the treasury.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20/1/21

      Sorry, I meant to say a tax decrease helps the economy. And, a better economy translates to higher tax revenues for the treasury.

      Maybe my entry can be fixed. Thanks.

      Delete
  9. AislaS20/1/21

    Found this really useful, but a counsel of despair.
    Shall we begin to think creatively?
    Yes, SMS etc has range and is massive. But it's not needed, if it's sabotaged.
    The current left are all dependent on their fatuous " green" credentials and are serial hypocrites.
    We need to go green and fundamentally so, as a tactic.
    All a crock of course, we know it's B/S but the Adbusters types of Seattle 99, the Naomi Kleins etc were correct in tactics. The vaccine stuff breaks every alt health deep green hippie heart and they are low hanging fruit.
    The Corporate Blag of these monstrous cartels is easily upturned locally with comedy and satire ..what's the point in cutting your green teeth over Monsanto, only to let Uighar slaves make your phones via Foxcomm etc?
    As you say Daniel...source their rampant evil, double standards and offline too. Get out there, and tell your friends. Theirs is a death cult, you could never be green or zealous enough.
    What about an inquiry into how we all got saddles with DAB?
    Think big. Destroy them with their early decent history that they binned for a gig at the IMF or such( Herman Daly, Lester Brown? Bill McKibben).
    Do the deep dig that lefties do in us. Be nasty and personal too.
    This is war. And you've not long left. God will remove you if you can't be improved.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous23/1/21

    The energy coursing through the veins of the Right at this moment needs to be harnessed. Calls for boycotts might feel good, but the oligarchs know how much they'll lose and have creative excuses that fail to mention organized boycotts. COVID supplies them with a ready-made reason.

    The Left might have superficial calls for boycotts, but they have the infrastructure in place for something much more effective - they target a companies advertisers, suppliers, or clients...depending on the type of business. Twitter mobs are a smokescreen. When phone calls, e-mails, snail mail, and social media posts blow up from one of their campaigns, secondary players don't want a part of it.

    The Right needs to get out of the old "Vote Harder" paradigm. The entire landscape has irrevocably changed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous6/10/21

    There is really nothing we can do. Our elected and unelected bureaucrats will take their tech money, and lots of it, and tell the rest of us to STFU. Big Tech money just bought an election, and continues to buy politicians, newsreaders, and other media spokesholes.

    ReplyDelete

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