Billionaire-backed progressive groups are pressuring major social media corporations to crack down harshly on free expression on the internet. Under the guise of combating “hate speech,” a term they themselves get to define, a group of George Soros-funded organizations are setting themselves up to steer the direction of online discourse. And at least one leading figure in the Senate is making this mission easier.
“We cannot simply allow the Republican Party to harass tech companies into weakening content moderation policies that already fail to remove hateful, dangerous, and misleading content,” Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said at an April 10 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on free speech online. “If conservatives have had their content removed, maybe they should look at the content they’re posting.”
Leave the Censors Alone
Hirono displayed breathtaking candor in revealing her simple approach to unacceptable speech, which appears to be anything that doesn’t jibe with her own personal political beliefs. “Maybe they shouldn’t post lies about Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts,” she said, in reference to the documented scandal of Planned Parenthood haggling to sell aborted baby parts. “Maybe they shouldn’t inflame religious tensions by misrepresenting the tenets of one of the world’s major religions.”
Hirono’s statements show her to be part of a progressive push to encourage dominant social media behemoths to eliminate content that is offensive to leftists without fear of government regulation. She is not the only one moving to make sure that the responsibility of controlling online content remains solely in the hands of service providers.
No First Amendment
Meanwhile, a group heavily funded by leftist billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations works to enact ever-tighter censorship of so-called “hate speech” online. The Center for American Progress (CAP) is the prime mover in a coalition of progressive organizations that has released a report entitled “Curbing Hate Online: What Companies Should Do Now,” including a “set of recommended policies” for social media sites to follow in squelching speech deemed beyond the pale.
While utilizing the well-worn bogeyman of “white supremacy” as a featured threat, the Center for American Progress’s summation of the findings casts a much wider net, listing those that would “target people based on their essential characteristics, such as race, religion, gender, LGBTQ status [and] immigrant status, among others” as dangerous.
The effort led by the Center for American Progress does not even pretend to care about the free speech rights of those it wants removed from social media. Below the subheading “Addressing concerns about speech” the group declares:
“The most obvious concern someone might have is the idea that portions of our recommended policies involve censorship and, in some way, violate the spirit of the First Amendment. The companies are not the government and thus, neither the letter, nor the spirit, of the First Amendment apply. It is important to note that internet companies already have policies about what content they will tolerate on their platforms, and almost all already say they will not allow hateful activities. We are providing them with the ability to live up to that laudable goal in a way that will be more effective, fairer to users, and more transparent to the public.”
Speech that the government would clearly protect under the Constitution can be expunged from Facebook or Twitter without a hitch.
What is Hateful Conduct?
The CAP-led report notes that Twitter has expanded its “hateful conduct policy” to include “content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group” – but consider that members of the progressive media routinely accuse President Trump of “dehumanizing” illegal aliens and migrants. How easy it will be to censor even those conservative ideas with a large base of public support, including control over national borders and immigration.
This is the type of Silicon Valley control Hirono is so adamantly defending with her tough talk about refusing to “allow” Republicans to “harass tech companies.” She has highlighted, too, that the leap from “white supremacists” to pro-lifers is a remarkably easy step for our modern authoritarians to take.
The implications are ominous for anyone who would stray in any way from the radical progressive line. You could be demonized and silenced, and there will be nothing you can do about it.