Opinion: Tech companies are silencing conservative voices

Conservatives say that social media companies have singled them out for unfair treatment due to their political views.

Image via Google

Conservatives say that social media companies have singled them out for unfair treatment due to their political views.

Kevin Hutchinson, Staff Writer

In their encroaching assault on free speech and eagerness to uproot potential competitors, tech giants have silenced numerous platforms and individuals.

Recently, Parler, once a minor social networking platform popular among political conservatives, became the No. 1 free app on the App Store. After the attack on the Capitol, it was promptly dropped by Apple and Amazon.

In a statement, Apple said, “There is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” implying that Parler served to instigate the Capitol riot and provided extreme conservatives with a dangerously effective means of communication. 

However, the true rationale is clear; Parler was condemned due to its politically conservative stance and emergence as a disruptor of the staunchly liberal narratives established by tech companies.

Such relentless corporate tyranny is preceded only by the offenses of titanic industrial companies, which flourished during the late 19th century by exploiting and uprooting potential competition. Tech companies have mastered such contemptible practices, and are consistently willing to violate the First Amendment rights of those whose viewpoints they deem intolerable.

For instance, following the audacious banning of then-President Trump’s Twitter account, Twitter silenced several of his supporters, including My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell. After Lindell followed Trump’s lead in tweeting false claims about election fraud, he was permanently banned from the platform in accordance with its new civil integrity policy, which systematically targets those spreading misinformation concerning the election. 

Though seemingly noble, such an approach does not uphold the principles of the Constitution — which allows for the voicing of statements both true and false — and sets a dangerous precedent for the future of free speech. With such unopposable power, tech companies could continually move their goalposts, eventually silencing everyone with whom they disagree. Such an outcome would bear disastrous implications for the next generation of internet users, replacing distorted unreality with something even worse: complete, unthinking, staunchly enforced conformity.

Under this system of information sharing, those branded as unorthodox can only cower beneath the pervasive, unstoppable might of Facebook, Twitter, and their accomplices. 

With politically motivated bans designed to gloss over their social irresponsibility, these companies cherry-pick only those statements that contradict their equally illusory narratives.

If we wish to inhabit a country in which thoughts are exchanged openly and fairly, without an overarching, Orwellian presence that permanently silences individuals and denies them any forgiveness, we must dilute the powers of tech behemoths and institute laws preventing their unacceptable control of information.