This New York Times article touches upon the free speech panel I developed at CPAC, and which CPAC then stole and hijacked from me. It treats the social media suppression of dissenting views as if it were something in our imagination, or that we’re just using to raise funds:
“Conservatives are zeroing in on a new enemy in the political culture wars: Big Tech. Arguing that Silicon Valley is stifling their speech and suppressing right-wing content, publishers and provocateurs on the right are eyeing a public-relations battle against online giants like Google and Facebook, the same platforms they once relied on to build a national movement.”
Let’s see how the New York Times would fare if it were blocked on Facebook, scrubbed from Google, and shadowbanned from Twitter. Dogs licking the boots of their masters.
“New Foils for the Right: Google and Facebook,” by Michael M. Grynbaum and John Herrmann, New York Times, March 6, 2018:
Conservatives are zeroing in on a new enemy in the political culture wars: Big Tech.
Arguing that Silicon Valley is stifling their speech and suppressing right-wing content, publishers and provocateurs on the right are eyeing a public-relations battle against online giants like Google and Facebook, the same platforms they once relied on to build a national movement.
In a sign of escalation, Peter Schweizer, a right-wing journalist known for his investigations into Hillary Clinton, plans to release a new film focusing on technology companies and their role in filtering the news.
Tentatively titled “The Creepy Line,” Mr. Schweizer’s documentary is expected to have its first screening in May in Cannes, France — during the Cannes Film Festival, but not as part of the official competition. He used the same rollout two years ago for his previous film, an adaptation of his book “Clinton Cash” that he produced with Stephen K. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News.
“The Creepy Line” alludes to an infamous 2010 speech by Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google at the time, who dismissed concerns about privacy by declaring that his company’s policy was “to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
The documentary, which has not been previously reported, dovetails with concerns raised in recent weeks by right-wing groups about censorship on digital media — a new front in a rapidly evolving culture war.
If the mainstream media is a perennial enemy of the right, Big Tech is a fresh and novel foe, arguably more relevant to 2018. Facebook, Google and their ilk are facing tough questions about their inability to police the content they distribute, including Russian propaganda during the 2016 presidential campaign. The companies have also been accused by lawmakers, critics and activists of monopolistic tendencies and manipulative product design.
The critique from conservatives, in contrast, casts the big tech companies as censorious and oppressive, all too eager to stifle right-wing content in an effort to mollify liberal critics.
“This could end up being the free speech issue of our time,” said Alex Marlow, editor in chief of Breitbart News, which has published articles accusing Google and Facebook of, among other sins, political bias. “The Silicon Valley elites are saying: ‘We don’t care what you want to see — we know what you should see. We know better.’”
Big Tech is easily associated with West Coast liberalism and Democratic politics, making it a fertile target for the right. And operational opacity at Facebook, Google and Twitter, which are reluctant to reveal details about their algorithms and internal policies, can leave them vulnerable, too.
“It’s the perfect foil,” said Eli Pariser, a former executive director of the liberal activist group MoveOn.org and the author of “The Filter Bubble,” a book about how consumers find information online. “There’s not even a real basis to establish objective research about what’s happening on Facebook, because it’s closed.”
Google, Facebook and Twitter loomed large at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., where dozens of guests squeezed into a standing-room-only ballroom for a discussion called “Suppression of Conservative Views on Social Media: A First Amendment Issue.”
Among the panelists were James O’Keefe, the guerrilla filmmaker who has tried to undermine news outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, and James Damore, an engineer fired by Google after he circulated a memo arguing that biological differences accounted for the low number of women in engineering.
Mr. Damore — a new celebrity in the right-wing world, who, in an interview, said of his first foray to CPAC, “There’s definitely a lot of people that want to take selfies” — described a culture of dogmatic liberalism at Google.
“There are political activists in all of these companies that want to actively push a liberal agenda,” he said. “Why does it matter? Because these companies are so ubiquitous and powerful that they are controlling all the means of mass communication.”
Before Mr. Damore spoke, organizers distributed baseball caps to guests emblazoned with an illustration of Twitter’s bird logo, upside-down and with its eyes crossed out.
The panelists accused social media platforms of delisting their videos or stripping them of advertising. Such charges have long been staples of far-right online discourse, especially among YouTubers, but Mr. Schweizer’s project is poised to bring such arguments to a new — and potentially larger — audience….
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