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February 10, 2020 (American Thinker) — One of the most worrisome things in America today is that the public square isn't public. Instead, it's owned by tech oligarchs, all of whom hew left politically. For years, Google (and its subsidiary YouTube), Twitter, and Facebook have systematically shut down conservative speech while giving almost unlimited passes to speech coming from the Left.

Twitter has been especially fierce in silencing conservatives, but Facebook has had its moment. Of late, private Facebook groups are finding their posts censored, even though they're being shared only among members of like-minded communities. Facebook also has a revolting habit of appending to certain links that it doesn't like claims that the link could be false and directing people instead to “reputable” sources such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the AP, or Reuters.

For this reason, it's noteworthy when social media outlets allow a popular conservative video to remain on their sites. In this case, the video was a re-cut showing highlights from Trump's State of the Union speech, intercut with endlessly repeated footage of a vindictive, petty Pelosi ripping that same speech.

Those who opposed the video, which has been viewed millions of times, claimed that it's a “manipulated video,” which violates Facebook's current rules and Twitter's upcoming rules. Both outlets, however, rejected that viewpoint — and rightly too. The concept of a dangerously manipulated video arises in the context of “deep fakes” — that is, videos so subtly manipulated that people do not realize that the video has been altered.

In this case, it's clear even to the meanest intelligence that the video has been altered to make a point (a good point):

Kevin Jackson made a similar, equally good video:

Sooner or later (with sooner being better), Trump is going to have to address the way in which the social media giants systematically suppress conservative speech. In an ideal world, competition would create competitive sites. However, it's been years now, and none of the competitive attempts have taken off.

The unique status of the tech giants makes them very difficult to challenge in the free market. In many ways, they have become the internet equivalent of the restaurants and hotels that the Civil Rights Act addressed when it passed legislation overriding private property rights and holding that people who own places of “public accommodation” cannot discriminate. Given social media's extraordinary reach and control over communications among members of the public, it's dangerous to allow these tech sites to hold such unlimited power over the content of speech in America.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


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