It’s impossible to talk about politics over the last week or so and not delve into the dumpster fire that is our presidential election. We still don’t officially know who won and we don’t really have any idea of just when we will.
The office of the president is an important office. While I don’t believe it should have quite as much power as it does, that’s a topic for another day.
After all, as much power as the president has, another group of people that we didn’t elect may well have more.
People love to put the word “big” in front of an industry to make them sound more terrifying. Big Tobacco, Big Oil, or whatever. It makes the industry sound far more intimidating, but none of those had a tenth of the power of Big Tech.
The tech industry was once the shining beacon on the hill. They were creating a world without boundaries, without rules. The early days of the internet were likened to the Wild West so much of the time that it was downright glorious for an unreformed anti-authoritarian like myself.
But that was almost 25 years ago.
Today, much of the power of the internet is nestled firmly in the hands of a few key players. In particular, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Between these three companies and their subsidiaries, they control much of the flow of information via the internet, the same place that as of 2018, more than a third of all Americans got their news.
In and of itself, this shouldn’t be a problem. Just because someone controls the flow of information doesn’t mean they actually exert any control.
Unfortunately, that changed this year.
After being lambasted in 2016 for not stopping President Donald Trump from being elected, the tech giants opted to step in. They began restricting the flow of information. They started adding “fact checks” that may or may not have ever been accurate. They started throttling specific bits of information.
Then they got nasty.
The most famous example was Twitter locking down the New York Post’s Twitter feed after they released the Hunter Biden story, followed by both they and Facebook killing pretty much any effort to share the story.
In 2016, they were blasted for not delving into which news stories were fake or not, but now they were killing legitimate news.
I’d love to say that now that the election is over, we’re through the worst of it, but we’re not.
Our technology overlords have other plans as well. They’re trying to fundamentally reshape how we think about our nation.
American Heritage Magazine is a publication that focuses on American history. I haven’t read a bunch of their stuff, but I do know they’re pretty well respected when it comes to American history. While I have disagreed with what little I have read, it’s not because it was written by idiots. Yet there, too, we see the tech masters exert their influence.
The truth is, if you control what people can learn about our nation, you can control what people think about our nation, and that’s a problem.
Now, understand, I’m a free-market guy. I don’t like regulations on industries because I believe if there’s anything the government can do particularly well, it’s screw things up by meddling with them. As I often say, “To err is human. To really screw things up, you need to get the government involved.”
On the same token, we’re watching three companies exert way too much influence on what information Americans are allowed to consume. This is censorship, and it’s a problem.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I understand that the First Amendment’s bars on censorship generally only apply to the government. Private entities can censor all they like, but part of the problem is that the technocrats in Silicon Valley are, in essence, a shadow government when it comes to free speech. They’re exerting as much influence as Washington can muster.
As a result, we’re watching our freedoms slip away if we don’t do something.
Right now, a lot of people are relocating over to MeWe, Parler, Gab, and other social media platforms, but many are going to remain on Facebook and will continue to use Google-based products like Gmail and YouTube.
Unfortunately, since these overlords are biased toward one particular political party, we’re unlikely to see that party do anything to dismantle these giants. Democrats hate big corporations unless they’re willing to toe the Democratic line.
But at the same time, it’s only a matter of time before the technocrats begin to tell political parties what they will have to do. To some degree, this already happens via lobbyists, but it will get worse.
More than that, though, don’t be surprised to see this influence spread throughout the world as unelected officials at internet giants begin to shape much of how the world thinks about any given topic.
Yes, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but let’s also face the fact that we’ve seen it already happen.
Millions of Americans believe the Hunter Biden story is a conspiracy theory despite real evidence such as photographs and verified emails. They think voting irregularities are a conspiracy theory as well.
Only a fool would think this would end here.