OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Today I watched as my First Amendment right to free speech went up in flames. It came in the wake of the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol building.
Facebook and Instagram both banned the President of the United States for “at least” the rest of his presidency. Twitter permanently banned the President of the United State. Here are their reasons for the decision. But it wasn’t just the President who was banned. Countless accounts have been removed or suspended in a massive purge of conservative voices.
Additionally, literally millions of accounts suddenly found that they were suddenly unfollowing conservative voices, who are losing tens of thousands of followers over the course of several hours.
So many of those thousands of Americans who value their right to freedom of speech headed over to Parler. But Big Tech couldn’t allow that. Not only will they decide what you are allowed to see on certain platforms, but they will also inhibit your ability to see things on other platforms as well.
Then Google announced that Parler, the free speech alternative to the heavily censored Twitter, has been banned from the Google Play Store. Google has decided that Parler does not moderate its content the way Google would prefer, so the app simply won’t be available.
Additionally, Apple threatened to ban Parler from the Apple App Store if they do not make changes to their moderation practices. What kind of moderations? Well, Apple has to approve of them, so pretty much like Twitter I’d guess.
Here’s the kicker. While Google and Apple say that Parler is an “ongoing and urgent public safety threat” for promoting freedom of speech, countless prominent and dangerous figures are allowed to remain on the site and actively promote violence.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, violent dictator of Iran is allowed to openly call for the destruction of Israel and the death of Americans. He’s not banned for “inciting violence.”
How about the Chinese Communist Party officials and propagandists who are directly responsible for and actively promote modern day slavery and the hostile overthrow of free nations? They aren’t banned for “inciting violence.”
So even if you could stretch your imagination to agree that President Trump’s speech calling for peace and unity (one of the “last straw” tweets before the ban) was inciting violence, it’s not like this is a rule that is enforced across the board. Apparently, it’s only wielded as a weapon against political enemies.
And apparently actual violent dictators are not Big Tech’s political enemies.