[This is Part Four of a 4-part series of articles about how tech giant Google rose to power and is using it to suppress customers and content it deems “unfriendly,” “hateful,” and even “editorial.” Part One, Part 2, and Part 3 set the stage for current events surrounding the online monopoly’s increasingly controversial bans on free expression.]
Part 3 closed with this editorialization – which would be banned under Google’s new rules which will allow only the “factual news” they allow their users to see:
“Blacklisting is anti-American and reprehensible. It foreshadows the totalitarian suppression of all dissenting voices and views. It is an extremist liberal’s dream-come-true and spells the end of all conservative reporting and opinion.”
A Google insider revealed in an internal note that the company is planning to remove documents which express an opinion “from all of newsey/political/sensitive webanswers. So, BLing [blacklisting] any document that we consider to be clearly opinion is not an issue.”
This shocking arrogance and clear direction toward silencing free discourse, after creating a market monopoly for their products and services, has served as a wake-up call to both Republicans and Democrats.
Naturally, Google pretends that their anti-American policies and actions are for the common good – as they define it:
“Featured snippets are generated automatically to help people easily find pages that our systems determine may have the most relevant information,” soothed one Google spokeswoman.
Google’s search engine is innocent of all wrong-doing, according to their corporate legal teams, because the online tool freely produces information to all their users, a commodity that is beyond valuation.
The fundamental flaw in this thinking is that, once a significant set of views and voices have been banished from by Google from their monopolistic and proprietary cyberspace, all that will remain will be the news they see fit to print.
Google’s legal defense team is ready to battle both an impending Justice Department inquiry into their alleged antitrust activities and a new round of congressional hearings which will scrutinize allegations of unfair competition in the digital marketplace.
Both of these types of investigations sidestep the crucial issue of blacklisting dissenters.
As mentioned in Part 2 of this 4-part series, the Candian conservative educator Jordan Peterson has joined forces with American political commentator, YouTube personality, and talk show host Dave Rubin, as well as the outspoken atheist intellectual Sam Harris. All three have been persecuted and banned by web-based crowdfunding company Patreon, YouTube, and other online product and service providers.
This trio of “thought leaders” objected to being shut off from their followers and announced their own boycott of Patreon, an action predicted to punish Patreon where it counts: in corporate revenues.
The catalyst for the trio’s new content-sharing platform was when Patreon banned Carl Benjamin, the controversial, contentious, argumentative, anti-feminist Brit whose YouTube moniker is Sargon of Akkad. Patreon banned Benjamin after he uttered the provocative “N-word” in a YouTube video.
Rubin explained why he and Peterson announced on Jan. 1, 2019 that they would be abandoning Patreon on Jan. 15:
“The banning of Carl [Sargon of Aarkad] for doing something that was not on the Patreon platform that wasn’t even done on his channel, because of a word he said…is a massive move of that line of what’s acceptable…the fact that this guy got booted with no chance of recourse, with no warning, just like that, is just an extension of everything else we have been talking about.”
Rubin explained to conservative commentator Tucker Carlson why online bans by Patreon (and, we must assume, by other web-based providers, including Google) prompted him, the conservative educator Jordan Peterson, and the inflammatory Sam Harris to ban Patreon and set up an alternative online social sharing site:
“At some point, if a couple of us that have some influence don’t stand up, nobody will and then this whole game, this whole beautiful game about freedom on the internet, it will all be over before we know it. It’s a Herculean effort to design a system that will truly respect freedom.”
Profound societal change doesn’t come easily, as Rubin admitted to Carlson:
“We’ve got work to do, but let’s go ahead and do it. I’m taking a risk here but I truly believe, with no risk comes no reward.”
It’s time for all free thinkers to boycott the boycotters, ban the banners, and shun the shunners. The only way to communicate effectively with corporate greed is through our wallets. We have the power to reclaim our right to free expression, as Google’s shareholders can reasonably expect to find out.