If it feels like the world has gone mad, Big Tech’s distorting communications might be the cause.
Big Tech social media, search, and smartphones have not only replaced newspapers, books, radio, and TV for people under 60 but have also taken over personal communications. We are their captive customers. Internet-based news, including legacy newspapers like the NYT and WaPo, depend entirely on the Big Tech cash and clicks stream. Even TV networks rely on them for their Internet traffic and information. Big Tech refers to Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, TikTok, and pre-Musk Twitter here. Even the threat of adverse actions by Big Tech inhibits speech which they do not like:
“I listened in astonishment as he [The Hill’s editor] advised me that it would have been made invisible on Google and Facebook if I maintained my submitted title, ‘What Dr. Fauci Failed to Say’… It was my awakening to the censorship of the tech giants that controlled access to information” (Dr. Scott Atlas, A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America, 2021, Kindle Edition, p. 62).
Most people associate the Stop the Steal movement with Ali Alexander, born Ali Akbar, a twice-convicted felon recently caught engaging in improper exchange with underage boys. Ali is widely but incorrectly described as the organizer of Stop the Steal. His rallies in November – December 2020 drew a wide range of troublemakers. His speeches contained violent rhetoric. He did various bad things that the MSM has ascribed to Trump supporters. He aroused suspicion on and before Jan 6. This included texting “U.S. Capitol. Trump is supposed to order us to the Capitol at the end of his speech, but we will see” Ali’s deposition, p. 11) although neither he nor his rally was endorsed by Trump, and he admitted he was nowhere close to the “Trump world” (p. 16).
The Stop the Steal movement was launched by Women for America First (WFAF), a respectable conservative women’s organization, when it created a group Stop the Steal on Facebook on November 4. Within 22 hours, this group attracted almost 2.5 million users (300,000 becoming active, 2.1 million waiting). Then Facebook shut the group down. Meanwhile, Twitter banned links to the movement’s website StolenElection[.]us. Ali, acting on his own, created an alternative website, StopTheSteal[.]us, where he attempted to divert donations intended for Stop the Steal. Twitter also banned this website. Twitter then lifted its ban off Ali the impostor’s website but kept the ban on StolenElection[.]us, the actual website of Stop the Steal. Very soon, Ali Alexander came to control the Stop the Steal movement.
Big Tech have committed this audacious manipulation and succeeded in confusing millions of Trump supporters, who gave cash and support to an anti-Trump miscreant.
It is impossible to believe that Dr. Fauci decided to suppress hydroxychloroquine, knowing it might cure COVID-19. Humans don’t act this way. He could not have done that even if he wanted to; there are many decision-makers in such matters. I am sure that they were deceived by Big Tech manipulations, especially by Twitter and Google’s YouTube. The misinformation that hydroxychloroquine-based treatment for COVID-19 was a hoax became the only opinion allowed on social media. The MSM picked it up there and repeated it. Dr. Fauci, his colleagues, and the surrounding bureaucrats likely did not read past that point. At the time, very few people believed that huge companies like Google would use their positions as national telecommunications operators to suppress an effective pandemic treatment.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country” (Justice Gorsuch), including unconstitutional and unscientific lockdowns. Today, many people are shocked by how easily we apparently succumbed. The explanation is Big Tech. Big Tech quickly disrupted attempts to organize protests in May 2020. Big Tech also banned medical treatment and anti-lockdown messages. They also forced third-party websites to comply or be disrupted. The current role of Big Tech in communication is a dream of a totalitarian government. Unfortunately, the US Internet was re-designed by the Obama administration for this purpose.
Even Trump falls for Big Tech manipulations. For example, Trump called the 2020 election stolen, which is a true but relatively weak claim given how the Electoral College works. He should have focused on the more damning fact: the Democrat political apparatus murdered hundreds of thousands of Americans by denying them early COVID-19 treatment and locking down the majority of Americans (in many blue states, on terms similar to home imprisonment). These actions, which are worse than waging war, were aimed at forcing mail-in ballots and hiding the mental decay of its Presidential candidate.
The public often fails to notice Big Tech misconduct because their victims vanish from public view after being silenced or de-platformed; some even lose their investment in their media business. Big Tech defame their victims by proclaiming they de-platform only Russian government operatives, fascists, and other bad actors.
Big Tech manipulations are not merely censorship but covert sabotage of society without precedent. Censorship cannot achieve such a destructive effect. Censorship and accompanying propaganda are easy to detect. Censors usually make the population aware of what information they do not want to spread. The sabotage of communications by Big Tech is so effective because it is covert and difficult to detect. Other factors include detailed knowledge about the users and Big Tech’s ability to target users and messages individually and granularly.
Democrat politicians encourage this misconduct, but their voters and liberals are almost as much victims of Big Tech manipulations as Republicans and conservatives. Both sides are deceived, though the conservative side is also suppressed and disrupted.
By the way, this misconduct of Big Tech is not necessarily directed by the management. A mid-level censor in the Trust & Safety department, or even a technical employee with ‘write’ access to the database, can impact the lives of millions. An anti-Trump third party controlling or bankrolling one such employee in Google and Facebook can do almost any harm, and I am not sure about ‘almost’.
I observe Big Tech manipulations all the time (a sample). Their power over us is comparable to the power of The Matrix in the movie (this is hyperbole). A lot of bad things happening now are the result of the Big Tech misconduct, not always known to their executives. Therefore, recognizing and addressing the Big Tech problem should be a priority.