Time to regulate the Big 3 for censorship:Twitter, Facebook, Google; No more tax subsidies; Not free-speech platforms; biased companies

 

 

 

By Michael Hernandez

COVID-19 has exposed the bias and censorship of America’s Big 3 tech companies:  Twitter, Facebook, and Google. These social-media giants are not free-speech platforms that deserve taxpayer subsidies.   It is time for “silent Americans” to raise up their voices and demand regulation. These Big 3 tech companies deserve to be regulated just like any other private company or venture.  They are no longer a service to “all Americans” but are in the hands of political ideologues and need to be treated as such.

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016,” said President Donald J. Trump in an early morning tweet sent out Wednesday, May 27.

 “We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that….happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media, clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

The blistering Twitter attack by the President came after the platform fact-checked one of his tweets on Tuesday in which Trump claimed that nationwide mail-in voting would increase fraud risks.

In the Tuesday tweet by the President which focused on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for statewide mail-in voting, Trump said:  “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone….. ….living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”

Within minutes of being flagged, President Trump accused Twitter of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election…based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post.”  The President added that the platform “is completely stifling FREE SPEECH” and vowed:  “I as President, will not allow it to happen!”

A Twitter spokesperson acknowledged that Trump’s tweet had not broken any of the platform’s rules while Yoel Roth, Twitter’s “Head of Site Integrity” boasted on his LinkedIn account that he is in charge of “developing and enforcing Twitter’s rules” despite his own use of Twitter for anti-Trump, politically charged tweets.

Several facts back the President’s position on California mail-in voting:

  • Last year, California or more specifically, Los Angeles County was forced to remove 1.5 million ineligible voters after a court settlement when Los Angeles County voter rolls showed a registration of 112 percent of its adult citizens;
  • Ten other counties beside Los Angeles County showed registration rates exceeding 100 percent of the age-eligible citizenry;
  • Meanwhile, California showed a voter registration of 101 percent of its age-eligible citizenry.

Meanwhile, Google is the top tech company (ranked sixth in a 2014 listing reported by Travis Irvine of Mic in March 13, 2014) that receives government subsidies, picking up more than $630 million from states like Oregon, North Carolina and a few others with James Brasuell  reporting  July 6,  2018 for Planetizen that tech companies pulled $9.3 billion in state and local subsidies in five years.

Basically, Google (whose parent company is Alphabet which owns 75 companies including Android)  controls most of the search engine market and owns YouTube (the largest video streaming platform in the world with users uploading more than 300 hours of video every minute and watching three billion hours of video content every month).  Facebook (and it subsidiaries) dominates social media with Twitter having its own special place among the social media platforms.

Paris Marx reported in Sept. 4, 2017 that “The biggest beneficiaries” of “corporate welfare are the giants of Silicon Valley; tech companies that not only work prodigiously to minimize their tax burden and the number of people they employ, but whose dominant positions in their respective industries are important contributing factors  to rising inequality and to the larger economic difficulties the country is facing.

“Tech giants promote themselves as sources of progress and prosperity, but a growing body of evidence suggests that their size is having significant negative effects on economic growth, job quality, competition and even the very innovation they claim to drive.”

Meanwhile, “Data center for Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and others have secured huge tax breaks but created few jobs,” reported Dominic Rushe on July 2, 2018 in the Guardian.

In regards to Ventura County, California, and nationwide, Facebook censors pulled all references to the recent freedom rallies on their social platform and their event pages.   In regards to a medical narrative that went against the “established elites,” YouTube pulled down the 52-minute press conference of Dr. Daniel Erickson, co-owner of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, after it went viral with millions of views in four days.  (Editor’s Note: They had tested over half the COVID-19 Kern County cases. See https://www.citizensjournal.us/dr-daniel-erickson-99-5-to-99-7-percent-of-individuals-exposed-to-covid-19-have-little-or-no-symptoms-usc-and-stanford-back-our-data/.)

Yes, it is time to regulate the Big 3 for censorship: Twitter, Facebook, and Google.  No more tax subsidies.  They are not free-speech platforms.  They are biased companies in the hands of political ideologues and need to be treated as such.

 

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected]


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