I know that I recently wrote an article discussing this very same topic, but Campus Reform recently published a video where their reporter, Addison Smith, asked some college students at the University of Virginia their opinions on social media censoring President Trump, big tech banning Parler, and if big tech has gotten too powerful and should be broken up or regulated.
Smith began by telling students: “There’s been a lot of talk of censorship in the news lately, obviously Trump got his account permanently suspended from Twitter, Parler getting completely de-platformed, dropped by all their vendors, dropped from the web server for [not] enforcing certain censorship laws. Do you support the decision that they made to de-platform Trump and take Parler off the internet?”
The first student who speaks said: “I do support it. I know a lot of people are saying that it violates their… first amendment [rights]… These companies are private companies and they can do whatever they want.”
Keep what this guy said in mind because it will be important.
Another student said that she believes that “as private entities, they do have the ability to choose who’s on their platform, so yeah I think it’s okay.”
A different student who seemed to be a bit more conservative said: “I struggle with it because… Twitter is such a platform where the president can easily talk to everyone and that was [the] way that he did build his entire campaign, but I also understand that Twitter’s a private company and they can do whatever they want, but with Parler being kicked off, I don’t know. I personally hate that they kicked Trump off Twitter just because he’s the president. It just feels like they’re trying to shut down conservatives. And they feel like Donald Trump’s this huge dictator but he’s the one being silenced.”
An interesting take here. On the one hand, she acknowledges that Twitter is a private company and even repeats the talking point of the Left (when it’s convenient and we’ll get to times when that talking point is inconvenient for them) that “they can do whatever they want” similar to that first guy. Again, please keep this “point” in mind.
Another student, who also appeared rather conservative, said: “My concern would be who sets these censorship standards, and are they biased, right? And if they are biased, then that is something that we should be against.”
Short, but brings up a good point: who gets to decide the standards of free speech? Who gets to decide what is allowed and disallowed? We all know that Twitter doesn’t care about the incitement of violence because Leftists had been inciting violence all summer of last year, defending those who would attack police officers and innocent civilians. And like I pointed out in my last article covering this topic, even terroristic threats made by famous (and, therefore, influential, to an extent) people like Madonna were no issue whatsoever since she never received any punishment for her incitement of violence.
The Leftists who run big tech are the ones who decide these censorship standards and, obviously, they are very much biased. The only people who support their actions are fellow Leftists (like some of these indoctrinated college students) who are happy to see dissenting conservative opinions being punished and banned, never once believing that their own opinions, should they be considered “wrong think” by the Twitter overlords, could also be subjected to the same treatment.
One example was of a feminist who had been kicked off of Twitter for her stance against the idea that transgender “women” were actual women. Feminists tend to be Leftists, but even they get censored for their views if they hold “wrong think” ideas.
At any rate, Smith further pushed on the idea that Twitter is a private company, asking the students about it because something conservatives are always told is “go make your own Twitter.” Well, some people did go and made their own Twitter, Parler, but it was shut down by Google and Apple, as well as Amazon who ran Parler’s servers.
What, then, are people supposed to do? Create their own Google, Apple and Amazon? Create their own internet? This is how ridiculous and illogical the arguments are. Any competition these guys face gets eventually bought (Facebook owns Instagram, which used to be fairly competitive) or crushed, so there is no real way to compete. Which is why it’s ludicrous for any conservative to support big tech, seeing as monopolies kill competition and free markets.
The conservative girl (who initially said she struggled with the situation) repeated what she had said earlier, how the Left claims that Trump’s the dictator yet he’s the one that gets silenced.
The first student interviewed, who initially said he had no issue with what Twitter had done, charged that Trump and the people in Parler were “inciting violence and saying a lot of dangerous things, so I think that these companies did the right thing by taking them off so they couldn’t do that anymore.”
Of course, there are two problems here. The first is that Trump and the people at Parler were not inciting violence. Trump never incited violence on social media or in any of his speeches. He very specifically called for peaceful and patriotic protests at the Capitol, not calling for rioting at all. He also called for the people protesting to go home within an hour of the riot happening and has repeatedly condemned the actions that occurred.
The second problem is that Twitter and social media platforms don’t have an issue with incitement of violence because, again, the Left was inciting violence all of last summer pretty explicitly, and Madonna incited violence by making a terroristic threat back in 2017. So even if it was true that Trump and people in Parler were inciting violence (which is not true and a lie told by the fake news media), it’s not like big tech enforces that rule objectively. They punish conservatives whom they claim incite violence, but not the people who actually incite violence when such people are Leftists and targeting conservatives.
At any rate, this article is getting a tad long and I’ve only really covered roughly half of the 5-minute video (below) from Campus Reform, so I would like to get to an interesting point.
At one point, Smith asks if the students think big tech is too big of a monopoly and if we should break them up or regulate them in general.
The reasons I think this is an interesting point are two-fold. First, despite the fact that the students were rather mixed in their response to social media and big tech censorship, they ALL agreed that it’s too powerful and should be regulated at some capacity.
The second is the following: One of the students said: “I think there does need to be more government regulation in order to prevent them from doing whatever they want.”
This response floored me because this was from one of the people who earlier said “These companies are private companies and they can do whatever they want.”
Okay, so if private businesses are allowed to do whatever they want, then BP was allowed to spill as much oil as they wanted in the Gulf of Mexico? I understand that it was just an accident, but would and should have they been allowed to do that? After all, private businesses can do whatever they want, right?
Should manufacturers not pay their employees anything and use forced slave labor? After all, private businesses can do whatever they want, right?
Should Twitter and Facebook be allowed to hire hitmen to kill people they don’t like? After all, private businesses can do whatever they want, right?
And this is where that idea is inconvenient to the Left. They use that argument because the targets are conservatives, but when the target is anyone or anything else, they abandon that argument super quickly. They believe that businesses shouldn’t be allowed to pollute all they want, but they also believe that private businesses should be able to do whatever they want?
Now, a liberal might argue: “Just because businesses can do whatever they want doesn’t mean they should do whatever they want.” Oh, so you support government regulation to make sure that Twitter can’t unfairly ban speech just because they don’t like it?
And, by the way, don’t buy into the notion that “private businesses can do whatever they want.” That has NEVER been the case in the history of businesses. For as long as governments exist, they have been regulatory powers over businesses, big and small. Private businesses have never been able to do whatever they want, particularly after a Dutch megacorporation quite literally owned portions of India, having access to an actual military force.
So the argument that “private businesses can do whatever they want” is a false premise.
But still, it’s rather interesting how someone argues “Twitter is a private business and can choose who they have on their platform and can do whatever they want” while in other places also argue that oil companies, despite their private ownership, should not be able to pollute as much as they want or employ business practices which would violate the 13th amendment. The government regulates such businesses, to the glee of the Left, but it’s too much for the government to regulate big tech?
That’s not even an argument they make, to the admission of that one student. That student also wants big tech regulated by the government, despite his earlier statement that private businesses can do whatever they want.
You cannot hold both positions at the same time – they are contradictory to one another. Either private businesses can do whatever they want, so there should be absolutely no regulation whatsoever against them, which would require the abolishment or ignorance of the 13th amendment alongside all other human rights, or they can’t do whatever they want, so they should be regulated to an extent and that includes social media so they don’t infringe on people’s First Amendment rights.
You can’t have it both ways.
The use of the internet should be considered a utility like water, gas, electricity, etc. Social media has become the new public square and, to Twitter’s own admission, it would be a violation of human rights to keep people from being able to access it.
Like I argued in the previous article on this topic, I wouldn’t go that far, but would argue that it’s a First Amendment/overall civil right for people to use social media.
Those who are against that idea support an anti-capitalistic dogma and have the gall to sell it as capitalistic. Awful.
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