Who Has the Widest Censorship Reach in Human History?

Aerial view of Silicon Valley at dusk, with a portion of the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge visible, as well as Foster City, including the California headquarters of Gilead Sciences, Visa, and Conversica, California, July, 2016. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Clarion Project, by Shireen Qudosi, October 17, 2018:

When tech companies take measures to crush the very dialogue they once needed to grow — reaching a point where they have amassed the widest censorship reach in human history — it’s time to sit down and have a serious conversation about Silicon Valley.

Professor Noam Chomsky, linguist and co-founder of cognitive science, has long claimed that America is a nation run by corporations. That assertion was well supported nearly a century ago by the rise of America’s elite class — its first millionaires who, soon after amassing their fortunes, turned to investing in elections to help shape favorable policies.

While corporations and their elites have long-shaped public policy by funding one candidate over another, the questions for our generation are:

  • Are we now also directly overseen by corporations themselves, whose billionaire founders have created innovations that allow for policy to bypass government rule?
  • Are the unelected leaders of billion-dollar tech industries in Silicon Valley now the very people that determine how societies are shaped?
  • And if so, are we reaching a crisis point in human civilization where the widest censorship ability in human history is not at the hands of any fascist government, but those of a handful of tech overlords swayed not by the First Amendment, but by personal politics and profit?

Freedom of speech, a right granted to us by the First Amendment of the Constitution, is something guaranteed to us by our government. It is not guaranteed to us by private corporations.

Yet, we — as a society — have become reliant on social tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for our “free speech” needs. We have become reliant on Google to authenticate and rank the relevancy of that speech. But the fact remains there is no obligation for these companies to uphold the same standards of free speech that we are guaranteed by our government.

Silicon Valley has come to develop its own standard for “free” speech, one that is subjective and heavy-handed. It has become a reality in which views it dislikes are either censored or “shadow banned” (where a user’s post is blocked from appearing in other people’s news feeds).

Take the most recent Silicon Valley scandal concerning a leaked Google memo, The Good Censor. It’s an 85-page admission that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have pivoted away from free speech and “towards censorship” of those whose opinions they disapprove of (largely political conservatives).

This follows a previously leaked Google memo identifying the social media giant as an ideological echo chamber.

After only days in the news cycle, The Good Censor story only yielded about 540 Twitter mentions, which is impossible given the fact that Twitter has 336-million users worldwide, with 68-million users in the United States alone.

The Google memo was leaked to the conservative news outlet Breitbart, which broke the storyYou can decide for yourself whether it was a coincidence that this was shadow-banned.

Meanwhile, post after post promoting misogynistic and extremist rhetoric of Islam’s religious right continue to be promoted. For example, while Twitter shut down right-wing fringe journalist Alex Jones, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Twitter page is not only standing tall, it’s verified.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist operation with chapters across the world, including well-nested front organizations in the United States with agents openly spewing the same hate and propaganda you would find in the caves of Kandahar.

And it’s not just Twitter. Facebook does the same thing. Take another example. Pages that support and promote female genital mutilation (FGM) are left standing while pages belonging to critics of this horrific practice are often silenced.

To be fair, there are a couple of (less sinister) reasons why this is happening (reasons that are also part of the problem):

  1. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube rely on artificial intelligence and algorithms to red-flag content. A video directly attacking FGM can raise flags for content on child abuse, whereas a video promoting FGM might be far more discrete in how its message is communicated.
  2. Once content has been red-flagged, it is nearly impossible to reach an actual human being with whom to discuss the issue. On the off chance you do, you’re likely at the mercy of a millennial already well-sculpted into a narrow ideological worldview, passionately fueled by their band-wagon causes with little interest or awareness of nuanced conversations that involve hard facts about life beyond their ideological echo chamber.

Unless billions are invested into multiple counter platforms to break Silicon Valley’s monopoly on regulating and policing speech, the truth is the only real power we have is to break our dependency on technology and return to real-time, real-life connections.

Ultimately, the power is ours.

In some Utopian fantasy, Muslim reformers like myself (and other alternative voices) would have the opportunity to sit down with Silicon Valley tech giants and have an honest conversation with them to help them understand a reality they won’t ever be able to assess through artificial and social intelligence alone.

Until that time comes, I invite you to walk away from social media with me and return to building real relationships with individuals, rather than feeding the beast that technology has become with more of the life-blood it needs to continue to grow and crush opposition voices: our data.

***

The Creepy Line movie is streaming on Amazon Prime

Also see:

Stunning 85-page Google memo ‘The Good Censor’ leaked to Breitbart

American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson, October 10, 2018:

If you are not worried about the power of Google to shape debate and elections according to its leftist political bias, you’re not paying attention.  I congratulate Breitbart.com for the scoop, and I urge everyone – I am looking at you, President Trump and Congress – to read and ponder the fate of the Republic unless this company is defanged, most likely by antitrust action, but possibly also via civil courts.  Breitbart is mum about how it came to possess the memo, but I do recall that Google is being sued over its dismissal of James Damore for insufficient adherence to its own ideology, and the discovery process in that lawsuit is almost certainly underway.

You can download and read the entire memo here.  If that is too great a time investment, then read Allum Bokhari’s introduction and summary here, including:

An internal company briefing produced by Google and leaked exclusively to Breitbart News argues that due to a variety of factors, including the election of President Trump, the “American tradition” of free speech on the internet is no longer viable. …

[T]he 85-page briefing, titled “The Good Censor,” admits that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.

The briefing labels the ideal of unfettered free speech on the internet a “utopian narrative” that has been “undermined” by recent global events as well as “bad behavior” on the part of users. …

It acknowledges that major tech platforms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter initially promised free speech to consumers.  “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations,” says the document.

The briefing argues that Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are caught between two incompatible positions, the “unmediated marketplace of ideas” vs. “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

***

***

***

***

***

***

The Creepy Line is available on Amazon 

The Uses of Children

The United West, Source: Renew America, By Tabitha Korol, June 6, 2018

Using children in war situations is not a new phenomenon. They are the most vulnerable to the ruling powers, easily taken from unarmed parents and pressed into service by a government. Czarist Russia drafted children for 20 years, at least 300,000 non-Jewish and 75,000 Jewish Cantonists. Hitler’s Germany drafted thousands of young boys, Hitler youth, indoctrinating them to dedicate their lives for the Reich, unto death if necessary, and most were poorly trained and sent on suicide missions. As many as 40 million children, orphaned by AIDS, and controlled by drugs and religious or political fervor, were recruited in Africa.

Today, nearly 80 percent of about 30 conflicts worldwide have as many as 300,000 young combatants, ages 7 through 15, serving the war effort as scouts, messengers, looters, sex slaves, minesweepers, laborers, makers of bombs and terror tunnels, advance ambush, and suicide bombers. Nearly a half-million children serve in armies not at war – duped, exploited and wasted.

The use of children extends to indoctrination. In Islamic shame/honor cultures, the child is forced to learn the Koran with punishment by the whip, bonding them with violence for life. The child bride, often bartered or kidnapped, becomes an uneducated, incompetent and irresponsible mother, who is still dealing with the abuse, anxiety and trauma of having her female identity excised – female genital mutilation. The ritual produces a damaged self-image, the shame of being female and a self-hatred that is passed on to her numerous children who may well be the result of rape in a forced marriage. Shaming fuels violent aggression that reinforces the male’s brutality, not unlike the self-pity and sense of victimization that fueled Nazism.

Defenseless children may also be used as human shields and jihadis to increase their own death toll and net sympathy from the United Nations, and the girls often serve as “comfort women” for their commanders, to become impregnated and sent into combat with their babies strapped to their backs. The mothers consider their children expendable because they themselves were expendable. Called “the martyr in his mother’s womb,” the fetus is dedicated to death even before his birth. The cause of Islamic conquest is foremost, and the youths who do survive their horrific experiences are so severely scarred that they will suffer lifelong mental health problems. Despite the changes in war and engagement, the aggressor’s agenda is always expansionism, acquisition, domination, and elimination, and the disposable children are sent away for hijrah, jihad by emigration.

If war is the annihilation and replacement of one population by another, then America is experiencing a silent assault and eradication. One method of societal reduction or eradication is the promotion of a woman’s right to abortion over the right of the child to live and prosper. The child is mere material, to be used or discarded, as in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

The schools are now devaluating sexual differences, first with language, replacing accepted pronouns with gender-neutral sounds and, second, with denying the child’s nature, in the interest of “complete equality.” Teaching staff are encouraging homosexuality, to emasculate the boys and erase the desire for courtship, marriage and reproduction, reinforced by Walt Disney films that encourage a “gay agenda.”Family Research Council has just revealed that hours of instruction on evolving “sexual identity,” contraceptive drugs and devices, and consenting to sex, are taught in Fairfax County School. The appalling curriculum includes (1) gender fluidity: biological sex is meaningless, (2) embracing gender transitioning, (3) encouraging risky sex, (4) discontinuing abstinence education, (5) teaching use of all contraceptive devices without divulging health risks, (6) parents may not opt children out of 8th grade comprehensive dating lessons, and (7) stripping the word “clergy” from adult consultants.

Social engineering is another exploitation of children. Groups, such as the Boy Scouts, established to prepare boys for manhood, independence, strength, creativity, adventure and daring, pride in country and the will to defend our country, are seeing drastic deviations. In a “celebration of cultural exchange, mutual understanding, peace and friendship,” the 2019 World Scout Jamboree event will host thousands of attendees from more than 200 countries and territories and make condoms readily available. For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America’s flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change to Scouts BSA next February, 2019.

America’s Common Core standards disrespect Biblical and Judeo-Christian values and substitute a whitewashed Islamic and Marxist ideological indoctrination. The storyline is equality of rules and regulations fed by academia, the caliphate, duma, or “Sorospolis” to a passive student body. As in any fascistic system, information is controlled, and dissimilar publications banned. The students are methodically poisoned, their morality shifted from general ethical principles, such as the Golden Rule, to strengthening the Leftist cause.

Because parents protested Common Core, Jeb Bush deceptively introduced his “personalized learning.” Better characterized as “depersonalized training,” it puts children on computer screens that track their thoughts and determine their futures, and features less interaction with teachers and fellow students, allowing for complete indoctrination. The American Psychological Association found increased stress and anxiety for teens (8.7%/2005, 11.5%/2014), due to more restrictive schooling and grading, and doubled suicide rate (tripled for girls).

Already employed in some schools is the deliberate dissuasion for children to bond and develop close and lasting friendships, thereby creating feelings of loneliness and isolation and rendering the children vulnerable to ideological brainwashing. Researchers have said that music, usually a reflection of the times, has been getting sadder over the last 30 years. The “maleness” of songs has also decreased.

The schools and media are promoting a false narrative of multiculturalism, when the goal should be multi-ethnicities, religions and races, living harmoniously under the host’s culture. Migrants to America should be seeking America’s peace and prosperity; to deny its existence is to deliberately propose her people’s destruction – ethnocide. As such, the accusations of racism and colonization of “white-supremacist Europeans or Americans” prepare the groundwork for the annihilation of our heritage and language. Islam has declared its purpose to replace our culture with theirs against a backdrop of hate spewed by progressive faculty, black activists, feminists, and pro-Muslim organizations that demonize Israel and Jews, Christians and America. The children are the war materiel.

Universities are keeping their students ignorant, unskilled, and fearful of hearing opposition to the leftist agenda. They offer protection from the outside world in safe spaces, cry closets and therapy animals. Taught to fear self-reliance, the resultant adults will require government welfare programs, monthly stipends, and healthcare that includes heavy medication for cooperation.

It is time to connect the dots, because each of these instances has one thing in common, the abuse and destruction of children, which, in turn, removes future adults and decreases world population. This silent war of annihilation is being waged by the United Nations; their UN 2030 Agenda describes their plan to control every nation, and the methods are already in operation. While some believe this to be a desire for Utopia, others may relate it to guilt for Europe’s hand in World War II. Whatever the motivation, the ruling class is creating an obedient underclass. In point of fact, this is a fascist agenda of conquest, to stunt natural growth, and prohibit the use of our natural resources to nourish our survival. The result will achieve what other tyrants have achieved with weapons and bloodshed – depopulation, except on a now much larger scale, using children.

The Globalists of the United Nations are dedicated to one world, unified under one flag or governing body, and the elimination of countries’ borders, sovereignty and of individual’s natural rights, and of that historic bulwark against the abuses of tyrants, the nuclear family, best attacked through the children. They seek complete freedom of migration worldwide to “increase liberty, reduce global poverty, and accelerate economic growth.” However, where there is mobility of capital and labor, increases in capital cause decreased labor, resulting in disproportionately low wages, reduced healthcare and education, and shrinking businesses. Unrestrained immigration brought us 14 million illegals by 2012. It does not produce assimilation, but a higher incidence of crime and conflict from dissimilar ideologies and the depopulation objective of our silent warriors – our endangered children.

Also see:

Google Employees Discussed Tweaking Search Results to Counter Trump Travel Ban

Breitbart, by Allum Bokhari, September 20, 2018:

Google employees brainstormed ways to tweak the tech giant’s search functions to encourage users to push back against Trump policies following the President’s proposed travel ban on certain countries in 2017, according to a report on Tucker Carlson Tonight that was also confirmed by the Wall Street Journal. 

Via the WSJ (paywalled):

Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed how they could tweak the company’s search-related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails.
The email traffic, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows that employees proposed ways to “leverage” search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ’Iran’, etc.” and “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms `Mexico’, `Hispanic’, `Latino’, etc.”

According to the WSJ, the email chain was “sprinkled with cautionary notes about engaging in political activity,” but nonetheless discussed ways to use the company’s power over search as a response to Trump’s proposed travel ban on certain Muslim-dominated countries.

The report follows Breitbart News’ release of a leaked recording of Google’s post-election meeting in 2016. The video shows company executives, including co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai, lamenting the election of Trump, and brainstorming ways to ensure that the president’s election and the populist movement were just a “blip” and “hiccup” in history.

Google did not deny the existence of the emails, but insisted that none of the ideas discussed were ever acted upon.

“These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. “Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology—not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies.”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to allumbokhari@protonmail.com.

***

***

Also see:

DOJ Invites 24 State AGs to Jeff Sessions Meeting About Breaking Up Google, Facebook

Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes a point while speaking during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PJ Media, by Tyler O’Neil September 13, 2018:

On Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that nearly half of the state attorneys general would be invited to a September 25 meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss whether social media companies are violating anti-trust laws. The DOJ announced the meeting last week, following the congressional testimony of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“Following last week’s statement, the Justice Department received an increased level of interest from state attorneys general in attending the September 25 meeting on tech companies, competition, and free exchange of ideas,” a DOJ spokesman told PJ Media on Thursday afternoon. Due to this increased interest, Sessions has invited more attorneys general.

“Today, the Justice Department formally sent invitations to a bipartisan group of twenty-four state attorneys general that expressed an interest in attending the meeting hosted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” the spokesman added. “The meeting will take place here at the Department of Justice, and we look forward to having a robust dialogue with all attendees on the topic of social media platforms.”

While many state AGs have investigated Google and Facebook in the past — and many investigations are ongoing — a few select attorneys general began mulling the idea of a coordinated investigation earlier this year. Sessions has taken the lead for this event, which originally was only going to include the attorneys general from five states: Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Texas.

Many attorneys general have sued Facebook and Google specifically, and not just on the conservative side of the aisle. Rhode Island’s Democrat AG Peter Kilmartin forced Google to surrender $500 million for selling illegal drugs in 2011. Mississippi’s Democrat AG Tim Hood has taken Google to court twice over illegal drugs, pirated movies, and personal data. Washington state Democrat AG Bob Ferguson sued Facebook and Google over records for political ads this summer.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley perhaps began the latest round of investigations when he announced a broad anti-trust and consumer-protection investigation into Google last November. This April, he subpoenaed Facebook in order to ensure proper protection of private consumer data.

Earlier this week, PJ Media reached out to every Republican attorney general to see if Sessions had invited them to the meeting. Many said they did not receive an invitation, Hawley included. Sources have suggested that the original meeting would be a working group, to discuss these issues in private. If that was ever the goal, it seems that ship has sailed.

Conservatives have long expressed suspicion that Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been censoring their content. Recent events have only underscored those questions, especially since Tucker Carlson reported on a letter in which a Google executive bragged about increasing Latino voter turnout in the 2016 election, thinking it would help Hillary Clinton.

On the other side, this week liberals at ThinkProgress accused Facebook of censoring them when the social media company marked their article as “false” due to a fact-check from The Weekly Standard.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told PJ Media that investigating Facebook and Google on anti-trust and consumer protection issues “shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”

“I’ve got some Democratic AG friends that are concerned about the anti-trust position in the market in relation to the consumer,” Landry said. “The same fundamentals that allow Facebook or Google to control the free market and hurt consumers are the same fundamentals that allow them to suppress content.”

Landry accused social media companies of creating “a virtual fence around the free market.”

“We must work together to ensure that online economic competition operates fairly and transparently, so that Americans can make informed choices and public discourse can flourish,” Jeff Mateer, Texas’ first assistant attorney general, told PJ Media.

Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel — a Christian legal nonprofit considering suing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for defamation — told PJ Media he had “a telephone conversation this week with a number of attorneys regarding this issue.”

“We’ve actually talked about anti-trust” in regard to social media companies, Staver added. “Even the Department of Justice is talking about anti-trust because of the unfair competition and the monopoly that these companies are wielding, which is far beyond anything that we’ve seen before.”

Chris Gacek, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, compared Facebook’s censorship pattern to that of a court of law. “You have an interior Facebook judicial system, an appellate system, and a Supreme Court of Facebook,” he said. “You have basically a bunch of leftists who are in charge of a company and a business model that no one’s ever seen before.”

Gacek noted that “you probably only need five states” to get involved in pressuring these companies, “and you can really mess these guys up.”

Late last month, a former anti-trust lawyer for President Ronald Reagan, Larry Klayman, filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, accusing them of working in concert to suppress conservative speech online. The suit brings up anti-trust claims, free speech claims, and discrimination claims, adding up to $1 billion in damages.

Facebook and Google can expect some tough times ahead.

***

Leaked Google Video Shows Collective Ideology Behind Worlds Largest Internet Influence Agent…

Google is the primary hub through which 90% of all internet activity transpires.  Google controls 75% of on-line ad revenue.  Googles algorithms manipulate the way information travels within the internet; and in actuality, Google can stop and shut down information according to their ideological definition & approval therein.

With unlimited influence, and almost unlimited power over what you are able to see and hear on the internet, Google is ominous.   So when see the leadership of Google crying over their inability to influence the 2016 election; and when you hear them say they will double their efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen in 2018; everyone should be alarmed.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, CEO Sundar Pichai, Senior VP for Global Affairs, Kent Walker, CFO Ruth Porat and Eileen Naughton, VP of People Operations talk about their horror and sadness over the outcome of the 2016 election.  WATCH RECAP:

Below is the full video, which is also hosted on Brietbart.Com

***

***

***

Also see:

Al-Qaeda Recruitment Lectures Offered in Google Play Store App

Anwar al-Awlaki (Al-Qaeda video)

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, April 16, 2018:

An app that has been dowloaded more than a thousand times on Google Play hooks up users with a selection of audio lectures and video addresses from American al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.

Al-Awlaki, the New Mexico native who remains a powerful recruitment force spanning terrorist group loyalties, was killed in an airstrike in Yemen in 2011. ISIS fighters frequently quote the leading al-Qaeda member online. Lone jihadists are often found to have consumed al-Awlaki lectures, including 2016 Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi and Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State student who rammed pedestrians on campus in 2016.

In a November anti-extremism crackdown, YouTube pulled tens of thousands of videos of al-Awlaki’s myriad sermons and Q&As that had been uploaded to the site. A search on the site now finds al-Awlaki videos that were posted 3 to 4 months ago, after the company’s purge.

The Google Play app titled “Anwar Al Awlaki Lectures” is filed under “entertainment” and rated E for everyone.

(Google Play screenshot)

The app’s audio selections include “Stop Police Terror,” which was a Friday sermon delivered by al-Awlaki at the East London Masjid on Dec. 26, 2003, “The Experiences and Ultimate End of Those Who Followed and Opposed the Prophet,” “The Quran – The Book Of Tolerance,” “Brutality Towards Muslims,” “Giving and Investing in the Hereafter,” and “It’s a War against Islam.”

It also includes segments from al-Awlaki’s six-hour “Constants on the Path of Jihad” lecture, which has been cited as the jihadist recruitment and incitement material in numerous terrorism cases including the 2007 plot to attack Fort Dix: “Jihad will continue until the Day of Judgment,” “Jihad does not depend on an individual or individuals,” “Jihad is not dependent on a particular land,” “Jihad is not dependent on a battle,” “Victory is not limited to military victory.” The app table of contents leaves out the sixth part of the “Constants” lecture: “Defeat in jihad does not necessarily mean military defeat.”

The al-Awlaki videos include the 2010 interview he gave to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Al-Malahem Media, in which al-Awlaki praised the Fort Hood operation and called for more attacks on America. “The Americans do not want an Islam that defends the causes of the Islamic nation, or an Islam that calls for jihad, for the implementation of the shari’a… they want an Islam that is American, liberal, democratic, peaceful, and civilized,” he said. An ISIS video is also included in the play list.

The Google Play app was last updated on Dec. 28 though the reviews indicate the app was available dating back to at least January 2017. It has a user rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

One reviewer states that he or she has “been waiting ever since Google too [sic] down the anwar al awlaki app, I loved it so much. Alhamdulilah you have this app!!!!”

“Greatest scholar of this generation,” added another.

In January, PJM discovered key propaganda texts from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula posted for free download on the Barnes & Noble website, including the inaugural issue of a magazine linked to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Reviews posted on the e-books indicated that they’ve remained on the bookseller’s website for years, despite clearly indicating in the titles that al-Qaeda materials were being offered. Barnes & Noble removed the e-books soon after the PJM report was published.

Also see:

Should Anti-trust Laws Be Used to Break Up the Social Media Giants?

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Sept. 1, 2017:

The secular Left and the proponents of Islamic blasphemy laws have a new issue on which they are making common cause: the quest to destroy the freedom of speech, the cornerstone of our democracy. After Charlottesville, the Left sees its chance to crush all dissent, and given its alliance with Islamic supremacists, this means the implementation in the West of prohibitions on criticism of Islam, including counterterror analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terrorists. This anti-free speech initiative, if it succeeds, will destroy free society, which cannot exist if one is unable to speak out against the tyrant.

The Left is trying to use Charlottesville as its Reichstag Fire moment to try to crush all dissent. CNN gave the Southern Poverty Law Center’s spurious “hate group” list wide play, and an effort has begun to deny all platforms to those “hate groups,” without any regard for the fact that the SPLC includes legitimate organizations that dissent from the Leftist agenda (including the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Jihad Watch) on the list along with the KKK and neo-Nazis, in an attempt to defame and destroy the legitimate groups.

Spearheading anti-free speech efforts on the Islamic side is a little-known organization that comprises most of the Muslim governments around the world today: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is made up of fifty-six member nations plus the Palestinian Authority and constitutes the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. The OIC has been working for years to try to compel the West to restrict the freedom of speech, and particularly the freedom to criticize Islam.

Essentially, they want to impose a key principle of Sharia — which forbids blasphemy against Allah, Muhammad, and Islam — on the entire non-Muslim world. They are advancing this initiative by trying to compel the West to criminalize “incitement to religious hatred,” which essentially means criticism of Islam; no international body has ever objected to criticism of Judaism, Christianity, or any other religion.

Aiding this OIC initiative has been the popularization of the term “Islamophobia.” Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former imam, writes that “this loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” Islamic groups tied to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, most notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have for years been wielding this term like a club to smear anyone who speaks honestly about the jihad threat; by doing so, they have intimidated many into silence.

The SPLC has eagerly taken up this term as a key element of its censorship strategy, publishing lists of key “Islamophobes” (including David Horowitz and me) that have grown so absurd that they even include a reformist Muslim, Maajid Nawaz. Nawaz and his associates are themselves not above using similar tactics, but his presence on the SPLC’s list does highlight its absurdity.

The anti-free speech initiative is also proceeding even aside from the SPLC’s hate group list. Canadian psychologist and social critic Jordan Peterson recently had his Google account revoked, without explanation, and then restored without explanation. “Maybe it was just an error,” Peterson told Tucker Carlson, “but the fact that things have been happening in such a strange way politically brings up the specter of censorship.”

And Google has been engaging in censorship. The establishment media in the West completely ignored the story, but Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported several weeks ago that “Google’s first page results for searches of terms such as ‘jihad’, ‘shariah’ and ‘taqiyya’ now return mostly reputable explanations of the Islamic concepts. Taqiyya, which describes the circumstances under which a Muslim can conceal their belief in the face of persecution, is the sole term to feature a questionable website on the first page of results.”

“Reputable” according to whom? “Questionable” according to whom? Google is bowing to pressure from Muslims such as Texas imam Omar Suleiman, who is mentioned in the Anadolu story as the driving force behind this initiative, without considering whether those who are demanding that the search results be skewed in a particular direction might have an ulterior motive. Could it be that those who are pressuring Google want to conceal certain truths about Islam that they would prefer that non-Muslims not know?

This is a real possibility, but of course Google executives would have to study Islam themselves in order to determine whether or not these Muslims who are pressuring them are misleading them, and that’s not going to happen. Still, they could have done a bit more due diligence, and made some efforts to determine whether those being tarred as “hate groups” really deserved the label, whether the Southern Poverty Law Center was really a reliable and objective arbiter of which groups were and weren’t “hate groups,” and whether the information that Google was suppressing was really inaccurate. Instead, Google seems to have swallowed uncritically everything Omar Suleiman and the others said, and applied it as policy.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Vice President Joel Kaplan traveled to Pakistan in July to assure the Pakistani government that it would remove “anti-Islam” material. That endeavor had already started before Kaplan’s trip. In mid-February, traffic to Jihad Watch from Facebook dropped suddenly by 90% and has never recovered. We do not post any hateful or provocative material and neither incite nor approve of violence, but Facebook is acting as judge, jury and executioner in all this. There is no appeal and no recourse.

A high-placed source in the tech industry told me: “Countries like Pakistan basically tell Facebook and Google that they either comply or the government will arrest all their employees in the country and make it illegal to use their produce. So, FB and Google are faced with either leaving the country or complying. Google famously refused to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies and withdrew from China at great cost to Google. Facebook is obviously less principled. By the way, this is a growing phenomenon with more and more countries moving to censor US tech companies (plus there’s been a recent vigorous campaign from the left demanding censorship in the US). They won’t cave to domestic pressures, because it makes no business sense. They will cave to foreign pressure in foreign countries, because it makes business sense.”

In his interview of Jordan Peterson, Carlson asked what governments should do with companies such as Google that are more powerful than the government itself. Peterson answered: “I’m not sure the government knows what to do.” Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said in July: “Facebook is regulating more human speech than any government does now or ever has.”

So what is to be done? In other industries the government has used anti-trust laws when free markets are threatened. Here the free marketplace of ideas is threatened. Should the anti-trust laws be invoked to break up Google and Facebook?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

***

Video: Robert Spencer on the social media giants’ war on the freedom of speech

Also see: