Big Tech Silences Parler

Opinion

 

Parler, one of the fastest-growing apps in the US, has been compromised by Big Tech.   Following the Capitol Building protests and riots on January 6th, allegedly incited by former president Trump, Twitter banned and censored both Trump and his supporters.  Such was protected by Section 230.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides that “websites aren’t legally responsible for what is posted.  Further, website owners or users cannot be held liable for deleting or restricting access to anything they deem objectionable if those actions are ‘taken in good faith’.”

Twitter suspended former President Trump’s account, claiming it violated user guidelines, in that it had potential to “mobilize different audiences, including to incite violence.”  In the coming days, countless advocates and political influencers were silenced for “violating community guidelines” despite their squeaky-clean records.  This held true on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Tik Tok.

Epoch Times journalist Wesley J. Smith writes, “Washington Examiner columnist Byron York, 2actor and conservative icon James Woods, and Fox News pundit Brit Hume, among many others, announced that they had each lost tens of thousands of followers on Twitter in just a few days.  Similarly, less famous voices reported the loss of hundreds of followers.”

Amidst the censorship of both content and reach, a new social media platform, Parler, emerged.  Parler is a direct competitor of Twitter and operates in almost an exact manner.  However, Parler was founded upon the disbelief in censorship, and advocacy for American’s First Amendment Right.  With this, influencers had greater reach and were able to voice their opinions, biased or not, without being silenced.  With this new platform, bias was ignored- Parler provided that one’s personal opinion is independent of another’s right to project said opinions.

A sound solution to the censorship and bias prevalent in Big Tech, it seemed… until Big Tech themselves (Google and Apple) silenced Parler by revoking American’s access to the platform.  They did so by removing Parler’s app from their online stores, declaring the company would be “blackballed” until Parler moderated posts.

Although destructive, Parler was still moderately accessible through their website.  The outright obliteration of Parler came with Amazon’s removal of the platform altogether.  Amazon canceled its contracts with Parler, as it hosted the company’s cloud services.  They later explained that “violent content” on Parler’s site violated its terms of service.  As of writing time, Parler is offline, dead as a social media platform, unless it can find alternative hosting services.

Parler CEO, John Matze, emphasized that Big Tech “has the power to destroy anybody” as proven by his company’s experience.  This power is frightening considering “businesses, non-profit groups, and individuals all depend on websites, email, and social media, and the like to fully engage in modern life.  And those tools are almost wholly controlled by Big Tech.” (W. Smith)

Big Tech is not government-based, nor government-funded, and the protection by Section 230 fully enables their censorship.  This means that they are legally able to censor and regulate what information is distributed.  American’s First Amendment Right is considerably infringed upon, despite the lack of legal implications.  Smith continues, “Freedom requires comity.  Social harmony depends on everyone believing they have a fair shake.”  Now more than ever, it has become evident that Big Tech’s powerplays aren’t in the best interest of social harmony.  With this, Americans must continue to stand up and fight for their “fair shake” before it’s too late.