Категорія: Power

Facebook and Twitter censorship: The freedom of the press or speech? What’s that?

Big tech companies as a whole and major social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, have become so big their influence on public opinion is not even a matter of discussion. As a matter of fact, they are the biggest and most influential media companies at the moment. Of course, there are people who are not on Twitter, and they check their Facebook feed once a week, but the news they read, watch or hear elsewhere will be inevitably dependent on current trends. And who sets the trends?

Last week, one of the biggest American media outlets, The New York Post, published material of tremendous importance about Hunter Biden and his connections with corrupted companies in Ukraine and China. He’s a son of Joe Biden, the democratic party candidate on 2020 presidential election in the US. The material exposes emails that prove the connection between Joe Biden and executives at a company called Burisma, where his son was given a seat on the board with $83.000 monthly salary. You don’t need to be a genius to understand why this oil company needed Biden Jr. as their influence agent. His father, at that time US Vice President, curated American-Ukraninan aid programs and other international relations between the two countries.

When Ukrainian general prosecutor’s office started an investigation against Burisma the general prosecutor was fired and Biden said publicly that it was he who demanded to fire the prosecutor because he was corrupted. At that time Biden had significant leverage on Ukrainian government being responsible for approving or rejecting $1bn in aid to them.

All these years Joe Biden has been rejecting any connection with Burisma and still rejects it. But in one of the emails that were exposed by The NY Post, Burisma executive expresses gratitude to Biden Jr. for the warm welcome in DC and the opportunity to meet with his father which connects all the dots above in one clear chain of events.

Without a doubt, a story like this is a huge thing, leave aside it’s pre-election time. And what do you think happened? Facebook and Twitter banned it completely! First, they blocked The NY Post tweets and then blocked any post that shared the link to the story. Reason? Because the information was allegedly a result of a hacking attack which is clearly wrong since the story says exactly who is the source of information.

Several days later, after the censoring scandal was getting bigger than the original story itself, both social networks lifted the ban and said it was a mistake from their side. So they basically kept it blocked for as much time as possible up to the point when doing it had pretty much no sense given it was already all over the internet.

As disgusting as it is, the story proves one more time that big tech is not a politically independent business and it doesn’t stand by the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech principles. It favours a particular political party and its leaders even when it comes to the violation of the first amendment to the United States Constitution.

These authoritarian politics are taking place in 2020 America, supposedly democratic country. The hypocrisy of big tech companies with imposing censorship on a story that goes against their narrative, while talking 24/7 about their liberalism, diversity and inclusivity is beyond any reasonable comprehension. According to these events, they are liberal and inclusive as long as they agree with you.

But the most ridiculous thing about it is that no one can hold them accountable. Government officials can only express their concerns, that’s it. If this is not a scene from an Orwellian novel than what is? We are literally being told what is truth and what is not by a bunch of Silicon Valley billionaires. Narratives are being brought up or down simply because a handful of people thought it’s good or bad for you to see, and these decisions affect billions of people worldwide every day. Just think of the enormous power and no responsibility whatsoever for any misdemeanour.

Big tech has become too big. It’s just a matter of time when they will be able to appoint its own president while kicking those with whom they don’t agree out of their platforms. For how long this abuse of power is going to last?