How to get blacklisted by Google… Is there an “all-out war on conservative free speech”?… Why Big Tech is stifling dissent… In the mailbag: “This will escalate to the point that we will have no freedoms at all”…
Today, we’re circling back to perhaps the biggest theme on our radar – and a key reason why we launched The Daily Cut…
The recent surge in online censorship.
Earlier this year, Google threatened to ban all ads from the independent publishing companies that make up the Legacy Research alliance – Bonner & Partners, Casey Research, Palm Beach Research Group, and Jeff Clark’s Delta Report.
Google said it would de-platform us unless we changed our ideas and how we express them. (We refused and are now blacklisted.)
And as we told you here, Facebook is also deciding what you can and cannot read online. Last month, it purged the accounts and pages of 800 independent media outlets.
One of the examples we gave you is a coffee company that donates 10% of its profits to vets, Military Grade Coffee.
It’s run by Brian Kolfage, a vet who lost both legs and his right hand in an attack on a U.S. airbase in Iraq. Military Grade Coffee is the primary source of income for Kolfage and his family.
Kolfage was also the administrator of an independent news outlet called Right Wing News.
And Big Tech has taken on more high-profile voices, too…
Facebook and Twitter recently de-platformed Vice magazine co-founder and conservative pundit Gavin McInnes.
This led McInnes to accuse Big Tech of waging an “all-out war on conservative free speech.”
Partisan politics is all the rage these days – blue vs. red, liberal vs. conservative, us vs. them.
And McInnes could be right.
In response to accusations during a recent CNN interview that Twitter smothers conservative voices, CEO Jack Dorsey said he fully admitted a “left-leaning” bias exists.
And according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit political spending database by the Center for Responsive Politics, more than 96% of political donations for the midterms from employees at Google, Facebook, and Twitter went to Democrats.
But as we told you when news of the purge broke, it’s not that neat and tidy. Many of the folks Facebook blacklisted were alternative news outlets with left-leaning, libertarian, and anti-establishment views.
Others were organizations that “watch the watchers,” such as Police the Police and Filming Cops.
It’s targeting any form of dissent.
When you boil it down, this is a struggle between those who want to decide what’s acceptable for other people to think… and those who prefer to think for themselves.
Consider the secret Google briefing that recently leaked to the press.
It’s titled the “The Good Censor.” It’s 85 pages long. And if you value the most sacred of American rights – freedom of speech – it will make your skin crawl.
You can read it in full here. But here’s what set off the loudest alarm bells for us at Legacy Research…
It goes after the very idea of free speech, which it claims has become a “social, economic, and political weapon.”
And it fully admits that Google and other tech platforms have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to political events around the world.
“This free speech ideal,” according to the briefing, “was instilled in the DNA” of these Silicon Valley firms when they were startups.
But the briefing goes on to argue that Big Tech is stuck between two opposing ideals of what the internet should be – an “unmediated marketplace of ideas” versus a “well-ordered space for safety and civility.”
And it says that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all moving away from the ideal of free speech… and toward the ideal of making the internet a “safe space.” Here’s the leaked slide that illustrates that point…
Google’s push to censor its platforms isn’t just the result of muddle-headed philosophizing.
It fits with the company’s plans to expand into foreign markets where strict government censorship is already in place.
A separate set of leaked documents reveals that Google is working on a censored version of its search engine for the Chinese market. We told you about this in the September 19 Daily Cut.
Codenamed Dragonfly, it will suppress search terms about free speech, human rights, democracy, and peaceful protest – all of which Party bosses have made vanish from the Chinese web.
It will also suppress references to literature about the dangers of totalitarianism such as George Orwell’s novels Animal Farm and 1984.
The mainstream press is full of… well… mainstream ideas.
For instance, when the mainstream media was building hysteria over Soviet plans to take over the world… we told readers that it was all just a house of cards ready to collapse.
When they cheered the Afghan “freedom fighters” against the Russians… we cautioned that Islamic extremists would become a major problem in years to come.
And when the mainstream crowed about the booming U.S. housing market… we were there to warn readers that the mortgage bubble would pop and lead to catastrophic results.
As Legacy Research co-founder Bill Bonner puts it, that’s what makes independent publishers critical right now. Bill…
Unlike the mainstream press, which has to be loyal to its sponsors, we’re loyal only to our readers. Our readers pay us directly. If they don’t like our ideas, they can stop reading.
And unlike these tech giants, we have no government contracts and no government support. There’s no tax credits for buying our newsletters. Our advice and recommendations are not always right, but they’re always independent. And that sets us apart.
I (Chris) had the pleasure of meeting many of you at our first annual Legacy Investment Summit in Bermuda last month.
There were people there from all over the world. And the golden thread that ran through the dozens of conversations I had was that they’d rather think for themselves than be fed a diet of censored ideas.
So tomorrow… we’ll dive into some new alternatives to the Big Tech platforms… including a fully decentralized and censorship-resistant version of Twitter.
If you’re alarmed at the organized attacks on free speech and privacy… and worried about both Big Tech and Big Government creating a surveillance state without your consent… then it’s your chance to stand up for your own rights and turn back the tide.
Many of your fellow readers have joined the movement already…
This should be stopped NOW! This will escalate to the point that we will have no freedoms at all. It may take a while, sooner or later a radical set of politicians will start the ball rolling to destroy the American way of life.
I am less worried about terrorism and organized crime because we can successfully fight those. We won’t be able to fight this after some point – like tomorrow!
– Wayne R.
I plan to distribute this doc [Digital Bill of Rights] to friends and send to my representative and senators for consideration. Thank you for this effort.
– Guy B.
I agree with Legacy’s Digital Bill of Rights. I signed it and am passing it out.
– Jean D.B.
You can print your own copy of the Digital Bill of Rights right here. And let us know how you’re getting on with spreading the word at [email protected].
November 5, 2018