Pot, Meet Kettle: Silicon Valley Shows Its Hypocrisy on “Net Neutrality
A hypocrite is someone who forgets their own faults but feels fine pointing out someone else’s. If there were a dictionary of terms related to Silicon Valley, companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter would undoubtedly have their picture next to the word “hypocrite.” When it comes to promoting a free and open internet, they’re the textbook definition of the word.
Following the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote to roll back Obama-era overreach in the form of so-called “net neutrality” rules, it’s important we point out the inconsistencies of these companies who are now crying foul. For years, Silicon Valley has blatantly censored conservative viewpoints online, yet say Ajit Pai’s move to restore true internet freedom is somehow out of line.
Take abortion, for example. By the way they conduct themselves, you’d think that some Silicon Valley companies were just another political arm of Planned Parenthood. Google was sued in April 2008 when it refused to allow completely innocuous pro-life advertisements, all while it allows abortion clinics to advertise without a problem. Facebook blocked a group for sharing a story critical of abortion in July 2013. And Twitter, one of the worst abusers of their power online, blocked pro-life advertisements from LiveAction in September, an organization run by Lila Rose, one of the most prominent conservative activists in the country.
Their bias doesn’t just show with being pro-abortion, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have blocked content in support of President Trump, people critical of radical Islam, and those who are working to curb the problem of illegal immigration in our country.
With countless examples of this happening to conservatives online, it can be easy to lose track. That’s why Free Our Internet has created a list of bans that have been reported in the press and reported by supporters though our site. Take a look for yourself at our #ReportTheBans section by clicking here. With your help, we can keep tabs on the tech-left.
The tech-left’s assault on free speech — a historical record:
11/29/07 — Google shuts down YouTube account of Egyptian human rights activist Wael Abbas
4/9/08 — Christian group sues Google after the search engine refuses to accept its pro-life advertisements.
10/3/08 — Google’s YouTube censors comedian’s anti-Sharia video titled “Welcome to Saudi Britain”.
1/7/10 — Google censors autocomplete function for “Islam is…”. “Christianity is…” and “Buddhism is…” not censored.
1/11/10 — Google accused of filtering out search suggestions for the word “Islam.”
1/13/10 — Google bans links to search results for the BBC in China.
1/13/10 — Google filters out all links to mentions of Tiananmen Square massacre from Chinese search results.
3/14/10 — Facebook bans Moroccan secularist group.
3/16/10 — Technology journalist blacklisted and removed from Google News for articles critical of the company.
7/22/10 — Facebook deletes post by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for criticizing construction of a mosque near Ground Zero.
7/26/10 — Facebook bans the word “Palestinian” in page titles.
1/28/11 — Google autocomplete blocks the phrase “Google and crime.”
9/12/11 — InfoWars reporter warned by Facebook not to use the social network to express his political opinions after he posted a story about whether living off the grid was now being treated as a crime.
4/29/12 — Leftists allegedly target the Twitter account of Dana Loesch’s husband Chris Loesch, resulting in Twitter banning his account on three different occasions.
5/13/12 — Google bans conservative blog The New York Conservative, hosted on Google Blogger for opining on the trial of terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
6/1/12 — Google bans firearm accessory sales on its shopping services.
7/5/12 — Google censors information about guns in Google shopping.
9/14/12 — Google blocks access to “Innocence of Muslims” video in several countries.
12/27/12 — Facebook suspends Natural News account for a post that included a quote from Gandhi on how the British depriving India of arms was one of the blackest misdeeds of British rule.
1/22/13 — Facebook temporarily suspends the account of “Chicks on the Right” after a post criticizing President Obama’s White House press secretary.
5/28/13 — Facebook suspends the account of Andrea Lalama for posting a picture of her two kids holding a sign protesting Monsanto.
5/29/13 — Facebook blocks Fox News commentator Todd Starnes for “violating community standards” for his post supporting guns, Chick-fil-A, Jesus.
7/3/13 — Facebook blocks LibertyNews story for sharing a story critical of abortion.
4/28/14 — Google Bans Ads From Pregnancy Centers After Lobbying From “Pro-Choice” NARAL.
11/17/14 — Facebook bans advertisement for safes and vaults (not guns) from Charlotte North Carolina gun store Hyatt Guns as part of its Veterans Day promotion.
12/20/14 — Facebook bans Russian page supporting Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny.
1/28/15 — One week after expressing support for free speech in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Facebook begins censoringimages of Muhammad.
2/17/15 — Facebook blocks links to articles about 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS in Egypt.
3/2/15 — Facebook locks account of 12-year-old African American boy after releasing video critical of President Obama.
3/19/15 — Leaked report Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff report alleges that Google uses an algorithm to deliberately manipulate search results to favor their own products and services over those of competitors.
7/10/15 — Google allegedly bans gay networking software on its app store in South Korea.
8/16/15 — Google’s YouTube accused of censoring videos of black-on-white crime.
8/24/15 — Twitter accused of blocking access to political transparency organization Politiwoops for archiving deleted tweets from elected officials.
8/31/15 — Facebook allegedly censors Christian-themed advertisement for mentioning Christianity and Jesus.
9/25/15 — Feminist group releases report urging the United Nations to use its licensing prerogative for telecoms and search engines to require that they censor offensive speech.
9/27/15 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg caught on an open mic agreeing to censor Facebook content critical of European immigration policy.
12/8/15 — Google Chairman Eric Schmidt calls for “hate speech spell-checker” to be implemented on social and search platforms to “nudge” users away from unwelcome forms of expression.
12/15/15 — Google and Facebook partner with the German government to delete “hate speech” within 24 hours in an effort to silence public dissent over the wave of Syrian immigration in the country.
12/15/15 — Google’s YouTube suspends video channel of investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Claims channel was suspended in error.
12/18/15 — Artist sues Google over its banning of pro-life music video.
1/1/16 — Facebook takes down picture of 2012 Donald Trump campaign button from “Wake Up America” page for violating community standards for nudity, even though the picture contained no nudity whatsoever.
1/9/16 — Twitter “unverifies” official account of Breitbart tech editor.
1/13/16 — Facebook yanks “We like gun rights” fan page.
1/13/16 — Facebook bans meme criticizing Canadian PM Justin Trudeau for his silence regarding suspected terrorists shooting up a Calgary nightclub.
1/26/16 — Reddit moderators censor story of female refugee center worker murdered by migrant.
2/9/16 — Twitter unveils new “Trust and Safety Council” featuring left wing feminists with the goal of monitoring the platform to maintain an environment where people “feel safe expressing themselves.”
2/20/16 — Conservative blogger Stacy McCain banned by Twitter. No reason given.
2/29/16 — Bernie Sanders supporters allege that Twitter is removing hash tags critical of Hillary Clinton.
3/4/16 — Facebook’s Instagram blocks links to competitors Snapchat and Telegram.
3/7/16 — Facebook-owned Instagram deletes artist’s satirical portraits of politicians and even a screenshot of the author’s tweet about Facebook deleting his account/
3/15/16 — Feminist author banned from Facebook after posting photos of Aboriginal women.
3/26/16 — Facebook tells “Wake Up America” administrators that it removed a satirical picture of the Obamas wearing Che Guevara t-shirts because it “violated their community standards.”
4/11/16 — Patriotic biker group “2 Million Bikers” fan page banned by Facebook after promoting its ride to Washington DC.
4/24/16 — Donald Trump shadowbanned by Twitter after posting a tweet that “the establishment and special interests are absolutely killing our country.”
5/4/16 — Anti-radical Islam video game endorsed by Milo Yiannopoulos banned by Google on its Google Play Store.
5/11/16 — Google bans all ads for payday loans.
5/18/16 — Advocates for curbing illegal immigration allege that Facebook is suppressing posts that undermine Facebook’s lobbying efforts for expanding the pool of foreign labor.
5/21/16 — Facebook bans conservative commentator Lauren Southern for 30 days after she criticizes the social network for banning the administrator of another conservative pro-Trump Facebook page.
5/31/16 — Google demotes pro-Brexit/Euroskeptic websites by pushing them down in search results.
5/31/16 — Facebook partners with the European Union to censor so-called “hate speech” and promote “counter-narratives.”
6/6/16 — Pro-Trump Reddit community alleges that Reddit Admins are censoring discussion of censorship.
6/10/16 — Investigative video released showing how Google manipulates search results to favor Hillary Clinton.
6/12/16 — Facebook bans Pamela Geller for comment criticizing President Obama for neglecting to mention Islam or Muslims in his comments on the Orlando, Florida terrorist attack.
6/12/16 — Reddit’s /r/News locks posts, deletes comments and bans users discussing the Orlando terrorist attack.
6/13/16 — Twitter bans game developer Mark Kern for tweeting that radical mosques should be surveilled.
6/15/16 — Twitter censors the hashtag #GaysForTrump from autocomplete.
6/16/16 — Facebook shadowbans page mapping immigrant crimes in Germany.
6/16/16 — Reddit announces that it will adjust its algorithms to censor Trump supporters following the Orlando nightclub shooting.
6/20/16 — Facebook-owned Instagram censors conservative comedy group; offers no reason.
6/20/16 — Google, Facebook and Apple ban rifle emoji.
6/22/16 — Anti-Hillary Clinton game removed from Google Play Store, but “Punch the Trump” game remains.
6/29/16 — Reddit censors criticism of Islam following Istanbul bombing.
7/7/16 — Facebook removes post from Singapore political activist for criticizing Singapore police.
7/7/16 — Reddit moderators censor stories about refugees in Europe committing rape.
7/12/16 — Reddit takes down poll showing Trump leading Clinton by 6 points in Florida.
7/14/16 — Google deletes the 14-year-old blog of an author and artist and simultaneously deactivates his Gmail account. No explanation given.
7/18/16 — Melbourne, Australia singer Melody Pool banned from Facebook for post in which she mentions her menstrual pain.
7/20/16 — Twitter bans conservative activist Milo Yiannopoulos.
7/23/16 — #DNCLeaks disappears from trending news on Twitter after Wikileaks releases emails.
7/23/16 — Gmail users claim Trump emails sent automatically to Spam folders.
7/23/16 — Two days before the Democratic National Convention, Facebook restricts Dinesh D’Souza’s outreach coordinator for the movie “Hillary’s America” after he posts links encouraging others to watch and review the movie.
7/24/16 — Facebook blocks all Wikileaks links after DNC emails are released.
7/27/16 — Google excludes Donald Trump from “presidential candidates” search
7/27/16 — Google censors autocomplete for “Corrupt [Tim] Kaine.”
7/30/16 — Reddit moderators accused of censoring Donald Trump “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) to suppress support for the presidential candidate.
8/1/16 — Facebook-owned Instagram bans artist’s Instagram page after posting parody artwork of Hillary Clinton.
8/2/16 — Hugo-nominated author Brian Niemeier “shadow-banned” on Twitter.
8/2/16 — Facebook bans “Mothers Against Radical Islam” after posting a video critical of media coverage suggesting criticism of radical Islam was Islamophobic.
8/2/16 — Facebook blocks radio host Michael Savage after he posts story of migrant murderer in Germany.
8/4/16 — Reddit thread on France firebombing attack closed for anti-Islamic “hate speech.”
8/8/16 — Boxer Amir Khan’s Muslim trainer Tam Khan banned from Facebook for anti-ISIS post.
8/9/16 — Facebook censors “Truth about Islam” account.
8/11/16 — Twitter secretly censors criticism of Obama during a Q&A he gave on the platform.
8/19/15 — Picture promoting traditional marriage removed from Facebook for “violating community standards.”
8/21/16 — New York Times columnist calls on Google to censor search engine results to hide stories about Hillary Clinton’s health.
8/31/16 — YouTube star PewDiePie suspended by Twitter. No reason given. Account later restored.
9/2/16 — Google’s YouTube “demonetizes” several hundred video channels including a channel with a video about… freedom of the press.
9/4/16 — Google accused of using fake search results to deliberately manipulate people’s views of “jihad.”
9/12/16 — Research psychologist details results of investigation showing Google manipulates search results to favor Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
9/21/16 — Twitter bans women’s rights group after their criticisms of Saudi Arabia for the country’s treatment of women.
9/22/16 — Twitter bans well-known journalist and free speech advocate Glenn Reynolds. Account later restored.
9/26/16 — Investigative journalist alleges that Twitter blocks his account for “instigating terrorism” at the request of the government of Turkey. The journalist, Mahir Zeynalov, was critical of Turkey’s Erdogan government.
10/6/16 — Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, alleges that he is shadowbanned on Twitter after requesting that his followers tweet examples of Hillary Clinton supporters being violent against Trump supporters.
10/12/16 — Google’s YouTube censors conservative video channel by labeling it “restricted adult content.”
10/12/16 — Twitter blocks the account of conservative journalist James O’Keefe shortly after tweeting that he was about to release a new video investigation of a U.S. Senate candidate.
10/13/16 — Google and YouTube demonetize a video from Milo Yiannopoulos lecture that discussed the deaths of two Americans killed by an illegal alien drunk driver.
11/2/16 — Google’s YouTube censors PragerU video criticizing the left for censorship.
11/7/16 — Twitter bans watchdog that kept track of celebrities’ deleted tweets.
11/9/16 — Twitter bans Milo Yiannopoulos account that posts Facebook status updates on Election Day.
11/14/16 — Gab founder Andrew Torba banned from Silicon Valley startup community YCombinator after members of the group allege that Torba’s defense of Donald Trump made them feel “unsafe.”
11/15/16 — Twitter unveils new features to combat “hate speech.”
11/16/16 — Google and Facebook pledge to defund conservative news sites as “fake news” by denying them access to the companies’ ad networks.
11/22/16 — AppNexus, one of the internet’s largest digital advertisers, bans Breitbart from participating in its online advertising platform arguing the news site promotes so-called “hate speech.”
11/23/16 — Facebook develops “special software” to help China censor Facebook content.
12/16/16 — The ACLU announces its support of Facebook’s campaign to let favored political groups censor mainstream news reports sent by Facebook users.
12/16/16 — Soros financed group partners with Facebook to flag “disputed” news stories posted on its social media network.
12/29/16 — Almost 1000 of Facebook’s top page owners whose pages were removed from the social network fight back against Facebook’s increasing censorship.
1/11/17 — Facebook censors posts in Thailand that the government deems “unsuitable.”
1/22/17 — Apple rejects free speech social network app Gab.ai from being listed in its Apple store.
1/26/17 — Google bans more than 200 publishers from its ad network in a crackdown on so-called “fake news.”
1/27/17 — Twitter bans popular YouTube personality and social commentator Sargon of Akkad after Akkad sends tweet to EU official questioning the link between Islamic immigration and increased terrorism.
1/27/17 — Google and Facebook work behind the scenes with Soros-funded Media Matters to “shape” the social networks’ campaigns to fight so-called “fake news.”
1/27/17 — Google’s YouTube disables Milo Yiannopoulos live streaming ability hours before immigration speech at University of New Mexico.
2/7/17 — Twitter announces new changes to its platform to censor what they alone determine constitutes “hate speech” by deeming tweets “low quality” and “sensitive.”
2/21/17 — Google advertising partner AdRoll bans Alex Jones’ InfoWars sending a vaguely worded email to InfoWars’ legal department blocking the site from participating in its online advertising program.
2/22/17 — Transgender YouTuber and critic of cultural Marxism, Blaire White banned by Facebook for 30 days. No reason given.
2/23/17 — Google launches artificial intelligence program to crack down on so-called “hate speech” in news article comment sections.
3/1/17 — Google, Facebook, AFP and the BBC collude in launching campaign to tell voters “who to trust” in French presidential election.
3/9/17 — Twitter suspends account of conservative YouTuber Hunter Avallone. No reason given.
3/10/17 — Hunter Avallone posts link to his backup Twitter account in YouTube video. Twitter bans that account as well. No reason given.
3/10/17 — Twitter tests new censorship feature to flag entire user accounts that it deems contain “sensitive content.”
3/27/17 — Twitter temporarily censors Drudge Report tweets behind “sens
3/28/17 — Facebook assists Pakistani government in removing so-called “blasphemous” content.
3/31/17 — “Pizza Party Ben,” a popular pro-Trump comedy account with 70,000 followers banned by Twitter. No explanation given.
4/7/17 — Google rolls out new “fact check” tool to flag so-called “fake news.”
4/17/17 — Google admits to censoring InfoWars. Claims it will stop.
7/18/17 — Over two dozen Catholic pages were blocked by Facebook after being “suspected of suspicious activity.”
9/25/17 — The pro-life advocacy group Live Action is blocked from advertising on Twitter because of “hateful content in advertising.”
9/9/17 — A pro-Trump YouTube star has her song “Make America Great Again” taken down from YouTube. The company refuses to comment on this specific case.
10/9/17 — Twitter shuts down Congressman Marsha Blackburn’s campaign’s ability to promote her announcement video because of pro-life statements.
10/31/17 — During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee into Russian activity in the 2016 election, Twitter admits to blocking anti-Hillary Clinton tweets.
11/2/17 — The president’s Twitter handle, @RealDonaldTrump, is deactivated for 11 minutes.
12/9/17 — Google announces it will no longer offer YouTube on Amazon platforms, violating the principles it purports to champion through “net neutrality.”