Front-page news in the new issue of American Free Press , now online and available to digital subscribers and in the mail to print subscribers … Internet giants face anti-trust probe over censorship of social media.
By Mark Anderson
Amid reports that the nation’s social media giants could be facing a federal anti-trust probe to determine whether they’re monopolistic to the detriment of free speech, President Donald Trump on July 11 held the first ever Social Media Summit at the White House. Harmeet Dhillon, referred to during the summit as one of the nation’s leading First Amendment lawyers, shared insights on how these digital pirates and their big-media cohorts are increasingly censoring conservative-constitutionalist-populist voices online.
Ms. Dhillon, who was retained by citizen journalist Andy Ngo after he was attacked by ultra-leftist antifa gangsters in Portland, Ore. in June, was accompanied by several others from the public and private spheres—select politicians, alternative journalists, the heads of prolife organizations, and conservative/ neoconservative institutes like the Heritage Foundation, the Media Research Center, and Turning Point USA—many of whom cited cases of social media giants censoring their online postings or those of others.
Meanwhile, mainstream reporting on the summit was so twisted that one of the only ways to get a straight account of what was said was to scour the White House website. In one of the tamest examples, The Washington Post noted, “The president and his administration have been ramping up Trump’s unsupported claims that social media companies actively silenced conservative voices in recent months.”
According to the White House summit transcript, Ms. Dhillon, addressing President Trump, remarked: “The corrupt establishment that you talked about and the mainstream media have told a lot of people in this room that the social media censorship and the banning that we’re experiencing is all in our heads. They’re gaslighting us with this lie.”
Trump supporter and noted conservative author David Horowitz was abruptly de-platformed by Twitter. “They took him off, said he was banned. And then, he complained and then they let him back on. And then, the next day, they did the exact same thing to him. That’s not an accident,” Ms. Dhillon remarked.
She also mentioned the plight of whistleblower James Damore, “who complained internally about Google’s discriminatory practices against conservatives and pushed for more balance. Not only was he fired for daring to do that, but then these social media [companies] used their platforms to humiliate him publicly, weaponize their platforms, and make sure that he could not get a job in Silicon Valley . . . . But it goes beyond that. These social media CEOs have come to Congress . . . and they’ve lied about what they do. They’ve lied about the data theft. They’ve lied about the media manipulation.”
Moreover, although the Democrats and their brethren in the Mass Media Cartel steadfastly refuse to drop the “Russia meddled in the 2016 election” meme, Dhillon mentioned the experience of fellow summit attendee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) being de-platformed by Twitter. “I’m very concerned that they affected the outcome of the 2018 election. And if we let them do . . . what they’ve been doing, it’s going to affect the outcome of the 2020 election as well,” Dhillon said.
President Trump replied: “And what Harmeet said is . . . so true. . . . It’s a collusion between the Democrats and the media and social media and these platforms.”
You’ll never read that remark in the mainstream press, nor much, if anything, about President Trump using this summit as a platform to take some well-deserved personal swipes at the violent antifa anti-free speech domestic militants and cite his executive order to take federal funds away from colleges and universities that routinely ban conservative speech.
Trump also welcomed Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action. Ms. Rose remarked: “We have been, for four years, banned from doing any advertising on Twitter. And they told us that, in order to reinstate our accounts, we’d have to stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and stop sharing our pro-life content. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups continue to advertise.
“Last month, we were permanently suspended from Pinterest, and they accused us of spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation with our pro-life content, with no evidence. And then, news media groups picked up the narrative and spread it around. Meanwhile, abortion groups, including abortion clinics, post freely on Pinterest.”
She added that YouTube “buried our pro-life videos and boosted pro-abortion videos.”
To be sure, the conservative-alternative journalists who were invited to the summit—including hidden-camera expert James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, “right-wing” cartoonist Ben Garrison, noted grassroots Twitter user @CarpeDonktum and assorted bloggers who believe in the cryptic, anonymous QAnon Internet phenomenon— aren’t necessarily ideal choices for information. However, the summit amplified one of Trump’s best achievements—identifying the orthodox media and its social media allies as enemies of Americans’ constitutional rights.
Calling the summit “historic,” Trump added: “Never before have so many online journalists and influencers—and that’s exactly what you are—come together in this building to discuss the future of social media. Each of you is fulfilling a vital role. . . . You’re challenging the media gatekeepers and the corporate censors to bring the facts straight to the American people.”
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful comments and story ideas at [email protected]