Our Views On Big Tech Censorship
The first amendment to the US Constitution prohibits any restriction on the free exercise of religion or speech. Many believe this restriction applies to all, but legally it only applies to state actors--government agencies basically. The first amendment does not apply to privately owned companies. That said, the current tendency toward censorship by many "big tech" companies, particularly social media giants Facebook and Twitter, as well as providers of computing infrastructure and app distribution like Amazon, Apple and Google, is very troubling.
Not only have these companies taken it upon themselves to police the speech of a current US President, but they've also supressed prominent individuals who have criticised their actions. The Foundation for Economic Education recently published an excellent article about Ron Paul's experience after he criticized Facebook and Twitter for banning the President. The article really says everthing that should be said about big tech censorship, and we agree. (Note the update at the top of the article, and how it reeks of Facebook's own form of disinformation.)
Just days ago, I received a call from a personal friend. His Facebook account, and his wife's, were deleted for violating Facebook's community standards. No warning, just complete deletion, with no indication what they wrote or did to deserve it. His clothing brand's Facebook page with over ten thousand followers suddenly no longer existed. I saw all their posts. She was a Trump supporter, and he was a vocal supporter of the second amendement. That's it. That's the kind of speech Facebook is apparently afraid of. If supporting a US President and our Constitution is a violation of Facebook's community standards, their's is a community to which I can no longer belong.
While Facebook as a private company has a right to this practice, it is not good business. For months now I've watched as conservative posts get "fact checked" while liberals are free to post without censorship. Facebook users in large part will likely remain addicted to their platform and blissfully unaware that their personal information is being converted into billions of dollars in profit. I for one have had enough. I've scheduled our MediaServe Facebook page and two other pages I had on Facebook for deletion. I'm turning over a group I run to another person. Within a week or two of the date of this article, I will have deleted my Facebook account. I'm deleting personal and business Twitter accounts as well. I'm no longer going to feed these monsters. We now have a company page on MeWe.
As a private company, we have our own standards regarding what we will or will not host. We specifically prohibit obscenity/pornography and illegal content (i.e. pirated/copyrighted materials). Beyond these reasonable restrictions, we do not feel it necessary or good business to apply idealogical restrictions on our clients for any reason.
While we are owned by a politically conservative/libertarian leaning family, we would never dream of refusing to host content of a politically liberal nature simply because we might not agree with the ideology it expresses. We should all respect the concept of freedom of information, ideas and opinion, regardless of the source. The more information we have, the better. The more we are free to think creatively and imaginatively, the more information we can access to formulate our own conclusions, the better off we and those around us become. Totalitariasm in any form, whether from government or big business, makes us smaller, weaker, dumber and less free.
We have always and will continue to support freedom of religion and speech. 2021 has brought a flurry of questions from potential clients worried about the restrictions that might be placed on them by their big tech providers. We've had the pleasure of helping several of them migrate their web presence to our service (something we do free of charge).
We own our equipment, and we are not reliant on any of the big tech providers that have been suppressing speech of late. Our clients need not worry about their religious or political leanings getting them "deplatformed" by their provider.