by Daniel Carter
Anyone who dares to publicly challenge the mainstream/leftist narrative is at risk of having their speech silenced by large and powerful private institutions. This silencing can take the form of demonetization, shadow bans or actual bans on the various social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Public figures like Jordan Peterson, Steven Crowder, Sargon of Akkad, Tommy Robinson, Milo Yiannopoulos and many others have had their speech restricted by these large technology companies.
As an advocate of free markets, I have often rejected the idea of asking the government to interfere with someone’s private property. Therefore, it would be against my principles to use the government’s force against corporations, even though they are curtailing individuals’ speech and expression. In theory, if these companies were exposed to market forces for a long enough time, their bad practices would eventually lead them to lose profit or be put out of business by more ethical companies.
However, a company like Google has blurred the line between private corporation and public institution. For example, Google has had contracts with the Department of Defense for several years in which they provide the DoD with mobile communication technology.
Google has a much closer relationship to government than just some contracts with the Department of Defense. Google spent more than $18 million to lobby Congress in 2017, which was more than any other company. One of their main lobbying focuses was on antitrust, which basically means they are paying government to not break up their near-monopoly.
Having incredible political power is nothing new to Google. The origins of the company may be most shocking to the millions of people that use their wide array of products and services. In the mid 1990’s, the US intelligence wanted to take advantage of the boom in internet technology by tracking individuals in cyberspace. The rise of modern mass-surveillance was helped when the intel community gave the founders of Google a large grant to aid them in their research and development of their search technology. If it wasn’t for this grant, Google might have never grown to what it is today.
This evidence raises the question of whether Google is a private or public institution. They got their start with CIA and NSA funding. They make large profits by doing business with government institutions such as the DoD. They also spend millions of dollars per year to shape legislation in their favor. They have used the government’s power to shield themselves from market competition. So, should they be treated like a private company? I think not.
Because Google acts more as a public institution rather than a private company, it should be subject to the same laws as our government. That means no more demonetizations, shadow bans or actual bans of people they disagree with. The freedom of speech and expression shall not be infringed. This should apply to any other tech company that wants to blur the line between government and business as well. If you use the government to game the system, you should be treated like the government.
Governments and large corporations have enough power as it is. Since the two have become increasingly mixed, we have fallen deeper and deeper into tyranny. Thinking of these so-called private companies as public entities may be the key to reigning in their power. If they choose to violate our rights, we should have the power of the US Constitution behind us.