Thursday, July 8, 2021

Total Commitment in the War Against Big Tech


Friends, my latest article lays out the stakes involved in conservatives' bitter struggle against Big Tech.  I argue that the contest could prove existential for our side -- in other words, if Big Tech gets its way, conservatism as we know it will simply cease to exist.  I also argue that it's time for us to consider adopting unconventional tactics, like making common cause with certain leftists.  Read all about it below, or wait for it to appear at American Greatness.

The Battle Against Big Tech is an Existential Fight for Conservatives

For Big Tech billionaires, these are the best of times, and these are the worst of times.

Why the best? Because the long arm of social media and online commerce has never reached further and deeper into Americans' culture, spending habits, lifestyles, and worldview. Likewise, the net worth of these billionaires has risen to undreamed-of heights. COVID was, for these tech barons, a blessing in disguise: it trapped Americans indoors, where they could do little else but browse the web, consume digital entertainment, and spend their stimulus dollars on imported Chinese doohickeys. Even as the dreaded virus has retreated, Big Tech has successfully locked in its gains.

Why the worst of times, though? The very rise of Big Tech has portended greater scrutiny. The debasement of Big Tech's competitors and natural enemies – from brick-and-mortar stores to Trump supporters – has ensured that the drumbeat of criticism of social media companies and online retailers has never been more stridently percussive.

The fruits of this anti-Big Tech fury are evident in polls, which show that Americans doubt the wisdom of censorship and deplatforming, and they would like social media companies to “abide by the First Amendment” and “provide free speech guarantees to their users”. Amazon, meanwhile, gets a relative pass from ordinary Americans, 72% of whom still view the retailing behemoth favorably. Twitter, by contrast, at 37% favorability, is down in Nancy Pelosi territory.

The headwinds for Big Tech go far beyond public attitudes. Politicians are taking, or planning, a range of measures to tackle these companies' perceived depredations. Democrats are advancing a series of bills in the House to strengthen anti-trust laws with an eye to encouraging the breakup of online monopolies. Republicans are proposing similar bills, but with an emphasis on guaranteeing conservatives access to online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Similarly, many states are pondering, or have already passed, comprehensive bills designed to punish Big Tech's campaigns of censorship. Florida's landmark bill, though, has already been subjected to a federal injunction. Even foreign governments are getting in on the act, with Poland and Hungary seeking to require social media companies to respect free speech.

Donald Trump, the most famous victim of Big Tech's highly selective penchant for deplatforming, has joined the fray, most recently with a major class action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google, which owns YouTube. All of these platforms banned the sitting President of the United States after the Capitol Riot on January 6th. Trump made statements during and after the riot that, while not advocating lawlessness, these social media companies viewed as insufficiently condemnatory. Problematic, of course, is their comparative disinterest in silencing or punishing any of the many leftist voices which gave aid and comfort to the much deadlier and more destructive anti-police rioters in the summer of 2020.

Will any of these legislative or legal strategies work? That remains to be seen, but it's evident that they haven't yet forced these social media titans to budge. Facebook's Oversight Board recently approved of the company's ban on Trump, and Facebook will not even consider rescinding it until after the 2022 elections.

Despite the failure, thus far, of these multi-pronged efforts to bring Big Tech to heel, conservatives must remain vigilant, and if at all possible they must find new fronts on which to attack. The reason is simple: social media platforms increasingly control, or at the very least mediate, public discourse. Conservatives, moreover, cannot win any debate in which they are forbidden to participate. Therefore, the baleful precedent recently established for the censoring and outright banning of mostly conservative voices must be overturned, before these tactics proliferate and online speech becomes a monologue reaffirming leftist values and principles.

In this light, conservatives should consider how isolated they have already become. They are an endangered species in all sectors of our education system. They are a besieged minority in Hollywood and in our popular culture in general, which is saturated with leftist messaging, by contrast. Neo-Marxists rule over an increasing number of corporate boardrooms, while shareholder meetings and corporate HR departments have become social engineering laboratories. The relentless negativity that the mainstream media spews in the direction of conservatives is now accepted as the primary duty of “woke” journalists.

Given this bleak cultural landscape for conservatives, the relative success of conservatives in sharing their viewpoints, and in articulating a counter-narrative to the America-hating, race-baiting socialism of the Left, via social media – think of the legions of new voters recruited by President Trump – is the very reason why Big Tech is so keen now to silence us, once and for all. There are only so many major institutions that we can afford to be frozen out of, however, before the majority of Americans simply lose touch with the conservative point of view, and they begin to believe the demoniacal images of conservatives peddled by our left-leaning thought-masters by default.

Now is the time, therefore, for conservatives to intensify the struggle against Big Tech, and to pressure these companies to reverse their campaigns of censorship and deplatforming. We must do so, in fact, with a fervor borne of desperation – as though our very (political) lives depend on it, because they do!

It may also be time for conservatives to make some strategic alliances with certain leftists, who want to break up Big Tech companies on anti-trust grounds. We may not agree with these radicals' anti-capitalist rationale, but we must ask ourselves: can a social media landscape dominated by a few major corporations led by inveterate and outspoken leftists ever be compelled, by public pressure, legislation, or legal action, to treat conservatives fairly and equitably? Or, would the splintering of these companies serve democracy and free speech better, by creating a multitude of smaller technology companies, some of which would inevitably seek to ingratiate themselves with a liberty-loving customer base?

My own view is that the moral and political calculus has become remarkably simple: whatever harms Big Tech will, inevitably, help conservatives, free speech, and, thus, America.

I say, therefore: Down with Big Tech! Down with Facebook! Down with Twitter! Down with YouTube!

Let us not rest until these companies are no more, and a gaggle of smaller and less menacing successor companies have taken their place.

Let Facebook, for instance, become Redbook and Bluebook (and possibly Purplebook, for good measure). At least then we conservatives won't be left out in the cold.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred, and blogs at: He appears on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.


And here it is at American Greatness: 




In other news, the Supreme Court has numerous opportunities upcoming to make history by reversing pernicious precedents that legitimize forms of infanticide, the denial of Americans' right to keep and bear arms, and reverse discriminationWill they answer the call? 

Once again, a major teachers union is getting tangled up in the controversy over "CRT" and whether it is, or should be, taught in our public schools.  The semantics are getting tiresome, I must say, but the substantive issues involved couldn't be more central to our nation's and our children's future.


  1. Big Tech in The United States of America (actually globally) is the new (and more sinister) version of The Organs of State Security in the former Soviet Union. Reminds me of aspects of The Reich Security Main Office in Hitler's Germany. Perhaps an exaggeration, but I don't think so. Lots and lots of data collected on millions and millions of people, means lots of control, and power, and money. The original intent of social media may well have been primarily to meet new friends and all that. However, things have gone way beyond that. Nevertheless, Bib Tech is here to stay in some form or other. Also, right-wing sites can and will kick you off if you start expressing ideas contrary to their ideological stance. A rigged game to be sure. My advice to anyone, is how important is it to have a Twitter or Facebook account?

  2. Dr.Waddy from Jack: I completely agree with both your reasoning and your conclusions on this issue (big tech). You have opened my eyes on this.Gads, the left is such a consummate threat!

  3. Interesting, Ray. You're right that deplatforming is not a (left-wing) Big Tech "monopoly", so to speak. Right-wing sites do it, too. Do you know of any close-to-home examples?

    How important is it to have a Twitter or Facebook account? I find Twitter entirely useless. Facebook I find valuable on a purely social level. I'm not a politician, though. If I were in the public eye, ALL these platforms might well be indispensible!

    1. Dr. Nick

      For starters, I recall TownHall and National Review being real good at "erasing" comments those sites didn't like. If your comments were too Left, the site administrator would warn you, and if you persisted you were barred from commenting, permanently in some cases. And yet those same sites would permit "party liners" to attack you using profanity, without any penalty. I tested the system out many years ago, and both Left and Right sites are really stinky mean about getting rid of opinions that conflict with whatever ideology is being peddled.

  4. Dr.Waddy from Jack: Scotus: These are going to be dramatic days! I expect we will get some big wins and maybe some incomplete wins and even setbacks all because this Scotus will follow the rule of law. I eagerly anticipate the court slapping down Cuomoesque contempt for lawful gun owners in a perhaps very major gun rights suit it is considering, brought by the NY State Pistol and Rifle Association. What I would hope for is a sweeping condemnation ofNY government's consummate hostility to lawful gun owners and their Constitutional rights. We will see: the decision should come soon . I wonder how long it will take President Trump's class action suit to get to Scotus? I completely agree, it is exceedingly important! Donald Trump continues to use his political and personal capital to serve the real America as has no one in the past except for a close second by Ronald Reagan(who was of course our greatest foreign policy President for having concentrated American resolve which was a major factor in the collapse of Soviet Communism).

  5. Ray, that's interesting. I had no idea. I almost never comment anywhere...except here. At WaddyIsRight we have a truly open dialogue, as you know. I mean, we haven't banned Ray -- the ultimate troublemaker...

    Jack, a definitive ruling in favor of the right to keep and bear arms would be terrific, but it's hard to anticipate all the ingenious ways that lefties will try to undermine gun rights. We will always be fending them off, to some extent.

    As for Trump's lawsuit, I don't entirely understand its rationale. I guess it's essentially a civil suit alleging violation of his First Amendment rights? I don't rate his chances of victory especially highly, but at the very least he'll force Big Tech to air its (ludicrous) "standards" for censorship and deplatforming. The more they have to squirm on the hot seat, the better.

  6. Dr.Waddy from Jack: Some leftists will remain reflexively scornfulof gun owners because of their visceral coastal repugnance for the culture of the real America, which embraces the freedom of . . . CHOICE! (yes lefties)to use or not use firearms for whatever use free, lawful and responsible citizens CHOOSE to exercise. And our chosen use of a machine is incomparable to your leftist insistence on right of choice to still beating infant hearts at your pleasure). The political animals among them , if they note their elitist crusade against our NRA, our Second Amendment and our natural law right to do what we damn well please unless it imposes wrong on others, is backfiring big time, may give up, aside from guerrilla tactics in strongholds like NY, if they see their efforts strengthening gun owner's organized resolve.NRA membership climbs whenever a national threat to our rights appears ( eg any leftist in a national position to attack us: Schumer, Pelosi, Biden , NY's Cuomo supported Attorney General, (who purposes yet national very affirmative diminution of gunowners' rights). Sales of guns and ammunition have soared since Biden, Pelosi and Schumer ascended!Gun owners cost Clinton his Congress and Gore the White House. Someday soon their leaders may grudgingly recognize the power, if not the popular justice, of the real America they so disdain! A dominant, common sense, rule of law respecting, Scotus, may help to persuade them soon even.

  7. The funny thing, Jack, is that for a while lefties had figured out that gun owners' wrath wasn't worth incurring. They had practically given up on the issue, and gun rights were expanding in most jurisdictions. The lessons of history are soon forgotten, though, and now the Left is convinced that we conservatives are wheezing our final breath, and the workers' paradise is nigh! It falls on us to give them a rude reminder of our staying power.

  8. Dr.Waddy from Jack: We empowered Donald Trump over leftist Hillary and he empowered a dominantly law abiding Scotus. And I am confident that court will teach the doctrinally totalitarian American left lesson in esential American democracy!

  9. I hope so, Jack! It seems doubtful that the courts will stifle the states' efforts to promote election integrity, much as the Dems will fume about it. A ruling upholding the exclusive right of state legislatures to regulate elections would be most welcome!