FCC Chair: Twitter, YouTube Threatening 'Free & Open Internet' By Censoring Conservatives

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Nov. 29, 2017

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday that big tech companies like Google and Twitter which censor and ban conservatives on their platforms are "a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint."

Is Ajit Pai /our guy/?

From Breitbart:
In his speech on Net Neutrality reform today, FCC chairman Ajit Pai called out Twitter, YouTube and other Silicon Valley giants for their long track record of censoring conservative viewpoints. Pai specifically called out a number of big tech companies, including Twitter, for opposing Net Neutrality reform on the grounds that it threatens a "free and open internet," while engaging in widespread censorship on their own platforms.

"I love Twitter, and I use it all the time" said Pai. "But let's not kid ourselves; when it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate."

In further comments, the FCC chairman specifically called out the censorship of Rep. Marsha Blackburn's pro-life ad, which was blocked by Twitter for "inflammatory speech."
Two months ago, Twitter blocked Representative Marsha Blackburn from advertising her Senate campaign launch video because it featured a pro-life message. Before that, during the so-called Day of Action, Twitter warned users that a link to a statement by one company on the topic of Internet regulation "may be unsafe."
Pai also called attention to Twitter's "double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users' accounts as opposed to those of liberal users," an issue which has been extensively documented by Breitbart Tech over the past two years.

Stating that Twitter is "not an outlier," the FCC chairman also drew attention to YouTube's decision to censor videos from conservative commentator Dennis Prager. Prager is currently suing Google and YouTube over their decision to censor his videos.

Pai continued through a list of examples of content-blocking on the part of big tech companies, including app stores banning apps from "cigar aficionados" because they are "perceived to promote tobacco use," online platforms secretly editing users' comments (Reddit's CEO has admitted to doing this), and the use of opaque algorithms to decide what users can or cannot see.

[...]Pai concluded by declaring web companies to be "a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint."

He also cited the comments of the CEO of Cloudflare, made after his company helped kick a neo-Nazi website off the internet, in which he stated that "what I know is not the right answer is that a cabal of ten tech executives with names like Matthew, Mark, Jack, . . . Jeff are the ones choosing what content goes online and what content doesn't go online."

Although the FCC chairman delivered these remarks in the context of Net Neutrality reform as opposed to the regulation of big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, his comments represent one of the strongest repudiations of Silicon Valley made by the Trump administration so far.

The examples highlighted by Pai, including Twitter's censorship and de-verification of conservatives, YouTube's censorship of Dennis Prager, the tech elite's war on user comments, and Cloudflare's controversial decision to help remove a website from the internet, have all been covered extensively by Breitbart Tech. The steady growth of Silicon Valley's political censorship is a topic that, more than any other, has been at the forefront of our coverage since this vertical was founded two years ago. With the FCC now calling them out as well, Silicon Valley's day of reckoning appears to be drawing closer.
All you need to know about phony "net neutrality" is the most evil companies on the planet all support it. The greatest threats to internet freedom are Google (who owns YouTube), Facebook and Twitter. The liberal boogeyman concept of a future world where free speech is censored by the megacorporations that control the internet is already a reality for right-wingers and these three companies are leading the charge.



Actual neutrality on the part of these companies should be enshrined into law. These companies are the modern equivalent of the public commons and they should be forced to protect free speech. This "net neutrality" scheme they're pushing is about cementing their power and halting further innovation, which they view as a threat.

As Pai told Reason last week:
Pai stressed that regulating the Internet under a Title II framework originally created in the 1930s had led to less investment in infrastructure and a slower rate of innovation. "Since the dawn of the commercial internet, ISPs have been investing as much as they can in networks in order to upgrade their facilities and to compete with each other," he says. "Outside of a recession we've never seen that sort of investment go down year over year. But we did in 2015, after these regulations were adopted." In a Wall Street Journal column published today, Pai says Title II was responsible for a nearly 6 percent decline in broadband network investment as ISPs saw compliance costs rise and the regulatory atmosphere become uncertain. In his interview with Reason, Pai stressed that the real losers under Net Neutrality were people living in rural areas and low-income Americans who were stuck on the bad end of "the digital divide."

Proponents of Net Neutrality maintain that rules that went into effect in 2015 are the only thing standing between rapacious businesses such as Comcast, Verizon (where Pai once worked), and Spectrum and an Internet choking on throttled traffic, expensive "fast lanes," and completely blocked sites that displease whatever corporate entity controls the last mile of fiber into your home or business. Pai says that is bunk and noted that today's proposed changes, which are expected to pass full FCC review in mid-December, return the Internet to the light-touch regulatory regime that governed it from the mid-1990s until 2015.

"It's telling that the first investigations that the prior FCC initiated under these so-called Net Neutrality rules were involving free data offerings," says Pai, pointing toward actions initiated by his predecessor against "zero-rating" services such as T-Mobile's Binge program, which didn't count data used to stream Netflix, Spotify, and a host of other services against a customer's monthly data allowance. "To me it's just absurd to say that the government should stand in the way of consumers who want to get, and companies that want to provide, free data."
That was the only scenario they could find to justify their boogeyman BS.



We can point to actual censorship, such as websites being banned off the internet with their domain being seized and put into a perpetual limbo by Google over their speech. We can point to tons of people seeing their YouTube pages demonetized and outright banned, their Paypal accounts closed, their Twitter and Facebook accounts suspended and banned, their websites deranked in Google search or banned from Google News and even their Lyft and Uber accounts closed for their political views. All the left can point to is people being given free data.

We're living in the corporate-controlled boogeyman world liberals used to fear, yet now they're cheering it on and demanding the censorship be expanded.



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