In January 2018, Senator Ted Cruz grilled representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube over their overt censorship of Independent and conservative users, providing multiple examples of that censorship, showing it was almost entirely enacted against those that lean right of the political aisle.
Cruz prefaced his direct and pointed questions by forcing these representatives to answer one simple question, which was "Do you consider your companies to be neutral public forums?" Despite attempts to not directly answer the question with a simple yes or no, two of the companies finally had to claim they were, and the third simply answered 'yes' before Cruz moved on to provide evidence that they were indeed censoring conservative content.
By the end of their interactions, Cruz stated the pattern he noted in the examples he offered was "highly disturbing" and then he highlighted his original question, then pointed out that "If you are a neutral public forum that does not allow for political editorializing and censorship, and if you are not a neutral public forum, the entire predicate for liability immunity under the CDA is claiming to be a neutral public forum, so you can't have it both ways.
LIABILITY IMMUNITY PROTECTIONS
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides liability immunity for website owners, such as Google's YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, that publish content provided by others, whether it is commentary in discussion forums or comment sections, or Twitter feeds, or articles shared on a platform such as Facebook, or a video uploaded to YouTube.
Those services are offered immunity from liability only if they are a "neutral conduit," which is why Cruz specifically highlighted their claim with his beginning question before providing multiple examples of their decisions showing a disturbing "pattern" of censoring conservative opinion.
The reason that is so important is because Section 230 of the CDA does offer sites protection from liability enabling them to remove content, stating they can "restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected," but they preface that by stating it must be done "in good faith."
SINCE THAT JANUARY WARNING CENSORSHIP AGAINST INDEPENDENT MEDIA HAS INTENSIFIED
The censorship by big tech has not only continued unabated, but has increased exponentially since Senator Cruz issued his warning to Twitter, Facebook and Google/YouTube, as we have seen a massive #TwitterLockout, where under the guise of a "bot" purge," thousands upon thousands of "real people," were locked out of their Twitter accounts, and sure enough, the majority of them were conservatives.
That shows Twitter is deliberately targeting one specific ideological group, making it no longer a "neutral conduit" for content and information, instead making it biased to one particular ideology, which under the CDA, is justification to strip them of their liability immunity.
YouTube has been purging dozens of Independent Media content creators, as we have previously reported, with increasing intensity since the Parkland, Florida High school shooting. While YouTube claims many of those purged happened "mistakenly," more Independent Media creators are still being targeted and purged.
Via Verdict we see that Bombard’s Body Language, with 264,000 subscribers received a permanent ban, despite having had no prior "strikes" against its account, after analyzing the behavior of Florida school shooting survivors. YouTube has since restored the account, but demonetized many of their previous videos. David Seaman Online with 161,900 subscribers was purged off of YouTube for his comments on the Florida shooting. Stranger than Fiction News with 150,000 was purged for questioning the official narrative regarding the Florida shooting. Blackstone Intelligence Network with 126,600 was purged after questioning the events documented by surviving students, the media and government officials. Destroying the Illusion has had his channel purged after being given three strikes in four days for sharing information “deemed too sensitive” relating to the Florida shooting. Charles Walton was purged from YouTube after making comments about shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg and members of his family.
Via Breitbart we see that Mike Cernovich has had a video removed showing Antifa thugs chanting death threats, and Google banned political YouTuber Carl Benjamin, better known by his online pseudonym “Sargon of Akkad," and completely locked him out of all his Google accounts without warning. His access was restored after appeal.
On Friday, the Alex Jones channel, with over two million subscribers was blocked from putting up any new content and before that they were blocked from livestreaming the InfoWars shows. The channel habitually uploaded approximately 15-20 videos a day, and a look at the channel at 3pm, Saturday, March 3, 2018, shows nothing has been uploaded for 19 hours.
The Prager University lawsuit against Google/YouTube stems from YouTube putting more than 50 of their educational videos into either restricted mode or demonetizing them.
Back in March 2017, my video channel which ANP used to upload content for certain articles, was put into restricted mode. Not just specific videos, but the entire channel, where if a user has restricted mode set on their browser, all our content disappeared from searches on the video site. Our channel included no incitement to violence, no cursing, no nudity or pornographic content and nothing that violated any of YouTube's terms of service. To this day, our channel is still being censored in restricted mode.
Below is the March video showing how they use this type of back-door censorship.
While the social media, Google, YouTube and big tech censorship escalated after the 2016 presidential election, it is increased in intensity and frequency since the Florida shooting which is being used by big tech to attempt to wipe out Independent Media outlets and personalities that do not conform to their preferred narrative.
CONGRESS MUST ACT by stripping their liability immunity under the CDA because these sites are no longer acting as a "neutral conduit," which is a requirement for them to be able to have said immunity from prosecution.
How to Contact Your Elected Officials - We are calling on Independent News readers to contact their elected officials, tell them to strip any and all liability immunity from Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, because they are not neutral conduits of content.
NOTE TO READERS - If we make it through March when we start seeing the revenue generated by the new ad network, we may just have a chance to turn big techs' bias back against them and come through this stronger, louder and more powerful, together. February 2018 has been the most brutal month yet due to the censorship we have been battling against this past year, so any extra readers may be able to spare for donations is greatly appreciated.