Last Wednesday, Silicon Valley launched its “Day of Action,” a nationwide online protest against the FCC’s plans to roll back Obama’s so-called net neutrality rules. As we’ve reported elsewhere, the rules sound reasonable — to prevent the evil ISP’s from blocking, throttling, and censoring online content.
The only problem for Soros-funded, neo-Marxist groups Free Press and Fight for the Future is that the ISP’s are hardly the major or even worst offenders in this regard. No, it’s Silicon Valley monopolies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon that share the most responsibility for blocking and censoring user content, and — surprise, surprise — they are conveniently exempt from the rules they want to foist on their ISP competitors.
To be clear, we’re hardly ISP fanboys either: Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T do often seem to go out of their way to anger their customers. But there’s often more than meets the eye to the stories of woe one reads about in the biased tech-left media.
Last week for instance, Amie Stepanovich, a woman caring for her sick father shared with Ars Technica, the byzantine nightmare of dealing with Comcast customer service to correct his Comcast account.
Digging into the story further however, the woman let slip that she was also lawyer for a digital rights group called Access Now, a group that just ever so conveniently counts Google as a financial supporter. Soros’ Open Society Foundation is also prominently listed as contributing to the group.
Stepanovich told Ars Technica that she was raising the Comcast problem in “her personal capacity” and not as a Google-paid shill of course. She noted, “I don’t really want to capitalize on his illness…” then proceeded to do precisely that, even pointing out that trying to deal with her father’s customer service woes underscored exactly why we need net neutrality. Pretty brazen stuff using dear old dad’s illness to please your Silicon Valley paymasters.
But the example illustrates a fundamentally critical observation concerning internet policy: Monopolies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are the undisputed masters of online manipulation to serve their purposes. They control the platforms after all and funnel millions to phony “civil society” groups, legal scholars, and academics to do their bidding.
“Don’t look at us,” they say. “Don’t pay attention to the thousands of examples of how we routinely manipulate, block, throttle, and censor online content. No, pay attention to the purely theoretical ways in which our competitors might block, throttle or censor content at some ill-defined point in the future.”
Whether it’s the Ars Technica example above, last week’s explosive story on how Google is paying soft-handed, over-educated, leftist academics millions to gin up phony policy studies that benefit the company, or the manufactured kerfuffle over net neutrality, Silicon Valley increasingly relies on fake news, fake research and even fake comments to push its policy agenda.
Ersatz “civil society” groups like Free Press and Fight for the Future capitalize on Silicon Valley’s control of the medium (as well as its financial and in-kind benevolence) to manufacture synthetic “grassroots” support through lowest common denominator slacktivism campaigns like last week’s “Day of Action.”
The upshot is that the FCC was spammed with millions of fake comments last week from Russia and Pornhub. As a brief aside, here’s a question to noodle on: Can you imagine anyone knowingly submitting a comment into a public proceeding with a pornhub.com domain extension? The idea is ludicrous. And yet, reports are that more than a million people did so. Naturally, mainstream media cricket farms failed to report on the story. Too busy reporting (still) on memes the president's retweets I guess.
The reality is that net neutrality is a lightweight cause, a diversion if you will, from the real, unreported story: Silicon Valley’s absolute dominance and total control of the online mediums we use to communicate, share information, organize, and mobilize. Fortunately, Americans are starting to stir from their digital stupor. They’re beginning to look up glassy-eyed from their iPhones to see more clearly the blatant ways Silicon Valley manipulates, censors, and bans anything that departs from an official narrative that only serves their business interests.
The great danger for them is that after years of pushing for regulation on the other guy, they may suddenly find themselves in regulators’ crosshairs. For Americans who are growing weary of being manipulated, it will be hard to have much sympathy.
Christie-Lee McNally is the founder of Free Our Internet. She was the Maine Statewide Director for Donald J. Trump for President in 2016, is a concealed weapons permit holder, and a USAW Certified Olympic Lifting Coach. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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