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Tags: big tech | censorship | intermarium | eastern europe

Fighting Big Tech Censorship in Eastern Europe

illustration of an at symbol with a face on it and its mouth covered

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz By Friday, 05 February 2021 08:23 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Big Tech threatens our freedom of speech. It lords it over our lives, locking us out, shutting down our profiles, and impeding our virtual business or political operations at will. Regular folks fight back by leaving tyrannizing platforms; techies and alt-venture capitalists by setting up alternative media venues; and states, like Florida, Iowa, and North Dakota, by passing legislation that would end the Big Tech impunity and penalize its hubris.

Guess what? Big Tech treats many outside of the U.S. in a similar manner, perhaps even worse. At home, it is constrained by the Constitution and public opinion, at least to a certain extent. Abroad, Big Tech differentiates between the rich and powerful, on the one hand, and the poor and weak, on the other.

This really means that Facegootwittdom tackles differently wealthy tyrannies than developing democracies, for instance. Consequently, it fawns on China, Saudi Arabia and other such states, because of present and future profits. However, elsewhere, it behaves with pushy impunity.

Until recently, Facegootwittdom positively has lorded it over the underdog states in the Intermarium, like Poland. In the process, Big Tech shoves its toxic woke ideology down everyone's throats. Examples abound.

Poland's Rothbardian politician Janusz Korwin Mikke was kicked off permanently from Facebook, leaving his 900,000 followers in shock. Google removed "I believe: A Catholic Magazine" from it's search engine. YouTube suspended Polonia Christiana TV for intending to screen a documentary about an affirmative stance on traditional marriage.

A Catholic hospice for children, run by the Franciscan Brothers, had its application for placing adds denied by Facebook as "inappropriate." The very same Facebook failed to show vigilance for a long time when a Polish con-man set up a fake account full of pictures of sick children illicitly to solicit donations. That effort was secular so it escaped the scrutiny of cyber-censors for a long time. Fortunately, the local law enforcement reacted soon and the offender is serving time.

A Polish journalist friend of mine told me about the travails of his own paper, It's the Highest Time! When his libertarian conservative news website started getting over 3.5 million individual visits per month (that is nearly 10% of the nation's population), Google demonetized it.

To object to anonymous injustice, a conservative-libertarian picket periodically demonstrates in front of the headquarters of Facebook in Warsaw.

Since such abuse has become quite ubiquitous, the Polish government has undertaken several steps. First, it subsidized a private business connected to a populist daily to set up the nation's own internet venture, Albicla, which, alas, proved to be a disappointment ridden by cyberbugs.

Second, more felicitously, the Ministry of Justice has introduced new legislation in the Parliament, proposing to fine Big Tech $2 million  for each violation of  freedom of speech. Facegootwittdom will thus be fined for each post it censors. The message is clear: If Big Tech wants to operate in the Intermarium, it must abide by its laws. No one is above the law.

Hungary has followed Poland's suit. Budapest vows to introduce an appropriate law to rein in Big Tech and to create the nation's own social media. Intermarium's governments and folks are fighting back. In the process, they also oppose leftist cancel culture.

Yet it is obvious that cancel culture would be impossible without the collusion, and perhaps inspiration, of  Big Tech. Its high point came, of course, when social media platforms Twitter and Facebook booted President Donald Trump from them. Banning him was both a crowning achievement and a brazen replication at the highest level of the sanctions previously applied to millions of average social media users, including hundreds of thousands of businesses globally.

This was a logical outcome of an increasingly monocultural trajectory of the degeneration of Big Tech toward a nightmarish reality envisioned by George Orwell. This must stop for freedom's sake.

Always ready to fish in murky waters, Russia winks to the Intermarium and announces that it is ready to disconnect itself from the global net because it has its own cyberinfrastructure. Moscow implies that it would welcome others to join its cyber grid. Aleksandr Lukashenka darkly warns about a cyberplot to destroy traditional media and, thus, he "predicts" that the internet will have to wither away.

That is why we need freedom-loving American social media like Parler, Gab, DuckDuckGo, and other such outfits to expand to the Intermarium to provide a salubrious alternative to Facegootwittdom and to deny cyberspace to Vladimir Putin and his allies.

Like during the Cold War, America should assist freedom fighters resisting a radical ideology and its purveyors, now in cyberspace. Freedom of speech is at the stake once again.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is Professor of History at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school of statecraft in Washington D.C.; expert on East-Central Europe's Three Seas region; author, among others, of "Intermarium: The Land Between The Baltic and Black Seas." Read Marek Jan Chodakiewicz's Reports — More Here.

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Big Tech threatens our freedom of speech. It lords it over our lives, locking us out, shutting down our profiles, and impeding our virtual business or political operations at will.
big tech, censorship, intermarium, eastern europe
Friday, 05 February 2021 08:23 AM
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