Alex Bruesewitz, The rise of social media has been one of the most powerful technological advances in world history.
It has given a voice to the voiceless, a platform to every person across the globe, and a forum to those without a space to share their thoughts – from the small farmer in a third world country, to the President of the United States. With the click of a button, anyone – world leaders, activists, news outlets, and the average user – has the power to transmit the latest, bleeding-edge information, ideas, and news instantaneously.
But over the last few years, as social media has risen as the world’s premier platform for communication, so too has it risen as the world’s premier censor. Individual social media companies have increasingly blurred the lines of competition with big corporations – and Big Tech has morphed into an oligarchy of opinion with a monopoly on free speech.
The four most popular social media sites of the last decade (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram) are all owned by Facebook. Microsoft owns #6 ranked Skype, Google owns #9 ranked YouTube, and Twitter, owned by its parent company of the same name, comes in at #10. Facebook alone supports over 1 billion active users across the globe – while the other companies represent billions more. Meanwhile, Amazon and Google reign supreme over the rest of the internet – including its search engines and ads.
This small coalition of Big Tech giants controls virtually every iota of online discourse: what can be said, who can be heard, and whether it can be seen at all. And as their total monopoly over social media solidifies, they have only grown more emboldened in their efforts to bend public discourse to their will.
In the last year alone, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram banned President Trump from their platforms. Apple, Amazon, and Google removed conservative social media site Parler from their app stores. The platforms censored damaging stories about liberal candidates, demonetized conservative news outlets, and manipulated search algorithms to promote their social and political objectives. This week’s hearing of Facebook Oversight’s Board—and their ultimate decision to continue banning President Trump’s access—shows just how cancerous Big Tech’s censorship truly is.
Big Tech is systematically manipulating social media to shape our values, our opinions, and our politics. From an Ivory Tower in Silicon Valley, Big Tech executives are deciding every day how every American should feel about every issue – and punishing those who don’t fall in line. Never mind the disturbing bias against conservatives: what’s truly terrifying about this trend are the consequences it will have, both on our Constitutional rights and on the future of our society.
For the sake of free speech and democracy, America is in desperate need of a competing platform that enables a truly free exchange of ideas, without bias and without indoctrination. This week, President Trump announced a new, one-way platform— “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump”—to begin re-establishing his communication with Americans. It’s a fantastic start—but there is also potentially an even greater opportunity if the President chooses to create an another platform that allows for a free-flowing, open marketplace of ideas from every single person.
In the fight against the woke Big Tech monopolies, cancel culture mobs, and liberal propaganda, President Trump has the unique opportunity of creation a platform that will win by:
Ensuring a free-flowing, wide-ranging, open marketplace of opinions. Violence and hate shouldn’t be tolerated – but the platform must always ensure no one will ever be cancelled or kicked off because of their opinion.
Ending selective content curation, shadow banning, and stopping censorship altogether. Every thought, belief, and idea will be given the exact same exposure as the next.
Banning the Chinese Communist Party—and other authoritarian regimes—from influencing or participating in the platform.
Without President Trump’s intervention, free speech – one of this nation’s founding values – will be obliterated. Public discourse will be constrained to the woke ideals of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. And our entire society will be subject to the kind of dystopian thought policing of Orwell’s 1984. It’s time for free speech to truly be free—and President Trump’s social media savvy, combined with his new platform, is the key to unlocking the power that it holds once again.