Monday, June 21, 2021

The Case for Compensatory Damages From Big Tech’s Partisan Censorship

fter serving in the U.S. Army for more than a decade, I started a media company from my truck with a cell phone. What started as flippant rants I would post on social media turned into a media enterprise that has raked up more than 1 billion views across platforms and has allowed me to become a successful American small business and job creator. Sadly, Big Tech’s partisan censorship is jeopardizing my business and has robbed me of income. I am not the only one, and Big Tech should now be held accountable.

In today’s hyper-partisan political environment, companies like Facebook and Google have stepped in as the self-appointed arbiters of truth and fact. However, in doing so, they have infringed on the First Amendment and cheated American entrepreneurs out of millions—maybe billions.

Media businesses like mine produce content, mostly in the form of videos and podcasts. We generate income from platforms like Facebook and Google (YouTube) who sell advertisers' ad placement on our content. Before or during one of my rants on Facebook or podcasts on YouTube you may be served an advertisement.

These ads sometimes come in the form of a banner ad and sometimes in the form of a video. This is one way how Big Tech makes money and it is also how content creators like myself make a living.

Sadly, for those of us who are right-of-center, we don’t just have to compete with other creators who are going after the same viewers, we must navigate around Silicon Valley’s secret arbiters of permissible truth.

We do not know much—if anything—about these people, but they get to decide what is “true.” They also have the power to decide what violates their ever-shifting Community Guidelines by applying labels like, “Misleading,” “Missing Context,” and “False.”

If creators are flagged too many times as failing to meet Community Guidelines, they are demonetized. That means they are prevented from making money from their content. The platforms’ algorithms then kick in to suppress the reach of their message. The result: fewer “Likes” and fewer “Shares.” 

So, creators don’t just suffer monetarily, but their First Amendment Rights are stifled. It is as if you’re standing in the middle of a public square, in front of an audience that you have attracted. When Big Tech decides to pull the plug, the majority of the people who were there can no longer hear you, and you can no longer reach them. You may still be standing, but you cannot be heard.

Now, some may say, “Good! There is enough fake information and scams going around the internet, it shouldn’t be encouraged.”

However, what we are talking about is not like the email scams from a Nigerian Prince promising you a billion dollar inheritance or the “copy and paste this message to stop the world from ending.” Instead, we are talking about debatable topics that benefit from open, honest dialogue.

Over the course of the 2020 election, Big Tech’s partisan censorship resulted in an estimated $200,000-$300,000 in lost revenue for my company due to suspensions and demonetizations. Again, I wasn’t peddling conspiracies, though that’s what they wanted you to think—I was merely asking the questions that the media wouldn’t.

For example, I had the audacity to question the origins of COVID-19. 

While the mainstream media was carrying the water for the World Health Organization and the Chinese Communist Party, I believed it was worth questioning that this emerging strain of the coronavirus, a known infectious disease, could have escaped from the Wuhan Center for Emerging Infectious Disease—especially given its first reported cases were in Wuhan. Most Americans recognized this as reasonable, and that’s why it had so much social engagement—but not Big Tech.

Big Tech labeled it as false disinformation, likely because the propagandists at the WHO and CCP deemed it as so. My account was censored. Now, more than a year later, Big Tech is allowing those same questions. Why? Because they have been exposed as legitimate.

I also questioned the effectiveness of masks—not because I hate masks, but because there was legitimate research arguing they weren’t effective. I also doubted Anthony Fauci and, like President Trump, believed there was evidence to support the benefits of Zinc and Hydroxychloroquine as treatments to the disease.

We now know from released emails that Fauci was regularly lying from the podium, masks weren’t as effective as government bureaucrats suggested, and Zinc and Hydroxychloroquine are proving to be extremely effective in the treatment of COVID-19.

I never suggested I was an expert, but I did find it valuable to explore the research and science put forth by scientists and experts that ran contrary to the mainstream narratives. For this, like many others, I was punished and censored.

It wasn’t just me who suffered, it was my family, my editors, and my social media managers who also relied on this income. But more important even than money, was the infringement of our Freedom of Speech. 

Big Tech’s censorship and its prohibition on certain thoughts made our communities less safe, it made America and the world less safe, and it compromised the very foundation of this free Republic.

The damages suffered by content creators and everyday Americans are real and Big Tech companies deserve to be held responsible. I plan on doing just that, whether it be in the courtroom or on the floor of the United State House of Representatives.


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