We are witnessing storm troopers in cyber-space “pulling the plug” on those whose voices they refuse to tolerate. Two personal experiences of such censorship—both of which relate to The Imaginative Conservative itself—will suffice to illustrate the trend…

censorshipThe interference of Google and Facebook in the recent Irish referendum on abortion raises serious concerns about the way in which the social media giants are orchestrating a war on free speech. During the Irish referendum the pro-life voice was effectively silenced by the mainstream media, ensuring that the Irish voters were getting just one side of the story. In such a situation, pro-lifers relied on social media platforms to enter the debate and put their case. Then, two weeks before the crucial vote, Google and Facebook pulled the plug on free speech by banning the pro-life message. According to K. V. Turley, in an excellent essay about the Irish referendum, “a pro-abortion source openly admitted that… ‘pressure’ was applied to the tech giants,” adding that the “pulling of the plug” on pro-life Internet advertising was “a devastating blow to the ‘No’ campaign, thereby crippling its ability to reach voters directly.”*

It is unlikely that CNN or MSNBC will be conducting an endless witch-hunt against top executives at Google or Facebook, demanding an explanation for their interference in the democratic process in Ireland, nor will they be demanding an inquiry into “election interference” by tech-giants. After all, Ireland is not really our concern and nothing like that could happen here in the land of the free.

Not so. In the past few months, there has been an ominous increase in censorship of dissident political voices. Two personal experiences of such censorship will suffice to illustrate the trend. Significantly both instances of censorship relate to The Imaginative Conservative itself.

First, several weeks ago, I noticed that The Imaginative Conservative suddenly disappeared from the list of “top sites,” which appears automatically when I open a new tab in Internet Explorer. Ever since then, even though The Imaginative Conservative is indubitably one of the top sites I visit, I have not had the convenience of being able to simply click on the icon to get to the site. Every time it is necessary to type in the address. It is difficult to see this as anything but an attempt by those who pull the strings at Microsoft to interfere with the freedom of its users to browse politically “incorrect” websites. On the other hand, as a self-confessed technoramus, I was telling myself that it was possible that I had simply done something accidentally which had erased The Imaginative Conservative from the list of “top sites.” Perhaps, I should give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt.

Then, on May 28, while staying at a Wyndham hotel in Atlanta, my efforts to go the The Imaginative Conservative were blocked on the grounds that the site could contain offensive content. The system that blocked the content was SiteKiosk, described as “a kiosk software for Windows designed to lock down public access Devices.” Considering that The Imaginative Conservative had been banned by SiteKiosk, presumably with the corporate support and blessing of Wyndham Hotels, I thought I’d see what other sites might be blocked as being “offensive.” I had no problem going to the Communist Party USA’s website, indicating that corporate America and global tech companies are more comfortable with Marxist content than they are with imaginative conservatism. I then typed in the words “queer power” and was taken to radfag.com, the website of a group calling itself “Radical Faggot.” This content was also considered not offensive and certainly not as big a threat to corporate hotel chains and global corporations as the musings of Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Bradley J. Birzer, and Russell Kirk.

If ever we needed practical evidence that Big Brother and Big Business are very comfortable bedfellows this manifestation of cyber-censorship should suffice. Such corporate endorsement of political censorship should also shake the faith of those who still hold to the naïve belief that Marx and Mammon are enemies.

Marx and Mammon share the same philosophical materialism. They share the same secularism. They share the same disdain for national barriers, seeking a globalist world order in which capital and labour can move freely, unimpaired and unheeded by the will of local or national communities. They also share the same contempt for genuine free speech, seeking to silence dissident voices.

The diabolical record of secularism with regard to free speech and democratic values speaks for itself. From the French Revolution to the Russian Revolution, millions of dissidents have been sacrificed on the altars of ideology. Socialists, whether of the national or the international variety, have murdered dissidents on a scale that would have been unthinkable to earlier generations. And now, in the age of the World Wide Web, we are witnessing storm troopers in cyber-space “pulling the plug” on those whose voices they refuse to tolerate. If something is not done to protect freedom of speech on the internet we will be entering a new reign of intolerance in which only “approved” sites will be accessible. If such a scenario comes to pass, we will all be enslaved by a World Wide Web controlled by faceless fascists possessing spiderlike power to paralyze those in their grasp. It is a dystopian nightmare that can only be avoided if we see it coming and take action to resist its power.

*”Ireland Elects to Annihilate Its Future,” Crisis Magazine (May 2018)

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