Both the U.S. Congress and the Federal Election Commission are now engaged in projects that could negatively affect the world’s foremost purveyors of conservative news.
A new law being pushed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) would make news sites responsible for compiling information on political organizations that spend as little as $500 on ads on those news sites.
“Called the Honest Ads Act, it would force websites to police their site for fake influencers and identify the names and addresses of anybody who spend $500 or more on political ads,” The Washington Examiner said.
That means that a site like Drudge’s, which garners tens of millions of clicks per month and has countless advertisers, would be forced to do an accounting of those advertisers. If the sites do not keep track of the people and organizations behind the ad spends on their sites, they could be subject to criminal punishment. What it boils down to is a government-led effort, supposedly to crack down on foreign propaganda that might influence American elections, which will make it more difficult for news sites to operate. It is, without question, a danger to the First Amendment.
But if you think that’s bad, wait until you hear what Democrat FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub has planned for the 2020 election cycle.
She’s going to gather all of the tech giants together in September to hold a symposium on cracking down on “fake news,” which will surely be defined as “conservative news.”
“The goal of the symposium will be to identify effective policy approaches and practical tools that can minimize the disruption and confusion sown by fraudulent news and propaganda in the 2020 campaign,” Washington Examiner said, quoting POLITICO.
Of course, this can only turn out badly for conservatives, who have been targeted at length by Big Tech, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple, along with other Silicon Valley giants.
Wednesday, we reported comprehensively on Big Tech’s response to President Donald J. Trump’s victory:
Google donates vast sums to leftist candidates, and one of its former engineers is on the record saying that the company is rooting against Trump in 2020. The company’s executives and employees actually cried the day after Trump won in 2016, and said that Trump supporters were filled with “fear, xenophobia, hatred.” But don’t worry, I’m sure they can be trusted to work with the same law enforcement entity whose highest level employees said they would be sure to “stop” Trump from winning in 2016.
And then, of course, there’s Facebook.
“Attendees at Wednesday’s meeting will also discuss plans for better coordination of security efforts between tech companies and government agencies — something that didn’t happen in 2016. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, was leading the meeting, according to a person familiar with the situation,” according to Bloomberg.
The world’s largest social network couldn’t possibly be biased against conservatives, could it? Oh wait. It banned four of Trump’s top influencers in May: Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, and Paul Joseph Watson, labeling them as “dangerous,” while terror group ISIS operates openly on Facebook’s subsidiary, Instagram.
But what about Twitter? That platform is fair to conservatives, right?
Loomer, Yiannopoulos, Jones, and nearly anybody who’s anybody outside of the weak, politically impotent wing of the GOP like Ben Shapiro, has been nuked from that platform, too. If they haven’t been completely banned, they’ve been suspended – all for arbitrary “terms of service” violations.
The very people whom conservatives trust least – the federal government and Big Tech – are teaming up to decide what news will be acceptable during the 2020 election cycle. Meanwhile, Congress is working to make it more difficult for sites like Drudge’s, one of the most popular on the web, to operate. It reeks of what some might call “election meddling.”
Fortunately, some people are speaking up, including a former Chairman of the FEC.
“The FEC has no business policing the truth or accuracy of speech of any kind by American citizens on the internet,” Lee Goodman reportedly said.
He’s right, but hopefully it’s not too late. We already saw vast amounts of political censorship beginning in 2015 and 2016. It seems that Big Tech has already decided its course of action for 2020.
There were a lot of conservative news websites who laughed when Jones, Loomer, and others were banned. We’ll see if there’s anything to smile about after 2020.
Peter D'Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.
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