Zach Vorhies, former Google employee, and Kent Heckenlively, authors of “Google Leaks: A Whistleblower’s Exposé of Big Tech Censorship,” states that “Google is playing both sides of the game […] On the one hand, they say they are a platform and are immune from being sued for the content they host on their website.
They also act as a publisher by determining the editorial agenda of these certain companies, and if people don’t conform to their editorial agenda, then their news articles get dismissed and deviate, while people who conform to their editorial agenda, get boosted and pushed to the top.”
Efforts to disqualify Vorhies, rather than respond to his argument, – supported by facts – is a textbook fallacy, not very effective in convincing rational people. Instead, it is perfect to prevent emotional supporters of a political culture (that most of these big techs have assumed as their own) from doubting their vital ally. This was the first step for them to distrust cancel culture, giving them an excuse to avoid “exposing” themselves to facts and arguments that are as true as they are “painful” to them.
There is no lack of those who “argue” that this pain proves something more than the emotional -and intellectual – fragility of those suffering because in the Woke and cancel culture already prevails the absurd idea that “feelings are facts”. That is to say that what makes them feel bad – to them, not to the rest, which doesn’t matter – has to be rejected – and eventually canceled – as false, even if it is true. It’s an old game and a kind of madness that has been seen only in the worst moments of the great totalitarian purges.
The great issue of net neutrality
It’s the big issue of net neutrality. A battle that today we must accept was lost, almost without a fight, in the field of legislation and regulation, time and time again. Online businesses, from server hosting and business support services, through search engines, online sales, online advertising, and concluding with social media, would not have developed without certain legal privileges.
Behind closed doors, cancel culture has been hegemonic in most of these companies since their foundation, and behind the disguise of inclusion, it is imposed with totalitarian intolerance. There is no room for the slightest dissent.
It has always been like this. And it has never ceased to be reflected on users and customers – on customers to a lesser degree because for most technology companies users are not the customer and in a certain sense become the product – but for a long time, they made an effort to deny, hide or minimize it. They openly assume it by entering into open collusion with political power, through the cancel culture as a common totalitarian ideology. But it was always there, more or less implicit, more or less denied, more or less dissimulated. Now it is finally out in the open.
The implications are gigantic. The Internet is what for many people and businesses is everything or almost everything. As more companies holding key positions in different sectors of the online business assume cancellation – totalitarian mentality, censorship, and persecution of dissent – they feel the need to force it on their customers, suppliers, and even competitors. And since we have already said that this collides with political power – and other corporate factors, especially in media and entertainment – legitimized by academia, they have an excellent chance of going unpunished.
Whether or not they will be successful remains to be seen. Competition, no matter how much they try to restrict it, still exists and the truth will eventually breakthrough sooner or later. Although sometimes it happens too late.
We see efforts of all kinds against such collusion and its practices. In that sense, the Texas prosecutor’s investigations started a trend in which state GOP authorities are standing up to the big tech companies: investigations, state laws, fines and antitrust initiatives. All understandable, but not necessarily all effective.
They are not a monopoly in the sense that the antitrust laws define it – nothing really is, but that’s another matter – but a cartel involved in criminal collusion.
I am not proposing to investigate them under RICO for the possible unconfessed part of the publicly presumed conspiracy. In the absence of a hidden part that they have not yet admitted, the success of that which they do admit would not have been possible. What I propose is to direct all efforts towards the unfulfilled promise and the lost ideal: net neutrality. It would be the condition required of companies (all companies in the sector) to enjoy all the legal privilege and as a privilege, it is conditioned to that neutrality, which in turn requires customers and users, public and State, to assume their responsibilities within a framework of freedom and tolerance. That is where the GOP must aim in this whole matter if it intends to survive and prevail. Nothing more, nothing less.