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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Facebook cannot buy conservatives

The Heritage Foundation released to Axios letters it sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in late October turning down their contributions.

Axios said, "According to a Heritage spokesperson, Google had previously donated a total of $1.55 million to the group. Facebook had contributed $275,000."

The foundation received $87 million in donations from everyone in 2019 alone.

The letter to Pichai said, "We cannot in good conscience take money from a company that repeatedly, and blatantly, suppresses conservative speech on your platforms."

Axios said the letter to Pichai closely mirrored its message to Zuckerberg.

Axios reported, "Heritage accused Facebook of blocking referral traffic to the foundation's news and opinion website, and Google of censoring its YouTube videos, including by appending a disclaimer on one pre-election video 'meant to cast doubt on the credibility of our well-sourced claims about the risks of voting by mail.'

"The Zuckerberg letter also noted Facebook's decision to temporarily limit the reach of New York Post story on the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop just weeks before the election."

Twitter blocked the New York Post's story about that laptop, which included evidence of Hunter Biden's graft from foreigners, and child porn. The story should have cost his father any chance of the presidency. The media squelched it. Likewise, the FBI didn't bother investigating even though it had the laptop for nearly a year. The man who turned the laptop over lost his business because of his patriotic act.

Axios also reported, "Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), the lead Republican on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, will stop accepting donations from Google, Facebook and Amazon, he said Wednesday.

"Why it matters: Buck (R-Co.) is declining Big Tech donations as regulatory scrutiny on tech companies heats up in Washington."

The foundation's president, Mary Coles James, announced she is resigning suddenly and without explanation. She sent the letters and may have tipped Axios off. Perhaps her successor (as yet named) will reverse the policy.

I do business with Google. I started this blog on the Blogger platform in 2005 (suspending it from 2006 to 2014). Google later bought it. And Google is one of my 3 ad servers.

It's nothing political, just business.

But accepting donations is highly political and Mary Coles James is to be admired for declining the money.

Facebook and Twitter are protected from liability for the things posted on their platforms under Section 230, which Congress and President Clinton extended to online providers believing that the Internet would be an open forum for debate.

The online oligarchs began censoring the Internet to serve the deep state in its seditious battle with President Donald John Trump. Twitter banned him. The situation today is in stark contrast with what we had a quarter-century ago when you paid AOL $2.95 an hour to be online.

Efforts to repeal Section 230 so far have been noisy but useless.

National Review reported that Zuckerberg now supports a reform of Section 230. It said he was going to tell Congress, "We believe Congress should consider making platforms’ intermediary liability protection for certain types of unlawful content conditional on companies’ ability to meet best practices to combat the spread of this content.

"Instead of being granted immunity, platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it. Platforms should not be held liable if a particular piece of content evades its detection—that would be impractical for platforms with billions of posts per day—but they should be required to have adequate systems in place to address unlawful content."

Its fake conservatism aside, National Review then made a salient point that oligarchs see federal regulation as a barrier to competition.

National Review said, "Zuckerberg’s proposals would help to kill Section 230 — but only for Facebook’s rivals. It is easy for Facebook to 'demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it' because they already do. It is much less easy, by contrast, for smaller outfits to do so. In part, this is a matter of cost; it’s expensive to superintend third-party speech. But it is also because the standards involved are, by definition, somewhat vague. Zuckerberg knows full well that, even if his company were to fail spectacularly under the new system, no review board will ever conclude that Facebook lacks an 'adequate system.' Facebook is simply too big and well-connected for that to happen. But Parler? Certainly."

The fake libertarian argument is that if you don't like Twitter, start your own. But AWS (owned by Amazon) cut off Parler, knocking it offline overnight. Parler also was cut off by online services such as Paypal. The various online oligarchs often have orchestrated attacks on conservatives.

The deep state now protects the oligarchs and the oligarchs protect the deep state. Wipe off the smug look about winning the Cold War because the United States is not much different from Putin's Russia, and we are headed to becoming a servant of Red China.

I do not know the answer. 

But Heritage Foundation telling the oligarchs to shove off is inspirational.


  1. Bootleggers and baptists.

    All regulation that Facebook supports is for its own power and profit. Congress and its lawyer lobbyists support a nice ambiguous version of the regulation to make it easy to extort money from the little guys.

    This racket is the same as it always has been. It’s just getting bigger and more corrupt and more threatening to the Republic, what’s left of it.

    1. "Bootleggers and baptists."

      When I was a kid in the '60's in the western NC mountains in a dry county it was often said that election time (a vote on keeping the county dry or going wet) was the only time you got to see a Baptist preacher, a bootlegger, and the county sheriff in the same car together. It was true, too, for they all had a vested interest in keeping the county dry.

    2. Dry counties invariably are run by bootleggers

      By the way, they bootleg to avoid the tax. Prohibition had nothing to do with it. Washington was president when the Whiskey Rebellion occurred. Whiskey is easy to make

    3. By the way, in Kentucky, Christian County is wet while Bourbon County is dry.

  2. There are way too many "Hogs feeding at the trough" to ever get Section 230 repealed.

  3. I prefer Florida's actions as a start. Only increase the penalties by a factor of 10.

  4. “ And Google is one of my 3 ad servers.

    It's nothing political, just business.”

    Good luck with your business dealings with the red chinese, which google has demonstrated that they work with/prefer/the people that want you dead. Yeah, great business plan.

  5. man Don, I hate to pick at nits (sigh), but I've met her a few times and her name is Kay Coles James

    BTW, she was fun to talk to, as were her predecessors: Ed Feulner & Jim Demint. I wonder who will replace her? Mike Pence, perhaps?

  6. These buzzards took out Parler based on lies.

    Internet Accountability Project (IAP)@The_IAP

    New from @mrddmia on @parler_app informing FBI of violent content before riots:

    "Now we know the truth, which is #BigTech used Parler as a scapegoat to destroy a startup company that was a viable threat to their social media dominance.”

  7. Me thinks that the National Review and the Heritage Foundation are trying to get back into the good graces of conservatives. Me thinks they can go pound sand.

  8. The fake libertarian argument is that if you don't like Twitter, start your own

    This blogger cannot defend his ideas. He just says its fake and demands we accept it on faith. Right.

    When you never defend your ideas you will always lose. Why is it fake? Crickets! Do I hear Edmund Burke laughing?.

  9. Great comment Don!
    The deep state now protects the oligarchs and the oligarchs protect the deep state.

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