Big Tech

Shapes of things: Ministry of truth edition

Featured image The sickening Jen Psaki announced yesterday that the Biden administration is advising Facebook on “misinformation” in posts bearing on Covid vaccines. In collaboration with the administration Facebook is expected to follow up in the appropriate fashion. Psaki treats it as another day at the office, but this manifestation of the censorship imperative that Facebook has taken up is of course deeply alarming. Let it be duly noted. There are of »

Sting like a Babylon Bee

Featured image I’m not entirely sure whether satire degenerates in the hands of the left, but one could make the case. From Jonathan Swift to Evelyn Waugh, the greatest satirists writing in English have been conservatives of one stripe or another. As for the degeneration, Philip Roth’s stabs at satire might suffice by themselves to make that side of the case. By the same token, we may wonder if the understanding of »

Diversity, Google style

Featured image Until this week, Google’s worldwide head of “diversity” was one Kamau Bobb. Earlier this week the Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman reported that Bobb had written for public consumption in 2007 that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war” and an “insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.” Goodman explained: The comments were part of a longer meditation from Kamau Bobb, now head of diversity strategy at Google, that also slammed »

Big Tech as Big Brother

Featured image To follow up on Scott’s post below, let’s remember that Facebook censored all talk about the Wuhan coronavirus originating in a Chinese lab. There was always legitimate reason to believe that the virus might have originated there. But only now that the evidence establishes a strong likelihood of this will Facebook finally permit the matter to be discussed on its platform. It’s sickening that Facebook wouldn’t permit discussion of a »

CRB: From Big Tech to Big Brother

Featured image I have devoted my “Shapes of Things” series to the problem of Big Tech and free speech and have used an avatar of Big Brother to anchor the series (as I do on the home page for this post). Seeking to deepen our view of the problem that the series illustrates, I have chosen to preview Daniel Oliver’s essay “From Big Tech to Big Brother” from the new (Spring) issue »

Big Tech Flunks

Featured image Beginning now, the Media Research Center’s Free Speech America operation (in which my organization is one of more than 50 participants) will evaluate Big Tech platforms, on a quarterly basis, for free speech, bias, user transparency and more. It will come as no surprise that in the first quarter of 2021, Big Tech flunked: By almost any measure, the first three months of 2021 were the worst ever for online »

Shapes of things (30)

Featured image Our friend Roger Kimball wears hats including that of the publisher of Encounter Books. Roger writes us with this public service announcement: Amazon made headlines in February when they got into the censorship business. Without notice or warning, they summarily delisted Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, a thoughtful, deeply researched, and humane study that I published at Encounter Books some three years ago. But »

Shapes of things (29)

Featured image Our friend John Eastman is the former law clerk to Clarence Thomas and former Chapman University law professor. John was in the news this past January in connection with election related advice he rendered in the Oval Office to President Trump and Vice President Pence. John recently sat for an interview on issues of election fraud with Spectator Washington editor Amber Athey. The Spectator’s pseudonymous Cockburn now reports that YouTube »

Shapes of things (28)

Featured image In parts 18, 20, and 27 of this series we noted Amazon’s suppression of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement, by Ryan Anderson. Anderson is the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the founding editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. Anderson’s book was published by Encounter Books under the leadership of publisher Roger Kimball. Roger took up »

Judge Silberman’s dissent

Featured image Judge Laurence Silberman has had a distinguished career in the law, culminating in his service on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals since his appointment to the bench by President Reagan in 1985. He took senior status on the court in 2000. Accordingly, he now sits as a senior judge on the court. Last week Judge Silberman partially dissented from the court’s decision in Tah v. Global Witness. In »

Shapes of things (27)

Featured image In earlier installments of this series we noted Amazon’s suppression of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement, by Ryan Anderson. Anderson is the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the founding editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. Anderson’s book was published by Encounter Books under the leadership of publisher Roger Kimball. Roger now takes up the story »

Google under attack for insufficient recruiting at HBCUs

Featured image Google is under fire for the way it recruits engineers from colleges. According to the Washington Post: For years, Google’s recruiting department used a college ranking system to set budgets and priorities for hiring new engineers. Some schools such as Stanford University and MIT were predictably in the “elite” category, while state schools or institutions that churn out thousands of engineering grads annually, such as Georgia Tech, were assigned to »

Shapes of things (26)

Featured image Under the RealClear banner Christian Toto has an excellent account of conservative humorists laboring under the arbitrary application of “community standards” by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media giants: “So This Conservative Comic Goes on Social Media and….” Christian covers show business at Hollywood in Toto and does an excellent job in the RealClear column that belongs in this series. »

Shapes of things (24)

Featured image On Sunday, with CPAC’s permission, Minnesota’s scrappy Alpha News posted the video of President Trump’s CPAC speech on the Alpha News YouTube channel. (I am a member of the Alpha News board.) YouTube removed the video and called strike one on Alpha News for posting it. Below is a screenshot of the notice from YouTube. Alpha News filed this appeal with the powers that be at YouTube: President Trump’s speech »

Another Amazon Outrage

Featured image It is black history month, and Amazon is all over it. But, it turns out, highly selectively. Mark Paoletta explains: Amazon Prime created an entire Amplify Black Voices page on its site that “feature[s] a curated collection of titles to honor Black History Month across four weekly themes (Black Love, Black Joy, Black History Makers, and Black Girl Magic).” There are scores of films available to stream, including four films »

Speaking of hate speech

Featured image As in a Stalinist purge, Amazon has silently “disappeared” Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally. Amazon tacitly alleges that it acted under revised guidelines prohibiting the sale of “content that we determine is hate speech … or other material we deem inappropriate or offensive,” including content that “promotes the abuse or sexual exploitation of children, contains pornography, glorifies rape or pedophilia, [or] advocates terrorism.” Beyond citing the policy, Amazon »

Shapes of things (22)

Featured image Amazon isn’t talking about its suppression of Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally, but it has referred an inquiring reporter to its new hate speech policy. So Daniel Payne reports at Just the News. I infer that Amazon isn’t talking, however, because there is nothing that can reasonably described as hate speech in Anderson’s book. Anderson himself comments in his First Things essay “When Amazon erased my book.” The Washington »