Big Tech

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 »

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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. »

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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 »

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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 »

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Featured image Yesterday we noted in part 18 that Amazon had silently removed Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally. Steve has related observations in the adjacent post. Anderson’s book fails to conform to the woke party line now enforced by Big Tech. What does Amazon have to say about what it has done? I thought readers might be interested to know that Amazon isn’t talking — isn’t talking so far, anyway »

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Featured image Our friend Roger Kimball is the learned publisher of Encounter Books. He writes to alert us to the statement Encounter has just posted on the suppression of one of its titles by Amazon: Yesterday, we learned that Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, which Encounter Books originally published in 2018, was removed without explanation from and from its subsidiary Audible. Encounter Books is »

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Featured image Thanks to the coordinated efforts of Big Tech, the social media platform Parler has been offline for the past few months. It seemed to have something to do with the election of the gentleman from Madame Tussauds. News of Parler’s return is all over per the announcement we received this morning (in its entirety below): Parler Relaunches on New Platform With Over 20 Million Users, World’s #1 Free Speech Social »

The Biden family business

Featured image Joe Biden is a corrupt politician of the old-fashioned variety. He has no fixed convictions about anything. That’s why he has been on both sides of so many important issues. Biden has never been in the business of accumulating power in service of a policy agenda. He has always been in the business of accumulating power to feed his ego and enrich the Biden family. There’s nothing awful about this. »

The DeSantis dissent, cont’d

Featured image Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is an important guy in more ways than one. As John notes in this nearby post, DeSantis seeks to impose statutory constraints on Big Tech/social media in support of neutral free speech principles. Below is the full video of DeSantis’s press conference announcing the initiative. Looking around online for the details, I see that the Miami Herald reports: The proposed bill, which is still being drafted, »

How much protection does Section 230 really provide Big Tech?

Featured image Big Tech companies, including Google and Twitter, are pulling the plug on disfavored posts, websites, and even people. They rely on section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act to justify censorship. One way around section 230 is to enact state laws that ban viewpoint discrimination by tech companies. I discussed that project here and here. John followed up with this post about his efforts to advance such legislation in »

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Featured image You may have heard that “Amazon is seeking reconsideration of a ruling by an NLRB Hearing Officer that 6000 workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama will be allowed eight weeks time to vote by mail on whether to unionize the workforce. Amazon — owned by Jeff Bezos, also the owner of the Washington Post — opposes the use of mail-in only balloting in the union election on the basis »

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Featured image Victor Davis Hanson takes up the theme of this series in the American Greatness column “River of forgetfulness.” Among other things, he observes: Serious Big Brother was never coming to America kicking and screaming in a suit and in a mile-long tie, but rather eagerly welcomed in with jeans and sneakers without socks. The First Amendment could always survive a crude, inebriated Joe McCarthy, but not so easily a social »

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Featured image Federal Judge Barbara Rothstein has denied Parler’s motion for a preliminary injunction ordering Amazon to reinstate it. Judge Rothstein’s order was posted online here by NPR. NPR’s story collects quotes from the players. Judge Rothstein isn’t a judge friendly to Parler, but this result is otherwise unsurprising. A plaintiff has to meet a high bar to obtain preliminary injunctive relief. That’s just the way it is. Judge Rothstein herself notes »

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Featured image With a quizzical message asking if “this thing is on,” Parler CEO John Matze has just has announced that Parler is returning soon (screenshot below). This is the message posted under Technical Difficulties: Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,” the status update said. “We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social »

Countering Big Tech censorship through state legislation, Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I suggested an approach to fighting back against Big Tech’s censorship of conservative voices that I believe merits very serious consideration — state legislation banning viewpoint discrimination by Big Tech. The suggestion came from a reader and distinguished lawyer. In a follow-up message, the same lawyer considered possible legal difficulties with his approach: It appears the only issue (not surprisingly) is Section 230 [of the Communications Decency Act]. It »