We are accustomed to predatory language from politicians, but this issuance from Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy’s twitter account yesterday is particularly telling:
When a politician, particularly a US senator, tells companies what they “must” do, there is a clear threat of government action if they don’t. What exactly does Mr. Murphy imply for noncompliance? Harsh new regulations? Antitrust inquiries? Tax audits?
The word for this, as Justin Raimondo points out, is extortion.
Big Tech, however, is fully complicit in this era of growing “soft censorship” by ostensibly private companies. In the past 48 hours, several social media platforms — including Facebook, twitter, YouTube (Google) and iTunes (Apple) — banned provocateur Alex Jones from their platforms. Jones often promoted guests like Dr. Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and Peter Schiff in the 1990s, when alternative voices were few and far between.
Twitter also suspended the accounts of Ron Paul Institute director Daniel McAdams, Antiwar.com editor Scott Horton, and retired US Foreign Service officer Peter Van Buren, three prominent libertarian and non-interventionist voices.
Senator Murphy did not have to lift a finger.
Against the State: An …
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Yes, tech companies are private organizations with shareholders. Yes, nobody has a right to a platform, or a microphone, or an audience. Yes, nobody in America is being put in jail or fined by government for speech — yet (so-called hate speech laws already are in place across the West, and supported by many voters in the US). We do not advocate regulation of social media or technology companies under common carrier/utility…