The Mises Institute
December 16, 2018
As tech executives continue to be grilled in front of Congress, the growing Bernie Sanders-wing of the Democratic Party is preparing to push its misnamed “Medicare for All” into the political mainstream after its political gains in the midterms. While these two stories seem to have very little in common, it’s not difficult to imagine a not-so-distant future where the two are dangerously connected. After all, so long as the scope of government grows, the continued politicization of all aspects of life will follow – the inevitable consequences of which could be quite horrific.
The State’s Shadow over Silicon Valley
First let’s consider some of the overlooked causes behind the increased censorship from Silicon Valley.
While Republican politicians relish in collecting cheap soundbites railing against the censorship practices of widely despised tech executives, few are willing to point out the obvious influence of government in Big Tech’s growing hostility to free speech.
For example, just recently Facebook announced it was following the lead of Tumblr by cracking down on “sexualized content” on its platform. While both decisions were widely ridiculed by users and pundits alike, largely ignored was the role that recent Congressional laws aimed at cracking down on sex trafficking played in sparking the new policy. Similarly, “anti-hate speech” laws from Europe had very real consequences for American social media users as mechanisms designed to police speech oversees are inevitably used to manage content throughout their global communities.
While tech censorship began with isolated bans on individual social media platforms, it has evolved over time into a far more sinister crackdown of modern-day thought criminals. Alex Jones, for example, saw multiple social media accounts closed in a coordinated campaign earlier this…