Silicon Valley companies have talked a big game for years about protecting the internet from censorship. But lo and behold, the very same tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been violating these principals for years. These tech gatekeepers have long been working hand in hand with foreign governments to censor speech for users. Sometimes even with dangerous, authoritarian regimes.
In one case, Twitter suspended anti-Putin accounts that were mocking the Kremlin. With no explanation, @DarthPutinKGB, a parody handle with 50,000 followers, vanished from the internet.
In another, Facebook created special software that was government approved by the Chinese, allowing them to continue their tight grip on the internet.
And in Pakistan, Facebook sent a team to the country after a government request to help look into “blasphemous content.” How democratic.
The likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Google are constantly lecturing the American people and lawmakers about the importance of keeping the internet free and open. We saw this with their totally exaggerated, apoplectic response to the repeal of Obama-era “net neutrality” rules. They argued that this overreach was necessary to keep the internet free, yet they are some of the biggest violators of these “net neutrality” principles.
We must hold these abusers accountable. Help us do so by sharing this piece and checking out some more cases of how Silicon Valley has been complicit in censorship across the globe:
Silicon Valley Censorship Across the Globe:
· 7/29/2017 — Apple removes apps that allowed China users to get around the country’s internet filters.
· 5/9/2017 — At the request of the government, Facebook blocks Thailand users from seeing video of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in a yellow crop top.
· 3/17/2017 — Facebook agreed to send a team to Pakistan to address “blasphemy” on the site.
· 1/11/2017 — At the request of the government, Facebook blocks content critical of Thailand’s royal family.
· 1/4/2017 — Following a request from Chinese authorities, Apple removed the New York Times apps from its Chinese store.
· 12/13/2016 — Austria demands that Facebook remove posts calling MP Eva Glawischnig a “rotten traitor” and a “corrupt tramp.”
· 12/5/2016 — Tech companies remove “online hate speech” to comply with the European Commission.
· 11/27/2016 — Facebook creates tools to censor content in China to get Facebook unblocked in China.
· 8/18/2016 — Twitter suspends 235,000 in an attempt to “crack down on online extremism.”
· 3/28/2016 — Microsoft builds a special government-approved version of Windows 10 for China.
· 1/19/2016 — Pakistan YouTube ban lifted after deal to start localized version of video platform.
· 1/7/2016 — Google, Facebook, and Twitter yield to German government Demand to Censor Anti-Migrant ‘Hate Speech’
· 12/15/2015 — Facebook, Twitter, Google collude with German government to censor discussion on immigration.
· 11/30/2015 — Google, YouTube work with Israel to censor Palestinian conflict videos.
· 10/5/2014 — LinkedIn complies with Chinese rules on expression in order to do business.
· 7/7/2014 — Google gives Waze user data to Brazilian government.