Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Robert Jonathan
White House chief strategist and free market advocate Steve Bannon made news late last month by allegedly floating the idea of regulating Google and Facebook like utilities.
In a familiar refrain, three anonymous sources who were involved in discussions with Bannon supposedly revealed this development to The Intercept.
Government intervention into the private sector is usually and generally a bad idea, but assuming this report really reflects Bannon’s thinking, it may be worth considering given the internal and external censorship allegations engulfing Big Social, i.e., the Leftist, politically correct Silicon Valley oligarchy.
Bannon’s basic argument, as he has outlined it to people who’ve spoken with him, is that Facebook and Google have become effectively a necessity in contemporary life….
Regulating a company as a utility does not mean that the government controls it, but rather that it is much more tightly regulated in what it is able to do and prices it is able to charge. And it doesn’t mean every element of the company would be regulated in that way. For Google…it may only be the search function that would be regulated like a utility.
The Intercept added that in years past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg actually referred to his creation as a social utility.
Earlier this week, Google fired software engineer James Damore who wrote a 10-page essay from a centrist standpoint challenging the tech giant’s far Left, diversity-at-all-costs culture, a progressive agenda that simultaneously rejects intellectual diversity. This is, of course, the same organization that creates the search algorithms upon which almost every Internet user relies. (Related: Read more about online censorship at NewsCartels.com.)
In an interview after his termination, Damore remarked that there are lots of libertarian, conservative, and anti-social justice warrior employees in Silicon Valley but they have to keep their opinions on the down low to maintain job security, Breitbart reported.
As Natural News has detailed in a whole series of articles (with more coming), Google critics maintain that the giant search engine has down-ranked independent journalism and natural medicine sites — including Natural News at one point — that don’t share its progressive worldview, and is destroying their web traffic in the process.
In June 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed that Google was actively engaged in trying to help Hillary Clinton become president. In a subsequently deleted video, SourceFed demonstrated that Google was allegedly manipulating auto-complete search results to bury negative information about Hillary Clinton.
Last year, Facebook found itself in a scandal over censoring conservative-oriented news from its news feed. As part of the “solution,” it now relies on far-left, third-party fact checkers to determine the difference between real and fake news. “We now live in a world where Facebook has the power and authority to flag and filter out what you can and cannot read,” Natural News separately explained.
Google-owned YouTube is currently demonetizing certain political videos, the latest being those produced by longtime Trump backers Diamond and Silk, thereby choking off a revenue stream, which is a form of stifling free speech.
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) August 10, 2017
As part of an expose with the “rebels” of Google, one former engineer using the alias Emmett told Breitbart that “he personally witnessed efforts from leftists within Google to bias YouTube’s algorithms to push anti-PC content off the platform’s ‘related videos” recommendations…and ‘it’s ‘only a matter of time’ before Google begins to bias its search results against the Trump movement, Republicans, and right-leaning politicians.”
Twitter has also been accused of suspending the accounts of Trump supporters and others on flimsy pretexts and shadow-banning tweets favorable to the president or that run counter to the Leftist, globalist worldview.
Earlier this year, Natural News founder Mike Adams wrote that the Google monopoly should be broken up for the benefit of consumers, the competitive marketplace, and free information flow. A New York Times Op-Ed subsequently seemed to agree with the Health Ranger about Google in general, suggesting that the government may need to regulate the search engine giant like a public utility given its gatekeeping sway over web traffic and e-commerce.
Given the revelations that seem to unfold on a daily basis, class-action lawsuits against these dominant social media platforms may also be on the horizon. In the meantime, free-speech advocates are planning nationwide protests, (#MarchOnGoogle) at Google offices around the country.
Parenthetically, the Health Ranger developed GoodGopher.com (which, unlike Google, doesn’t spy on the user), providing uncensored search results from thousands of independent media websites.
Any form of regulation would have to be carefully crafted to avoid any infringement on the First Amendment.
That said, taking all the circumstances into account, do you think it’s time for government, as flawed as it often is, to step in and regulate Google, Facebook, and Twitter like public utilities?