Big Tech Is Behaving Like Big Brother In The US Election; India Needs To Cut Down Twitter And Facebook To Size Before It’s Too Late

Big Tech Is Behaving Like Big Brother In The US Election; India Needs To Cut Down Twitter And Facebook To Size Before It’s Too LateTwitter and US election.
Snapshot
  • Tech firms must be asked to stay neutral and to not allow any censorship except of posts which fall foul of the country’s laws.

    India needs to read the riot act to Big Tech. It can’t be allowed to behave as Big Brother anymore.

Hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Facebook users — from US President Donald Trump to Republican senators to the common man — were left shocked and surprised when they couldn’t repost the New York Post story about email leaks of Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

The story by the Post hints at possible corruption by Hunter Biden, who is alleged to have used his father’s influence to stop investigation into a Ukrainian firm, which had appointed Hunter to its board in 2014.

“Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post,” the article censured by Twitter and Facebook says.

It goes on the reveal the contents of emails shared between Hunter Biden and executives of Burisna, which had hired the former on a reported pay of $50,000 per month.

Prima facie, the story is legitimate and professionally executed by the Post. There was absolutely no reason for the companies like Facebook and Twitter to censor it. Nonetheless, it’s not the job of these tech firms to decide what story meets journalistic standards and which one does not.

Moreover, the alacrity with which these two have actively tried to stop the story from being shared on their platforms is a cause for concern. ‘Big Tech’ has crossed a red line with its latest action to muzzle speech only and only because it has great potential to hurt chances of Joe Biden, the presidential candidate they are presumably supporting against Donald Trump.

Twitter is not only not allowing anyone to share the link of the article by the New York Post, it is also locking accounts of those who are sharing screenshots of the story. None less than the personal account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was locked yesterday by Twitter for sharing The Post’s cover story on emails which link Joe Biden to his son’s job at a Ukrainian firm.

Big Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook have been playing Big Brother for a long time. From limiting reach to locking accounts to deleting followers, they have deployed many tricks to censor speech they don’t like. But all this was done stealthily until recently, leaving a lot of room for conjecture and allegations which could be denied by these platforms easily.

However, of late, Twitter has become more brazen in its attempts to stifle free speech which doesn’t suit the ideological views of its top executives. This is the reason why Donald Trump’s tweets have been labelled and fact-checked while all sorts of absurd claims by his opponents are allowed to have a free run.

Twitter has shown little interest in banning or censoring Islamic leaders who openly spout anti-Semitic views. This is just one example. Fake stories on Kashmir, Citizenship Amendment Act, propaganda by China’s state-run news portals faced no action either. There are just too many instances to list here which prove beyond doubt the biased ways in which Twitter has been operating for quite some time now.

This is not necessarily because Twitter or Facebook executives approve all the misinformation they don’t censure. It only shows how they are cherry-picking on certain individuals who hold views different from those held by liberals employed by these Big Tech firms.

These tech companies are essentially pipelines which allow for flow of information from premiers of countries to paupers in the power hierarchy and not without reason were once hailed for democratisation of discourse but are fast degenerating into intolerant spaces which are hellbent on preserving and promoting left ideology.

By its latest drastic act of blocking people from even posting the link on the platform, these tech giants have crossed the red line. If India doesn’t wake up and act now, we will soon see these firms deploy same tactics to suppress speech uncomfortable to the people in charge of their operations in India. As Swarajya pointed out in this piece, overwhelming majority of the top hires by these companies in India are leftists.

The solution here is simple and straightforward. Indian government should convey to Twitter, Facebook, Google et al, in no uncertain terms, that it will not allow intervention of foreign platforms in its local politics as that would be “prejudicial to its sovereignty“, an excuse India has used to ban scores of Chines apps.

These tech firms need to adopt a policy of non-alignment as far as political ideologies are concerned. They must be asked to stay neutral and to not allow any censorship except of posts which fall foul of the country’s laws.

India needs to read the riot act to Big Tech. It can’t be allowed to behave as Big Brother anymore.

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