Google’s recent demonetizing of commentator Steven Crowder’s YouTube channel, and ongoing shenanigans such as Pinterest and YouTube recently suppressing pro-life content, has resurrected the question of how to take on Big Tech.
Perhaps, however, we on the right, bound by our unwavering love of the right to free speech, are going about this the wrong way.
Just as there is an already well-established DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex), there’s also a CMIC (Conservative Media Industrial Complex). Thanks in large part to the internet, the CMIC has gained strength in the last decade in particular.
Today, however, tens of thousands of political content creators live in fear that what they produce, whether on a commercial or personal level, will be subject to Big Tech’s arbitrary and baffling speech standards.
I am not looking to put tech companies out of business. What I am looking to do, and what I hope CMIC personalities will consider, is to leverage the free market principles our side claims to hold so dear. There is an untapped opportunity for those who have built immensely visible and influential brands within the CMIC to operate as their own YouTube, where freedom of speech and opinions will thrive, rather than be subjugated to authoritarian-minded arbitration.
Much of the current situation is due to self-inflicted errors. We in the CMIC think on a one-dimensional level. We have our little niche. We’re territorial. We talk to the same people, have the same guests on our programs, and too seldom promote up-and-coming content creators who have narratives that hundreds of millions would benefit from hearing or watching.
Democrats and the DMIC, however, control the vast majority of what most Americans refer to as the “media.” Unfortunately, the DMIC is usually several steps ahead of us. They won’t share their audience wealth to you and me, but they’ll happily redistribute benefits amongst themselves, with the ultimate goal of eliminating our rights.
What is conservative media afraid of? Criticism from Democrats and the DMIC? We get that no matter what we do. It also shouldn’t be fear of losing popularity. If we unequivocally reject Marxism and are good at what we do, we shouldn’t worry about losing market share—only gaining it.
The generals who win wars are victorious because they know how to best select—and then motivate—their soldiers. Conservative media has always struggled, even in the Trump era, with selling and marketing. Our mindset has long been (gulp) very “Democrat-y,” in that we’ve been okay with losing as long as we were right.
The Trump disruption within the GOP was mostly due to his bold assertion that America First should not only win but should expect to win big. The American First position should always fight, because the goodness and freedoms of America are worth preserving, even at a high cost.
For this reason, I publicly pitched the president and his family on the idea of forming their own Trump-branded suite of internet browsing, digital, and social media offerings. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, is an expert at using new technology for political campaigns, but what I suggested will require additional brainpower and know-how.
The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will soon begin an antitrust probe of the tech giants, to gauge to what degree they hold monopolistic power. However, the federal government will have several challenges in any attempts to regulate entities like YouTube, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits the government from abridging speech. Not so with private enterprise. However, can a private tech company remove a video, or a podcast, or an article from its platform for any reason? We may soon have to confront the question if tech companies are subject to the same public accommodation laws as any business.
Was the recent blanket-banning of Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan by several tech companies the legal equivalent of a business saying: We simply refuse to serve certain customers? Before the passing of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, Democrat segregationists denied service to blacks based on personal or political beliefs as well as government-mandated Jim Crow laws. Are we seeing a return to this style of refusal-of-service?
Some would argue the Constitution’s Commerce Clause provides a legally viable avenue to regulate Big Tech. The Commerce Clause has been, in the opinion of some legal scholars, twisted and warped far beyond its first meaning, and it has now been employed in a host of cases and scenarios. However, the clause’s original intent was to grant Congress authority to regulate commerce interstate.
We must remember that our use of a tech company’s platform isn’t truly free. Our personal, invaluable data is exchanged for use of the platform. However, this transaction is mutually agreed upon, arguably rendering the relationship contractual. If this is the case, and if a piece of content isn’t clearly inciting violence, then is the tech company in breach of a contract if our material is removed?
The market for free-market content creation and production has never been more ripe for the picking. As gargantuan as the Big Tech companies are, they don’t own the internet. I will not defend the type of censorship, demonetization, or deplatforming that has been perpetrated on Crowder, Dennis Prager, and many other conservative content creators. However, if our fallback stance is a sort of “woe is me” victimization, our defeat is guaranteed.
Conservatives prattle on ad nauseam about how Democrats always stick together. It’s true. Why don’t we try that for a change? Democrats and the DMIC always focus on beating our side into submission. They’re constantly playing chess, while we naively stick to playing checkers.
Within the CMIC, I rarely see or hear any constructive calls to action against our opposition. I implore esteemed CMIC pundits to consider leading the charge to build up our winning army. The fight to reform our republic back to the country our founders envisioned is going to be long and arduous. And it’s just getting started.