A left-wing government watchdog group with a dubious history is demanding Apple engage in mass preemptive censorship with the removal of a free-speech-branded alternative to Twitter from its app store.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a four-page letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday urging the American tech executive to nuke former President Donald Trump’s new platform, Truth Social, from its digital marketplace despite no violations of company guidelines.
“The events of January 6, 2021 highlighted not only democracy’s vulnerabilities, but also the risks associated with the current ecosystem of online speech,” wrote CREW President Noah Bookbinder in the letter. “Every company that now enters into business with Trump must recognize that it is essentially endorsing this dangerous and anti-democratic conduct.”
With not a single post from the entire platform cited or a single company policy violated to justify the app’s removal, Bookbinder argued Truth Social’s association with Trump was enough reason alone to ban the product from the Apple marketplace.
“Unchecked threats to reliable information imperil our civic institutions, social stability, and democratic norms,” Bookbinder wrote, implying that inadequate censorship of dissident ideas is a threat to democracy.
Bookbinder even highlighted the corporate collusion to take down Parler, another free-speech alternative to Twitter, in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol riot to rationalize a preemptive strike at Truth Social.
“Fortunately, there is a strong precedent for taking action in response to security threats,” Bookbinder explained. Within four days of the turmoil on Capitol Hill, which was exploited by Democrats after years of justifying left-wing destruction in the name of social justice, Apple joined Californian tech oligarchs at Google to strip Parler from its app store. Amazon yanked the platform from its web hosting service, rendering it offline. Each company justified the large-scale censorship by indicting Parler as a haven for extremist content inciting violence, despite Twitter and Facebook each fostering the same activity in the run-up to the Capitol unrest. Bookbinder made no mention of the identical conduct of Facebook and Twitter, each allies in the censorship regime, while arguing Truth Social’s presence in the App Store posed “significant reputational risks” to Apple.
“CREW respectfully requests that you take action to distance your company from those who undermine democracy,” Bookbinder wrote.
The letter is among the latest examples of left-wing actors embracing opposition censorship as a means to silence political dissidents and win elections.
Earlier this month, proponents of censorship paradoxically cloaking free speech criticism in defense of democracy suffered an online meltdown over billionaire Elon Musk’s effort to purchase Twitter. With a $43 billion dollar offer, 20 percent above market value, Musk has pledged to reform the platform’s culture as one committed to free speech while it serves as “a de facto town square.”