The way some Silicon Valley giants have behaved of late leads me to wonder whether they’re spectacularly short sighted, or whether they’re so convinced of their own invulnerability that they believe they can act with impunity and never be challenged. Their politically driven editorialising must surely stem from either hubris or foolishness.
Social media and its fellow travellers have a long and well documented history of highly partisan political interference which doesn’t need to be regurgitated here. However, something’s just happened which has left the tech titans in a very precarious position.
Last night, conservative campaigner Laura Loomer won the Republican nomination for Florida’s 21st Congressional District. In fact, she won just over of 40% of votes cast, which is a remarkable achievement considering that she’s been handed indefinite bans by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as being blacklisted by PayPal and GoFundMe. Despite this serious communication and fundraising handicap, she’s managed to amass way over half a million followers on Parler and the backing of one of the United States’ biggest political parties.
Now that Laura Loomer is an official, bona fide political candidate, will Twitter, Facebook and the rest let her speak freely?
In fairness, I’m not the only one asking that question, but I’m actually surprised that more people aren’t making a fuss about this in the blogosphere. Oh wait a minute; Laura Loomer is Jewish and critical of Islam…so of course I’m not surprised.