Top Tech Writer Issues Ultimatum to Facebook: Censor Trump or ‘We’re Leaving’

July 1st, 2020 4:49 PM

Recode co-founder and New York Times contributor Kara Swisher wrote an opinion piece for The Times that was no less than a tantrum aimed at Facebook’s refusal to be as censorious as other Big Tech companies in the lead up to this November’s election.

Swisher’s ultimatum to Facebook, “Clean Up Your Act, Facebook, or We’re Leaving,” is an example of the progressive left’s attempts at bullying platforms into censoring content that they disapprove of. The June 30 opinion piece gleefully noted that the Stop the Hate Facebook ad boycott campaign “organized by the N.A.A.C.P., the ADL, Color of Change and others” are “seeking to force [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] to change” by “focusing on your wallet, knocking billions off your net worth in recent days.”

Even after Zuckerberg caved to such groups and took a harsher stance on what people are not allowed to say in advertisements, Swisher said that it was nonetheless unsatisfactory. Indeed, despite Zuckerberg bowing to the left, Swisher stated, “You get zero claps for doing a tiny right thing after doing the wrong thing for far too long.”

Swisher also made note that “Last week, you announced that you are finally labeling the most egregious dreck that is broadcast on Facebook by President Trump, after years of his escalating behavior,” but even this is “too little, too late” for her.

“This column — and the deactivation of my account — is my way of cleaning up my world” one of the internet’s foremost tech journalists spat. “But to say I am confident that you, Mark Zuckerberg, will do your part to clean up the rest of the world would be something of an overstatement.”

Swisher expressed bitter gratitude that other companies have openly embraced censorship as the election looms closer. She noted that “other big platforms have started to make long overdue changes in content policy, including banning an out-of-control Trump community (Reddit) and temporarily suspending Mr. Trump’s account due to ‘hateful content’ (Twitch).” 

She compared Zuckerberg to her teenage son, hoping that someday he would be as willing to censor opinions she finds offensive to the same capacity her son learns to do chores without being asked.

Swisher also observed how other companies, even if they have not yet joined the Facebook ad boycott campaign, “instead are declaring that they will cut off marketing on all of social media.”

In an attempt to wound Facebook’s pride, Swisher claimed that Facebook is comparatively worse than other Big Tech companies, and that the other platforms are tainted by association with it:

“Allowing Facebook to get cover in a group will only end up hurting smaller companies like Snap and Twitter, both of which have tried to deal with this problem more actively. It’s not fair to lump them in with you; they have fewer resources to withstand a marketing drought. Since Facebook and Google are the overwhelmingly dominant players in the game of digital advertising, the problem of hate and misinformation flowing on social media is yours to own.”

Yet, Swisher misses the point entirely. Big Tech is not in need of yet more censorship of the right. Rather, the Recode co-founder needs to be reminded of the types of principles that have made America the great nation that it is.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact The New York Times and demand that the outlet not advocate for the stifling of free speech in Big Tech. Rather, Big Tech needs to be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.