By Phil Valentine
January 18, 2021
This marks our inaugural blog entry here at TheBigTechRevolt.com. It's ironic that it just so happens to be on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I've talked extensively on my radio show about the example set by Dr. King in affecting change in this country. The events of January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington greatly disturbed me, as I'm sure they did you. Violence is not the answer. What Dr. King was able to accomplish in the Civil Rights Movement is nothing short of astonishing, and he did it through peaceful means. There were other movements of the time, like the Black Panthers, that advocated violence. Then, like now, the anger is understandable. Black Americans of the 1950s did not enjoy the same rights as their white brethren, especially in states with Jim Crow laws. The Civil Rights Movement changed all that, and they did it through a peaceful process of changing minds.
Our goal is more about changing habits rather than minds. A lot of people are upset over Big Tech censorship. They just don't quite know how to fight back. Our goal is to show them. I've often referred to myself as the conductor on the Big Tech Underground Railroad, but don't mistake our movement for one that advocates "getting off the grid" and living like the pioneers. Technology does not belong exclusively to the oppressors. It belongs to all of us. Technology is good. It enriches our lives. It's a powerful tool for knowledge, but controlled by the wrong people and that same technology is reduced to propaganda. That smartphone in your hand is your gateway to unlimited information, but Big Tech is trying to limit it to just what they want you to see. What we embrace is a way around the gatekeepers who choose to spoon-feed us the information they deem appropriate.
Our slogan here at TheBigTechRevolt.com is 'You have the power,' and you do. Yes, our political process has some real problems, but many of them stem from the flow of information. Big Tech firms like Facebook and Twitter have taken it upon themselves to censor news and information. That's a very dangerous thing. The percentage of people who get their news exclusively from social media is relatively small—around 20 percent—but if these people are voting, then that's a sizable chunk of the electorate that is worse than uninformed. They're misinformed. Pew Research found that people who get their news from social media are "less engaged" and "less knowledgeable." Don't think that's not by design. The really frightening part of the Pew study is the bulk of citizens get their news from TV, another bastion of disinformation. I've often said that media bias isn't necessarily what they tell you, it's what they don't. Facebook and Twitter are egregiously bad in that regard, but they have some stiff competition in CNN, MSNBC, and the alphabet soup of network news.
What those of us in The Big Tech Revolt movement want is a free-flow of news and information. We're big boys and girls. We can decide what's true and what's not. We don't need Big Brother making that decision for us. That's what scares Big Tech to death. It wasn't enough that Facebook and Twitter were banning opinions with which they disagreed, other Big Tech corporations like Apple, Google, and Amazon stepped in to ensure the people who were looking for a free-flow of information had nowhere to go. The ganging up on Parler was like nothing we've ever seen in this country before.
But, as we say, you have the power. That's the beautiful thing about a free country. The problem is too many people are willing to sacrifice freedom for convenience. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, those who would sacrifice freedom for convenience deserve neither.
This Big Tech Revolt did not begin on January 6 with the storming of the Capitol. It began two days later, on January 8, with the removal of President Trump from Twitter, and picked up a tremendous amount of steam over that weekend when Big Tech colluded to kill Parler. I don't share the view of some that Twitter had no right to ban Trump. Jack Dorsey runs Twitter. It's his company, and he can decide who he allows on it and who he doesn't. That doesn't mean the rest of us have to just stand idly by while he bans voices he doesn't like. We have the freedom to choose. I've chosen to stop using Twitter and Facebook. That's where the true power is. What is outrageous is when we choose to take our business to somewhere like Parler, the Big Tech corporations use their considerable power to shut it down. This cannot and will not stand.
Together, we can make tremendous change, and it doesn't have to be violent change. The people who advocate violence as a solution do not have a plan. Just ask them. You'll get an angry stare and silence. We, on the other hand, have a plan. Our plan is to use our power as consumers to take our business to true social media platforms where freedom of speech is protected. That should not mean moving our online presence to just one other platform. That's how we got in this predicament to start with. Facebook is the only product I can think of where almost everyone you know uses it. Yes, we all use things like cars and toilet paper and dishes, but we all don't buy the same brand of car or toilet paper or dishes. If Donald Trump decides to enter into the world of social media, as I have predicted, it should not become the only platform we use. If we've learned anything through all of this it's that we need to diversify. To that end, we'll be offering several alternatives to the Big Tech companies you're using now. These companies you've been patronizing don't value your freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is the bedrock of our republic. Without it we don't have a republic.
But, Phil, what about the racists and white supremacists and homophobes? Do you think they should have a voice? Let me answer that with another question. What does the First Amendment say? The First Amendment wasn't designed to protect speech you agree with. It was designed to protect speech you deplore. Yes, everyone has a right to speak their mind, no matter how disgusting we may find it. That doesn't mean you have to listen. You have the power to choose who you follow and who follows you on social media. If someone is spewing something you find detestable then stop listening. Remember, you have the power.
This may be the first blog on this website, but it won't be the last. Nor will mine be the only voice. We will be inviting many different guest bloggers to contribute their thoughts and their intellect to make this a stronger movement. They will come from all different backgrounds and political persuasions, but they will have one thing in common: a deep devotion to freedom of speech.
If you've read this far you're no doubt nodding your head in approval. So, welcome. Welcome to a world where you have the power to choose. Welcome to a movement where we begin to take back the freedoms our founders fought to win for us. Welcome to The Big Tech Revolt.
Phil Valentine is an award-winning talk show host, screenwriter, and movie producer. He's the author of several books including The Conservative's Handbook.
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