At first glance it looked easy. The Big Tech gurus would use algorithms to punish and reward conversation and thus steer the gullible public to the political Left. It was supposed to have worked during the 2016 election, when Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, offered his services to Hillary Clinton. But it wasn’t enough. Google “Hillary Clinton scandals” and back then you got a positive speech from her, not a mention of Whitewater or Chinagate.
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Social media messages were still passed through the fence or over the wall. The algorithms could not detect sarcasm, for example. Facial recognition technology backfired, so embarrassing memes snuck through. In some cases Leftists, themselves, were mistakenly punished. And so Big Tech turned to old fashioned, human, hands-on soldiers.
Thankfully, for big Tech, there already existed institutions that had identified and cataloged conservatives over the years. Many of these had been invigorated by Soros money and could help identify conservatives by name.
Five years ago, with Trump still in the White House, I began hearing about business people who claimed that their FB ads were no longer providing business. They had been careful to avoid any political discussion on FB, suspected that their Twitter account was being watched? Was there Big Tech coordination?
They soon concluded that their FB reach was being “throttled,” a technique that allows a post to go to the first line of friends but blocks it from the next generation or level of followers. After several attempts to rebrand, one such businessman took the radical steps of creating a separate corporate identity, even new bank accounts, this time keeping silent about his political views. It worked, his business bounced back and he learned with hard data that his suspicions had been correct. Again, this was five years ago.
Just recently I spoke with the administrator of one of the largest FB business accounts in America. Their products are favorites among suburban women. These are the same women who abandoned Trump in 2020. But are now becoming disillusioned with Joe Biden. Their children’s schools were closed for a year and what they saw their children being taught online has alarmed them. Their daughters’ Olympic hopes are dashed by rules that now allow boys to compete as girls. Inflation had doubled their grocery bills.
Apparently these women were talking about it online and Leftist monitors in their little FB cubicles began taking action. The company that buys massive ads to those same suburban women had run its own tests and soon concluded that their products were being punished because their audience was shifting away from Joe Biden and the national news media. They have taken some of their massive ad campaign from FB to Google but you see the problem?
This is the dilemma. People who go into business and advertise tend to be Republicans or Independents. These are the same people who buy cosmetics or other products online. Leftists are less entrepreneurial. They believe that the government has the solutions. They tend to allow the government to provide what they need.
There is a similar cultural conundrum. The largest sales of books and music are, in fact, Christian. Horror of horrors. So, I-Tunes simply penalizes them. The New York Times Bestseller list allows some high-profile Christian authors but shamelessly refuses most of them, regardless of their staggering sales.
There is a growing pool of rejected social media entrepreneurs who still create vibrant and often funny material. FB, IG, Twitter, allow them to occasionally reappear, only to be struck down again.
A rather new phenomenon are the social media talents who Big Tech manages to turn. One such personality had thousands of followers and broke some of the most iconic stories ever to appear online. For example, she captured congressman Jerry Nadler, claiming that Antifa didn’t exist with social media influencer Austen Fletcher known as @Fleccas on Instagram. The moment went viral and was a huge embarrassment to the Leftist media.
As spectacular as her star rose, so it came crashing down, when Big Tech targeted her. After months of suffering Big Tech censorship, seeing her Twitter following of more than 100,000 followers evaporate, she finally relented. She openly turned against former president, Donald Trump. After a healthy pause, to make sure she was not faking, Twitter gleefully restored her account. She was joyous and will probably not tempt fate by saying anything unapproved in the future.
She insists that her concerns are real and were not coerced by Big Tech but the story is chilling just the same.
Welcome to the Soviet States of America where your bank will report to the government any transaction over $600. Get poor and get poor quickly if you want to survive. And keep your social media following lean or Big Tech will do it for you.
Camille Wead is known as the Blonde Politician. She manages 19 social media accounts with a combined following of 680,150, including 132,000 on Parler. Camille is the Director of Operations at Grandoldmemes LLC.