It's no surprise to Townhall readers or conservatives generally that Big Tech and the U.S. federal government have partnered in recent years to influence elections, censor inconvenient news outlets that destroy their narratives and forcefully punish political opponents.
The problem is it keeps happening.
Just this week, Townhall published a column warning about the dangers of President Joe Biden's open border policies and their implications on national security. It was written by retired Navy Captain Hung Cao, who came to America as a refugee from Vietnam as a child.
"Virtue-signaling leftists will say that we are a country of immigrants and we should have open borders. As a refugee and an immigrant, I share the same hope of freedom and liberty as every person who aspires to come here. My family came here with nothing, and this country gave us everything," Cao wrote. "As Americans, we have an obligation to protect our fellow citizens and ensure the safety of those who want to come here legally. But, at this time, our border is in complete chaos and the Biden administration has no plan to fix the problem caused by their reckless policies."
When the op-ed was posted on Facebook by Cao, it was flagged as "hate speech" and eliminated from circulation on the platform.
"No one else can see your post. We have these standards because we want everyone to feel safe, respected and welcome. If your content goes against our Community Standards again, your account may be restricted or disabled," Facebook said when the op-ed was shared by Cao.
This censorship came shortly after Townhall found out it was put on yet another list. This time, to starve the site of advertising revenue.
"Newly leaked data to me from a whistleblower in the ad industry sheds light on how Group M, a major media investment group, blacklisted conservative media outlets and labeled them as 'disinformation' or 'hate speech' before the 2020 presidential election," the Washington Examiner's Gabe Kaminsky found. "Group M's billings surpassed $50 billion in 2019, and its agencies are major players in ad space."
In February, Kaminsky also exposed the State Department worked with foreign entities to censor Townhall articles by burying them at the bottom of search engines and in social media algorithms, as well as starving them of ad revenue.
"The Department of State has funded a deep-pocketed "disinformation" tracking group that is secretly blacklisting and trying to defund conservative media, likely costing the news organizations vital advertising dollars," Kaminsky reported. "The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups, is feeding blacklists to ad companies with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged 'disinformation.' This same 'disinformation" group has received $330,000 from two State Department-backed entities linked to the highest levels of government, raising concerns from First Amendment lawyers and members of Congress."
The blacklisting will never stop, just like the left's crusade against free speech and alternative media. These are more examples of why it is crucial for Townhall to be independent of Big Tech and its reach. We do this through our subscription program and with the support of our VIP members. Without it, we can't pursue the stories that need the most attention or expose the full truth that runs contrary to media or government narratives. While the censorship efforts continue, we are more resolved than ever to keep working.
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