Can Private Companies Really Do What They Want?

In the wake of the massive and still-ongoing censorship of conservatives, many of us who have survived “the purge,” and at least have an online presence, for the time being, are rightfully crying foul. The POP team and I spoke about this in Episode 4 of our podcast. Yet still, many people on the left and even some on the right have defended big tech’s outlandish display of authoritarianism with the notion that because Facebook and Twitter are “private companies” they have the right to do whatever they please. “If you don’t like what they’re doing, build your own Twitter,” they say. The only problem is that conservatives did just that and big tech responded by shutting it down – so there goes that argument.

As a libertarian-leaning person who strongly believes in the power of free markets and private enterprise, I believe that platform and service providers should stick to what they’re good at and not get into the monitoring of content. They say that Twitter and Facebook are not the government and therefore things that apply to political entities like, say, the First Amendment, shouldn’t apply to them, right? Not exactly. It seems that in the minds of the liberal establishment the “private companies” argument only applies to enormous multinational corporations like multi-billion-dollar social networks – not small businesses struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic.

The insightful Ben Shapiro recently tweeted, “the worst kind of lie is a double standard.” Well, if you are looking for one of the most blatant double standards in politics today, look no further than how Democrat-run state and local governments have punished small businesses with draconian and unscientific COVID lockdowns while giving large corporations a pass. Millions of hardworking everyday Americans lost their jobs because the businesses where they worked were forced to shut down by left-wing bureaucrats. In many deep blue areas, such as New York City, the entire restaurant industry has been decimated – even though inside and outside dining combined only account for a whopping one percent of COVID cases from a study straight from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, how ironic. However, Cuomo is arguably the biggest hypocrite in all of politics now so this is entirely expected.

And it’s not only restaurants that are the scapegoat. Back in May 2020, at the height of the lockdown madness, Dallas single mother Shelley Luther was sentenced to one week in jail for the “crime” of keeping her salon open to feed her family and to support her employees (many of whom were in dire financial situations) and their families. The judge who heartlessly imprisoned Ms. Luther was Eric Moyé, a lifelong Democrat and acolyte of former President Obama. I fully expect restrictions on mom-and-pop shops to get even worse when Joe Biden, who promises to force a nationwide mask mandate, takes office next week. But wait, I thought that according to liberal logic these establishments are all private businesses that can do whatever they want? I guess not.  

The Democrats let small business owners and employees lose their livelihoods and file for bankruptcy all while big tech oligarchs Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg (who are both playing an active role in the censorship of conservatives) saw their bank accounts increase by tens of billions. The days when the Republican Party shilled for big business are behind us. It actually is the Democratic establishment, the allies of radical socialists and relentless bigots, who are the new champions of corporate America. The Republicans are now, at least for the time being, the party of the working class.

Conservatives have long made the mistake of supporting the mythical notion of “free speech at all costs.” By allowing powerful yet “private” entities like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, and the like to “do what they want,” while small businesses run by average people cannot, they have in a way allowed for their own silencing. It’s time we instituted major antitrust laws to break up disastrous big tech monopolies. Establishment Republicans have long thrown their weight behind big business because they see it as a better alternative to big government. However, at the end of the day, they’re all the same. If we support putting a significant amount of power into the hands of a major entity other than people, the people, in the end, will lose – like they are now.