Big Tech Is Not Our Friend

We made a major mistake by abandoning blogs and websites for Facebook and Twitter. It’s time to return.

(photo: Tumisu / Pixabay)

The New Evangelization has hit an obstacle. It’s a rather big one. Big Tech is actively working to censor or silence voices with whom they disagree. They’ve entered into an unofficial or perhaps even official agreement with secular progressives to advance their agenda. Those who resist will be silenced.

This is not a hyperbolic warning. This is happening. This has been happening. And this isn't just politics. It’s about Catholics who are attempting to speak publicly about their faith.

Instapundit recently wrote, “Abandoning the decentralized blogosphere for the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube was a huge mistake, particularly for conservatives.”

I couldn’t agree more. This election season was a clear warning that we cannot trust Big Tech. The mask is off. They are now the gatekeepers of acceptable speech.

On a personal note, last month, Facebook banned ads for my pro-life novel, American Antigone. Why? They said that it was about a societal issue and shouldn’t be discussed close to an election. I write in order to influence people. I aim to change hearts and move souls. Facebook didn’t want me discussing societal issues because it might have influenced how people vote. Something tells me that if I had written a pro-abortion novel I wouldn’t have been banned.

About five years ago, many Catholics and serious Christians left the blogging world for the ease and community of Facebook and the immediate response time of Twitter. 

Twitter, I was told, was fun. It was the Wild West of speech. 

Facebook, I was told, was a nice community.

The problem is we were all herded into our pens and they locked the doors behind us. Once we were all on Twitter and Facebook they limited our reach because they decided they didn’t like what we had to say. The internet was supposed to open up avenues of speech. Once we all selected Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the three social media giants were able to begin restricting speech. In the beginning, it was shadowbanning. Then it was demonetizing some fringe personalities. Now they’re telling us what we can share and what we can’t. 

I think Twitter has been one of the most corrosive and perhaps even diabolical social experiments ever run on a society. 

I have truly enjoyed Facebook but we all know that they limit your reach if you are a conservative. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled upon someone’s page whom I used to enjoy, only to realize that Facebook limited their reach and they simply didn't appear on my screen. I sometimes end up seeing merely the same dozen or so accounts all the time. 

We should get back to blogging. Return to websites. We could read what we wanted and if Big Tech didn’t agree with us, it wouldn’t really matter. I recently began posting more and more on my own blog Creative Minority Report exactly because of this. 

Sites like the National Catholic Register aren’t prone to being shadow banned. We worry about pleasing the Almighty, not the mighty cadre of hipsters running Big Tech. We need sites that stand on their own and don’t depend on the approval of an elite class. Let’s be honest: Big Tech is never going to approve of what we’re talking about. Pro-life? Nah. Marriage between a man and a woman? Shut up, bigot. More than two kids? What are you, a nut?

I’m not saying we leave social media entirely, but just know that your universe is not entirely of your own making there. You are intentionally cut off from others. And others who might not agree with you all the time never even get to see you. 

Under the law, they are not publishers. They are more of a public utility, like a phone company. But this phone company decides who you can call and what you can say. 

We live in a dangerous time. The country is split. Why do you think that’s happening? We are trapped in ghettoes. But we are called to evangelize, not merely have it out with the blue-checkmark brigade on Twitter. 

The only way out of this crisis is to talk our way out of it. But Big Tech doesn’t want to hear from us. We are the unclean. We cannot hope that one day they will allow us to speak freely.

We are without a free voice anymore. And what happens when a group of people no longer feel they have a voice? What happens when people no longer believe their vote matters and they don’t believe their voice is heard?

Let’s get back to talking. Let’s get back to blogging. We made a major mistake by abandoning blogs and websites. It’s time to return. It’s not a fix-all but I believe it will at least slow down our descent. At this point a little extra time would be a good thing.