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The Chilling Effect Of Big Tech Censorship


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Over the past few years, we have witnessed a growing trend amongst social media companies and other tech giants to censor content. “Big Tech censorship” has become a rallying cry for conservative content creators. This practice has the overt effect of silencing conservative voices, but it also has a potentially more powerful consequence – a chilling effect on speech.

The chilling effect is often defined as “a usually undesirable discouraging effect or influence.” In politics and policy, the term is mostly used to label the actions of a government that intentionally or even inadvertently stifles free expression. An example of this practice can be seen in Cuba. When the Cuban government cracks down on a journalist critical of the ruling regime, this sends a warning to other journalists in the country to tread lightly on certain topics out of fear they may be the next to be targeted. The effect of the original specific crackdown is to stifle speech more generally across all media in the country.

Like it or not, the censorship of conservative voices by Big Tech is having the same effect.


Recently, comedian and popular podcast host Joe Rogan was once again caught up in controversy over a series of guests he interviewed on his wildly successful and influential show. The interviews, which covered topics including COVID-19, vaccines, and lockdowns, caused several musicians to pull, or threaten to pull, their music from Spotify – the platform that hosts Rogan’s podcast.

As a result of the controversy, Spotify announced new guidelines. The changes include a content advisory warning be included in any discussion regarding COVID-19. While these new guidelines are far less draconian than restrictions found on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, they still surely send a message to Rogan and other content creators to proceed with caution when discussing certain topics.

On platforms like YouTube, the penalties for speaking about controversial topics are far more serious.:snip:

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As Joe Rogan goes, so goes America

Two aging Canadian folk-singers, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, the Adam and Eve of the ’60s, are protesting again.

Against what? China’s genocide against the Muslim Uighurs?  No, something more ominous.  They are joining forces — and leveraging their playlist fans — to pressure Spotify to deplatform Joe Rogan.   

It was Joe Rogan and his listeners —not Spotify— who built the Joe Rogan Experience.

If you are not up on the modern zeitgeist, Joe Rogan is the most influential voice in the America today.  Joe Rogan is the straw that stirs the national conversation.  So much so that Spotify was happy to land him at the $100 million price point.  It’s worth noting that Spotify did not make Rogan the most listened-to man in America.  Joe Rogan and his listeners built the Joe Rogan Experience.   Rogan’s hyper loyal audience is prominently male and in the sweet demographic spot for advertising.  The Joe Rogan Experience a greater mind share than Fox, MSNBC, and CNN — and not for just a given program, but for their total share of voice.  In other words, Spotify got a steal at $100 million.  

Neil and Joni are hunting at the top of the mainstream food chain. The problem — at least for Joni and Neil and their righteous cause — is that Joe Rogan is not terrible at all.  

One hopes it’s just political theater for two aging revolutionaries.  Their combined individual residuals checks are so meager that it’s worth the free PR that “punching up” offers.  Failing in the service of a noble cause is a very ’60s things to do.  It allows two once-upon-a-time who’s who to ride off into the sunset with their self-righteousness fully recharged so they can die legends in their own minds.

The problem — at least for Joni and Neil and their righteous cause — is that Joe Rogan is not terrible at all.  

More likely, it’s an invitation to other artists, activist subscribers and more importantly those woke advertisers—of which there are many—to pile on so they collectively create enough pressure to bend the knee of Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, while getting a little virtue spray of free publicity.

To date, the wastrel formerly known as Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have talked about putting their $25 million advance from Spotify on the line.  The odds of them actually giving back the $25 mil is very low.  Rumors are they have money problems as well as talent problems.   And Crosby, Stills, and Nash have joined their former band mate Neil’s jihad against Spotify and the Joe Rogan Experience.  They no longer own the rights to their music but who cares?

But more importantly, has anyone from “Camp Censor” thought about what would happen to the cause of censorship by going after Joe Rogan?  Not to mention what it would mean if they actually succeeded in deplatforming Joe.

My read of the tea leaves: this does not work out well for the cause of Orwellian censorship—lose or win.

What’s the rationale for going after Rogan?  Here is my best guess: Because of Rogan’s outsized audience and popular standing, he has been deemed “too big to think for himself.”   The censors hold that with great audience comes great responsibility—and Joe Rogan is being irresponsible about who he allows on his podcast and into his musings. Joe has shown an unwillingness to think within sanctioned lines, and for this sin the Experience must be deplatformed and dispossessed.:snip:

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  • Geee changed the title to The Chilling Effect Of Big Tech Censorship

Devin Nunes and Trump Media and Technology Group Take on Silicon Valley

The effort to destroy Joe Rogan helps illuminate the nature of the current political battlefield. It’s not about normal partisan politics. Rogan isn’t a Republican. In December he said that if Michelle Obama ran for president in 2024 she’d beat Donald Trump. 

Rogan is a thoughtful and curious interviewer who has attracted an enormous following of 11 million listeners, making his podcast one of the biggest in the world. The Left is going after Rogan to test-run a kind of political power never before so successfully exercised in America—autocracy. If the Democratic Party and its allies in the press and social media can topple one of the biggest media voices in the world, they will have shown they can shut down anyone.

What’s needed is a platform that guarantees freedom of speech for America’s pro-America majority. 


Here’s where Devin Nunes steps into the fight. He retired from his Central California congressional seat in December to become Chief Executive Officer of the Trump Media and Technology Group. Τhe most pressing project there is Truth Social, a social media platform that will challenge established, and increasingly autocratic brands, that are in partnership with the U.S. political faction led by Joe Biden and his former employer Barack Obama.

“Social media and big tech represent an ideological battlefield,” says Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “And because these platforms are now inherently political, it’s good to have someone like Nunes who knows the stakes and the lay of the land. He understands that nothing is normal when it comes to these social media platforms, they are ideological.”:snip:

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