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 don’t agree. They’ve entered into an unofficial or perhaps even official agreement with secular progressives to advance their agenda. Those who resist will be silenced.
Something shocking happened recently. The New York Post ran a story about Hunter Biden and the Ukraine. You might have missed it because Twitter and Facebook both essentially banned the story. Think about that. Big Tech said they had to fact-check one of the largest newspapers in the country before they allowed news to be promulgated. And even when White House spokesperson Kayleigh Mckenany attempted to share the story, Twitter locked her out of her own account.
The editor in chief of the NY Post called this shocking decision a “digital civil war.”
These are not hyperbolic warnings. This is happening. This has been happening. And this isn’t just impacting presidential campaigns. 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 is a clear warning that we can not trust Big Tech. The mask if off. They are now the gatekeepers of acceptable speech. On a personal note, just this week, 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 this close to an election. I write in order to influence people. I aim to change hearts, move souls. Facebook doesn’t want me discussing societal issues because it might influence how people vote. Something tells me that if I’d written a pro-abortion novel I wouldn’t be 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 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 shadowbans. Then it was demonetizing some fringe personalities. Now, they’re telling us what we can share and what we can’t.
If you ask me, I believe 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 didn’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 like a public utility like a telephone. 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 talking our way out of it. But Big Tech doesn’t want to hear from us. We are the unclean. We can not 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.