First Amendment Rights Being Eroded by Technocrats: Director of Citizens for Free Speech

The logos of Big Tech companies Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, in file photos. (Reuters)

The increased censorship of people’s views expressed on social media by Big Tech companies has been part of an orchestrated attack on the First Amendment, Patrick Wood, director and founder of Citizens for Free Speech, told The Epoch Times.

Wood believes that there is an agenda behind the censorship. It would be almost statistically impossible to attack simultaneously all five elements of the First Amendment: freedom of religion, free speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, Wood said in an interview for Epoch Times’ “Crossroads.”

All five of those “have been shattered to pieces in the last year and the attack had started actually before that probably five [or] six years ago,” Wood said, adding, “Free speech is hanging by a thread and the First Amendment is hanging by a thread.”

Wood said that it was unprecedented that three Big Tech companies in one day took down competitor Parler under the pretext of violating their policies, calling it collusion.

Apple and Google removed the social media platform Parler from their app stores, saying that the app would be suspended until they could moderate “egregious content.” Soon after, Amazon Web Services took the site down due to alleged violations.

Parler was taken down by those companies after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the Capitol building in Washington on Jan. 6.

Free speech has been at the heart of all human and economic progress in the last 200-300 years, Wood said. “When you curtail free speech it becomes regressive to society; in other words, you’re going backwards when you start to censor it,” he added.

Wood compared censoring speech on the Internet to electronic book burning. Every Marxist or fascist revolution takes over or squashes media first because they need to control communications before they proceed with the rest of the revolution, Wood explained.

The people in the technocratic core of Big Tech believe that they must silence any narrative which disagrees with their narrative, Wood said. And it is not limited to conservatives, he explained, providing the example of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder of the Board of Children’s Health Defense, who was also silenced for criticizing vaccine safety even though Kennedy is a liberal.

“They don’t want to hear an alternative narrative so they are squashing free speech in the process of shutting other people up from contradicting their own narrative, Wood said.

When attacks on First Amendment rights started about five years ago, similar policies had been openly advocated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Wood explained.

Epoch Times Photo
World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab during the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 20, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution “is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres,” Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the WEF, wrote on the organization’s website.

Schwab also proposed the concept of the Great Reset to transform the world economy from “shareholder capitalism” to “stakeholder capitalism” which will harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution “to address health and social challenges.”

But the Great Reset is “warmed over technocracy from the 1930s,” Wood said.

columbia university cancels classes
The campus of Columbia University in Manhattan in a file photograph. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

What is Technocracy?

Technocracy was a political-economic movement that started in the early 1930s at Columbia University in New York.

“Engineers and scientists at that time believed capitalism was dead and that they and only they had some kind of a mandate to create a brand new economic system that was a resource-based economic system that would control the entire economy,” Wood said.

The concept of technocracy assumes that price cannot be used to control the abundance of goods because it decreases with the increase of abundance. Therefore a scientific method of balancing production and distribution must be used, according to a 1937 edition of The Technocrat magazine.

“Technocracy will distribute by means of a certificate of distribution available to every citizen from birth to death,” The Technocrat magazine states.

The movement failed when the economy recovered after the Great Depression, but it was revived in the early 1970s and it began to mature, Wood said, adding that what he called a global elite had embraced the idea that controlling the world’s resources would allow them to control the world’s economy.

Michael Rectenwald, a retired liberal arts professor at New York University, wrote for the Mises Institute that the planners of the Great Reset support driving ownership and control of the most important factors of production to those enrolled in stakeholder capitalism.

Stakeholders “include the enterprise’s owners and shareholders, customers, suppliers, collaborators of any kind, as well as the government and society, including the communities in which the company operates or which may in any way be affected by it,” according to a WEF report (pdf).

“The productive activities of said stakeholders, meanwhile, would be guided by the directives of a coalition of governments under a unified mission and set of policies, in particular those expounded by the WEF itself,” Rectenwald wrote.

“While these corporate stakeholders would not necessarily be monopolies per se, the goal of the WEF is to vest as much control over production and distribution in these corporate stakeholders as possible, with the goal of eliminating producers whose products or processes are deemed either unnecessary or inimical to the globalists’ desiderata for ‘a fairer, greener future.’ Naturally, this would involve constraints on production and consumption and likewise an expanded role for governments in order to enforce such constraints,” Rectenwald wrote.

Epoch Times Photo
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo on Dec. 11, 2016. (Terje Bendiksby/AFP via Getty Images)

The technocracy idea was introduced to communist China in the 1970s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the political scientist, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, and the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Wood said.

That caused a blending of the Chinese Communist Party and communism in general with “this technocratic system of social management, of total management of the economy and the people,” Wood explained.

“If you look deeper you see that there’s a group of people, a core of engineers and scientists, that are working to use high technology to capture the entire society, all of the people in it, and to control and engineer the economic system.”

Source: First Amendment Rights Being Eroded by Technocrats: Director of Citizens for Free Speech

Over 78,000 Facebook, Instagram Users Removed for QAnon, ‘Militarization’ Policy Violations

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees in Washington on April 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Facebook removed more than 78,000 profiles on both Facebook and Instagram, saying they had posted QAnon content and content related to “militarized social movements” since August 2020.

“We continue to strengthen our enforcement by identifying additional militarized social movements, new terms associated with QAnon and how people attempt to skirt our detection, including focusing more on Facebook profiles used to organize and promote these movements and groups on our platform,” Facebook said in an update on Jan. 19.

The company added that “these groups are constantly working to avoid our enforcement and we’ll continue to study how they evolve in order to keep people safe.”

Facebook added that “as of January 12, 2021, we have identified over 890 militarized social movements to date and in total, removed about 3,400 Pages, 19,500 groups, 120 events, 25,300 Facebook profiles, and 7500 Instagram accounts. We’ve also removed about 3,300 Pages, 10,500 groups, 510 events, 18,300 Facebook profiles, and 27,300 Instagram accounts for violating our policy against QAnon.”

A Facebook spokesperson told Fox Business last week that in all, about 78,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts were deleted as of Jan. 12 of this year.

Other Big Tech companies such as Twitter and Google’s YouTube have also removed tens of thousands of accounts related to the movement in recent weeks.

“These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service,” Twitter said on Jan. 11, citing the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The coordinated purge started on the same day Twitter announced it will permanently suspend the account of President Donald Trump. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, conservatives, and civil liberties groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union decried Trump’s suspension.

The QAnon movement follows clues from cryptic messages posted to anonymous imageboards. A prominent aspect of the theory alleges that global elites are part of a satanic pedophile ring.

Prominent pro-Trump figures, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who embraced some of QAnon’s slogans, and Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell—who filed a number of third-party lawsuits related to the November 2020 election—were also purged from Twitter.

Last week, the social media company suspended several Antifa-linked accounts related to riots on Inauguration Day.

One of the most prominent accounts suspended was “The Base.” It was first reported by journalist Andy Ngo.

“Our comrades w The Base (@TheBasebk), an anarchist social center in Brooklyn, NY of 9 years now took this Twitter thing seriously,” Antifa Sacramento wrote on the platform. “Reaching a platform of 17k followers they pushed a very specific line where politics were never blurred. Today, Twitter took their account down, and now there’s a void.”

Source: Over 78,000 Facebook, Instagram Users Removed for QAnon, ‘Militarization’ Policy Violations

Parler CEO ‘Confident’ Platform Will Return by End of January

Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze in Washington on June 11, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

De-platformed social media website Parler may return by the end of January, coming after the site reappeared online after Amazon Web Services (AWS) took the site down due to alleged violations, according to Parler CEO John Matze.

“I’m confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up,” Matze told Fox News on Sunday night. The website reappeared online with a brief statement from Matze.

According to a WHOIS search, Parler appeared to register its domain with Epik web hosting, which also hosts Gab.

“Every day it changes wildly, but I feel confident now,” Matze said, according to the Fox News interview. “We’re making significant progress. When you go into Parler.com it doesn’t go into the void now, it hits a server, and it returns just one piece of information.”

Matze wrote in an update on the site that “now seems like the right time to remind you all—both lovers and haters—why we started this platform.”

“We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media,” he remarked in his statement, dated Jan. 16. “Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”

parler screenshot
A screenshot of Parler.com on Jan. 16, 2020. (Screenshot/Parler)

Matze told the broadcaster that he was able to recover Parler’s data from Amazon on Friday, Jan. 15, which is a key step in relaunching the platform. “Now we can actually rebuild Parler,” Matze explained. “It’s critically important.”

On Jan. 11, Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services, saying that the firm should reinstate its services while saying Amazon engaged in monopolistic practices. Amazon, in a responding court filing, said Parler violated its terms and services by not moderating threats of violence and other allegedly egregious content, although Parler has since claimed a representative with Amazon appeared to be only concerned about whether President Donald Trump joined the social media website after Twitter and other big tech companies banned his accounts.

The Epoch Times reached out to AWS for comment on Sunday.

Matze added to Fox on Sunday that posting his brief message was a “big milestone” in getting the platform back online.

“We’re going to be putting periodic updates there,” Matze said “We’re going to try to get an update out every day… so that people can stay up to date with the site.”

Other than Amazon, Google and Apple removed Parler’s app from the firms’ respective app programs.

The move to suspend both Parler and Trump from various big tech services drew condemnation from civil liberties groups and conservatives, who have argued that it represents a slippery slope into more censorship.

Parler, which describes itself as a “free speech” social media website, drew a number of Trump supporters and other conservatives, including senators and House representatives. Following Trump’s Twitter ban, the website became the No. 1 app on various app stores before it was taken down.

Source: Parler CEO ‘Confident’ Platform Will Return by End of January

Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Parler founder and CEO John Matze speaks to The Epoch Times' American Thought Leaders in 2019. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)

Parler founder and CEO John Matze said his company is “prepared to take full legal action” after several big tech companies suspended the social media network from their services, according to an email.

John Matze, Parler’s founder, told The Epoch Times in an email that he believes Apple, Google, and Amazon had acted in bad faith and that the social media platform is considering legal action.

Responding to accusations that Parler was enabling “threats of violence and illegal activity,” Matze said these companies are using recent events to “go after Parler,” even though “there is no evidence Parler was used to coordinate the events.”

“Parler has no groups-style feature and Facebook was the number one tool for coordinating meetups for that event,” Matze said.

The targeted moderation by these companies against Parler came after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. A group of rioters and a minority of protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were counting electoral votes in a joint session of Congress. The mayhem on the day left five people dead, including one police office, and dozens of officers injured.

In response to the Capitol breach, a number of Silicon Valley technology companies ramped up their policing of statements and comments from President Donald Trump, conservatives, and other voices they believe may cause harm. Twitter on Friday permanently removed Trump’s account on its platform and justified its censorship by saying that the president had violated its “Glorification of Violence Policy” after he posted a message urging protesters to remain peaceful and leave the Capitol. The Trump campaign Twitter account has also been removed.

Parler, which has attracted a large following of classical liberal and conservative-leaning users, appeared to have been targeted for lacking a system to “implement robust moderation for egregious content.”

Apple said in a statement to media outlets on Saturday that they believe Paler had “not taken adequate measures to address” the proliferation of “threats of violence and illegal activity.”

“We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,” the statement said.

Apple did not respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about the ban.

Similarly, Amazon told Parler that they would be shutting Parler’s servers at midnight Sunday, Jan. 10, over what it says is the platform’s alleged lax approach to violent content posted by its users. Parler disputes this claim.

Amazon also did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about their suspension.

Matze said he believes these companies are also operating with a double standard.

“Twitter let ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trend the same day Parler was banned from Google … the double standard is obvious,” he said.

The big tech suspension came after Parler rose to become the number one application in Apple’s app store on Saturday, following Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s personal account. Matze said his social media network had around 20 million accounts at the time the companies suspended them.

Mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower told The Wrap in a statement that Parler saw approximately 182,000 first-time downloads in the United States on Jan. 8, which is up 355 percent on Jan. 7. The app saw about 268,000 installs across U.S. app stores since Jan. 6, the statement said.

Matze said on his Parler account late Saturday that he believes Amazon, Google, and Apple coordinated to “try and ensure they don’t have competition.”

“They will NOT win! We are the worlds last hope for free speech and free information,” he said.

“This is a battle against all of us. Liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, black, white, etc. They want to keep their monopoly over speech. They want us fighting. They don’t want us working together. They don’t want us working with each other, they want us hating one another.”

Unbalanced policing of user content and certain political views has raised concerns over First Amendment rights and the lack of checks and balances on decisions made by big tech companies. Discussions over limiting or eliminating liability protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act for tech companies that have engaged in censoring or political conduct have been heavily discussed in the past year.

Twitter’s move to remove Trump’s account has received widespread scrutiny. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, State Secretary Mike Pompeo, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley likened Twitter’s move to conduct by the communist party ruling China.

Source: Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Twitter Locks President Trump Out of His Account for the First Time

President Donald Trump calls on protesters near the U.S. Capitol building during the Joint Session of Congress in Washington to go home, on Jan. 6, 2020. (Donald Trump)

Twitter has disabled the account of President Donald Trump after deleting recent posts made by the president, including a video of him calling on protesters who had gathered on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington to go home in peace.

“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” a Twitter announcement reads.

“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” the announcement continues. “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”

Both Facebook and Twitter have removed a video of the president calling on protesters to go home. “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order,” Trump said in the deleted video.

Facebook was first to remove the video, which was up for just a few hours on late Wednesday afternoon.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to new outlets, “The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in a statement, “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

Trump had not called for violence in his speech.

Prior to the removal of the video, Facebook applied a label to the president’s video that linked to its “Voting information center,” which shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election. The Facebook label at the time read: “The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the integrity of our elections. Get Accurate Election Info.”

The Epoch Times has yet to call the race.

Twitter removed the same video from its platform within an hour later of Facebook’s video removal, replacing the post with the message, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules,” and linked to the platform’s “enforcement options” page.

Twitter also removed a message from the president posted at 6:01 p.m. ET that read, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side,” the president said in the now-removed video.

“We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us—from me, from you, from our country,” he added.

“This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.”

The U.S. House and Senate temporarily halted the joint session of Congress on Wednesday after protesters breached the Capitol building, which interrupted concurrent debates in the two chambers over an objection to the counting of a slate of presidential electors from Arizona for Biden. The session has since resumed.

Source: Twitter Locks President Trump Out of His Account for the First Time