In the competition of ideas, you can't win the game if you're not on the playing field.
That's why Silicon Valley bigwigs' stubborn refusal to put business above their own personal partisan biases doesn't just rankle. It reeks. Equal access to social media is not just about sharing food pics, pet videos, makeup tutorials and travelogues. It's about ensuring the ability to disseminate and distribute political speech on the world's biggest platforms.
Although I started in the metro newspaper industry in 1992, my years as an independent conservative blogger and internet entrepreneur have been the most journalistically enriching. I launched my first website in 1999, my namesake blog in 2004, my first group blog and video content platform HotAir.com and my YouTube channel in 2006 (where I broadcast reports from Iraq), my Twitter account in 2008, my second group website Twitchy.com in 2012, and my documentary-style web series, "Michelle Malkin Investigates," for CRTV.com in 2016.
I don't just preach the First Amendment. I practice it for a living.
Early adopter status was important for us non-leftists who saw the disruptive influence and narrative-setting opportunities that new media and social media offered. I was ridiculed by mainstream media colleagues for wasting time on the internet, derided as "just a blogger" (which I proudly turned into a hashtag), and mocked for starting a Twitter aggregation business long before corporate media outlets copied the idea.
Over the years, I've joined other independent conservative social media users in exposing coordinated “flag-spamming” campaigns against right-wing personalities and causes. Pro-life, pro-border security and anti-jihadist journalists and activists have all been selectively gagged on Google/YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I've worked with a few good-faith employees at these companies who tried to treat conservatives fairly. But in the unhinged era of the anti-Trump resistance, intermittent purges, “accidental” suspensions and suspicious deletions of conservative content have spiked to a level of systemic censorship.
Twelve years after its founding, Twitter has abandoned its corporate motto of “Defend and respect the user's voice.” Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, set to testify before Congress in two weeks, admitted his company's left-wing bias and dismissed revelations from his own engineers, who confided to undercover Project Veritas journalists that they were creating algorithms to “ban a way of talking,” “down rank” users based on politics and employ “machine learning” to create special triggers and keywords — “the majority of (which) are for Republicans.”
In April, the brilliant anti-leftist street artist Sabo disappeared from Twitter without warning or explanation.
My friend and CRTV.com colleague Gavin McInnes was silenced on Twitter recently for absolutely no good reason and remains suspended.
Prager University, with whom I collaborated on a new video about immigration and border security, has been suppressed on Facebook and it's clear it was no accidental glitch. One of the videos yanked was conservative millennial vlogger and CRTV.com host Allie Stuckey's piece called “Make Men Masculine Again.”
Author and philosopher Stefan Molyneux, whose video podcasts have 250 million views, was also silenced by speech suppressors on YouTube, which arbitrarily issued community guideline violation strikes against him for videos including an interview with British journalist Katie Hopkins and a discussion on the Death of White Males.
My friend and conservative social media guru Nick Short, of the Security Studies Group, was one of thousands of conservative activists who discovered they've been throttled by Twitter's use of a "complex and opaque Quality Filter algorithm that has the effect of disproportionately restricting the voices of conservatives under the guise of limiting harmful or abusive users."
Same as it ever was. For three decades, the far-left has waged continuous war on conservative free speech in every available space.
They have organized militant boycott campaigns against the right's most effective advocates on talk radio — including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham. They pressured advertisers to withdraw from Dr. Laura Schlessinger's national TV show when she was at the height of her popularity and mainstream commercial success.
Democrats have exploited national tragedies from the Oklahoma City bombing to the Tucson massacre to try to regulate lawful, peaceful conservative free speech and enact an Orwellian Fairness Doctrine under the guise of decency, diversity and equality.
The “new” war on conservatives on the internet is the same old attempt by desperate liberals to shut down their competitors in the marketplace of ideas. If you can't beat 'em, deplatform 'em. That's the progressive way.
The right-wing solution is not to lie down, but to win over more converts, find new ways to disseminate our news and views, and turn up the heat. I've been doing it for 25-plus years and have no intention on cooling off, giving in or shutting up. Speak for those who have no voice. Support those speaking for you.
And one last action item: Remember this in November. The ballot box is one of the mightiest platforms we have. Use it or lose it.