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Silicon Valley Aims to Gag Freedom of Expression

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The parent company of the increasingly powerful Silicon Valley tech giant, Alphabet Incorporated, has announced that it will donate €25 million to the newly established European Media and Information Fund, an organisation that claims to support ‘media literacy’ and combat so-called ‘fake news’.

Since 2016, a year which saw Donald Trump elected to the presidency of the United States, Left are desperately looking to secure their already near-monopoly on the distribution of information on the web, calling for more regulations (censorship) on the free flow of information. 

To prevent populist ideas from spreading, Silicon Valley tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, all of which have clear left-wing biases, have regularly censored and blocked alternative voices whose narratives deviate from the ones they prefer to see propagated.

The political left has constantly accused California tech companies of not doing enough to stop the spread of what they call ‘fake news that’s tricking populations around the world to vote for right-wing politicians and parties.’

To further combat this truth-trend, which leftists claim poses a threat to (leftist) democratic society, the European Media and Information Fund was launched last week by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, one of the wealthiest charitable foundations in the world, alongside the European University Institute, an international postgraduate and post-doctoral teaching and research institute established by the European Union in 1976.

According to a report , the fund seeks to mobilise financial resources to recruit so-called ‘fact-checkers and researchers to wage war against online truth posts.

The European Digital Media Observatory, a left-wing project which was set up last summer under the sponsorships of the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, along with the European University Institute’s School of Transnational Governance, will evaluate and select projects, whereas the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will be in charge of overseeing the financial and administrative aspects of the initiative.

In January, tech giants Google, Amazon, Apple managed to remove the conservative, free-speech social media network Parler from the web, which was one of the fastest-growing applications in the preceding months.

In what seemingly was a coordinated effort to take the new social media application offline, Apple and Google first removed Parler from their app stores, claiming that the social media company had not done enough to police its users from posting content that encouraged violence. Shortly after, Amazon banned Parler from using its web-hosting service for alleged violations of its terms of services. Collectively, these efforts managed to remove Parler from the internet for an extended period of time.

In the same month, Google removed Element, an encrypted chat app that doesn’t collect data about its users, from its Play Store for allegedly hosting abusive content.

However, central European governments have repeatedly been at the forefront of combatting Big Tech’s censorship of conservative ideas. In 2019, the Hungarian government took action against Facebook for falsely stating its services are free when, in fact, it was actually monetising its users’ data. Hungary hit the California social media giant with a €3.62 million fine. Poland has also proposed fining social media companies for censoring political speech or removing any speech that is not illegal from its platform.

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