Earlier this month Twitter engaged in something that has become all too common among the online communications giants: they banned more conservative content from their platform. This time, their targets were conservative humorists.
Two of the banned accounts, Titania McGrath and the Babylon Bee, offer some of the most hilarious satire to be found anywhere. And as with any great satire, sometimes at first glance, the uninitiated will not even realize it’s a joke.
After a few days, Twitter reinstated both of these accounts, but another target of the ban, the satirist Jarvis Dupont, remains inaccessible. Dupont’s musings can still be found at Spectator USA, but because the focus of his ridicule is trans ideology—which constitutes the uttermost pinnacle of intersectional sanctity—he likely will never be seen on Twitter again.
It is difficult to overstate the global power of these companies. Not quite two years ago, an article titled (all too accurately) “How Big Tech Will Swing the Midterms, Then Take Over the World” included a financial snapshot of the seven biggest high tech and social media companies in the world. That graphic is reproduced below.
These are companies of almost unimaginable financial power. Twitter, by far the smallest kid on the block in terms of market value, was nonetheless sitting on nearly $6 billion dollars in cash in late 2018. That’s cold, hard, cash sitting in the company’s checking account.
Together, these seven companies, which collectively exercise almost absolute control over which information reaches the vast majority of Americans, had $386 billion in cash in late 2018, and a combined market value of $4.4 trillion. For those who haven’t thought this through, a trillion is equal to one thousand billion, or one million million. And that was then.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the shutdown of small businesses across America, many of them gone for good. It also empowered the further consolidation of the U.S. economy in the hands of multinational corporations. But among those behemoths, few have done as well as Big Tech.
With outdoor activities sharply reduced and shops closed, screen shopping and screen entertainment fills the void. The total market value of these seven companies is at an all-time high; all of them have nearly doubled since October 2018. Combined, they are now worth $7.6 trillion, up 71 percent from less than two years ago.
As for their cash positions, these seven companies now have just shy of a half-trillion dollars to deploy, anywhere, anytime. Twitter, still the small fry among these titans, now has nearly $8 billion in cash. Here is a financial snapshot of these same companies today:
Companies this big have the power of nation-states. Of the five companies on earth that have market values of $1 trillion or more, four of them are Big Tech companies. The only other company in the world that’s worth over $1 trillion is Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia.
In comparison to national GDP, the market value of these seven Big Tech companies, $7.6 trillion, puts them in third place, behind the United States and China. Even when making the more apt comparison of the combined sales of these seven companies, $1 trillion, to national GDP, they come in at No. 17 in the world, right behind Indonesia ($1.1 trillion) and ahead of the Netherlands ($0.9 trillion).
Financial Power Is Only Part of Big Tech’s Power
It’s important to describe just how wealthy a handful of companies, controlled by a few dozen people living on America’s West Coast, have become. It’s far greater than many people might casually assume. These are companies that are financially powerful enough to buy small nations. They are powerful enough to invest in almost any market sector on earth and dominate it. They are powerful enough to absorb or crush any emerging competitor, any time—and they do.
But that’s only half the story.
What Big Tech does with their money and technology is far more significant than the mere fact of their immense wealth. For all practical purposes, these companies exercise monopolistic control over how we access information and communicate.
In an earlier article on Big Tech, the way these companies accomplish this is covered in some detail. They are rewriting history, redefining language, arbitrating international borders, and manipulating how we perceive physical geography. They are managing the information to which we are exposed, or not exposed, as well as controlling the underlying messages in news reports. And of course, they are using this power to influence elections.
To expose the grip Big Tech wields on how we communicate and access information, however, is still only to reveal a fraction of their power. A troubling video released on August 15 by online journalist Millie Weaver called “Shadowgate” alleges that government-directed and funded private contractors are using radical new technologies to manipulate public opinion and retool law enforcement. Weaver’s video only lasted a few days on Facebook and YouTube, but can still be found on BitChute.
As an aside, it is perhaps futile, yet pertinent, to ask exactly how YouTube justified the Shadowgate video being “removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech,” or, why Millie Weaver was arrested a few days before she released her video.
To discuss all of the allegations included in the Shadowgate video would require a lengthy report. And the question of how interlinked the Big Tech giants are with these private contractors was not answered. Clearly the technologies being employed to microtarget individual American citizens with so-called “internet influence operations,” as well as the desire to see Donald Trump replaced by Joe Biden in January 2021, are shared by these contractors and Big Tech. But to what extent are they working together?
The whistleblowers interviewed in the Shadowgate video—who do not enjoy whistleblower protection because they worked for private contractors, not the government—explained how it is now possible, using existing online surveillance assets and AI programs, for private contractors to “get inside their minds, know what makes them angry, happy, get into their world, know everything about them, their friends, their secrets, their injuries, use their fears, their anxieties to control their behavior”—for every individual person in America.
Where mental manipulation fails, there is law enforcement. In this realm as well, Big Tech is ushering in a paradigm-shifting revolution. In the Shadowgate video, the people interviewed allege that the anti-racist “defund the police” movement, as well as the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and even provisions of the “Green New Deal,” are all being used to facilitate this paradigm shift.
As they put it:
AI and robotics for law enforcement are already here. There is an international push for autonomous law enforcement to remove the human factor. The objective is full integration of all data including the internet of things, autonomous patrol robots, autonomous drones, computer vision software, tracking and tracking systems, nanotech vaccines, contact tracing apps, predictive modeling for social distancing, and forecasting tools such as systems and methods for electronically monitoring everyone to determine potential risk.
An ominous corollary to this is the medicalization of all three of the facilitating initiatives being pushed by Big Tech and the state establishment. Along with COVID-19, “systemic racism” and “climate change” now increasingly are being touted as medical emergencies. Housing and homelessness are now “public health issues.” And as the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too clear, medical emergencies supersede the Bill of Rights as well as property rights. These emergency declarations could begin the day Joe Biden takes office, and it’s awful hard not to conclude that is the reason that Big Tech and the state establishment are doing everything they can to make certain Joe Biden becomes the next president of the United States.
Against this backdrop, it is almost a sideshow that Big Tech is canceling anyone and anything online that contradicts their preferred narrative and political agenda.
Online censorship violates everything Americans traditionally have believed. It is a fundamental threat to freedom of speech—a right that Americans used to take for granted. But it is nonetheless only a part of something much bigger. Big Tech is using its considerable power to restructure American society in what may well be a fatal erosion of all the freedoms Americans have taken for granted.
In that context, the fact that Twitter banned three conservative satirists, and then allowed two of them back (gee, thanks), is relatively insignificant. But it does indicate something more about where we’re headed, thanks to Big Tech and the establishment state. The culture that we’re being steered into has no sense of humor. No ability to laugh at itself. There are few signs of tyranny more obvious than the failure to appreciate a clever joke, especially one that mocks the dominant culture.
So go tell a trans joke, if you dare. But watch out. It may be your last public utterance.