In this era of growing mass censorship of conservative, traditionalist opinion and overt media bias, the need for alternative news and information outlets has never been greater. No hyperbole. Legitimately never greater. The reason is twofold:
➔ The victory of political correctness and the rise of identity politics on the American left, which dominates the dissemination of information in the nation;
➔ The social media revolution that also is dominated by the American left and increasingly willing to flex the anti-free speech instincts of its fellow travelers.
This has been growing over the past couple of years, but the depth of it has been rapidly revealed since the election of Donald Trump. Even many anti-Trumpers on the right (alas, not all) have come to realize with assurity that the American left has a powerful streak that would censor all speech with which they disagree. Amazingly, this is even true in the media to a degree.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz issued a strong warning about the monopolistic power of Silicon Valley during a recent interview on the Breitbart News Sunday program. He said “The nexus of power in media has moved from New York City to Silicon Valley” and that America needs to “look at all the tools we have to protect free speech and prevent the Internet from becoming a vehicle for censorship.”
Cruz was referring to the shadowbanning on Twitter, where views not agreeable to the Twitter overmasters drop into a dark pit, and no one or almost no one, sees them. Conservative Twitter users frequently notice that suddenly no one is engaging with their tweets and whistleblowers have confirmed Twitter does this as a practice.
Youtube, which is owned by Google, has been demonetizing conservative channels by flagging them as having “inappropriate” content that scares off advertisers and viewers, and essentially attempts to silence the conservative sites by bankrupting them. Dozens of large conservative sites — including those as unoffensive and mainstream as PragerU — have seen dramatic demonetization on Youtube as suddenly video after video is flagged. Youtube just recently announced it will spend $25 million of its own money to promote its own list of the same “trusted” news sites.
And Facebook has replaced its discredited “trending news” section after the company was caught filling it with leftist news that was not in any way measurably “trending.” It was so bad and Facebook is so influential, that it became the subject of Congressional inquiries that included founder Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress.
But what Facebook is replacing it with is a feature called “breaking news,” that will be populated only by “trustworthy and quality sources.” Not surprisingly, the list of 80 such outlets appears to be dominated by, if not exclusively featuring, leftist publications. Facebook is not revealing the criteria for how the 80 were chosen, but in addition to the Washington Post, it was leaked that the much more leftist Vox and The Verge are on the “trustworthy” list.
Most recently, Apple has launched a “midterms election” feature of “trusted sources” for its official News app on iPhones, which like Facebook seems to include largely leftist publications from the old mainstream media to outright leftist Vox and Axios.
Apple News does not have the reach of the Big Three in social media, but it demonstrates that every dissemination organ out there is run by leftists who will choose to tell consumers what they should be consuming rather than allow the freedom for consumers to choose themselves.
Back to Cruz: “That is a level of power that is staggering, and I think it poses a real and present danger to our democratic system, particularly given the extreme left-wing bias of Silicon Valley. What we’ve seen over and over again, they’re acting to muzzle and silence conservative views, views they disagree with. That’s frightening.”
The problem is less and less with an absence of alternative news and comment sources. Those have multiplied in recent years, including big hitters from Foxnews.com, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Newsmax, the Daily Wire and so on to smaller hitters such as Liberty Nation, Sparta Report and The Revolutionary Act.
The problem is broad dissemination for people not already familiar with their platforms. And as bad as the stacked deck is for conservative news views, it is compounded by the shifting of the-once solid conservative alternative of the Drudge Report into a more mainstream, celebrity-soaked, sensationalistic, UFO and sex robots site. Not really what conservative, traditionalist Americans are after.
There are really only two alternatives to this. One is to declare the social media giants — particularly Facebook — a monopoly in the information dissemination industry and either break it up like Ma Bell was broken into the Baby Bells, or regulate it like utilities are. That option should rub every conservative wrong because it places the government as the overseer of information. A fairly terrible and certainly untrustworthy option at best — and the government is already a player in the progressives establishment.
The other option is for conservatives and traditionalist Americans to use alternative information disseminating sites. The most prominent of these is the fast-rising Whatfinger News, which is a solidly conservative news aggregator in the space of Drudge, but with literally 10 times more story links from reliable sources.
While Drudge puts up 25 to 30 new links per day, Whatfinger * adds 250 to 400 new links daily. The site is much more complete in covering the news and issues from a range of conservative perspectives with none of the nonsense that Drudge now indulges in.
Whatfinger News is followed by alternative Drudge look-alikes The Liberty Daily and Citizen Free Press. Try them out to see what works for you. They are all providing a more conservative alternative to Drudge, but we prefer Whatfinger as the layout is clean and well-organized and you can count on a huge number of new items every day — nicely prioritized.
This approach to the mass censoring is the best option for freedom-loving conservatives. It allows a broad reach, at least into the conservative community, for all of the right-leaning news sites to aid in distribution of content that counters the liberal media narrative.
But it can only work if conservatives share such alternatives with each other. Whatfinger’s growth has been almost exclusively by word of mouth, and it has grown fast in just two years. If conservatives will share these sites on their own social media accounts by the millions, the word will spread rapidly and others who may be traditionalists or even moderates will see other news options that the social media giants are censoring.
This needs to happen quickly, before the social media censors go further and block such attempts. Don’t think that won’t happen. Based on what has gone on since November 2016, everything is possible.
(* NOTE: The Revolutionary Act has no financial arrangement with Whatfinger and no quid pro quo on articles. Like every one of our posts, this is a straightforward opinion.)
Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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