Who’s the Real Internet Censor: Comcast or Facebook?

Originally Published in the Wall Street Journal

Apple has at last broken its silence on net neutrality. Last week the company sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission endorsing “strong, enforceable open internet protections” and opposing the FCC’s planned deregulation. “Consumers must be allowed to access the lawful internet content, applications, and services of their choice,” wrote Cynthia C. Hogan, Apple’s vice president of public policy for the Americas. “Broadband providers should not block, throttle, or otherwise discriminate against lawful websites and services.” Apple’s comments are directly in line with the larger progressive narrative, which presents net neutrality as a bulwark against corporate censorship. If the FCC’s deregulation went through, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union worried in July, “corporations like Comcast , Verizon , and AT&T will have the power to distort the flow of data and the marketplace of ideas online.” Facebook ’s Mark Zuckerberg wrote that the FCC plan would let internet providers “block you from seeing certain content.” A public policy manager at Twitter said “free expression” would be threatened because cable companies could “block content they don’t like.”

One problem: No one has presented a single credible case of any major internet provider censoring web content based on political beliefs. But you know who does? The very companies calling for net neutrality. Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, PayPal and other tech firms are engaged in increasingly strict political censorship through vague and subjective prohibitions on “hate speech” and “fake news.” Continue reading “Who’s the Real Internet Censor: Comcast or Facebook?”