Pushing Back Against Big Tech Censorship

Heritage Explains

Pushing Back Against Big Tech Censorship

In this “Heritage Explains LIVE,” we break down what you need to know about big tech censorship.

Tim Doescher: Today, we're talking big tech. It's a big one - Censorship. Accountability with big tech, and censorship. Kara Frederick is the one that's going to be leading the cool kids today. She's the boss on these issues here at the Heritage Foundation. She's a research fellow. Research fellow in the Center for Tech Policy here at the Heritage Foundation. Now, as we do this, you've probably tuned in to one of these before and you know that we're driven by your questions. So please comment, question, leave them all in the chat. We can't wait to read them, and we can't wait to answer them. Kara has promised to do her best to provide answers - not only well-sourced and thoroughly researched answers, but she's also going to do it with a great performance. Right, Kara? 

Kara Frederick: We don't want to over promise now. So, if your expectations are up here, put them down here. 

Doescher: All right. We're not going to over promise. So, this is my first question as we let people get sorted, get situated. And I was thinking of this as I was just researching this. Do you find it ironic that we are using big tech social media to criticize, critique and hold them accountable at the same time? 

Frederick: I do not find it ironic. This is what these platforms were here to do. This is what they were created to do. They were here, or ostensibly at least, to democratize information, to give voice to marginalized perspectives, to air grievances. If everyone remembers when the Arab Spring happened in the early 2010s, 2011 and later, people were so excited about the prospect of these platforms giving people who never had a voice, in authoritarian countries, that voice. 

And yet we see how the value proposition for these companies has metastasized in such a way where now they consolidate information, they control information themselves. And instead of democratizing it, decentralizing information, letting everyone talk, they are starting to say that, nope, we are going to tighten the grip on specific viewpoints. And we are going to maintain centralized control over this. And they are going back from what these platforms were originally created to do. They are reneging on their original promise. And I think Americans right now, looking at all the things that we have seen with the Wall Street Journal exposé. 

Doescher: Yes. Which we will talk about. 

Frederick: And all the leaks that are coming out now, where we get insight into how these companies think and what they are doing. I think this should thoroughly disabuse Americans of the notion that these platforms exist to democratize information. Because right now, with the big five tech companies that everybody talks about, they don't. And I'll add Twitter into that big five as well. 

Doescher: Transitioning to the driver of this episode, last week the Heritage Foundation was informed by Amazon that they would no longer support paid promotion of Heritage senior fellow, Mike Gonzalez. He just wrote a book called BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution. They have stopped promoting it because it "No longer complies with the current creative acceptance policies because it contains books or content that is not allowed".  

Content that resolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted. So, in other words, Heritage viewpoints were effectively being censored. Fortunately, this was cleared up because Heritage appealed it. And they reversed their decision. And now I guess we're allowed to promote it. But I was wondering – give us a little bit more context into the thinking there, into the decision process there, if any. 

Frederick: Yes, so first, notice that all of those human errors, those mistakes, those automation errors, they tend to only go in one direction, right? And that's against conservative viewpoints. I wonder why that is. Pretty interesting. I used to work at Facebook headquarters in 2016 and 2017. I helped start the counter-terrorism analysis program there for global security. And what we thought about, being in the belly of the beast, being in the system, we thought about our bottom line, first and foremost. We thought about growth at all costs. And we thought about our brand and reputation. These companies are also global companies, I think that is something that gets lost, and that animates a lot of their thinking and their decision-making processes. 

Frederick: At Facebook right now, more than 90% of their user base is outside of the United States and Canada. So even though they are an American company, incorporated in Delaware, they have different constituencies that they look to please. And I think when you say, “what is the thinking behind their decision-making process?” This is something that we used to say at Facebook, we would admit this openly, we were building an airplane in mid-flight. It appears that they are creating these policies on the fly. They sort of have general frameworks, and then they see what they want. They do what they want to do. They sort of retroactively take their terms of service and apply them to things that they want, the impacts and the outcomes that they want. 

Frederick: I think the Hunter Biden laptop story, which was suppressed by Twitter and Facebook. That was so interesting. Because with Twitter, they said, "Oh, this violates our hacked materials policy." We later found out, and Politico confirmed this morning, no, these are genuine materials. And okay, maybe there's sort of a tactic, a technique and procedure by hacktivists and cyber criminals and people in sort of that underbelly, that seed false documents into tranches of digital documents–that happened in the election in France a few years ago. However, right now we can confirm that at least some of the materials found on that laptop are genuine. And yet Twitter said, "No, these were hacked." They had no idea. 

Doescher: It was on the fly. 

Frederick: Yes, exactly. 

Doescher: And so, keeping with that. The heritage book, Mike Gonzalez's new book is just one example of many examples. Other authors here at Heritage have been censored or they have been removed completely from platforms like Amazon and they're still not back yet. So, my question is, do you have a sense for whether this is only happening on one side. Is that the case? Does this happen on the left at all? 

Frederick: If it happens on the left, it happens to one or two. They're banned, suspended for 24 hours. The opposition gets a data point and say, “oh, look, it happens to us too.” But then they tend to usually come back online. But one thing that I think is interesting in the Heritage researcher, Mike Gonzalez’s case, when they suspended advertising his book, is Ibram X. Kendi, Nikole Hannah-Jones, where we know that their scholarship is based on flimsy assertions at best. 

Doescher: These are people pushing The 1619 project, critical race theory, all this stuff that's infiltrating our civil society. They're allowed to post it. 

Frederick: Yep, and counter factual things at that. In the 1619 project, you had a slew of Pulitzer Prize winning historians come out and say, "This is actually wrong." And so, they give her a Pulitzer too, and try to dignify that. But we know that her scholarship is specious at best, and yet she's allowed to advertise her book. Those are all over the place. She's allowed on Twitter. 

Frederick: And that's another thing. Pointing out the hypocrisy is important. There's a utility in that. It only goes so far. But you sort of see what happens on these platforms. You see that the Haqqani Network is allowed to have a mouthpiece. Taliban are allowed to have a mouthpiece. Iran is allowed to have a mouthpiece. And yet President Trump, the then sitting president of the United States of America, kicked off that very same platform. If people aren't waking up to what's happening, then I don't know what else to tell you, because the confluence of evidence is overwhelming at this point. 

Doescher: It's almost desensitizing to me to even think about how the president of the United States is completely removed. And then you've got these horrible regimes that can spew hate toward Israel, toward anyone else, and with hardly any consequence. Now, folks, I wanted to tell you, please continue to comment, leave your questions. We will take them. We will get to them. In fact, I saw you got a note here that someone is watching from the Netherlands right now, which is cool. That's awesome. I've been there one time. And it was about enough for me. So maybe outside of Amsterdam, I'll go back. 

Frederick: Really good soccer team though. We keep our eye on the orange. 

Doescher: Absolutely. My next question, this came in from the audience as well. And I think this is really good - “Was big tech censorship always this bad? If not, when did this shift happen?” Thank you for that one. 

Frederick: That's a great question. In my mind, it wasn't. Again, I worked for these tech companies, and I didn't think this existed. I think they crossed that Rubicon during the presidential election season in 2020. It was that Hunter Biden laptop story, for me, being censored. I was like, wow, this is very, very bad. And then you sort of saw the dominoes fall in January of 2020 when 17 digital platforms in the span of two weeks kicked or suspended President Trump off of those digital platforms. So, it looks like they're sort of responding to public pressure, the political winds, and the loudest voices on the left, because big tech companies are not afraid of what Republicans and what conservatives are willing to do. This is because our constitutional dispositions are to leave private companies alone. 

Doescher: Let me ask you – Why? Why aren't they scared? We are consumers just like everybody else is. And I know you're getting at that. But dig into that just a little bit more. 

Frederick: Yes. Two points here, the ideology and then their bottom line. So, when it comes to the ideology we know that all of the institutions in our culture and our society right now effectively are enthralled to the leftist, progressive ideology because it's mean, and they're activists and this is what they do. You talk to a regular conservative on the street, and we want to feed our families, we go to church, we're active in our communities, but it's there. We're living our lives. Whereas the left, they get into government, and they'll be there for decades and decades and decades. They love to go out to protest on the streets. And this is how they feel that they can affect change in the world. Whereas we, we tend to be more insular, we love our families, we start businesses and whatnot. So that's one thing. 

Frederick: You look at the culture, which leans one way. You look at Hollywood and the entertainment industry, which clearly leans one way and that's to the left. You look at universities which are entirely captured by this. These '70s professors throwing crazy leftist, Marxist ideas on the wall like spaghetti. Whatever sticks, that goes down in the student body. And then they come out and they start to run the world. Everybody thought that would be confined to specific campuses. No. These people are among us. And then you have big corporations and big tech as well. So, we are swimming in a sea of leftist ideology. 

Frederick: So when the most vociferous voices are saying, "Hey, tech companies, do this." They're sort of a bottom up pressure from them, their employee base, a lot of them. Yeah, there's a lot of libertarians still in Silicon Valley. But a lot of people in these companies, especially the support mechanisms to the programmers and the cost centers and whatnot, are very loud with their diversity initiatives, et cetera, et cetera. Then you have activist board members pressuring them from the top down as well. So, they feel like they're in a vice, even if some of their CEOs have better instincts than others. 

Frederick: So that's the ideological perspective. And that sort of bled into my second point on the bottom line where we know that the Lina Khans of the world, who was just appointed the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, are the ones who want to break the backs of the tech companies in very real ways using anti-trust measures. They've been threatening for years. Elizabeth Warren, same thing. So, tech companies are afraid of what the left is going to do because when they get into power, they wield that power like a cudgel. Republicans, we like limited government. So, we don't do that. And we tend to be, frankly, the more polite of the two sides. We're not going to be as vociferous, as in your face, as obstreperous, when tech companies do something that we don't like. So, I think the list goes on in that regard. 

Doescher: Sure. And it's funny, when you mention, as we were talking earlier about these policies, these standards and rules for how you use the platform, and how Mike Gonzalez's book violated a policy. But my question is, and you've written about this, what are these policies? Are they posted? Is this something that you need to have a law degree to understand? Are they even for public consumption? That seemed like a very small little section of a policy, among thousands of other policies. How do consumers track that? How do they know they're not violating it? 

Frederick: Yes, so this is how American consumers should think of these policies. They are CYA measures for the company. It's just like an HR department. You think an HR department in a big corporation is there for you. You take your problems to them and you feel like you're going to be helped. No. The HR department exists to be top cover for the corporation itself. So, these policies are CYA measures for these big tech companies. They change them when they want to change them. 

Frederick: And I haven't really seen any serious effort in the courts to say, hey, breach of contract if these terms of service are not applied equally to specific humans. And first of all, we know they're not after Wall Street Journal's revelations saying, the XCheck, rules for thee, but not for me. That new instantiation in the tech world. It's basically making policy or has policies that apply to specific people. If you're valuable to the company, if you have a large following, if you're a political figure that they want on their platform, they're not going to apply those policies and those rules to you. Think of the policies by big tech companies as CYA measures, don't think of them as there to protect you. And they change them at will. And they'll push updates. You need a law degree to parse through all of them, for the most part, that prose is dense. And I can't- 

Doescher: So they are posted then? So you can find them? 

Frederick: Community standards, terms of service. It depends on what platform you're talking about. They do post them. Facebook newsroom, if you're interested, has a lot of interesting policies that they can sort of lead you to and explain. But at the same time, you're still at the mercy of these companies when they make those terms of service. And I haven't, again, seen a contestation that actually mattered when it comes to breach of contract for inconsistent enforcement at all. 

Doescher: Sure. Coming in from the audience here, “how long can big tech continue to censor? If the standard for what they consider acceptable keeps shifting, won't they end up turning on themselves?” 

Frederick: That's interesting. 

Doescher: We have a very astute, informed audience.  

Frederick: When it comes to turning on themselves, I think this has already happened in a way. If you look at Mark Zuckerberg, we think or I think, his instincts tend to be pretty good. Look at some of his news interviews where there was a question that was asked. It was probably Kara Swisher at New York Times who has a tech column in the New York Times and made it- 

Doescher: Which you love, I'm sure. 

Frederick: Oh yeah. She's great. Regardless. So she asked him, she's a pretty hard-hitting interviewer for him. And I'm not sure if she asked him this question, but someone asked him, do we allow Holocaust deniers on the platform? His instinct was, hey, more speech, not less speech. And he got raked over the coals, regardless of what you think about that content, his instinct was to keep things on the platform, to allow more speech. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. You have a crappy argument. Okay. Let it get flooded in a genuine marketplace of ideas that, I would argue at this point, doesn't really exist anymore since one side is controlling access to information, and the information that you see itself. 

Frederick: So I think, in some cases, these tech companies are sort of rotting from the inside out. But when it comes to, at least, how they should be devoted to freedom of expression they've replaced it with money. And so, if their bottom line and their growth still flourishes, again, that user base that's global, as long as that continues to grow, then they're going to be fine, for good or for ill. But yes, they're going to focus external outside of America when it comes to growth. Not necessarily in their application of policies. One of the things that came out in the Wall Street Journal leaked documents was that they really tinker with policies as they applied to people in America using Facebook and they kind of let a lot of things go in other regions. 

Doescher: So, let's just catch them up on this because not everybody's as smart as you and reads the Wall Street Journal every day. But the journal published an exposé I think last week sometime. 

Frederick: Yes. A series. 

Doescher: And it uncovered some pretty damning stuff. Go into that just a little bit. 

Frederick: Yes. They advertised it as the biggest leak in Facebook history. And journalists at the Wall Street Journal have been working on analyzing the documents and pushing them out. And there's, I think, five or six, articles right now. They've consolidated them on one collection page at the Wall Street Journal's website. So I would encourage you. I know there's a paywall in some instances, but Wall Street Journal's a national treasure. So you should subscribe anyway. 

Doescher: What a promotion. They didn't pay us for that one. 

Frederick: Not at all. All right. 

Doescher: Keep going. 

Frederick: But they're great. So I'll summarize them for you if you don't have a subscription. It has a couple themes. The first theme was the exposure, or revelation, of this program called XCheck at Facebook. And it's XCheck, referred to. So XCheck basically says they have 5.8 million people on a specific, we'll call it a white list of sorts, where they have different rules for them on the Facebook platform. And the best example of this, in the Wall Street Journal piece, is the soccer player, Neymar. So our guy from the Netherlands should know who Neymar is, even though he's Brazilian. A great footballer. 

Frederick: And what he did was post a nude photo of a woman that he said was trying to extort him. And they let that nude photo stay up for 24 hours. A regular person, they would've lost their account for doing that. And that would've been pulled down immediately. But because Neymar was part of this 5.8 million influencer, political, VIP, really important person on Facebook, they want him to be there. They weren't going to take him down. So they let the photos stay up. So that's the XCheck. 

Frederick: Again, rules for thee, but not for me. If you're Neymar you're special, so you can do whatever you want. But if you're Kara Frederick or Tim, I mean, you're going to get a little more of a microscope, and you're probably going to lose your account. If you run a business from Facebook, you're going to lose your livelihood. So, this is just another caste system. It's a digital caste system at this point. I just made that up. So, I don't know. 

Doescher: It's a good one. We got it. We're recording this. 

Frederick: Perfect. So, the Wall Street Journal was the first tranche of documents. The second one talked about Instagram and its toxic influence on teen girls. And I would say the thesis of this, and the most important point here was the fact that Facebook knew, they knew. They had the numbers. They had the internal research that their platform is harmful to teen girls. And yet they're still going ahead with creating an Instagram for under 13 year olds. And some of the stats in their internal research, they're really eye-opening. It's one in three teen girls, if they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse. Thirty-two percent of teen girls, same thing. 

Frederick: And this is throughout 2019 and 2020. They did this research over the course of multiple years. Six percent of American teen girls directly attributed suicidal thoughts to going on Instagram. And that was higher for teen girls in the UK. And so, in my mind, yes, we know that there are toxic effects on mental health because of these platforms. But to then go forward and not arrest your plans, to keep doing it but target younger and younger members of this cohort. That, to me, you need to really, seriously look at. 

Doescher: I'll just push back. I think a lot of people are probably asking this question. Why not just stop using it? Why don't you just stop? Why aren't parents stepping in? Why do kids have that? Maybe it's just not an ideal situation. But I'm just curious, where's that claim here? 

Frederick: That's one aspect of it. I mean, we, as individuals, we have agency, we can throw our phones out the window. But even as the ACLU, no friend to free speech these days, unfortunately. The ACLU senior legislative council, she pointed out, even when Trump was banned, she said, these platforms have become indispensable to billions. I mean, this is how we live, frankly. It's how we live now. If you are not on Twitter, not on Instagram, I'm not on TikTok. Please don't get on TikTok. But if you're not on these forums, then you're really missing out on the debate. And we all know that this is where a lot of these debates are taking place. And it's the new digital public square that's been said before, but it stands to be true. 

Frederick: And I'll tell you what, too, with these platforms, they act as social engineering mechanisms for the left. If you look at a lot of the crazy ideas that are being enacted in the Biden administration right now, a lot of those are from obscure academics on Twitter sort of pontificating. People in the gender dissatisfaction realm, the transgender activists. A lot of those people are so active on Twitter. Like when Abigail Schreyer's book was taken out of Target. That was because one person with a few hundred followers on Twitter complained, and it got ripped from the shelves. You have concrete, real-life impacts. 

Frederick: The digital world is cleaving with the physical world at this point. And I think it's important to know that these platforms do have an impact. So, if you want to have a voice in the conversation, even if the marketplace has been manipulated, you still must at least be paying attention to some of these forums. You look at what happens on Tucker. He's putting up Twitter anons on his show. And that's sort of influencing its thought leadership too. These platforms matter. And so, what happens on them actually does matter. As much as people would like to say that it doesn't, it frankly does. It's a new version of the public square. 

Doescher: Taking your questions, folks. Thank you so much for getting them in. We have a really interesting one right now. And I'm going to throw it out there. And if you have a response, great. If not, well, we'll just thank the person for their question and that will be it. 

Frederick: All right. 

Doescher: This is interesting. “Could banks be the next thing that will be used to crack down on dissidents?” 

Frederick: Oh, okay. I have a lot of opinions about this actually. And I think this is a general- 

Doescher: Thanks for the question. 

Frederick: Yeah. Great question. I do. In a word, yes. I think that when you look at the digital landscape right now, you're seeing that censorship is not just confined to social media alone. It is creeping into all of these digital services, online payment services. Look at PayPal. They just partnered with the Anti-Defamation League. Look at the trends of the Anti-Defamation League in the past few months. They are straying from their original purpose, which I think was a noble one, and they're using it to attack conservatives, to attack family friendly organizations and really say that your conservative viewpoint is racist, et cetera, et cetera. So I think PayPal's partnership with them, what are you going to see? You're going to get a further restriction of right-leaning content and right-leaning life. So digital payment platforms. 

Frederick: You look at other things with online fundraising platforms, things to do. We already know that Kickstarter doesn't allow specific films, like maybe pro-life films to go up to be funded on those platforms. You look at other digital delivery services, so a little outside the financial realm, and you see email delivery services like MailChimp. Conservative life in the digital sphere is being restricted, and we're sort of being encircled. And as daily life continues to take on digital characteristics, we might find ourselves jumping from a patchwork of restriction to restricted space. And there's a great Tocqueville quote where he basically says, "Tyranny in democracies manifests differently." It doesn't look like sort of the government murdering you, but it basically says you can keep your life, but your life that we leave you is worse than death. So basically what they're trying to do with the restriction of daily digital life is to make us sort of wander as second class citizens in the world. And I think that's sort of the next ridge line. It's happening again and again and again. We already saw certain candidates- 

Doescher: Jeez, Kara's getting deep right now. 

Frederick: Yeah, I know. I'm going. 

Doescher: You are going deep. I love this. Come on, keep going. Preach. 

Frederick: And to go back to the bank question, we just saw this happen with former national security advisor, General Flynn's wife, Chase Bank said, "We're revoking our services from you because being around you would affect our brand and reputation. Having you as a client would affect our brand and reputation." They've since apologized now. But if you don't think that's going to be the trend going forward for conservatives, you are sorely mistaken. It's happened to people running for office. It's happened to certain local branches of The Tea Party. It's happening to individuals. Trump, Wells Fargo, after early January 2021, they pulled their support to Trump. So our daily lives are being constricted in the digital sense. And I only think it's going to continue unless we do something to push back. 

Doescher: Great answer. Wow. 

Frederick: So I had opinions. 

Doescher: We thought it might fall flat on its face, but it's soared like an Eagle. 

Frederick: I swear I didn't plant it. 

Doescher: Soared like an Eagle. Coming in from Facebook. “How do you even know if you've been censored?” And that's a good question. 

Frederick: Yes, that's a great question. And I think this is part of the problem as well. Because there are a lot of technical things that can go wrong. And then there are a lot of things that they can actually do to specifically censor you as somebody on a platform. The thing is, you'll never know. Another, I didn't get through the whole Wall Street Journal litany of articles. 

Doescher: It's huge. You're right. Sorry about that. 

Frederick: No, no, no. One of them was, I think the third or the fourth article was about, 2018 Facebook tweaked its algorithm. So, if they tweaked the algorithm, which they are not transparent about, I think we should try to incentivize that transparency. But if they tweak an algorithm, then you might be suppressed sort of unknowingly based off your patterns of content and your practices and how you generally post. So, you're never going to know necessarily if that is a reason for you not getting as much engagement as you used to. So that happens on the back end. There's really no way for you to know. You just sort of look at your numbers and the analytics. And you're like, okay, something actually happened, could be an algorithm tweak. It could be like a human error, like what happened to Mike Gonzalez where a human goes in there and says, Ooh, saying that BLM is a Marxist organization is not good. That's contentious, therefore you can't pay for your advertisements. So, humans can go in there and do it. 

Frederick: You'll never know. Sometimes they will tell you. We were notified that the advertisement was not going to go forward, so we were able to appeal. But number one, we're Heritage. We are an institution. So, we have people to sort through this. I sort of looked through and saw, okay. Yes. I think this might be a case of Mike being suppressed. But not every person has those resources, that whole team. 

Doescher: Resources, that know how, the time. 

Frederick: The time. Exactly. 

Doescher: That's huge. 

Frederick: Yes. You're just going about your daily life. You don't have time for this. So short answer, sad answer, you may never know. Technical things could happen, like the algorithmic change, which is instituted by humans. So, we shouldn't forget that first and foremost. But then something could have happened where your account might be targeted for additional scrutiny, for a number of reasons. You could be shadow banned; you could be de-ranked if you're on Google. Several technical things could happen. A number of human things can happen. You almost might never know. 

Doescher: Good luck. 

Frederick: Yeah. 

Doescher: This is from Dan. And Phil's doing a great job getting this all in here. And he just left a comment. Dan says, "Censoring by the media in tech has been going on for decades. Worked in the Department of State doing security back in 1986. Was at an embassy, a foreign embassy. There was a protest going on in the back of the gate at the embassy. The news crew was trying to get the best angle to make the small crowd of maybe 20 people larger than it actually looked. They were finally ready to shoot. And then they walked out of the gate, right through the middle of the crowd. Totally miffed the news crew, ruining their propaganda." Nice, Dan. Nice. That's good. Thanks so much for the comment. Let's see here. By the way, what was Manila like in 1986? Man, you should write an essay on that, Dan. I think that'd be really interesting to find out about Manila in 1986. 

Frederick: For sure. The Philippines, there's a lot going on there now. So, it's always probably been interesting. 

Doescher: You should go back and relive those days. We got another question coming in from social media. Thanks, Dan. “Will social media companies hire moderates or conservatives?” 

Frederick: Yes. So, when I was hired, I had worked for the military, but people didn't really know. And they didn't ask my ideological proclivities. But I saw someone actually write today that it's really hard to resist and stay immune to the value system that's around you. So yes, they could hire moderates. And this is what I've noticed at these companies, there is a huge Stockholm syndrome effect. You really feel like you are at the locus of power in the universe. And in some ways, you kind of are. You are doing something that affects the daily lives of a ton of people. Facebook has almost three billion users total. That's a lot of people that use the platform. So, in my mind, you sort of get caught up in the efficacy of the platforms. 

Frederick: And I'll tell you guys this story. Whenever I'd be at a coffee shop or something. I worked at Menlo Park. And there were these coffee shops clearly all around the San Francisco Bay Area. And I had a little Facebook sticker on my computer. And I kid you not. I had no peace, no peace when that sticker was on my laptop, because people would come up and say, "Hey, I'm a designer. Want to hire me?" People would be like, "What's it like working at Facebook?" So like you do feel like you're moving the world when you're in these companies, and that the things that they can do are so powerful and they matter so much. And I will tell you guys, Mark is very compelling. 

Doescher: Mark Zuckerberg? 

Frederick: Mark Zuckerberg. Yes. They worked really hard to make him that way. But he's a very compelling individual. And when he says we want to connect the world, and this is the way we communicate in the future. And you're sitting there and you're like, yeah, that's what I'm doing here. And there are a lot of talented and great people that work at these companies. And they're solving really difficult problems. But you do sort of get captured by what's going on. 

Frederick: So, if you come in as a conservative, pure as the driven snow. You might come out a little different because those are the people that you're surrounded with. You're intoxicated by the headiness of what's going on, by all the resources and, frankly, the power that you have in those companies. And so, I do think deliberate efforts have been made to put more moderates, more right of center people at these companies. But you're not going to find Tucker Carlson's or any members of the dissident right populating these hallways and being open about it. 

Doescher: I wonder if you applied for a job at Facebook they would hire you again after coming out. 

Frederick: Probably not. 

Doescher: Probably not. 

Frederick: Yeah. Probably not. No, I'm good. 

Doescher: Well this is so great, Kara. I'm just so glad you're here. I wanted to give Mike Gonzalez's book one more plug. And Phil, if you could post that in the chat, maybe a link to the Amazon page or somewhere else, wherever you want to post it to. BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution. Man, he is exposing some of the most hot button issues happening right now. And it was going to be censored there on Amazon. But thankfully, it was overturned. But yes, just another reminder, another example of all that is at stake here for speech. It's great. It's crazy. 

Frederick: Yes. And Mike is a leader in his field, for sure. He is the future. The way that he's thinking about these issues, every conservative should be exposed to what he says in that book. What he says on a regular basis. A guy who fled Cuba before he was a teenager. 

Doescher: Yes, he did. 

Frederick: So, he knows what's going on. He can sense what is going on in this country and the echos of what he escaped being in our body politic, following us here, being promulgated by these tech companies in terms of authoritarian information control. I think Mike's warnings are particularly prescient, and everyone should heed them. 

Doescher: Prescient. It's a good word. I think I would've said prescient. Is it prescient or prescient? 

Frederick: I think it could be both. 

Doescher: Is it both?

Frederick: Yeah. I've heard both. I don't know. I always get imprimatur and imprimatur. Yeah, it depends. 

Doescher: Well, this is, of course, Kara and her vocabulary, ladies and gentlemen. So yeah. Thank you for your vocabulary today. 

Frederick: Well, the problem is, if you're fast and what is it? Ursula Le Guin said, if you're a fast and careless reader, it's hard for you to pronounce them out loud sometimes because you just see it. 

Doescher: Who's Ursula Le Guin? Are you Dennis Miller? You're like Dennis Miller. Dennis Miller's always quoting names that nobody's ever heard of. 

Kara Frederick: 

Oh, yeah. Sorry. 

Doescher: Come on. Who is this? 

Frederick: She's a sci-fi writer. It's kind of weird. I don't know. Doom's coming out, right? So, everybody, get in sci-fi mode. She's pretty cool.  

Doescher: Nerd. 

Frederick: No, she had a book about genderless society too. So, who knows? I guess we're all moving towards Ursula Le Guin's vision for what's going to happen here on earth, unfortunately. 

Doescher: All right. Well, I'm stopping you at Ursula Le Guin. So, we've promoted Mike's book and now Ursula's book. That's great. Congratulations. But folks, thank you so much for the interaction. Thank you for the comments, the questions. Thank you for tuning in, for being here. We're going to be back later this week. So please tune in then, and we'll let you know when we'll be back. 

Frederick: Thanks a lot. 

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