Left-wing and establishment conservative billionaires are teaming up to censor the Internet.
Organizations established by left-winger George Soros and libertarian Charles Koch have been working together on a key priority of globalist neoliberals and neoconservatives: censorship of the Internet.
Last year, the Charles Koch Institute pledged its support for the “After Charlottesville Project,” an initiative organized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) aimed at combating “online extremism.”
Sponsors of the initiative include Comcast, NBC Universal, the Kresge Foundation, and the George Soros Charitable Foundation.
Other groups involved in the project include a host of Soros-funded organizations, including “Hope not Hate,” the British equivalent of the far-left SPLC, and the pro-immigration National Immigration Forum.
The former group, Hope not Hate, has a reputation for far-left extremism. Liberal anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz accused them of “book burning” after it announced a campaign to get allegedly “racist” books banned by major retailers. It was also forced to retract a smear against a Jewish pro-Israel activist last year.
The National Immigration Forum, which initially aimed to persuade evangelicals and conservatives to support amnesty for illegal aliens, was exposed for its ties to George Soros
The ADL, which leads the After Charlottesville Project, was once a politically neutral anti-semitism watchdog. However, under former Obama White House official Jonathan Greenblatt, it has shifted in a markedly partisan direction, accusing President Trump of “racism” and attempting to blame rising anti-semitism on Trump supporters.
The Charles Koch Institute, once seen as a conservative nemesis of the left, has now aligned itself with this group of left-wing, pro-censorship, anti-Trump agitators. When it comes to censoring the Internet, both the progressive and “conservative” establishment appear to be converging on a common position.
More recently, the Charles Koch Institute has teamed up with Engine, a Google-funded think tank to host a series of events on internet content moderation, billed as discussions about “how and why various Internet companies of all sizes moderate their users’ content to the benefit of the platform and its users.”
Attendees at the events have included representatives from Airbnb, Cloudflare, Tumblr, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Automattic, the company that owns and operates the WordPress.com blogging platform.
ADL-like rhetoric about fighting “hate” or “extremism” is frequently used as a pretext by major tech platforms to censor lawful expression. In one such example, just over a month before their representative attended the Koch-organized panel on content moderation, Automattic deleted several WordPress blogs aimed at tracking the spread of radical Islam.
The Charles Koch Institute now appears committed to advancing Internet censorship — or “content moderation,” as they might call it. Sarah Ruger, the Institute’s director of “free expression initiatives” has praised Airbnb for canceling the reservations of far-right activists, and has called for “online hate” to be treated like a “virus.”
As always, there’s an elephant in the room — what counts as “online hate?”