By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.
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Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth. But today, could it be that the “geeks” of Silicon Valley are instead trying to inherit the earth?
Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Center (MRC), just released a blockbuster report on the problem of censorship by big tech Silicon Valley companies, like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Google. The report is called “CENSORED! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech.”
The MRC points out, “Like it or not, social media is the communication form of the future—not just in the U.S., but worldwide. Just Facebook and Twitter combined reach 1.8 billion people. More than two-thirds of all Americans (68 percent) use Facebook. YouTube is pushing out TV as the most popular place to watch video. Google is the No. 1 search engine in both the U.S. and the world.”
This is not just a war of ideas, observes the MRC: “It’s a war against ideas. It’s a clear effort to censor the conservative worldview from the public conversation.”
My first exposure to this censorship against Christian and conservative content online involves David Kyle Foster, a former homosexual healed through Jesus. He makes high-quality testimonial videos of lives healed from sexual brokenness through Christ.
Foster said on my radio show, “We had been on Vimeo for almost nine years. We spent a lot of money establishing our presence there, and they didn’t complain about our content at all. In fact, our content is always respectful, kind, compassionate. It’s intended to bring healing to people who are looking for healing.”
But then, Vimeo pulled all 800 of Foster’s videos down one day. Foster says, “They invented this fiction that we were harassing homosexuals, we were demeaning to them—none of this is true.”
This type of suppression of conservative or Christian content in social media is happening a lot lately.
I spoke recently with political commentator Ben Shapiro for an upcoming D. James Kennedy Ministries television special on this whole issue.
Shapiro noted there’s a difference between a platform and a publisher. His outfit, DailyWire.com, is a publisher. They are responsible for the content they publish. In contrast, Facebook claims to be a neutral platform where others get to publish their own content. But in gearing their platform to suppress conservative content and promote liberal material, they are acting as a publisher, determining content, while claiming to be merely a platform.
Even Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, testified before Congress last month: “I understand where that concern is coming from because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place.”
Fighting such bias, conservative radio host Dennis Prager sued YouTube and their parent company, Google, last year for censoring his Prager University videos.
Someone might dismiss all of this with a shrug. “Who cares?” The problem is the extent to which these big tech firms are shaping the political, cultural, religious landscape. Not just in America, but around the world.
Recently, Adam Ford sold The Babylon Bee, a Christian satire website, citing his discomfort with these gatekeeper issues: “As a follower of Christ, I am primarily concerned with glorifying God, loving my neighbor, and spreading the gospel…I think the centralization of the internet is one of the greatest threats to the spread of the gospel, and the well-being of mankind, that we face today….It is tyranny over information. It’s a handful of people who are hostile to the Christian message and the plight of the individual deciding what’s good and bad, true and false….I am no conspiracy theorist; never have been. From where I sit, this danger is as clear as day.”
What can be done? Steven Andrew, a computer programmer in Silicon Valley, told my radio audience that he used to have five million Facebook followers a month. But after the election of Trump, he noticed a huge drop in those he was able to speak to on Facebook—down to about 97,000 people a month. He told me, “Facebook is blocking 98 percent of the people we used to reach.”
Knowing how the game works, how the algorithms are being programmed to skew in favor of liberal over conservative content, Andrew is working on providing a new social network platform for those who love God and country. His conservative alternative to Facebook is usa.life, and his search engine, a conservative counterpart to Google, is 1776free.com.
Shall the geeks inherit the earth? No, for Jesus Christ has decreed that that honor shall be bestowed on the meek (the godly—who exhibit “power under control,” the definition of meekness).
In the meantime, in the battle of ideas and in the attempt to get the Word out, conservatives would do well to recognize and to counteract the massive online censorship that is happening in our time.
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 29 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, Doubting Thomas (w/ Mark Beliles, on Jefferson), and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback) djkm.org @newcombejerry
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Dr. Jerry Newcombe serves as the senior producer and as an on-air host and a columnist for D. James Kennedy Ministries. Jerry has produced or co-produced more than 60 one hour television specials that have aired nationwide. Jerry is the author or co-author of twenty-six books, at least two of which have been bestsellers, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Dr. Peter Lillback) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with Dr. Kennedy) . Jerry has also written Doubting Thomas? The Life and Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (with Mark Beliles). Jerry has appeared on numerous talk shows as a guest, including Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher (4x), Janet Parshall’s America, Point of View, the Moody radio network, TBN, the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Channel, C-Span2’s “Book Notes,” etc. Jerry hosts a weekly radio program called “Vocal Point” on GraceNetRadio (www.GraceNetRadio.com), which airs four times each day with new interviews added on Thursdays.
Jerry is happily married with two children and two grandchildren. The Newcombes reside in South Florida.