One of the benefits of my work with the Convention of States Project—and, before that, as the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots—is that I always have my finger on the pulse of grassroots America. I’m constantly in contact with patriots fighting for liberty in state and local governments, and I travel the country every year to visit the most engaged, effective, and energized citizen-activists.

What they’re telling me now is deeply concerning.

Everyone knows about the cabal between Amazon, Apple, and Google to shut down Parler. Some have even heard about GoDaddy’s de-platforming of the biggest online gun forum, AR15.com. But no one is talking about Facebook’s widespread purge of individual accounts.

I’m getting constant emails from grassroots patriots who are having their accounts suspended or deleted. These people aren’t the crazies who stormed the U.S. Capitol. They aren’t militia types (who, by the way, attacked me relentlessly for my harsh criticism of the Capitol rioters), and they aren’t radicals. These are ordinary citizens posting about ordinary things. Some of them are conservative and politically active, but they aren’t violating Facebook’s terms of service, and they aren’t inciting violence in any way.

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This is a screen shot from a Convention of States District Captain in California. His account was disabled, and Facebook automatically decided that the decision couldn’t be appealed (click to see a larger image).

Matthew didn’t violate Facebook’s community standards, and I should know because I read Matthew’s posts all the time.

This kind of thing is happening across the country. Individual, conservative Americans—not just big companies and websites—are waking up to find that their accounts have been disabled, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

Supporters of Big Tech will argue that these companies have the right to ban whoever they want. They’re private companies, after all, and they aren’t bound by the limitations of the First Amendment.

I get that argument, but here’s the thing: Big Tech—like Big Oil before it—is a monopoly. Big Oil controlled the spread of people and goods, but Big Tech controls the spread of information. Their stranglehold on our information networks means that no movement or idea or cause has a hope of getting off the ground without their blessing. With a single line of code, these companies can affect the behavior of millions of Americans.

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To take just one example, in 2019 a research psychologist testified before a U.S. Senate committee that Google’s biased search results swung at least 2.6 million voters to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. She lost, of course, but it demonstrates the power that Big Tech has over our daily lives.

So, when I learn that a company like Facebook is censoring grassroots Americans, I become concerned. In any totalitarian regime, whether Communist or Fascist, the first goal is to control the spread of information. If you can control what people say and think, you can control what people do. If you can marginalize a group by excising them from the public square, you can turn opinion and conjecture into accepted dogma.

I’m not saying Facebook is plotting a totalitarian takeover of the U.S. government. That would make me one of the crazies. But I am saying their totalitarian tendencies are incredibly dangerous, and their censoring of half of America will have terrible effects for generations to come.

I’m not sure what action Congress should take—if any. I’m a huge believer in the free market, and I don’t like the idea of the federal government dictating the actions of private businesses. But if Big Tech continues the Great Silencing, something will need to be done.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.