Brad Parscale, Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager and highly successful digital media director in 2016, has attacked Silicon Valley tech and social media companies, referring to them as “the Palo Alto Mafia” which consciously tries to suppress conservative voices and viewpoints.
“I think that when the left found out that Facebook, a tool built by Silicon Valley, helped elect President Trump, they weren’t very happy,” said Parscale, referring to the Trump campaign’s successful strategy of dominating advertising and presence on social media. “And so they want to do everything they can to help prevent conservative voices.”
Parscale said in early March of this year that “we are watching” to Facebook, Twitter, and Google, warning them to “make sure the playing field is level.” However, multiple developments since then attest to a consistent trend demonstrating that the companies did not heed his words. A few weeks ago, Facebook deleted over 800 political pages and accounts, including many conservative ones, some of which boasted millions of fans, in an act of blatant interference in the upcoming midterm elections. Shortly before, the company’s institutional bias against right wingers was again in the spotlight when a conservative senior employee quit, stating that he could not continue working there in good conscience.
Google, meanwhile, landed in the public eye after an internal memo leaked to Breitbart News, entitled “The Good Censor,” explicitly stated that the tech giant understood its monopoly over online conversation, and saw censorship as a more ethical position than free speech, with the direct goal of suppressing right wing politicians.
Finally, Parscale himself wrote an op-ed this August, stating that “big tech is becoming Big Brother.” He specifically called out the biased censorship of Candace Owens by Twitter; the shadow-banning of Republicans; big tech’s cooperation with the far left, dishonest Southern Poverty Law Center; and the online de-personing of conservative commentator Alex Jones, demonstrating that he had, indeed, been watching.
The Trump 2020 campaign director’s internet savvy and close grasp of important current events bode well for both the president’s reelection campaign, and hopefully the future of Republican policy on the issues of censorship, online freedom, and regulation of tech and social media entities. Trump himself has taken notice as well, tweeting in August that “Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
Parscale’s op-ed also revealed that he sees social media platforms like Twitter as a “public forums,” and therefore open to regulation if they do not defend freedom of speech. It is likely that this emerging issue will only grow in importance in the near future. Hopefully, the right will respond soon.