(from American Gun News, in part)
Google and other companies in the Silicon Valley are no longer content to simply donate as much spare cash as possible to anti-gun candidates for federal office. The tech moguls in the bluest of blue districts in the United States have chosen a side in the culture wars and are taking direct aim at the 2nd Amendment. Here is how Google and other tech giants are actively working to turn people against your gun rights.
eBay was the first tech giant to ban firearms sales from its platform, but Google was not far behind. This should come as no surprise considering the eight-year game of “musical chairs” between Google and the notoriously anti-Second Amendment Obama administration. A staggering 258 executives and government employees rotated jobs through the revolving door between the Obama White House and Google between 2009 and 2016. At the end of Barack Obama’s first term, Google suddenly banned the sale of firearms from its shopping platform, declaring guns and ammo to not be “family safe.” Not family safe? That bigoted statement alone has the power to shape public perception about firearms.
Then consider the creepy report from the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in 2015. Researchers discovered that Google’s search algorithm can manipulate 20 percent or more of undecided voters to switch their votes!
Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist on the study, told Politico that Google has the ability to “control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs … [more] than any company in history has ever had.” If Google can trick people into switching their voting preferences, it’s easy to see that it could be doing the same thing with opinions on gun rights.
This social media giant has been moving toward becoming an online shopping platform more and more in recent years, but in 2016 Facebook suddenly began treating gun owners as pariahs. To this day, Facebook refuses to say how many gun enthusiast pages it took down in a massive purge when it rolled out a new policy to ban the private sales of firearms — which are legal in most states.
Facebook has assigned a liaison to help bring gun enthusiast pages into compliance with its policy, but many gun owners simply abandoned the platform and went elsewhere, according to Forbes. This is just another instance of a giant Silicon Valley company treating gun owners as second-class citizens, with a separate set of rules and regulations that other retailers do not have to abide by. This is compounded by anti-gun activists poring over Facebook posts and flagging anything related to guns as “offensive” until Facebook takes the post or a user’s entire page down.
Insiders at Twitter admitted in 2016 that the company has been shadowbanning the tweets of prominent conservatives, including many Second Amendment patriots. A “shadowban” is simply a form of censorship in which the tech giant that censors you never tells you that you’ve been censored. You can still tweet a picture of that new sidearm you purchased, but none of your friends or family members will ever see it because it was shadowbanned. Many Facebook users have reported that their posts have been shadowbanned as well.
Online services PayPal, Stripe and Square have all banned gun stores from using their platforms for business. Never mind that these are lawful businesses operated by federal firearms license holders who conduct background checks before all sales.
Gladwin Guns and Ammo in Merced, CA filed a lawsuit against the three Silicon Valley money transfer services in June of 2017. Owner Blair Gladwin told the Merced Sun-Times, “They flat-out shut me down. My livelihood is on the line, because my revenue is going to drop.” 2nd Amendment enthusiasts will want to keep an eye on this case, because it could have a nationwide impact on whether lawful gun stores are allowed to use the same services as most other businesses.
Google and other tech giants are sending gun owners, gun shops and people who simply support gun rights to the “back of the bus” in 2017. Constant discrimination like this against gun owners does have an impact on public perception and this is a problem that all gun owners should be concerned with — especially knowing the tremendous power that the Silicon Valley wields with its vast troves of data on Americans.
This should be of no surprise, as Northern California (and California in general) is a bastion of liberal political thought. It is surprising that Amazon (farther North in Washington State), while not selling firearms, does allow sale of accessories, stocks, lubricants and novelty items (a chocolate Glock?).
The problem is, unless we ‘protest’ these entities by going off the grid (no cellular telephones, tablets, payment platforms or social networking, or using their services), they will continue to make huge dollars unabated. And continue to ‘control’ the masses.