Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Big Tech has censored not just pro-Russia outlets, but leftist media that blame the conflict on American imperialism through NATO expansion. This week, that censorship expanded to include financial deplatforming. As Matt Taibbi, Jacobin, and others have explained, PayPal stopped working with Consortium News and MintPress News. Socialist Branko Marcetic, wrote this for Jacobin:
Regardless of what you might think about either publication’s output — like any publication, a reasonable reader will find pieces at both that they agree and disagree with — this is a frightening attack on press freedoms. Faceless tech bureaucrats have unilaterally cut two serious independent media outlets off from a vital source of funding with no prior warning, no ability to appeal, and no explanation besides a vague reference to ‘potential risk’
That’s what happened to American Renaissance and VDARE, among others, after the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nobody outside of dissident circles noticed or complained. Two years ago, I wrote about how few critics of “cancel culture” mention or defend white advocates, probably for fear of being cancelled. Even today, none of the leftists criticizing PayPal mention AmRen. The closest anyone came was Mr. Taibbi: “PayPal meanwhile has periodically cut off other controversial media outlets, on both the left and the right.”
The Jacobin essay about this ends with a wise warning:
Given how the history of tech censorship has gone, it would be surprising if the censure of Consortium News and MintPress News is where this ends, particularly with PayPal’s actions receiving no pushback, criticism, or even notice outside of independent media. But mainstream press outlets would be foolish to ignore the issue. Tech censorship may be overwhelmingly focused on independent outlets for now, but given recent precedents, it’s only a matter of time before a president — one less friendly toward the press — uses the union of tech companies and government power to train the crosshairs on them.
Why didn’t “independent journalists” sound the alarm back in 2017, when PayPal gave American Renaissance the boot?