Townhall.com
Bob Barr

In recent weeks, the once wide, online dominion of Right-leaning pot stirrers like Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer, has shrunk considerably, as Facebook/Instagram, Google/YouTube, and Twitter have shut down their accounts, despite the large followings enjoyed by such individuals. “We’ve always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” Facebook piously declared earlier this month after booting a number of “far-right” individuals, including those above, from its platforms.

Necessarily, of course, decisions about what is “civil” and “safe” for users of social media are based not on the “likes” or “dislikes” of the individual consumers themselves, but on algorithms devised by employees of the social media companies.

What may be even more disturbing than the censorial actions by the social media platforms, is the sneaky role being played in all this by a new breed of liberal CEOs with billions in ad dollars as their weapon of choice – and when these “Mad Men” talk, social media listens.

Social media CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey may fancy themselves as the “good guys” in making the “hard decisions” like banning people on their platforms in pursuit of civility online, but it is advertising dollars that actually are at the core of their motivations. Therefore, when Marc Pritchard, the chief marketing officer of Procter & Gamble, a $66 billion company, makes pointed comments such as “we prefer to work with those who don’t allow anonymity to be a weapon,” or “while today everyone can have a microphone, it doesn’t mean every voice needs to be amplified” – it is hardly a coincidence when Facebook responds with the “ban hammer” shortly thereafter.

Neither is it a coincidence that such bans are taking place in the lead-up to an already-extremely polarized 2020 presidential election, in which Democrats will be digging deep into their bag of tricks to sabotage a Trump presidency that has, to their chagrin, remained popular with voters in spite of their best efforts to derail it. So, when the company behind Gillette’s insultingly moralizing anti-toxic masculinity campaign (among many of its other far-Left social activism ranging from global warming to gender issues) suddenly starts demanding “civility” and “transparency” in social media, the lords of Silicon Valley know that what is at risk for them is billions in advertising dollars if they fail to jump.  Of course, the fact that the liberal undercurrent of such demands fits perfectly with their world view doesn’t hurt.

Although P&G appears to be leading the charge to demand “reforms” from social media companies in policing content and users, other major brands, such as Disney, are not far behind in the pack. Disney Chief Bob Iger commented just last month that “Hitler would have loved social media.” Recall that the ABC network, a Disney company, proactively cancelled the extremely popular Roseanne reboot after the show’s star was accused of tweeting “abhorrent” and “repugnant” comments about a former adviser to President Barack Obama. Elsewhere, both Starbucks and Southwest airlines have launched advertising campaigns specifically urging “civility.” 

For this new breed of left-leaning CEO, the goal is not simply to sell products ranging from coffee to bathroom tissue.  The challenge is to change not only the public’s buying habits, but its social — and ultimately, political — behavior as well. Social media’s popularity among large segments of the population makes it the perfect vehicle by which to accomplish this goal.   

Just as George Soros is putting his money where his mouth is in an attempt to remake our legal system in his image, so are these liberal CEOs using other people’s money to change the social fabric of America in their image. Keep that in mind the next time you spring for a roll of Bounty paper towels.