THERE has never been a better demonstration of Lord Acton’s famous dictum ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ than the rise to worldwide business dominance of the American Tech corporations (Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon, Google) and their dangerous extension of that wealth into political power over democratic parties, governments and the whole of public discourse.
Apple has an annual turnover of $274.5bn and is valued at $2 trillion. Only seven countries in the world have a higher GDP than that.
Like the other U.S. big tech firms, Apple dominates countries, parks profits in tax havens and dictates terms to countries and its suppliers. It recently exploited its power by forcing its suppliers to accept 60-day payment terms up from 45 days, and payment only if their goods sold – not received by Apple (i.e. they carry the cost of Apple’s stock).
Suppliers told the press they had no choice but to accept if they wanted their businesses to continue. These terms are little more than corporate slavery.
So it came as no surprise that free speech platform Parler became a victim of Apple’s political power and bias when it was taken down from Apple’s App Store.
This was despite the fact that the App Store carries Twitter and Facebook, both of which have been used repeatedly by Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other groups to coordinate acts of violence and lawlessness across the United States.
Rose City Antifa, a group which has repeatedly supported acts of violence and disorder in Portland, Oregon, still has an active page on Facebook with more than 20,000 ‘likes’.
The Parler website itself was taken down altogether by Amazon, another multinational behemoth flexing its political muscle.
John Matze, Parler CEO, rightly pointed to Apple hypocrisy: “Anyone who buys an Apple phone is apparently a user. Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for all user-generated content on Parler. Therefore, by the same logic, Apple must be responsible for all actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone.
Standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook, or even Apple themselves, apply to Parler.”
The extent of the incitement to far left violence by Big Tech is clear from the fact that Matze and his family have had to go into hiding.
The blatantly political nature of Apple’s attack on Parler is clear. Matze said Amazon had assured them there was no problem. But then they seemed to worry Trump having been forced off Twitter, would go to Parler… so they took it down.
Amazon took down websites, like Parler, which exposed electoral fraud, mainly associated with postal voting. But strangely enough, that same Amazon won’t tolerate postal voting by its own workforce, as to whether they should unionise – because they know it is open to fraud.
So the award for political hypocrite of the years goes to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world.
Twitter removed President Trump from their platform but not of course the Bidens or Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi for encouraging far left violence last year. Equally Twitter apparently has no problems with its use by Iranian religious extremists or Chinese Communism.
Apple also told Parler that material ‘intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store’, but on the day Apple censored Parler ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trended on Twitter.
Twitter is clearly allowing its users to coordinate criminal acts on the platform, with dozens of tweets identifying looting targets in the USA still on the platform, despite the fact that the site was notified by concerned citizens.
During the US Senate enquiry into the power of U.S. Big Tech, Senator Ted Cruz asked the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey: “Who the hell elected you?”Who indeed? That is the point.
These imperial corporate dictators are in no way constrained by voters or parliamentary scrutiny. They rule by self-appointment, using the collective investment savings of the country to lobby, get favourable tax treatment and buy their political power.
By RODNEY ATKINSON