In early January, when Facebook and Twitter suspended Donald Trump’s accounts it might not have worried most Christians. Yes, these “Big Tech” companies has just cut off a sitting president’s access to the more than 120 million followers who had sought him out on these social media sites. French and German leaders were concerned, with Steffen Seibert, chief spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, arguing that while the right to free speech is not unlimited, those limits should be imposed “by law and within the framework defined by the legislature – not according to a corporate decision.”
Still, Big Tech was doing this to a man who’d often been rude and rash on his social media missives, so his suspensions didn’t have implications for the reasonable, responsible rest of us…did it?
It turned out Trump’s deletion was the start of something. Over the course of the next weeks:
- YouTube shut down a pro-life news channel with its 300,000 followers. LifeSiteNews.com had built up its audience slowly over the last 10 years. They have now transitioned to Rumble where they have 22,000 followers.
- Amazon Web Services announced it would no longer host the social media site Parler, effectively booting it off the Internet for a month until Parler could find someone else to host them. This came after Google and Apple had already banned Parler from their app stores, making it much more difficult for people to sign up to this social media competitor.
- When Parler went offline, the Christian satire site Babylon Bee lost access to their 1.2 million Parler followers, and Prager U lost access to its more than 2 million Parler followers.
- Twitter suspended one of Focus on the Family’s accounts after they tweeted that the new Assistant Education Secretary, “Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”
- Actor and professing Christian Kevin Sorbo reported that Facebook had deleted his account without explanation. He had over 500,000 followers.
- The conservative news outlet Epoch Times was demonetized by YouTube, probably for running stories that disputed the results of the US election. Prager U has also had YouTube videos demonetized.
- Facebook shut down links to Australian news providers after the Australian government considered a (highly problematic) law that would charge social media sites for carrying such links.
- Amazon blocked sales, on its site, of Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.
- YouTube removed a doctor’s testimony about Ivermectin as a Covid treatment, deciding it was misinformation.
So what can we do to counter Big Tech’s influence and power? By no longer relying on them as we do! This can even involve old school tactics – in mid-January this headline popped up on a popular Christian satire site:
“To Avoid Tech censorship The Babylon Bee Announces Innovative New Print Edition.”
What Babylon Bee proposed in jest is what Reformed Perspective is doing in earnest. We’ve started delivering our print magazine in bulk subscriptions to churches, tripling our print numbers in the last year. And as the Bee noted in their article, it is “a technology and distribution method that Big Tech can’t touch.”
We’re also migrating to other social media sites like MeWe, where there seems to be an already growing conservative Reformed presence. We might try Gab, Rumble, and perhaps Parler too. It seems it’s not a matter of if but only when we get kicked off Facebook and today’s other social media favorites. To be prepared we need to build up our own alternatives.