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Hawley’s book canceled amid conservative purge

Books | The senator wrote a warning against tech companies’ tyranny
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 1/12/21, 01:05 pm

As social media and internet companies cracked down last week on conservative voices they considered extreme—including President Donald Trump—a major publisher canceled an upcoming book about Big Tech’s abuse of power.

Long before Amazon booted Parler from its servers or Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram banned Trump for life, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., planned to shed light on the monopolistic control and political partiality of tech giants. Simon & Schuster planned to release his book, The Tyranny of Big Tech, in June. But the publisher dropped the title after Hawley raised an objection to what he claimed were fraudulent votes on the same day pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol and disrupted Congress’ certification of the presidential election results.

“We take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom,” Simon & Schuster said.

Since his election in 2018, Hawley has accused Big Tech companies of violating consumer protection, privacy, and antitrust laws and moderating content with a bias against conservatives. At a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in November, Hawley grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on whether Facebook, Google, and Twitter coordinated and shared efforts and information on content moderation and censorship. He quizzed Zuckerberg about Centra, a tool Facebook uses to track users not only on its platform but also across the internet.

Zuckerberg, calling Facebook’s actions “community integrity work,” was not able to provide information to the committee about Centra or about coordinated efforts to suppress user comments. After questioning by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Zuckerberg acknowledged Facebook’s employee base was politically left-of-center.

Since Wednesday’s Capitol riots, Facebook and other internet giants have suspended the user accounts of Trump and his supporters en masse. Amazon even booted the conservative-friendly social media platform Parler from its servers, claiming it did not do enough to stop users whose posts sought to incite violence. Parler sued Amazon, saying the company violated antitrust rules and contractual obligations.

Hawley called Simon & Schuster’s censorship of his book “Orwellian” and a “direct assault on the First Amendment.” He said the publisher chose to paint as sedition his lawful objection to Pennsylvania’s election results. Congress debated the objection but voted not to uphold it.

The senator condemned Wednesday’s violence, and said in a statement to Forbes, “I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections.” He also threatened to sue Simon & Schuster, saying, “This is the left looking to cancel everyone they don’t approve of. I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have.”

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Sharon Dierberger

Sharon is a correspondent and reviewer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Northwestern University graduate. She has served as a university teacher, clinical exercise physiologist, homeschooling mom, businesswoman, and Division 1 athlete. She resides in Stillwater, Minnesota, with her husband, Bill.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 01/12/2021 09:58 pm

    Outrageous but not surprising. However, I would bet that sooner or later, Simon & Schuster comes out with an apology to Sen. Hawley. 

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 01/13/2021 07:42 am

    Are you kidding Mike? This is the new life in America where the left will rule with tyranny, where the stealing of the election was just the beginning. The left will wield their power with the focused effort to destroy conservatives and our cause. As Trump has faithfully fought our cause, we will see the vindictiveness turn from him to us conservatives and Christians.

    Did you not see the guy ending his prayer in the House with "Amen and Awomen"? Have you not heard how they aren't allowed to refer to brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, etc. because this is somehow sexist? This new PC environment is the norm and the crackdown on free speech is just beginning.

    The Tech Giants sealed the deal for the Democrats with their vast coffers and they want payback in the form of protection from conservatives, elimination of competition such as Parlor, consolidation of power by controlling speech and the press, the positioning of their people in the presidential cabinet and other halls of power, and securing their monopoly on political dialogue for the future.  This is a very scary time we live in for the next four years will see all this play out where the voice of the common man will be eliminated and the Democrats will rule like California.

    The only way to stop this is to firm up the voting laws in the swing states and other states in general and fighting the Democrats every step of the way. We need to focus on the educational system and unbound it from the leftist control. We need to divest ourselves from the leftist Big Tech Giants and start new conservative platforms to allow free speech and fight the leftist control of data. Christians need to wake up to what is really going on and get involved in the fight and quit being the pawns controlled by the media of the left! Wake up! 

  •  eagleeye's picture
    Posted: Wed, 01/13/2021 10:46 am

    "Pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol"? Don't be so quick to conclude that. At least one BLM activist was identified, and this coordinated attack was underway before the Trump marchers even arrived. Please do a little more research before accepting the standard media line.

    Joni Halpin