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"Social Media Freeway," by Ben Garrison. (Photo: grrrgraphics.com)

Big Tech Censorship Suppresses the Reopen California Movement

What is happening to the organizers of ReOpenCalNow is emblematic of a large and multifaceted political sickness in California today

By Edward Ring, January 5, 2021 1:21 pm

“This isn’t just an event, this is a movement.”

That’s how Jack Frost, one of the organizers of the ReOpenCalNow conference, planned for this weekend, characterizes their effort. Presenters include a bipartisan group of politicians including Fiona Ma, California’s State Treasurer, a Democrat, and Congressman Tom McClintock, one of the most reliable conservative Republicans in America. Presenters also include sheriffs who will not enforce the lockdown, attorneys who are challenging the lockdown, and economists and businesspeople to explain how the consequences of the lockdown have been catastrophic for millions of Californians.

The conference will also feature presenters from the medical community, and for that, big tech has suppressed the organizers’ attempts to publicize the event. How they’re doing this offers an update on just how pervasive big tech suppression of dissent has become.

Because the ReOpenCalNow organizers are targeting a high level audience of policymakers, they assembled an email list of several thousand of California’s local elected officials. The list includes city council members, county supervisors, and members of school boards. Using MailChimp, they sent out three email blasts before receiving the following message:

“We received a direct complaint regarding a recent campaign sent from the account with the username ReOpen Cal Now. Direct complaints are serious because they indicate that a recipient contacted Mailchimp, our hosting facility, or a blocklisting agency about an unsolicited email.”

The MailChimp email went on to say:

“Because the content associated with your industry conflicts with our Acceptable Use Policy (mailchimp.com/legal/acceptable_use), Mailchimp is unable to serve as your email service provider and your account has been disabled.”

MailChimp went on to reject all appeals, and it is clear that the reason they would not reinstate ReOpenCalNow’s account was not because of spam. The laws protecting people from receiving spam do not apply to publicly available emails of elected officials. Every email on the list compiled by ReOpenCalNow were publicly available and corresponded to an elected official.

Tab Berg, whose consulting firm Tab Communications is assisting ReOpenCalNow to publicize their event, explained that by using MailChimp before the account was disabled, he was able to quickly verify that only four people out of over 3,000 recipients marked the emails as spam, and only one recipient logged a complaint directly with MailChimp. This would not be enough to trigger a cancellation of service, even if the emails were not going to public officials. Once MailChimp was informed as to the public nature of the email list being used, the account would have been immediately reactivated on appeal. The reason MailChimp cancelled ReOpenCalifornia’s account is because information about alternative therapies for COVID-19 is the target of organized censorship.

Evidence to support this version of what happened is found in how ReOpenCalNow was treated when they attempted to start an account on another major platform, Mailer Lite. Their application generated an immediate rejection from MailerLite. They wrote:

“The approval team determined that your account violates paragraph 9. of our Terms of Use on appropriate content. We are sorry to disappoint you. I could not be of more help but thank you for understanding.”

When ReOpenCalNow appealed, noting that they are a non-profit educational group that hosts public policy conferences, and that the content clearly falls under 1st Amendment expression, they received a second rejection:

“Thank you for your interest in Mailerlite however, unfortunately, your website’s type of content is not permitted on our platform. You can read more about this in our Terms of Use here:
https://www.mailerlite.com/legal/terms-of-service. Due to the reason outlined above we were unable to approve your account.”

In Mailerlite’s terms of service, the following applicable provision is found: “You are also not allowed to send content that encourages discrimination, bullying or actions that could impose health-risk, such as anti-vaccination material.”

This coordinated exclusion of dissenting medical opinions on COVID-19 was further evidenced in Facebook’s refusal to permit paid ads from ReOpenCalNow. Their initial refusal was based on their recent policy – inconsistently applied – to stop accepting political ads. Upon appeal, ReOpenCalNow was told “your website contains dangerous content that violates Facebook’s terms of service.”

Dangerous content. That is how a website, and the conference it promotes, is considered by the biggest social media and email platforms in the world. A conference that is organized and features individuals with impeccable reputations and credentials who dare to question the political and medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consider the primary transgression of the organizers: A panel scheduled for mid-day on January 9 that features four doctors, individuals with medical licenses, with extensive experience treating COVID-19 patients. Their crime? Claiming there are therapeutic early stage treatments for COVID-19 that yield a high percentage of cures.

What if these doctors are right? For that matter, what if they’re wrong? So what? Why is it that COVID-19 is arguably the first disease in history where the treatment opinions of licensed physicians are suppressed and their reputations are scandalized, and virtually no approved early stage treatments are even offered as alternatives? What’s going on?

What is happening to the organizers of ReOpenCalNow is emblematic of a large and multifaceted political sickness in California today. A grotesque misreading of medical data being used to justify a lockdown that has destroyed the livelihoods of millions while enriching a handful of gigantic corporations and their shareholders. In parallel, an organized suppression of treatment alternatives has occurred that quite possibly has cost thousands of lives.

This is a reflection of the arrogance of big tech, united with other powerful opportunistic special interests ranging from big pharma to a thoroughly corrupt political establishment. The consequences of mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated, and yet expert debate over what to do is denied by the platforms that once, in a better and very recent time, represented an explosion of freedom.

One may hope the organizers of the ReOpenCalNow event this weekend will livestream to multiple platforms. Online viewing is free to anyone who registers on their website, but should YouTube or Facebook take a predictable next step and de-platform them, there remains – at least for now – robust alternatives the organizers should consider: DLive, Rumble, BitChute and Odysee.

Movements survived and grew in the days before the internet by using actual, physical newsletters, phone calls, and in-person gatherings. Perhaps it will come to that again, unless such activity shall itself be deemed too “dangerous” by the powers that be.

 

Ben Garrison political art and cartoons used with permission. 

Edward Ring
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3 thoughts on “Big Tech Censorship Suppresses the Reopen California Movement

  1. Ed Ring has had his eyes on public employee pensions for at least 13 years that I’m aware of. About 10 years ago I used to ask Ed ‘why bash people who simply took a job’ – a job that someone was going to take. ‘Why not focus on illegals sucking off the system, or generational welfare, or the horribly run executive office of the state, or the treatment of business’. Well here we are. I’m not criticizing, but attention has been on the wrong things by the right people (and Ed Ring IMO is one of the right people – someone who is trying to do the right thing). It is now too late to shift focus to the actual problems, the state is lost. It isn’t that the state will be lost if… The state is simply already lost. Some of us saw this coming for 20 years and made adjustments in our real estate holdings and other financial interests. Others talked about how ‘if California keeps going down this path it will be lost’. Too late now. The eyes of CEO’s have been opened by businesses ‘brave’ enough to leave. It is a lot like the first kid who jumps into the cold river. Once the first kid does it and doesn’t die, the others get the courage to do it too. The budget of the state is going to take a huge hit over the next two or three years, and (adjusted for inflation) will only get worse from there. As for me, I will be watching from far away from my home in Florida where the waves lap up to just outside my deck (real estate is cheaper here, or was). Watching from so far away it is doubtful the stench of California will make it here. PS…Anybody interested in a mini-mansion on the coast of California? Would like to dump my last tie to California.

  2. Edward Ring has it right: since when is Freedom of speech a crime? For that is the essence of his article. This is about being rejected simply because your opinion is different than the progressive/repressive Fascists who run facebook, twitter, google and the others……are they a utility or not? I think this case…..and there’s quite a few other cases where Freedom of speech is a crime, should go to the Supreme Court for violating the Constitution.

    Edward Ring, you’re one of the best writers about CA……especially our homeless situation. Keep up the outstanding work!

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