News Release

On World Press Freedom Day, Fighting Big Tech’s “Censorship by Proxy”


Huff is the director of Project Censored and is co-editor, with Andy Lee Roth, of Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2022, published by Seven Stories Press.

He said today: “In this digital era, the biggest private tech companies can engage in what we term ‘censorship by proxy,’ restricting freedom of expression or ability to raise funds in ways that the government cannot. These corporations exert control of online information through algorithms, deplatforming, demonetizing, and ultimately censoring sources and perspectives that don’t align with official U.S. government policy.

“These new media giants — including Alphabet (which owns Google and YouTube), Meta/Facebook (which also owns Instagram), Twitter, Apple, and Microsoft — function as the arbiters of public issues and legitimate discourse, despite assertions by their leaders that they are not publishers or media companies.

“The crackdown on online sources and shooting the messengers is also clearly manifest in the U.S. mission to extradite and apply the Espionage Act to publisher Julian Assange, of the whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

“In the past two months, YouTube disappeared entire Russian channels and their archives, including for RT America and Sputnik, to great applause from various sectors of American society, especially from the liberal class.

“Just in the last week, PayPal froze accounts of independent media outlets like MintPress News and Consortium News.

“Not to be outdone, last week, the Biden administration announced its own efforts to control information online with the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board.” Huff noted the influence of “the pro-NATO Atlantic Council, which is listed as a fact checker at Facebook (now Meta) and other shadowy organizations like NewsGuard.”

Huff noted that Big Tech “gatekeepers trace their technological roots back to the Cold War of the 1950s and, specifically, the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

“On World Press Freedom Day, we need to remember the importance of a truly free press and Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’ Those are principles worth fighting for in the face of mass censorship.”

[In “Interview with Nadine Strossen on Threat of Big Tech and Big Gov Collusion Against the First Amendment” by Sam Husseini, former ACLU head Strossen argued that “private sector actors are directly bound by constitutional norms, including the First Amendment” if they are being coerced by or colluding with the government.]