The Information War and Censorship by Big Tech
How Big Tech and the Internet are filtering the truth
‘Big Tech’ – Internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay and Apple have all grown from modest beginnings. They initially provided free and relatively unrestricted access and control over content. As a consequence Internet users and commerce have benefited greatly, being able to search for information and buy and sell items on a huge, world-wide platform.
The Monopoly of ‘Big Tech’
However, with their popularity, they have now gained a virtual monopoly over Internet searches, social media and e-commerce. This in itself need not be a problem but what has been happening recently is ‘Big Tech’ exercising censorship over content. While of course this is their right (and they responsibly ought to remove content which is clearly harmful) they are beginning to censor content which is deemed politically incorrect to our increasingly secular society. This has become particularly noticeable with content which reflects traditional Christian understanding of marriage, sexual morality and God created distinctions between man and woman. What has developed can be termed an information war between secular humanism and the Christian world-view.
However Christians need to be careful about complaining of ‘Big Tech’ censorship. These ‘giants’ are not public companies and therefore are not obliged to publish or link to what they might deem unacceptable. After all would a Christian website or platform be obliged to publish what it deems unacceptable? Nor should this surprise us, for Jesus warned us 2000 years ago that we would be hated by all nations and history teaches us this has been the case for all who faithfully follow Him.
What is happening, and will increasingly happen, is for Christian content and viewpoints to be censored. Therefore we need to realise we can’t depend on these Internet giants to be objective sources of truthful information. While they may not necessarily publish false information, by filtering or censoring information we may learn only a half truth. This is particularly crucial for the next generation of Christians. If we depend on ‘Big Tech’ for objective, truthful information we may end up deceived.
The Power and Control of ‘Big Tech’
Many Christians, justifiably, have expressed great concern that these Internet giants are not only controlling content on their platforms but accumulating personal information of their users. While at this point in time there may be no malevolent intent it is apparent that such information could be used at some time in the future to identify and censure people they deem against the social order. This is already happening in China.
Therefore we need to be wise, yet not fear, for we were told thousands of years ago such would happen. Jesus said: don’t be alarmed, don’t be afraid – I have told you in advance. God is in control – not Google!
Therefore we need to be prepared. We need to be wise in our use of these Internet giants. We need to source information from a number of trusted and unbiased sources other than those of ‘Big Tech’. We need to set up independent means of communicating the gospel and the truth of God – boldly, without fear. This may even mean going back to distributing free paper media as a means of proclaiming the gospel of Christ and Biblical truth.
A final word: while need to speak the truth in love, we first must ourselves walk in the truth or we, as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 13:1, ‘have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal‘.