June 14, 2019
People come to Pinterest for all kinds of things. But apparently, there's one thing users won't find on the app -- and that's tolerance. It was supposed to be a harmless site, a place for swapping recipes and planning kitchen remodels. Now we know: even the most innocuous platforms aren't immune from Big Tech's censorship. And if that's the case, conservatives are in trouble. Because the problem just got a whole lot worse than we thought.
Eric Cochran was an employee of Pinterest, a software engineer. Like a lot of conservatives in the online world, he kept his views to himself. He knew Big Tech was doing "some bad stuff," but he didn't realize how bad until earlier this year, when the number of pro-life laws started exploding across the states. Suddenly, the company's "trust and safety chains" started calling more "all hands" meetings about what they could do to smother this conservative enthusiasm. Eric started digging into Pinterest's product code, employee messages, and policies. The more he dug, the worse it got. The company was quietly blacklisting conservatives, and nobody had any idea.
At first, Live Action thought it was a mistake. Their followers kept trying to pin the pro-life group's messages on their boards and couldn't. Pinterest, it turns out, had blocked LiveAction.org as a porn site -- meaning that none of its links could be posted by users. When Eric got wind of it, he gathered up all of the documents proving that Pinterest was hiding or silencing conservatives and sent them to Project Veritas. James O'Keefe published it, outing Pinterest as another radical liberal operative trying to shut down open debate.
As most of us found out after, Pinterest didn't just reclassify Live Action. They also labeled conservatives "white supremacists," banned Bible-related search terms, and scrubbed any pins with the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood's organ harvesting ring as "misinformation." (An interesting term, since even an independent forensic team found them completely authentic.) Almost immediately, Twitter and YouTube tag-teamed on the cover-up. They deleted Project Veritas's content from their sites, and -- in Twitter's case -- suspended the account altogether.
The outrage from most users was automatic. "Misinformation?" fumed Madeline Fry. Is that the new term for anything the Left disagrees with? The platforms all tried to defend themselves, arguing that they were just protecting company privacy. Liz Wheeler at One America News couldn't believe her eyes. "This is CRAZY. Twitter is now censoring Project Veritas for publishing 'internal communications' from @Pinterest in which they call @benshapiro a white supremacist. Did Twitter apply this so-called privacy standard to Wikileaks? Or HRC's emails? Or Trump's tax documents? NO."
Eric, meanwhile, the courageous employee who'd exposed the real agenda, was escorted out of his office by security and fired. He was tired of people believing that "maybe it was just a bug. Maybe it's just an accident. Or, a rogue employee or something." This time, he told me on "Washington Watch," "we had proof." "I saw a Big Tech company saying ... behind closed doors that they believe that Live Action shouldn't have a platform to speak. And the big thing is: I want them to have to ... say this publicly instead of behind closed doors."
"The thing is, it's not just Pinterest. I mean Pinterest is huge, but here's the thing. This is the mindset of people in Silicon Valley, where we're seeing the normalization of censorship. And the biggest thing -- really the biggest thing -- is that this is an all-out war on pro-lifers... because the establishment, the powers that be, see that Roe v. Wade is going the way of the dinosaur, and they're doing whatever it takes. They are 100 percent in to protect the abortion lobby. You're seeing that in Big Tech and you're seeing that in Big Media... and the normalization of this censorship is downright unAmerican."
There are a lot of pro-lifers in the tech industry, Eric insisted. "...[But] they need to expose what's going on. They need to make these tech companies explicitly say that 'We are on the side of the abortion lobby.' ... All they see are liberals who agree with liberals, and then, "people like me, of course, are afraid of what will happen if we say anything different. But I think that's gonna change."
Deep down, the Left knows as well as we do: the real abortion war isn't going to be won in courtrooms or legislative bodies. It's going to be won in the hearts and minds of the people. And those hearts aren't going to be changed by a political debate. They're going to be changed by pictures, personal stories, and a confrontation with truth and science. Pinterest knows it. YouTube knows it. Twitter and Facebook and Google too. That's why they've gone to such extensive lengths to muzzle pro-lifers. The truth is on our side, and they know it.
So what do we do? Refuse to be silenced. "That is my big message to all pro-lifers right now," Eric said.
"This is the watershed moment. This is the time to show people what's happening in Big Tech. We have so many pro-lifers in the tech world who know what Google and Facebook are doing. And I know there [are] so many people who have been afraid of what to do next. But I want to let you know, pro-lifers in these, in these tech companies that see this corruption and see this censorship, come to Project Veritas. People have your back Real journalists, real investigative journalists, are listening to your story. Big Tech is all in protecting the abortion lobby. So my question to pro-lifers is, are you all in? Because there's no more waiting. This is the moment."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.