After years of steadily accumulating power, 2021 is the year that Big Tech well and truly flexed its muscle. Gone are the days of banning mere Twitter pundits and demonetizing YouTube channels. In 2021, Big Tech silenced the sitting US president. They stopped the elected chief executive of the world’s largest economy and most powerful military from communicating with the American people. He lost the ability to tweet, post videos, or even send out a mass email.
The past year has shown that no celebrity or official is so powerful they are beyond the reach of the tech ban hammer.
Yet with all the focus on censorship of big names, conservatives risk forgetting about an all-important right in today’s tech-dominated age: The right to anonymous speech. Revolver readers don’t need to be told that it’s more dangerous than ever in America and the West more broadly to voice an opinion at odds with the official, regime-sanctioned one mandated in Washington. A wrong word, or any word mentioned to the wrong person or in the wrong venue can destroy a career, a reputation, a livelihood. As America becomes an increasingly unfree society under the reign of the Globalist American Empire, the right to speak anonymously, as Revolver itself does on most articles, is crucial.
Yet at this very moment, anonymity is also in more danger than ever. In the UK, anti-anonymity activists are capitalizing on the stabbing death of Conservative British MP David Amess to curtail online privacy.
British MP’s death intensifies calls for end to online anonymity
LAST FRIDAY, DAVID AMESS, a 69-year-old British member of parliament, was stabbed to death while hosting an open house for his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town in southeastern England. Ali Harbi Ali, the 25-year-old son of a former advisor to Somali’s prime minister, was later arrested and charged with Amess’s murder. In the aftermath of the incident, Mark Francois, another MP, asked for an amendment to the country’s Online Safety Bill—a proposed law that has been making its way through the legislative process for several years—that he called “David’s Law,” which would bring an end to online anonymity by forcing users of social platforms and other services to reveal their real identities.
These calls were surprising to some, since Amess’s death, at this point in time, doesn’t appear to have anything to do with online anonymity, or even the internet Francois, a former defense minister and a close friend of the deceased MP, said he wanted to name an amendment to the Online Safety Bill after Amess because his former colleague had become “increasingly concerned” about what he called the “toxic environment” online, and the amount of abuse directed at British politicians, especially women.
Damian Collins, a British MP and chair of the parliamentary committee reviewing the law, said he believes there is a “strong case” for requiring Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to record the real identities of users, so that those who engage in abuse online can be more easily identified. “People would then understand that if they post abusive material, they could be traced back, even if they posted under an assumed name,” he told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper. [Columbia Journalism Review]
Amess’s killer was Ali Harbi Ali, the 25-year-old son of Somali immigrants. Ali wasn’t making anonymous online threats toward Amess before the attack, so this murder has exactly nothing to do with online anonymity. Instead, it’s just a classic example of the “heads I win, tales you lose” nature of modern diversity politics. David Amess, a conservative, was butchered by the radicalized son of a Muslim immigrant, but immigration and diversity are sacred, so the only politically acceptable response is a push to abolish the online anonymity that Britain’s dwindling body of conservatives depend on to speak freely without being censored, fired, or even killed.
But this new assault on anonymity isn’t restricted to the UK. It’s happening all over, and sadly conservatives are routinely playing along or even taking the lead. In May, Republican Congressman John Curtis of Utah began circulating draft legislation that would entirely abolish anonymity on social media platforms:
While most of these government efforts to end online anonymity have been widely covered in the media, America’s recent proposals have managed to stay out of the spotlight.
But despite flying under the radar, these proposals do exist in a discussion draft that was introduced by Congressman John Curtis in May.
The discussion draft aims to “require a provider of a social media service to verify the identity of users of the service, and for other purposes” and prevent anyone from creating a social media account without verifying their identity.
Not only does this discussion draft intend to make ID verification mandatory for anyone who wants to create a social media account but it also wants to force social media companies to report users to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) whenever they suspect users have submitted fake IDs. Additionally, it contains a requirement for the FTC to submit these reports to the United States (US) Department of Justice (DOJ). [Reclaim the Net]
In Australia, lawmakers are considering the ironically named “Online Privacy Bill,” which would mandate age verification (and by extension, ID verification) for users of virtually any major online platform: Facebook, WeChat, Zoom, Reddit, Bumble, gaming websites, and so forth. In Canada, lawmakers are considering a law that would make tech platforms liable any time a minor encounters sexual material on their platforms unless rigorous ID-verification requirements are imposed; this law would essentially eradicate anonymity on any website with user-generated content.
This is not an issue where patriots and critics of our corrupt Regime can afford to capitulate, or worse yet, collaborate in abolishing individual privacy. Protecting and expanding online anonymity should be a central priority of the modern right, especially in America.
Anonymity has played a crucial role in advancing liberty from the earliest days of the American experiment.
The United States was essentially founded by the 1700s equivalent of an online shitposting cabal. John Dickinson’s “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania,” uniting the colonies against the Townshend Acts, were published anonymously. Common Sense? Published anonymously. The Federalist Papers? An anonymous collaboration of John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. The anti-federalists “Brutus,” “Cato,” and the “Federal Farmer,” whose arguments were crucial in bringing about the Bill of Rights, weren’t just anonymous at the time; their identities remain uncertain and speculative to this day.
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