by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As much as we focus on the online outrage mobs, unless those mobs have internal allies, their rage is often impotent. It’s the internal mob, the response of colleagues and peers, that truly drives much of the modern era of name-and-shame censorship.
Wonder what the true reason is that Google fired James Damore, the software engineer who posted a controversial memo suggesting that biology and free choice were more to blame for the relative lack of women in tech than gender discrimination was? Well, listen to Google CEO Sundar Pichai:
“I regret that people misunderstand that we may have made this for a political belief one way or another,” Pichai said. “It’s important for the women at Google, and all the people at Google, that we want to make an inclusive environment.” When pressed by Swisher on the issue of regret, Pichai stated more definitively, “I don’t regret it.” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who has spoken publicly about how Damore’s memo affected her personally, followed up with, “I think it was the right decision.” …
… I frequently speak to young conservative audiences — to young people who believe in individual liberty and properly understand free speech as (to quote Frederick Douglass) “the great moral renovator of society and government” — and they are eager to make their mark for conservative values. Yet too many remain focused on the worlds of politics and conservative activism. They want to be “professional conservatives.” They want to be Fox News Famous.
Yet who has more power to shape our national debate? A senator? A Fox News contributor? Or a senior executive at Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter?