Patrick Courrielche, host of Red Pilled America, warned conservatives of the danger of ignoring Silicon Valley’s “unprecedented” monopolistic power and increasing censorship over the flow of information. These threats challenge conservative orthodoxy about the government’s role in regulating private industries, he explained.
In a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour, Courrielche walked through the origin story of YouTube. He how the company came to dominate online video-hosting by essentially permitting widespread copyright violations of shared content across its platform. He drew on his multi-part series entitled, The Virtual Organism, recounting the early days of competition between YouTube and Vimeo.
“The reason why [YouTube] beat Vimeo is they allowed copyright infringement,” said Courrielche. “Massive amounts of copyright infringement through YouTube, and the Vimeo guys were very respectful of artists and didn’t want to allow that to happen, and so they didn’t.”
Courrielche continued, “So YouTube basically lied about it and tried to make it seem like, ‘Oh, we have all these cute cat videos, and that’s why we have all this traffic coming to the site,’ but once court depositions and discovery happened later, you basically learned that the founders knew that if they cut off all the copyright infringement their traffic would be diminished by 80 percent — it would go down to 20 percent of what it was — and so they basically took a risk and said, ‘You know what? We’re just going to go all out on this to try to get as many users as possible,’ and then that’s what happened.”
Courrielche went on, “Google bought them and protected them. This huge company protected them from the entertainment business, and now they completely took over online video since then.”
Mansour shared Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick’s warning of how the political biases of technology companies shape their products: “Jake Lodwick says to you, and I have to read this because it’s so great, ‘I can tell you for a fact, the philosophy of the creator gets embedded in the creation, that your morality and your values and your crazy ideas, they all become part of the fabric.’”
Courrielche replied, “Jake Lodwick has been wired in since the very beginning, and he’s an amazing programmer. He reminds me of Steve Jobs, a very creative guy. He basically said the reason we need to worry about these tech companies is because their thought process [and] their morals, all of their quirks, the way they view the world goes into their programming, and you see it in the programming.”
Courrielche added, “So when they’re not telling you the truth behind their companies, and they’re not being transparent about that, and then they start taking over all of our lives, it becomes this thing where it affects us all.”
Academia’s leftism forms the foundation of Silicon Valley’s politics, explained Courrielche.
“Most of these major monopolies, if we look at academia and we see what’s going on on college campuses — you just touched on it, how somebody got beat up on a college campus, right? — that mentality is throughout all of these college campuses. It just so happens that the entire Silicon Valley infrastructure, it comes out of academia,” stated Courrielche.
Courrielche remarked, “All of these huge search companies came from Stanford [University]. … They were the ones that got the very first internet connections. Most of these companies are coming out of that thought process, and then now they’re basically having these monopolies, and they can kick off whoever they want, they can change behavior, they can funnel certain accounts, as we learned this week from James O’Keefe.
Courrielche added, “It’s one of those things, now, where people are just starting to wake up to the power that these people have, and that we need to start really thinking about if we are going to allow these monopolies to continue, because they’re just getting bigger and bigger and bigger and more and more powerful.”
Large technology companies have usurped the value of copyrighted creative content, noted Courrielche.
“They were basically able to steal all of this content — this music and film content — and shift the entire value of copyright from the creators to Silicon Valley and become these monster behemoths that just continue to want to grow and grow,” Courrielche said. “[They are] trying to change the laws and trying to change things now to continue to grow. Now they don’t want to be just platforms, they want to be content creators. So they’re just continuing to grow and grow and grow, and something needs to be done.”
Conservatives must reconsider free market doctrine in the realm of increasingly consolidated power within a handful of technology firms, advised Courrielche.
“It’s really challenging conservatives, right now,” Courrielche assessed. “Because conservatives believe in free markets and they don’t want to have government get involved in private industry, but this is a whole new thing. This is unprecedented. It’s a whole new time, right now. It’s challenging our thought process on how to deal with these behemoths.”
Google bends search results away from Breitbart News and dissident news media outlets, noted Courrielche.
“I could be searching something [where] Breitbart should 100 percent be the first thing that pops up on Google,” Courrielche stated. “Sure enough, it isn’t. A lot of times, it’s not even on the first page. So they’re directing traffic a certain way — a certain direction — and, of course, they’re directing traffic to YouTube when it comes to video. They’re not directing traffic to Vimeo, very seldom are they, even if it’s a more relevant search term that should be going to Vimeo.”
Courrielche continued, “People have to understand, we on the right have to start thinking about this differently, right now, because these guys, they have control, they hate us and they cannot be shaken from these positions, and they just keep on buying [up competition]. Any time a new competitor pops up — like Instagram — Facebook buys it. Any time some company gets up big enough to potentially challenge them, they buy them up, so it’s not the times of the ’80s where people can just fade away.”
Silicon Valley procures political influence in Washington, D.C., warned Courrielche.
“As big as they are right now, they want to be even bigger,” stated Courrielche. “When you’re that big, the lobbying that you can do in D.C. to get what you want and to keep people quiet, isn’t everybody a little surprised, right now, that we aren’t hearing our GOP representatives in D.C. screaming about the de-platforming of conservatives and their bank accounts being taken away in some cases? And being kicked off Patreon? Why aren’t they talking about that more? Can you imagine that 20 years ago?”
Mansour invited listeners to consult the website Open Secrets to see the campaign donations coming from Silicon Valley’s “massive lobbying arm” to both Democratic and Republican politicians. “They’re throwing money at both sides,” she said.
“It’s not just the politicians,” noted Mansour. “It’s the think tank apparatus — and some of the conservative websites like National Review — that takes money from these people and then turns around and writes article saying, ‘We can’t possibly crack down on the monopolistic behaviors of Facebook and Google.’”
Courrielche said, “I think we’re at an inflection point right now. These companies, the size they’re getting at, we’re talking about trillion-dollar valuations in the case of Apple [and] Google. Facebook is entering into the realm, right now, as well. They’re getting so big now that they are able to skirt the Justice Department.”
Courrielche recalled, “Google, last September, on a day that they were fined $5 billion by the European Union for violation of antitrust law — $5 billion is an enormous amount of money to be fined by a government — their stock price went up that day. The market is basically saying $5 billion to Google is nothing. It’s nothing, and you know what that tells Google? We’re going to continue to do this, because our stock price went up that day, and even though we had to pay $5 billion, but we made way more than that that day when our stock price went up. So it’s going to make more sense for them to break the law and continue to break the law than it is to follow the rules.”
“That’s why we on the right need to be thinking about this,” Courrielche said.
If Silicon Valley’s increasingly tightening controls over public discourse are not stopped, warned Courrielche, censorship favoring left-wing politics will amplify as 2020’s presidential election nears.
“Now they’re taking out people — one by one — they’re taking out some of Trump’s most charismatic voices,” Courrielche explained. “And by the time this election comes along, we’re going to be able to talk about certain things, because we’ve already sensed it … they are all starting to tailor and trim back what they’re saying, because they’re all afraid they’re going to get de-platformed and their whole financial business model lies on their ability to reach their audiences that they built on these social networks. I think need to really start pushing on their representatives. They really need to start calling them out and start saying, ‘You guys need to start dealing with this and dealing with it, now,’ and pushing on the Trump administration, getting Don Jr. to start talking about this more, because it seems like he’s starting to catch onto this, now.”
America is approaching a point of no return on the issue of Silicon Valley’s consolidation of power, warned Courrielche. “We really need to start pressing on this,” he declared. “Because these guys mean business, now, and they are going to do anything that they can for this man to not be reelected and to put their guy in, and then we’ll see how they really start to enforce their agenda.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.