Becky, the libertarian lesbian lawyer and mother who blogged at Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever, declares today that she is ending her blog due to censorship imposed by Google last week, which has caused her traffic of 150,000 hits per month to crash. She tweeted this morning:
The time has come to say good-bye to the blog—and au revoir to my readers—I’ll be back somewhere, sometime, somehow.
I did a fair amount of work behind-the-scenes both to rally support for Becky and to encourage her to switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog with her own domain name. I haven’t heard back from her personally, but obviously from her last post this kind of help seemed to her to be part of the problem, which is that Google has acquired the power and wealth of a nation and is now using it like a despot to oppress. Advice that she should just move to a different platform appears to have been a galling symptom that we have knuckled under without a proper fight. And Becky is a fighter and her cause is just:
I do not believe that the federal government should regulate how Google exercises its power—they would only make things worse, and it would result in greater infringements of individual freedom. But that in no way lessens my disgust and disdain for a company that on a small scale will wipe me out with a key stoke, and on a large scale partner with Communist Party thugs in censoring the Chinese people.
These days most of the censorship is not the work of the federal government—it is the Titans of Silicon Valley , who also strive to know every single fact about every single living thing in the Universe, that scare the beejeebees out of me.
Becky is right. One of the scariest aspects of the Obama campaign from 2007-present, since they haven’t really stopped, was their observation that they could corrupt the online public forums and make opposing viewpoints disappear before people wised up that the owners of the forums were playing favorites when allowing merchants into the marketplace of ideas. And the owners of Google were among those corrupted, so, for example, HillBuzz has reported that Hillary’s supporters got lousy page ranks in Google, and their Blogger blogs and YouTube videos would vanish. (Remember that Google owners Blogger and YouTube.)
I am comforted that Becky’s tweet this morning and her last post both say “Au revoir” — “until we see each other again” — instead of “adieu” — “good-bye until we meet in heaven,” is how I translate “adieu.” I am going to trust her resourcefulness and faith in the value of her point of view to bring her back into the marketplace of ideas. She has an important contribution to make. I look forward to cheering her return.