Silicon Valley, true to form, is following the lead of the mainstream media — it’s prohibiting users from talking about the alleged whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella.
First Facebook and now YouTube have pledged to delete any content that names Ciaramella as the alleged whistleblower. Even articles from Breitbart News have been deleted.
Twitter appears to be the exception, saying it will not delete any tweets or ban any accounts that name the alleged whistleblower — but at least one Twitter account was locked merely for repeating Ciaramella’s name. At best, Twitter is having trouble implementing its policy.
Nevertheless, Facebook (which also owns Instagram and Whatsapp) and YouTube (owned by Google) are still censoring discussion of the alleged whistleblower’s name.
There’s always been tension between free speech and privacy. Both are important civil liberties, and the protection of whistleblowers is especially important. But Silicon Valley’s stance still makes zero sense. Here’s why.
First, the name of the alleged whistleblower is already in wide circulation. As Breitbart News has reported, repeatedly, over the past few days:
Multiple other publishers have named the alleged whistleblower or reported on outlets naming him, including Heavy.com, the Washington Examiner, The Federalist, and the Western Journal. Saagar Enjeti, Chief Washington Correspondent for The Hill, also tweeted the alleged whistleblower’s name.
Radio hosts Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, Students for Trump co-chair Ryan Fournier, former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza, One America News host Jack Posobiec, and TownHall.com senior columnist Kurt Schlichter are among the other public figures and major media personalities who have also named the alleged whistleblower.
It isn’t only conservatives reporting on Ciaramella. New York Magazine and HuffPost contributor Yashar Ali identified Ciaramella as the alleged whistleblower in a since-deleted tweet. Ali claimed to have confirmed the identity with three sources. Facebook’s requirement to revise its policy on Ciaramella appears to already have been met.
In other words, people who want to find out the name of the alleged whistleblower will have no problem doing so. The cat is already out of the bag. Facebook and YouTube’s policy is therefore pointless — it amounts to little more than virtue-signaling to Democrats and the mainstream media, who will still hate them regardless.
Secondly, let’s not pretend that there’s bipartisan agreement that Eric Ciaramella, if he is indeed the source of the Ukraine-Trump story, is in fact a whistleblower rather than a partisan member of the “deep state.” At the very least, he’s a deep-stater as well.
There are plenty of examples of whistleblowing that aren’t partisan. Unsafe food storage at a grocery store chain. Defective equipment at a military supplier. Bloomberg’s story about Chinese spying devices in the servers of western tech companies and government agencies. The first two stories are hypothetical, but all are examples where Republicans and Democrats would likely have broad agreement that legitimate whistleblowing has taken place.
The Ukraine-Trump affair is not one of those cases. The best that can be said for the Democrats is that they have Never-Trumpers on their side. But that’s a given anyway.
Speaking about who counts as a “whistleblower,” you would think that an employee at an international corporation who reveals radical, yet largely hidden policy changes that reverse long-standing assurances to consumers would make the cut. Or an employee at the same corporation who reveals radical, yet hidden attempts of a corporation to influence the politics of a democratic country.
That’s what whistleblowers at Google and Facebook have done, time and time again. Yet these companies, which are so determined to prevent the alleged Ukraine whistleblower from being identified, do nothing of the sort when it is their own company in the crosshairs. On the contrary, they make every effort to identify employees who reveal their own internal wrongdoing.
Google and Facebook, friends to all whistleblowers? Give me a break!
Are you an insider at Reddit or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address [email protected]
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.