RUSH: Let me get started on the phones in Bloomington, Illinois. Andrew, I’m glad you called, sir. What’s shaking? How are you?
CALLER: Well, I got an issue with the whole conservatives being blocked out. I’m gonna raise something here to you that I really hate suggesting. But the only way I see conservative news being able to have equal airing is allowing net neutrality and turning them — going to the utility internet. I hate saying it. But I equate it kind of like driving a car. I mean, we’re all concerned about, you know, regulating it.
“Oh, you gotta have a license to drive a car,” right? Unfortunately, the liberals own the roads. So the only way we’re gonna be able to take our car out on the road is if we allow it to be regulated. I mean, I hate saying it. But, you know, as long as the liberals own the internet, you know, we’ve gotta allow it to be regulated.
RUSH: So you want to turn these social media outfits into utilities, essentially, which would then allow them to be regulated. Now, you can go after them on the basis of antitrust, which is the way the gigantic oil companies of old were busted up and some of the other monopolies that were supposedly monopolies were busted up, by going after them on antitrust, preventing and eliminate competition and that kind of thing.
I think you can do that without opening up every door that is net neutrality. Net neutrality is just a code word for letting the federal government regulate all of the internet. Yeah, I’m… (sigh) I’m of so many different minds on this, and the reason is — and I don’t even know if I should make this observation. (chuckles) Nah. I’m not gonna make the observation. It would not be understood and so forth. I just… Something has to give on this, and Trump apparently now is gonna lead and spearhead some effort to fix and correct this.
It’s obvious that the social engine, social media purveyors — the Zuckerbergs and the Google guys and Jack Dorsey at Twitter — are only gonna provide lip service to this. In fact, they’re gonna deny what we know is happening is happening. They’re just gonna say, “It isn’t true. I mean, we’ve taken all kinds of steps and made all kinds of changes to our algorithms to make sure that this doesn’t happen,” while it, in fact, does continue to happen.
RUSH: Yeah. The more I think about it, the more I’m gonna tell you what I decided a moment ago not to say about all of this garbage that’s happening with censorship on the net. But the first thing, folks, do not… I don’t want to hear from anybody else promoting net neutrality unless you know what it is. Net neutrality would not have one thing to do with Silicon Valley companies and how they run their businesses! Net neutrality would regulate internet service providers! It does not regulate Silicon Valley companies who are engaging in censorship!
There is no way that net neutrality will even touch this!
RUSH: Okay. So Facebook and Google. Let’s take ’em separately. Facebook is simply eliminating as often and as many places as they can anything conservative. From their news feed, if you are a poster at Facebook and you post things you want people to read, if you link to a conservative website or news story, Facebook finds a way to make sure your post doesn’t reach your followers. Same thing with Twitter basically.
Google, it’s search results. You put in a name, put me in there, put “Trump” in there, you’re gonna find the first two to three pages nothing but liberal bilge and drivel in the search results. It may take two or three pages to find a conservative website, and it may be an obscure one at that. If you put in the word, if you search for “hate groups,” you will not find a liberal group mentioned in the first 10 pages, for example. And so people are outraged by this and trying to figure out what to do about it.
Now, we had a caller in the previous hour who said, “Rush, I hate to tell you this, I hate to tell you, but it may be that we’re gonna have to classify these outfits as utilities, and that means we’re gonna have to promote net neutrality in order to get the government able to regulate the internet. It would be the only way we can do it.” And it made my point that people to this day do not know what net neutrality is.
The left is so clever at naming things. Net neutrality, what does it mean, if you define that, “It means the internet is neutral. The internet, Mr. Limbaugh, will not choose sides. The internet will be free and open and its own utopia.” And it is an absolute crock. Net neutrality is nothing of the sort. Net neutrality is simply code language for the government regulating internet service providers! It would not regulate Silicon Valley companies. It would regulate the people to whom you connect to get to the internet.
Now, there are some on the left who want net neutrality to actually be used to regulate content on the basis that it would not be fair for internet users to not have equal access to all points of view. But the left is simply using that as another attempt, if they got control of it, to eliminate even more conservatism from search results and other open areas on the internet.
So whatever you do, don’t fall for the idea that things have gotten so bad that the only way that we can make things fair is to demand government fix it. We, of all people, should know that’s not the way to deal or fix anything. The evidence is abundant on a daily basis.
The answer to this, like it is in most everything, is the free market. Now, I’m gonna say something, and I fully expect it to irritate a lot of people. I’m sorry. I don’t intend for that to happen, but, you know, it happens to be a by-product of what comes out of my mouth, regardless my intentions.
I do not use in any way, shape, manner, or form social media in relationship to this program. Yeah, we have a Facebook page, and we put things on it; but the purpose is to steer people back to the website. And we have a Twitter page, but folks, I don’t even know what the password, the log-on to the damn thing is. I don’t use it. I don’t use social media to assist me in promoting, spreading, or whatever else this program. As such, whatever they do doesn’t affect me.
Now, lest you think that I’m sounding selfish, I’m not. I don’t mean to sound selfish at all here. Just let me take a stab at this. I know that I’m not gonna show up in search results. I know that there is brilliance on this program every day. I know that there is brilliance on this program, that if a bunch of namby-pamby liberals were exposed to it, it might change their minds, a few of them, down the road. But I know that this program’s not gonna show up.
I’m not gonna sit there and whine about it. It’s just the way it is. Google hates me like they hate a bunch of other conservatives. And they’re gonna make sure their algorithms overlook and never pop this show up, unless having this show show up on a search result can do damage to me and the show. That’s how it will show. But it will not show in a way that promotes, like the New York Times will always show in search results, or the Washington Post or CNN. They’re leftists; they’re liberals; they hang together.
Now, I know this program began before the advent of social media. So I had to find ways to build it within the confines of it. You know, my medium of the day was broadcast, was radio. And there were business requirements; there are things you had to do to succeed in the broadcast business. Fortunately for me, having a social media profile didn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter now.
So I don’t have one. And that means I’m not dependent on Facebook or Twitter or Google being nice to me. But a lot of people on the right can’t say that. A lot of people built their businesses on Facebook, using Facebook as the foundation. A lot of websites built their businesses on Facebook. So they get successful, and Facebook comes along, “We don’t want that kind of success here,” so they start doing things to damage successful websites that used Facebook to build themselves.
And naturally those websites are gonna feel really mad. They’re gonna feel like things are unfair and that they got no warning and that their former business model which was at least trending toward profitability or maybe even become profitability, Facebook has now stepped in and seen to it. And so all they can do is — ah, that’s not what I mean. I don’t mean all they can do is complain about it, but they’re stuck. They depend on Facebook.
Why would anybody want to depend on a bunch of leftists for your success? Facebook’s always been what it is. Zuckerberg’s always been who he is. (interruption) They thought they played fair? Okay. Well, fine. I gotta rein this in. I don’t mean to sound critical. Well, my purpose here is to not to make people mad, but for crying out loud, we knew who Zuckerberg was before he knew who he was! We knew what Facebook was just by virtue of the people helping him set up. We’ve known the Google guys, for crying out freaking loud, had an office in the Obama White House for eight years. We know who these people are. Why in the world depend on ’em?
Fox News didn’t! How does Fox News happen without social media? How does Fox News survive without social media? How does Fox News survive constantly being targeted by those very people? The free market here is the answer. The free market is the long-term answer. If the platforms that are out there are not suitable, are not fair, and in fact are harmful, then don’t use them. Establish your own. It can be done. The evidence is there each and every day.
Now, the Google situation, the search engine thing, that’s a little bit of a different beast, because everybody thinks that that is totally nonpartisan. I would venture to say that most people using Google search — and there may be more and more ongoing awareness of this now. But it wasn’t that long ago that everybody searching something in Google just like looking something up on Wikipedia thought that the result was nonpartisan, unbiased, and it just was what it was. It was the truth.
So if you go searching for things on Wikipedia or Google then you get the result. Now, people, it’s easy to know that Google is gonna do everything it can to damage and harm conservatives and conservatism and conservative websites, internet properties, you name it. There are alternatives.
There’s DuckDuckGo. There’s Bing. There are other places you can go. You don’t have to go to Google. But, as I say, Google’s a little bit different in the sense that Google is not being used by people to support their businesses; it’s just a search engine. What Google does, you would not believe. (chuckling) I run into all these people that say, “You’re not gonna get me to turn on location services, Rush. I’m not gonna have anybody trackin’ me.”
Google can track you if you use any of their services. Whether you’ve got location services turned on or off, it doesn’t matter. Google is collecting so much data on you that there isn’t anybody even close among their competitors. Facebook probably would be a close second. Apple would be way down the list. Twitter and Facebook, they’re pretty good data miners because that’s how they sell their advertising and so forth. Well, that’s another thing Google does is monopolize online advertising, which is a double whammy for internet-oriented businesses.
But, anyway, I think the way to go after these clowns is antitrust, but not net neutrality. I don’t want to get one more call here from anybody who thinks the way to fix this is to throw regulation to the government and say, “We conservatives are getting an unfair shake, and we want you to take care of it, Uncle Sam.” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. It’s the wrong way to go about it — and certainly, folks, you may think net neutrality sounds good to you and what you may think it is.
But you do not want the same people running Google and Facebook being able to regulate your access to the internet, which is what net neutrality is. You just do not want them having anywhere near that kind of power. In fact, I saw a statistic. I even mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. The United States… Since net neutrality ended with the arrival of the Trump administration, United States average online speeds have gone from 12th in the world to sixth.
Meaning average online speeds for American consumers are increasing exponentially, rapidly, as we exited net neutrality. We were only under net neutrality for two years, 2-1/2 years. Starting in 2015, is when Obama implemented it. The internet — this vastly expanding, growing, profit-generating enterprise that everybody loves became what it became, the free internet — most everything on it was free for a while, actually for a long time.
It happened without government regulation. The reason the left wanted to get their hands on it was how fast it was growing, how many people were using it and how much conservatism was available on it. The left was panicking. Net neutrality was a stealth philosophy and idea to limit and damage conservatism at the internet service provider level, not Silicon Valley company content people. If you think empowering the government to regulate your internet service provider is a way to make the internet free, then we have a lot of work to do with you.