Here’s a shocker for you. The establishment media appears to support the left’s attempts to censor conservatives on the internet. Yesterday, CNN hosted the founder of Sleeping Giants, a social media activist group dedicated to bringing down Breitbart News, a well-known conservative news outlet.
Many of us already know that the left is trying to silence conservative voices on the internet. Indeed, since conservatives have had more success using alternative media to reach the public, the left has targeted prominent conservatives on social media platforms.
Right-leaning entities such as Steven Crowder, Alex Jones, and PragerU have all experienced the left’s onslaught against their content on social media. But this is not the only tactic that activists are using against conservatives.
Who Are The Sleeping Giants?
The Sleeping Giants are a social media activist group that seeks to destroy Breitbart News by depriving the news outlet of advertisers. Their modus operandi is simple. They visit Breitbart’s website and find the companies whose ads are appearing on the site. Then, they reach out to these businesses on social media and tell them that they are advertising on a site that supposedly promotes bigotry and hatred. Naturally, most of these companies pull their ads to protect their brands.
Then they do it again, and again, and again.
The objective is to prevent Breitbart News from earning advertising revenue. They claim to have convinced over 4,000 companies to pull their ads from the site.
In his appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Matt Rivitz, founder of Sleeping Giants explained why he started his online activism:
“Right after the 2016 election, I was pretty disgusted with the tenor of the rhetoric coming out just everywhere in the news, and it seemed very racist to me, and bigoted, and just everything was seeming really inflammatory.”
According to Rivitz, it was then that he discovered Breitbart News, and he became “really curious as to who was supporting this from an ad perspective.” After seeing the number of companies advertising on the site, he created an anonymous Twitter account and started reaching out to the advertisers.
Let’s be fair. In the past, Breitbart News has published its share of controversial articles. Indeed, the former CEO of the site, Steve Bannon, declared that it would be “the bastion for the alt-right.” Its contributors included provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos. But, over the past couple years, the news site has moderated their tone — especially after Bannon was ousted.
If Sleeping Giants were acting in good faith, they would have ceased their activities after realizing that the site, while still conservative, is not the same as it was previously. However, their true intentions are clear: They want to eliminate Breitbart News because it is a conservative site.
The group has not attacked other websites. They have ignored left-leaning sites that publish articles expressing anti-white sentiments. They don’t go after left-leaning sites that produce incendiary content.
Have They Been Successful?
While CNN and Rivitz believe the group’s efforts have hurt Breitbart’s bottom line, the facts say something different. Breitbart News reported that their traffic has increased by about 20%. Moreover, last year, Wordstream, a popular online advertising company examined the site’s numbers.
Mark Irvine, a Senior Data Scientist and Analytical Lead at Wordstream said: “At best, we’re talking about removing a small share of all the advertisers that could possibly serve Breitbart.” Well, so much for Sleeping Giants’ claim.
How Should Conservatives Push Back?
It would be easy to stop after criticizing the practices of activist groups like The Sleeping Giants. But it is important to consider how we should push back against these types of attacks. Sure, the group is not succeeding in their bid to take Breitbart News down, but who knows what will happen in the future? What if other left-wing groups go after other conservative sites? We have already seen that the left is willing to do what is necessary to suppress conservative thought both online and offline. One only needs to look at the massive efforts to promote boycotts of Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity to see that this behavior isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
So how should we push back? In my estimation, conservatives can counter groups like Sleeping Giants by using their own tactics against them. Leftists love to use Twitter mobs to cow people into compliance. What would happen if we did the same? What if conservatives also reached out to these companies and told them the truth? If the lies of groups like The Sleeping Giants were exposed, it would show that their claims are not credible.
Last year, the Media Research Center and Media Equalizer launched the #StopTheScalping campaign to resist the left’s attempts to use boycotts against conservative outlets. This campaign targets left-leaning figures in the same way that Media Matters and other leftist groups have gone after Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Let’s face it. Many on the left no longer want to debate. They have abandoned political discourse as a way to resolve our issues. Instead, they seek to ensure that their messages are the only ones that are being heard by the American public. The only option is to fight back. Bullies are less likely to pick on targets that will resist them. Let’s not make it easy for them to silence us.