August 17, 2018
Web 2.0, which became the social media sites of today, has not been good for free political speech. The people in charge of these sites have grossly abused their power.
Back in the 2000s, I distinctly remember hearing this term “web 2.0” that was thrown around. It was a term used to describe a new type of website that allowed people to create accounts and interact with others in a more functional and usable way. I remember being highly skeptical of this idea. Mainly because it sounded like a way to herd large numbers of people onto centralized platforms that could be heavily policed and moderated at a later date.
These web 2.0 sites were the genesis of what has now become the social media infrastructure of today. The most prominent of which are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Obviously, there are other social media sites, but these three have in essence become the main public square of the modern era.
These three social media platforms is where most public discourse takes place now.
Unfortunately, my early skepticism of this web 2.0 concept was proven correct. A few years ago, I was banned from Twitter after only being active on the site for three weeks. They threw me off because I expressed my skepticism of the claim that six million Chinese Communists were gassed with re-purposed diesel powered Soviet submarine engines to British MP Stella Creasy. To this day I’m still perplexed as to why Ms. Creasy and Twitter had a problem with this very sound and reasoned position.
As far as free political speech goes, things are very bad on all these sites. And based on what we are hearing from Twitter’s management, it is clear that things are only going to get worse before they get better.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey did a series of interviews with the media confirming this. During an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, he discussed how they had temporarily suspended Infowars host Alex Jones for seven days. He specifically referred to the suspension as a “timeout” like we’re all kids in preschool or something.
But it’s what he said afterwords that was the most disturbing. He admitted that they use this “timeout” tool to modify people’s behavior. So effectively, they are using social engineering techniques on their users who don’t comply with the overall Twitter collective.
In a separate interview, he discusses how they’re trying to steer people towards having “healthier” behaviors and “healthier” conversations.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey isn’t sure if the timeout given to Alex Jones will convince the right-wing conspiracy theorist to “reconsider” his social media behavior.
But Dorsey, in an interview with The Hill the morning after his company handed down a seven-day suspension to Jones, says its enforcement actions are intended to promote better behavior from its users.
“We’re always trying to cultivate more of a learning mindset and help guide people back towards healthier behaviors and healthier public conversation,” the 41-year-old co-founder of Twitter said.
And who defines what “healthy” behavior is and what isn’t? The Twitter thought police, apparently. Dorsey has literally declared his company to be the arbiter of all that is good and holy.
Pictured above is Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey. Does anybody honestly think that this man should have the unilateral power to grant or deny access to the modern day public square? I sure as hell don’t!
These are not the proper functions of anyone who is managing a legitimate social media platform. A proper social media site is one that allows all people to freely exchange ideas with one another. The only time it would be appropriate for administrators to step in would be if someone used the platform to facilitate a crime. Uploading child pornography and making specific death threats to a politician are things that come to mind. Outside of that, people who are offended by other users can simply block them.
Instead of taking this common sense position, Twitter has decided to police users based on an arbitrary set of standards that nobody understands. It has created a situation where online mobs are demanding people be banned simply for having differing political views. When Twitter’s management chose to abandon their neutrality, they were effectively approving of all content visible on the site. They become a publisher instead of a platform and are now subject to the whims of mobs.
Needless to say, this is a completely unsustainable model. It’s why the government has to step in and implement some type of regulation to protect free political speech on these platforms.
Democrat Senator Mark Warner has proposed a complete shut down of free speech on social media.
The Democrats are planning the exact opposite this. They’ve already proposed implementing regulations on social media sites that will further empower them to ban anyone they politically disagree with. This will be done under the guise of labeling their political opponents as Russian agents promoting fake news.
Think I joke?
Read the list of proposals from Democrat Senator Mark Warner. It’s a plan to have the government come in and ensure that everything is shut down and stays shut down.
The best possible thing we can do at this point is encourage an acceleration of the ban hammer on any remaining big name right-wing personalities and groups. This will help give an increasing amount of legitimacy to any future government intervention.
I mean let’s face it: the only people left on these platforms are those who never had the courage to call out the Chinese Communists. So why should we care if any of them get banned or not? It’s not like they’re serving a real useful purpose any way.