Politics

If we do not get a grip on web censorship, it’ll deal with us

It is not what the masters of the internet and social media are, but the problem of whether they are liberal or conservative. The problem is what social media is.

People on social media tend to stick with like-minded people, which increases their individual affirmation bias.

If you will, an echo chamber will be set up. But it also goes deeper.

READ: Barack Obama: Internet and Social Media “Biggest Threat to Democracy”

We now live on a 24 hour news cycle and people are literally bombarded with information, some good, some bad, some crazy, etc.

In this avalanche of information overload, it is difficult for some to take the time to do the additional research necessary to truly make an informed decision about an individual item or event in the news.

You can see this effect even before the ubiquitous social media, when we started getting 24-hour cable news channels.

Good news to everyone, #NeverTrumperr Bill Kristol has his second panic attack after the elections 😂🤣https: //t.co/BU6kj0jHWj

– Wayne Dupree Media, LLC (@WayneDupreeShow) November 18, 2020

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One of the reasons most of the news is no longer the news but just an opinion is that when the news wasn’t sensational enough to keep people informed, they needed something to fill in the blanks.

It used to be typical for people to get the news from a newspaper or the nightly news at 5, 6, and 10 … sometimes 11, depending on where they lived.

That time has come and gone and now we have an unending stream of messages with opinions, comments, etc., so it is no wonder we are where we are.

Serious damage has already been done

It’s great that Dorsey apologized to the Senate at the barbecue yesterday, which is more than I can say for the other two.

But we’re talking serious damage here, and not just Twitter.

The American people don’t want Silicon Valley billionaires to silence their voices. They want transparency and responses behind @ Twitter’s censorship. https://t.co/Nv0b3Mtucm

– Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 18, 2020

We are talking about influencing the outcome of an election by suppressing information.

I really think that with all of the repression, censorship, problems with Dominion and mail-in votes and the list that goes on and on, the election results should be null and void and we should have a fresh election.

It’s way too messy. It’s not just great technology either; The media were also involved in the repression.

Freedom of expression is about people being able to speak openly and honestly about the truth. It does not give people the right to tell and spread lies.

READ: Promise kept: Trump to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq

Freedom of the press is about allowing the press to print the truth. It does not give them the right to be biased and spread lies and misinformation to deceive or influence people.

Did we do this to ourselves?

We have to ask ourselves why we depend on private advertising companies like Twitter and Facebook to guarantee freedom of speech.

The irony is that our free market guarantees that social media sites will never be places of free speech.

We’re going to find smaller social media outlets like Gab and Parler with some of this supposedly “free speech” because they eventually become what Twitter and Facebook have: moderated spaces that are safe for advertisers.

These companies report to shareholders, and shareholders want to see a growing audience and revenue growing even faster.

It’s nice to see Big Tech go to Congress every month to talk about their practices, but when do we actually start doing something about censorship?

They come and talk and then do the same.

Hold them responsible for this censorship.

– Dr. David Samadi, MD (@drdavidsamadi) November 18, 2020

Echo chambers with splitting disinformation, either left or right, have minimal growth potential.

Advertisers want the largest possible audience, and social media channels are pressured to deliver them.

READ: Officials warn of “large numbers” of Democrats planning to move to Georgia to run Senate runoff elections – don’t

Even if these smaller (largely right-wing) social channels of “freedom of speech” remain privately owned by people who have set themselves the goal of cultivating “freedom of speech”, they remain echo chambers of right-wing politics.

That’s a terrible recipe for audience growth.

While people prefer their messages in echo chambers, one study after another has shown that they prefer controversy, divisions, and challenges in their social media discussions.

We live for the comments section and nobody wants to read the same comment page after page.

The bottom line is this

Perhaps Twitter and Facebook can afford to lose half of their users and they really believe in promoting propaganda.

Perhaps some of the other half who believe in free speech also forego Twitter and Facebook.

I applaud Facebook and Twitter for putting their money where their mouth is. You take a stand and draw a line.

Me too, and I vote with my wallet and my conscience.

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