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BIG TECH CENSORSHIP

This week, various tech and social media companies like Apple, Facebook/Instagram, Google/YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and more banned controversial broadcaster Alex Jones, his company Infowars, and many of his various journalists/anchors from their platforms. The companies all similarly claimed that Jones "violated their terms of service" yet none specifically showed any evidence of what was done that violated those terms as far as I can see as of this date.It has sparked some serious debate and controversy.

This comes in the wake of various hearings in the United States congress where pressure was put on companies like Facebook and Twitter concerning a number of issues, including censoring conservative and/or politically right public figures, media companies, "Trump Supporters", and others; what is or isn't "fake news" and should it be censored- with Democratic Senators often citing Infowars and Jones as an example of what should be censored- but not corporate media or politically "liberal" or far left leaning companies and public figures- some of which include Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters who allegedly has publicly called for mobs to assault and harass conservatives and politically right leaning people, and members of the violent extremist-left group "Antifa" and others. Companies like Google are even said to be building censorship platforms for other countries in order to do business there. Reports have come out saying that it is not just Jones that gets censored either- people who work for organizations like "Anti-War.com", "The Ron Paul Institute", conservative Candace Owens, and more all are having trouble with censorship this week. Is there a double standard depending on who you are and what your political beliefs are? Is the government pushing these big tech firms to stifle the people free speech and censor... are these companies just pandering to mobs of people coordinating to get their opposition and people who disagree with them removed from these mega platforms where they can reach potentially billions of people. (reaching billions of people is absolutely a very new and highly interesting development we have had as a species by the way- one we don't fully comprehend at times I fear). What I do know is that the US midterm elections are in a few months, and that it has been claimed Jones and his audience were instrumental in getting the current US President elected (including by Jones himself)- who is also highly controversial in the media. Regardless, there is something altogether troubling and unsettling about all this for those like me- observing from the outside trying to absorb all the information coming from every direction.

The issue as I see it is not about Alex Jones or his company, but one of CENSORSHIP. If they can censor Jones, who has a following of millions, then they can censor anyone. These giant tech companies are near monopolies, controlling huge amounts of how media is distributed and consumed across the internet, social media, and marketing and advertising that many businesses rely on heavily. More than that, if these companies disagree with you politically (or really if they just don't like you in my opinion) and you are a public figure, activist, or even a musician like me- BOOM- you are gone. Considering that many of these large tech companies are known to be politically left leaning as well as hyper-sensitive to "political correctness" propagated by corporate media, much of their bias and double-standard practices are brazenly clear. If you are a dissenting voice that goes against the "status quo" or say things people don't like to hear, these powerful companies with huge amounts of global influence COULD silence you- especially if they get a little push from government(s). That is what is scary and downright terrifying. As someone who works in media, knowing that everything I can do can be substantially attacked and methods of sales and advertising that can put food on my family's table if I unknowingly offend someone in these companies- that they can substantially quiet my reach and VOICE... my speech... that is an absolute horror movie 1984 scenario.

Freedom of Speech should extend everywhere there is speech. It is a natural right we all have. Big discussions and debates need to be had about this among us all. I for one can't stand idly by and not speak up while I still am "allowed". (I have already started moving to different social media such as Minds and Gab that do not have these practices.) All I know is this is a big deal. The very future of media, culture, and the voices of countless people are in trouble if things like this continue to happen. Censorship should never be tolerated by any free society.

At the end of the day I'm just against censorship-period no matter who it is. I can totally dislike what someone has to say or how they say it, but I would never condone taking away their right to do so.

On a darkly humorous note- the controversial media personality who warned of this sort of thing for years had the very thing he was warning people about happen to him and his company... time will tell how deep this rabbit hole goes.

 

The Dark Lyricist

 



The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it.  If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth:  if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.  ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.  ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen. ~Tom Smothers, 1960s

Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. ~Potter Stewart, United States v. Ginzburg, 1965


We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.  For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.  ~John F. Kennedy

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