The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Tag: Censorship

Tech Platform Censorship & The Great QAnon Facebook Purge

So, Facebook has cracked down on QAnon, removing essentially all QAnon pages and groups.


Obviously QAnon is bunk. As I noted earlier it’s right in the broad sense: yes, we are ruled by pedophiles as any casual acquaintance with the Epstein case will tell you, no, Trump is not at war with them except in the sense that yeah, he’s opposed by some elite factions and some of them will be pedos. Of course, many people who support Trump are probably pedos. And it’s laughably wrong in specifics.

At one time the tech platforms mostly didn’t want to do censorship and content moderation. Of course, their algos mean they do: and there’s plenty of evidence that YouTube, for example, pushes a lot of right wing content hard, but they did it for greed, not out of any sense of political noblesse oblige or civic responsibility. Facebook played a role in at least one ethnic cleansing.

But really it was the hysteria about a possible Russian role in the 2016 election that started the censorship ball rolling.

It started with Google, who changed their algorithms. Strangely, that algorithm change hit the left much harder than the right.

(I actually noticed it myself, pages that had been on the first page of search results, like my ethics vs. morality article dropped off and never returned.)

So, you’re left wing and you hate the right (understandable) and you want them censored.

The problem is simple: once censorship gets going it doesn’t just stay with the people you want hit. Everyone who doesn’t have the power to protect themselves gets censored, and, children, people in power hate the left FAR more than the right. They can live with Fascism, authoritarianism and so on. Pinochet, Hitler, Mussolini, whoever—they were and are all good to corporations and rich people. They may be declasse and embarassing, but they don’t threaten most of the people with power or wealth. Left wingers, well, they might actually tax rich people and if you remember Bill Gates squeals during the primary at the idea of a wealth tax, well, you know that even “good” billionaires hate left wingers.

So, censorship is on the loose, the tech platforms are purging and maybe you’re happy.

But remember, it never stops with the people you hate.

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Oppressive Precedents Used Against Nazis Will Be Used Against the Left

All right, so the Daily Stormer got kicked off GoDaddy, went to a new hosting company, and then got kicked off that one. Victory? Even the guy who did it isn’t happy he did it.

I am reminded of when PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard all decided to stop accepting payments for Wikileaks, after they published Collateral Murder. (I know many on the left now hate Wikileaks, but at the time these leaks were considered beneficial to the left wing, since it hit a Republican war–Iraq.)

There’s no question that the Daily Stormer amounts to Nazis, I’m not even going to say “neo,” but if you think this won’t be used against the left, well…

NY Governor Cuomo isn’t a Nazi, but he is one the biggest assholes around, having conspired to make sure that Democrats didn’t take control of the NY State legislature, for example, among many other strategies.

Yeah. Look, historically, censorship laws and so on have always hit the left harder than the right. Any law which can be used against the left will be used against the left.

Protecting the rights of people you hate is the price of protecting your own rights. If you take rights from Nazis, you will be taking them from yourself. At the very least, be sure they are specifically targeted at Nazis, similar to Germany’s laws. If they aren’t, they will be used against you.

As for private power: Concentration of power into a few oligopolies has made private actors able to effectively censor with as much efficacy as government. When Google decided to hit “fake news” somehow that meant that the World Social Website got hit hard.

Concentrated private powers that censor are almost as bad as governments that censor. In some ways, it is worse, because we pretend that places like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are not commons, but private, and thus grant them immunity from things like the first amendment, even though they control most of what people see.

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