The days of censorship on social media are over!
This is a follow up article to the one called: What if they closed Social Media today?
The moment has arrived. Donald Trump, the 45.th president of the United States, has censored major social media platforms. Giants like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter have to follow a new guideline set out by the Trump Administration.
The whole process seems to be complicated, but it actually isn't. The administration released an Executive Order, in which they explain how they'll prevent online censorship by the social media platforms. Trump especially seems to seek some form of vengeance, as he was often censored by Twitter.
The new order is built upon three layers. The first one is quite obvious. It's the first amendment, Freedom of Speech. The administration repeats multiple times, that they set out to honour that amendment. They know that many families, friends and partners use these social media platforms on a daily basis. Either to stay in touch or to read the news, share their opinions or use it as a marketing tool for their businesses. Therefore, these platforms are pillars of the modern society.
They present some evidence, through surveys and messages by citizens who pointed out how much censorship was going on, and used it to come up with a restriction for these companies. In the administrations view, they appeal the misconduct of the Communications Decency Act (Section 230©). This is the description of that act, given in the official executive order by the White House: “It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.”
For most of us, this is a lot of gibber gabber. They simplified the whole description to this: “Section 230© was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation.”
Meaning, these platforms are no longer an open place on the internet – which let's be honest, they never were! – they are editorial publishers, which can represent multiple opinions. However, there is never place for multiple opinions, especially in the media world. There are biases!
The White House , or President Trump, even went as far as calling out multiple platforms at once. His enemy number one at the moment must be Twitter, as they have blocked and deleted multiple tweets of his and continue to block him in every way possible. Others such as Google and Online Papers are trying their hardest to get out of everything. Especially YouTube is trying to cut corners.
Currently the only platform, which seems to be playing along the threads of the White House is Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg appears to be disgusted by the decision of Trump's Administration, but he caved and allowed them to keep posts of the POTUS up. This obviously had some backlash as well. As the whole thing was released through an internal leak. In which you can hear Zuckerberg clearly say it during a meeting. The second backlash was internal with Facebook.
Many employees were angry about Mark. However, we have to divide two cases here. One was about the lack of integrity from Zuckerberg. Many employees thought that Trump lied about the ballot-by-mail. He mentioned, that it would be very easy to manipulate a vote with such a tool. Which is true, as we have more than enough evidence to support this statement... And on the other hand the events with George Floyd and his tragic death came into the mix as well. With that event, many employees thought that there its a racism problem within Facebook as well. I can't comment about the second issue.
I wonder if these employees think so bad of their employees when they spy on us users. Selling our data to the highest bidder. Or is this different? After all, if they blame something but decide to look away on the other hand, aren't they as much “guilty” of a bad decision as their CEO?
Anyway, I don't to start a discussion here, but this is a thought to think about. All these platform, it doesn't matter which one it is, are data hoarders. They want to gather as much data as possible and profit of our consumption.
I believe that it is the right way forward. There has to be an end to the total dominance of the online platforms. Time to put the power back into the hands of us people. Not algorithms!
But what would be the worst case scenario, if they really pull the plug and close all these platforms? Don't look any further! I have already written an article about this. Simply follow this link and read everything about it!