Mark Humphrys (politics)


Anti-censorship - Social media

  Censorship by big tech

Filters by tech companies

The Swedish Institute "hate" list



"Finbar Prendergast"


Social media

Censorship and speech issues related to social media and tech companies.


Censorship by big tech is the main form of censorship today

We live in strange times. The Web promised a liberation of free speech across the world. And that seemed to happen in the 1990s.

But the technology changed, and the massive centralisation of Web 2.0 has been in many ways bad for free speech. Social media firms have enormous power to censor people on their platforms. Which is, sort of, their right. You can publish elsewhere on the Internet. The other Web still exists. And yet, because of their dominance, opinions being banned from the big social media platforms is in effect like censoring those opinions from society.

Social media companies were not always evil. We can even date the year it changed. They started abusing their power in 2016. The big firms - Google and YouTube, Facebook, Instagram - all abuse their power now. They have killed the 1990s dream of free speech Internet. (Twitter was also on that list from 2016 to 2022.)

Censorship by big tech firms is probably the dominant form of censorship in the West now.


You Can't Watch This (2019) on the Web 2.0 world, where unelected social media corporations, not elected governments, in effect control global speech, and regularly abuse their massive power.

The simple libertarian answer to social media abusing its power is: "Tough. They are private companies."
This meme version of "Don't Tread on Me" is the answer most people can relate to. Which is, that we feel now as if unelected and abusive companies, not government, control our speech. And we feel that way because it is basically true.
So "At least it's not the government" is not much of an answer for most people.
Found here.




Facebook censors Covid theories, then backtracks:




In Oct 2021, Instagram removed this scientific diagram showing male advantage in sport.
Not because women were offended. (All women know this.)
But because "trans women" (men pretending to be women) were offended.
See full size.

In Dec 2021, Instagram deleted this post mocking Hamas terrorism.
Censoring opponents of terrorism because of complaints by supporters of terrorism. That sums up social media companies.




TikTok removed a statement that "trans women" are not women, Nov 2021.
Biology is now "hate speech".
From here.

TikTok banned this video about women's sports in 2024.
Why? Because the video does not want men in women's sports.
It is an ad for XX-XY Athletics.
You can download it from my site here.






The end of Google, 2018.
Google started in the 1990s because other search engines were biased and did not show the most important hits at the top, but had other criteria.
In the 2010s, Google decided to start censoring results it does not agree with, and as a result its search engine is becoming useless.
Here is a search for "jihad" on a Chrome incognito window in Aug 2018, and the most important site in the world on the topic, Jihad Watch, is on page 12. Since thousands and thousands of sites link to Jihad Watch, it must be put on page 12 deliberately by Google because they do not like it.
Well Google, it's been a nice 20 year run, but it is time for a new search engine now.



When any corporation decides to police speech, its decisions are almost always arbitrary, ludicrous and disgusting.


Filters by tech companies

Many technology companies promote filters and lists to help people exclude "hate speech" or "fake news". Inevitably, their filtering decisions are often ludicrous.

The Swedish Institute "hate" list

The Swedish Institute provided an example of a "hate" list in 2017.


I have mixed but generally positive views of Wikipedia. It is less centralised in its ideas than social media companies. So Wikipedia is not simply pro censorship like the social media companies. Rather it is a war between pro and anti censorship people. The result tends to be more anti censorship than pro. But the war never ends.


Alternatives to Wikipedia

Because of the endless war of editors, Wikipedia is fairly neutral. It is so much better than these terrible alternatives:


The Internet world v. The pre-Internet world


Compare Wikipedia to the pre-Internet world and honestly it is still better. Who would ever want to go back?
Here is the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1974 edition on Izmir in Turkey.

Politics      Religion      Since 1995.      New 250 G VPS server.

Banned in Iran: This site is banned in Iran.

Blocked on Twitter by the regressive left and Islamists: I love debate. I love ideas. But the Western left and their friends the Islamic right do not return the favour. Their response to opposing ideas, whether expressed politely or robustly, is often to block. See Who blocks me on Twitter.

I like debate. But I do have rules. See Who I block on Twitter.

Twitter is broken, 2016 to 2022: I am on Twitter at markhumphrys. Twitter was a great place for debate before 2016. You could meet everyone in the world, and argue about ideas. Starting in 2016, Twitter became increasingly broken. It became full of reporting and bans and censorship. In 2019, Twitter even started shadowbanning me for no reason that was ever explained, or could be appealed. By 2022, everyone was looking for a better place to debate.

Twitter is saved, 2022: In 2022 Elon Musk bought Twitter and started to end the censorship. It looks great so far. Twitter seems to be saved.