Mark Humphrys (politics)

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Anti-censorship - Social media


  Censorship by big tech is the main form of censorship today

Filters by tech companies

The Swedish Institute "hate" list

Wikipedia

Twitter

"Finbar Prendergast"

"OldDumpy"



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, Twitter, Instagram - all abuse their power now. They have killed the 1990s dream of free speech Internet.

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.


  

Twitter

  


Facebook

  

Facebook censors Covid theories, then backtracks:

  


Instagram

  


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.


  

Google

  

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.


  

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.





Wikipedia

I have mixed but generally positive views of Wikipedia. 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.
  


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.


Banned in Iran: This site is banned in Iran.

Blocked by the regressive left and Islamists on Twitter: 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 will debate almost anyone. Stick to ideas and I will debate you. But I do have rules. See Who I block on Twitter.

Where to debate? Twitter's best days are over. I am on Twitter at markhumphrys. Twitter was a truly great place for debate before 2016. You could meet everyone in the world, and argue about ideas. Since 2016, Twitter is broken. It is now full of reporting and bans and censorship. In 2019, Twitter even started shadowbanning me for no reason that was ever explained, or could ever be appealed. It is time to find a better place to debate. I am on Parler at markhumphrys.