Tech Companies Bring Censorship to a New Level
Kevin Felts 08.06.18
There was once a time when tech companies looked for ways to block viruses and malware. Consumers wanted a way to make sure someone was not spying on their Internet activities. As a result we turned to companies such as Norton, Malwarebytes, and McAfee.
However, since the early 2000s and the rise of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, people face a new type of spying. Sites track our every move on the Internet to know what kind of ads to serve. Facebook has developed a way to even know a users political leaning.
If the tracking were not enough, now certain websites are blocking certain types of discussion. We are specifically talking about being able to share firearm plans on Facebook. Attempt to post a link to codeisfreespeech.com on your Facebook timeline, and the post could be marked as spam and removed. Attempt to send a link to the site through Facebook messenger, and the URL will be blocked.
— Jon Stokes (@jonst0kes) August 5, 2018
I attempted to share a link to codeisfreespeech.com on my Facebook feed, and it was instantly removed.
While sites such as Facebook and Twitter are companies and have the right to block types of content they disagree with, where does society draw the line? Let’s say Google decided to delist all conservative or right leaning websites. Chances are the leftists would rejoice. What is to stop those same companies from blocking “anything” they disagree with?
Take YouTube, for example. They randomly ban gun channels with what seems like no rhyme or reason.
Chris Bartocci from Small Arms Solutions had his YouTube channel deleted. The problem was, the vast majority of what Chris did was “talk” about guns. From time to time he would post a video of him shooting some type of firearm, but those videos were few and far in between.
So now it seems YouTubers can get banned for even “talking” about a topic.
Facebook marked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk as “unsafe.” There were even Congressional hearings on what happened to Diamond and Silk.
Twitter has been accused of shadow banning conservative voices. For those of who do not know what “shadow banning” means, when someone who has been shadow banned makes a Twitter post, the post will not show to followers. Shadow banning has the effect of making someone disappear.
Technology and Censorship
As society becomes more dependent upon technology, where do we draw the line on censorship?
Let’s go back to the 1990s and Paladin Press. For those of you who do not know what Paladin Press was, they published a large selection of controversial books, such as Homemade C4.
Then along came Timothy MeVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing. When the news published information saying McVeigh was part of a survivalist group, main stream publications stopped running ads for Paladin Press. It seemed like Paladin Press disappeared. Ads were still ran in publications such as American Survival Guide.
Once someone got the phone number to Paladin Press they could call and request a catalog.
Eventually, the Internet came along and people were free to share information, information that main stream publications had controlled for decades.
Now we are facing a new type of censorship from websites we share every personal detail with. How many of the readers share their post personal moments on sites such as Facebook? Have a birthday party, share pictures on Facebook. Get married, share it on Facebook.
There use to be a time when Internet users cherished their privacy. Today, it seems we willingly give our privacy away to whatever popular website there is at the time. First there was MySpace, now Facebook, so what’s next?
Maybe we need to step back and consider how much information we share with certain websites, and how intertwined our lives are with those sites.