Who Watches The Watchers?

I shouldn’t have to make this point. But this is 2018 and this is the America we find ourselves living in.

Censorship is bad.

Any kind. Be it targeted against any individual or group. No matter what “good” and “noble” reason that is given for it. Censorship is evil. Censorship is about as anti-American as it gets. Yet, here we are in 2018 and the Great Silencing is at full throttle.

The reason for this post today is, of course, Big Tech’s coordinated hit on InfoWars and Alex Jones.  Apple, Spotify and Facebook yanked nearly all of InfoWars content off the internet and erased anything with Alex Jones in it. The reasons given are unimportant. The result is an American Citizen has been cut off from speaking to hundreds of millions.

Because someone decided what he had to say was “wrongthink”. We’ll get back to that “someone” in a minute.

Look, I can’t stand Alex Jones for the same reason I can’t stand Charlie Sheen. They both are a pair of blowhards that spew stupidity. I tuned both of them out a very long time ago. So, I imagine, have many others.

And we did it all without the help of a nameless, faceless person typing in an algorithm. A flawed algorithm as it is based on what that shadowy person thinks is “rightthink” and what is “wrongthink”.

And there we get to the heart of the matter: Who makes the decision what I should and should not read, see or hear? Who makes the decision to put that person in that position? Who watches that person? Who watches the person watching the original person, and so on and so on.

Putting one person, or a very small group of people, into that position is just asking for an abuse of power. Which is what we are seeing now.

To be sure, Alex Jones is not the first victim of this abuse. We’ve talked about many others who have been demonitized on social media platforms all over the Internet. Many, for no apparent reason other than they are known conservatives who must be silenced at all costs.

I happen to think that the decision who to listen to belongs to each individual person. We don’t need a Big Brother – be it a government agency or a private sector mega-corporation on a power trip – making that determination for us.

This world operates best when there is a free flow of information. I think for the most part, we can separate the wheat from the chaff just fine.

And for those who have cheered as each voice has been silenced – who are no doubt drunk on their celebrations today with the news of InfoWars being cut off – I have one quick question:

What will you say when the Watchers decide that you are the “wrongthinker” and silence your voice?

It is an either or scenario, boys and girls. Either we are all free to speak our thoughts so that those who wish to hear them can do so. Or, we live in a time where only the “acceptable” are truly free. And history shows who is and who is not “acceptable” can change in a heartbeat.

It won’t be so much fun being on the receiving end.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I concur with you completely about the danger of opinion-based censorship whether it’s coming from a monopolistic corporation or a government agency.

    I do, however, have one problem: If we take away from a business the right to choose to whom it will provide services based on the business owner’s own principles, then we’re basically saying every traditionally Christian business owner who wanted the right to refuse services for same-sex weddings should no longer have that ability. Which are we defending?

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Here’s the difference between the bakery and Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Big Tech: The bakery you have to pay to do business with. It is a business and has the right to determine who it will engage in commerce with.

      Facebook, Twitter, et al, are not pure businesses – much the way the local and national TV stations are. You can log on to Twitter and Facebook for free and you are not expected to pay them a single penny for posting on their sites. There is an expectation that EVERYONE can have an account there. The only time someone should be banned is if they are committing an actual crime (not a perceived thought crime) that is punishable by state and federal law.

      Saying stupid stuff online is stupid, but it ain’t criminal. At least not yet, anyway.

      So until FB & Twitter start charging a fee to access their site, they aren’t a true business and cannot pick and choose who gets to play.

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      Reply

      1. Honestly, that only strikes me as further undermining any case. If I’m not paying for the prerogative of posting my information there, then it seems to me I have even less right to complain about being excluded from it on any basis the site provider chooses. If a hotel kicks me out after I’ve paid, I can at least sue for the return of my fees; I have absolutely no legal recourse if a stranger who offers to put me up for free changes his mind at the last minute and leaves me stranded. And a TV network can cancel any show it likes without consulting the viewers; we can choose to stop watching, but we can’t sue to keep a show on the air.

        That several companies colluded to do this simultaneously strikes me as a much likelier case to prove in court. That these companies may be fit subjects for anti-trust actions as well, I buy. But either we have the right to decide whoever we do business with, for whatever reason we like, or we don’t; that’s freedom of association, and we have to grant it to the powerful as well as the powerless if it’s to mean anything.

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