Is it time to break Google, Twitter and Facebook?

social-mediaWriting at Liberty Unyielding on Saturday, retired Naval Intelligence officer J. E. Dyer said that it’s time to “break” the Internet as we know it, starting with the big three social media and search engine sites, namely, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

“They’re all implementing policies to shut down the voices of freedom in their forums,” she said.  “It’s one thing to police obscenity and personal attacks.  It’s another thing entirely to define the word ‘gun’ as an offense, and bias content-oriented algorithms against it.”

She added:

It’s ridiculous to “suspend” users for posting politically conservative content – and yet, in the blogger forums I correspond with, such suspensions are now commonplace.  “I’m in Facebook jail” for X number of days has become a constant refrain.  We’re not talking about people who use expletives or make threats online.  We’re talking about people who merely post conservative sentiments and memes, and links to (very mainstream) conservative websites.

The social media and browsing giants are private companies.  They can run things the way they want; it’s their dime.  But that’s why they need to be broken.  They can’t be allowed to become a vehicle for marginalizing non-compliant voices.  The default model for social media and browsing needs to be variety, diversity, and freedom – not intellectual conformity.  Freedom is what needs to pay off.

She makes a sound argument, citing the weekend’s explosion over Twitter’s arbitrary suspension of blogger Robert Stacy McCain.

Twitter, she notes, has a new policy where speech is monitored and controlled by a “Trust and Safety Council,” which is run by such distinguished enemies of free speech as “Feminist Frequency and the Dangerous Speech Project.”

Orwellian? That’s putting it mildly.

Twitter, she adds, is a private company and “can live by delusional bias if it wants to; it should just have to pay a steep price for doing so.”

Twitter is also engaging win what’s known as “shadowbanning.”  According to Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, it’s very real:

Shadowbanning, sometimes known as “Stealth Banning” or “Hell Banning,” is commonly used by online community managers to block content posted by spammers. Instead of banning a user directly (which would alert the spammer to their status, prompting them to create a new account), their content is merely hidden from public view. . .

However, Twitter isn’t merely targeting spammers. For weeks, users have been reporting that tweets from populist conservatives, members of the alternative right, cultural libertarians, and other anti-PC dissidents have disappeared from their timelines.

A similar phenomenon is happening at Facebook, Dyer adds:

Something similar to shadowbanning has been evident at Facebook in the last several weeks, to anyone who runs a conservative Facebook page.  The trend that’s been especially noticeable to me is this one: meme images of the type that used to quickly get thousands of shares and likes, and dozens or hundreds of comments, can now go for days and gather only a few dozen shares and likes.  What these images have in common is that they’re eye-catching, funny, meme-tastic – and pro-gun rights.

The conclusion is that such memes aren’t getting exposure, because Facebook’s algorithms have been biased against them.  This is probably related to Facebook’s recent banning of private, non-dealer gun sales, and presumably is not inadvertent.

“Again,” she notes, “Facebook is a private company.”  Google, she wrote, has come up “with a new extension for the Chrome browser that will literally change, to suit the pro-abortion user, the language posted to the web by originators.  The change this extension will make is to turn “pro-life” into “anti-choice.”

She goes on to warn of a sort of “weaponized” Internet where those who do not opt in to the Orwellian thought-control can and ultimately will be made invisible and tracked like criminals.

“There was a time when it was enough for conservatives to have success with news and opinion content online.  But the Internet is being transformed at a much less visible level now: at the level of basic browsing and social media algorithms, the dynamic but obscure arrangements that enable us to ‘see’ and connect with each other to exchange information,” she said.

To deal with this, she said, we must develop an “alternet,” but that will require resources and the will to create something where freedom remains.

I’ve written time and again about the abuses meted out to users by Facebook.  Facebook — recently called the world’s most dangerous censor — is already working to shape and control language in Europe, with the blessings of European governments. It won’t be long before that becomes the norm in the United States.

“I know there are potential inventors and investors out there,” Dyer said in conclusion.  “The market need is obvious, and will only become more so.  Get your thinking caps on, and let’s break this thing.”

Her entire post is well worth reading, and I suggest you do so — while you still can.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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