This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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The Disinformation Dash
As more and more information is coming out regarding all of the government overreaches, we are also seeing a rise in disinformation as big tech becomes big tyrants. Whether it is Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms posting a context-less source-less chart about rising percentages of deaths in Georgia on her Instagram, to the one-sided backlash against Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) vs the silence towards Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D), to even CNN not even trying to hide their bias against President Donald Trump regarding his words about UV light and “disinfectant.”
Yet what is extremely shocking is the blatant disregard for the freedoms the government has exhibited between Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), NYC’s Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), and California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) who is also nephew to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Each has exhibited vast overreach of power. What is even more shocking is how Big Tech is joining the fray to be the gatekeepers of information.
Susan Wojcicki: “The WHO is Daddy!”
It seems the giants of the technocracy we are living in are once again showing that they are in cahoots with The World Health Organization (WHO) and by proxy, China. On April 24th, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki expressed a desire “to stamp out “misinformation on the platform” as content is emerging that is opposing the recommendations of the WHO. Such content, according to Wojcicki, is “a violation.” One such example she gives is “Vitamin C and turmeric” which obviously is medically unsubstantiated. However, when content is suggesting “herd immunity” or “Vitamin D via UVB and UVC radiation” or as we know it, sunlight is not recommended by the WHO, it is a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. Such content it seems is going to be scrubbed from the platform.
Nothing to See Here
The social media platform that started it all is also joining the tyranny position. On April 22nd, 2020, Facebook announced that they will start scrubbing content and posts that intend on rallying against “shelter in place” orders. A spokesperson stated Facebook is working with governments to ensure health and safety measures are in order and content that seeks to violate those governmental orders is considered “a violation.” This is once against opening up the concerted conversation of whether or not Facebook and, by proxy, all social media platforms should be content-minded publishing sites as opposed to platforms which makes such companies immune to FCC regulations.
Tweets to Fact Check the President?
The bogus reality that fact-checking websites exist is so apparent the hilarity of it infecting (pun intended) our social media platforms is outright comedic. Some of these companies are so unknown that when we see it, it’s laughable to the point we say out loud, “WHO ARE YOU!?” The sad reality is they are there. From Snopes to Politifact to the latest Lead Stories, they are all peppered in our newsfeeds and stories to the extent they are simply an annoyance to our social media interactions.
It seems Twitter is attempting to join the fray by following the President’s Twitter to “fact check” him in real time. We all know that many of these fact-checking sites are not to be trusted much less taken seriously. Some have even fact-checked jokes and satire. It seems Twitter has decided to become the bottom of the barrel and label themselves as the low-hanging fruit of the social media platforms as if they aren’t already.
Companies Need To Be Held Accountable
The fact these social media platforms are acting as gatekeepers to the information we receive regarding daily events is just outright tyrannical. Part of the First Amendment is that freedom of expression, even if opinions are less than savory ones, are still allowed to be expressed. Obviously there are consequences to such speech, but it is not the job of a company to police that expression. Yet YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are all acting like the authoritarian guard dogs. Twitter even kowtows to governments which do not ascribe to American values as they notified Conservative comedian and late-night talk show host Steven Crowder to remove a tweet because it offended Pakistan.
Such actions like this really need a reopening of the conversation to regard social media as publishers. Just because Susan “Wikiwiki” doesn’t like the words someone says is irrelevant as people have the fundamental right to express what they want to express provided it’s not a call to action. Then again, to call to action a protest against tyrannical governor’s overreach is something afforded to the people via the Constitution and thus, an American company ought not stand in the way of that by removing posts that organize such. Perhaps we might need to reopen that conversation and see about making social media a publisher. At least then we might know the rules.