If MARTIN NIEMÖLLER was on social media
First they banned Alex Jones, and I did not speak out—because I had never heard of him.
Then they banned Louis Farrakhan, and I did not speak out— because I’m not Snoop Dog.
Then they banned the climate change ‘deniers’, and I did not speak out—because I was cold.
Then they came for me—but I had long since left their sad echo chamber.
Are Twitter and Facebook platforms or publishers? As battle lines are drawn ahead off the 2020 Presidential elections in the US, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that these two defacto monopolists, at their respective ends of the social media universe, can continue to fudge this issue, This is not just because they are now much bigger entities, or that they are trying to censor content, while abusing and monetising personal information and privacy, but because the political bias being displayed is at odds with the incumbent government administration and its increasingly conservative Supreme Court. Under a Democratic administration and judiciary, with its fawning main media, ‘First Amendment’ rights were sacrificed for the ‘right’ to safe spaces; virtually on social media and perhaps more perniciously, intellectually by trying to enforce political conformity and restrict ideological diversity. Under Obama, those deemed ‘friends’, were effectively given safe passes, while ‘enemies’ were pursued by a weaponised legal and tax system which threatens to boomerang back on them, now the first stage of the ‘Russian Collusion’ hoax has been exposed. Armed with a Senate majority, new Supreme Court appointees and a heavy-weight new attorney general, Trump will aim for some long overdue payback, which will only be further encouraged by the apparent partisan bias being exhibited by both Twitter and Facebook in their user bans. If they wish to take ‘ownership’ of the content on their services, then so be it, but that will come with immense legal onus, as well as cost and user pushback which could ultimately destroy them. As a platform operator however, they will lose this discretion to select favoured user groups, but also the ability to control and exploit user data. Either way, wings are about to be clipped!
“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”