Something that I posted to Facebook before I caught the 24 hour ban…
When I was a kid we had one big newspaper and three network news channels. The news was whatever they told us the news was.
Then came the internet where we could talk with each other, critique news stories, and forge our own consensus. Blogs were a thing. Gatekeeping ended and information was democratized.
Then came Facebook and Twitter, where it was easier to talk directly with people, so they supplanted blogs in favor of putting all our content on someone else’s platform. But those platforms could eject anyone they didn’t like from what effectively became the public square.
Now these platforms have banned the President of the United States and alternate platforms are being threatened by Google and Apple with banning. So now we have two big newspapers, Facebook and Twitter, plus a couple of network news channels, and the news is what they say it is.
We’ve come full circle.
The Capitol Building “Occupation” was the Left’s Digital Reichstag Fire. First, a little history…
The Reichstag fire (German: Reichstagsbrand) was an arson attack on the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament in Berlin, on Monday 27 February 1933, precisely four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Hitler’s government stated that Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch council communist, was the culprit, and it attributed the fire to communist agitators. A German court decided later that year that Van der Lubbe had acted alone, as he had claimed. The day after the fire, the Reichstag Fire Decree was passed. The Nazi Party used the fire as a pretext to claim that communists were plotting against the German government, which made the fire pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.
Basically, some jackass started a fire and the Nazis used it as a pretext to suspend what passed for a Bill of Rights in Weimar Germany.
Since the protest at the Capitol Building, Facebook and Twitter have permabanned the personal accounts of the sitting President of the United States, and when he posted something on the official Presidential account, Twitter deleted the posts. The press reported on what he said, the Trump campaign Twitter account repeated the report, so Twitter banned the campaign account as well!
“They’re private companies!” say the Libertarians. “Build your own platform!”
Apple told Parler it’ll ban the social network’s app from its app store if Parler doesn’t start to moderate its content better, BuzzFeed reported Friday. Google removed Parler’s Android app from its Play Store on Friday, saying it’ll remain banished until Parler improves moderation.
Apparently Facebook and Google are telling us that we can only access “approved” speech while we use the phones they manufacture. Are the Libertarians going to start telling us that in order to speak freely we’re now going to have to start building our own phones?
We’re living in the Cyberpunk future we used to read about back in the 1990’s. We have tech overlords who have decided what you can read, what you can say, and who can hear you. They’re so powerful that even the President of the United States isn’t allowed to speak except through the approved gatekeepers of the mainstream media. The same people who spent the last 5 plus years calling him a racist/sexist/homophobic are the only approved channel his words can come through. The Tech companies know that no one can stop them legally. The Dems control the government and lack the sense to tell them to back off of this. Large numbers of them are actually cheering Trump’s (and his supporters’) deplatforming.
Let me tell you what’s likely to happen.
When people cannot speak, they will start acting. If Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Apple have decided that our views and our leaders must be silenced, some small number of those silenced will start physically attacking the offices and infrastructure of those companies. Server farms will get burned. Transformers that feed power to critical infrastructure will get bombed. Key personnel will get assassinated. It has the potential to get extremely ugly.
I’m not optimistic about our next few years.