Dave Cohen of Decline of the Empire, has written a short post about what’s happening with the Internet social media platforms: Warning To Humanity
He’s right about several points, but he might be getting it wrong about who to blame:
It appears that you are conflating “free speech” with private platforms. Private platforms (any service you use that isn’t your own) can generally ‘restrict’ anyone they want. If you are calling this a “restriction of free speech” then you’ve not understood the issue.
“I could not have published DOTE if there were not freedom of speech rights in the United States.” True. But you published on your own website, didn’t you?
It’s become impossible to counter-act the controlling forces on the StupidNet. This is why I adopted this handle long ago (not a particularly important point – just my jab at online stupidity).
You still have free speech. But your voice isn’t being heard because the users of the StupidNet moved over to private platforms (social media, Patreon, etc.) and millions gave up reading the open Internet. THAT is the real problem here. I’m sure you’ve heard it – you’ve “got” to use social media now (which I strongly disagree with).
No amount of “education” on this insane move of theirs has persuaded them to leave and never go back. They’re just too goddamned stupid to realize how manipulated they’ve become and how they’re allowing the owners of these platforms to monetize them and control the content they see. And most are not bright enough to walk away or cancel their accounts or stop reading from these sources.
And they won’t support the independent voices out there. So you starve for readers and support.
It’s fine to blame these content controllers – but the real problem is how people allowed themselves to be controlled, monetized (and monitored).
The reality is – it’s your fault if you moved over to these social media and privately owned platforms (any of them, FB, Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, etc., etc.) and stopped supporting independent content creators. Nobody forced you to join social media, but everybody did (except me and a few others). And now, when they ban someone for publishing something that violates their rules, it’s incorrectly called “suppression of free speech”. That’s not actually true. Privately owned media outlets can (and do) control ALL the content that you read. They can and do monetize this for profit. That’s why they exist.
They were not created to facilitate communication and content – if you believe this, then you’ve not thought this through. They were created to control and monetize content. YOU are the “product” that they’re selling, and their making sure that they know everything about you, and that you are being spoon-fed the content they want you to see. It’s their platform – and their rules. And when you signed up to use it – you agreed to their rules. So when they kick you to the curb and destroy your “channel” or news feed or income source, it’s not “freedom of speech” that is being violated – it’s their rules that they’re (claiming) were violated. But now you’re screwed.
The Internet is still “free” – you can generally surf anywhere you want. But fewer and fewer people actually do that anymore. They’d rather crawl into their closets and shut the door, and play around on social media platforms where they are coddled, supported and manipulated 24/7, all without realizing it.
Only independent content creators represent the real Internet anymore, with all of our warts, bumps, ugliness and disagreeable words. Everything else – and I mean EVERYTHING has been completely co-opted. But we’re starving to death out here in the cold. And I mean literally – there’s no source of income, there’s no support, and there’s almost no readers. It’s why so many of us just give up, you helped kill us.
My refusal to join social media has never been fully articulated here or anywhere else, and this is in no way, my full indictment. But the herd-mentality of ‘having to join’ up to what I know is a silent killer of independent thought and expression, to be monetized at every opportunity and to have a indifferent corporation scrutinize my every thought and invade my privacy is just a “No fucking way” kind of deal for me.
The death of the real Internet isn’t their fault. It’s actually yours – because you joined the herd, and you left behind all of us that realized early on that these platforms were damned dangerous. They now control you – what you read, what you see, what you hear, and by so doing, they’ve got your mind now and your thoughts. And you let that happen.