So the conservative circle jerk has found a new focus. It started back when Twitter started removing bots run by Russians that had been part of their social media campaign in our last presidential election. Donald Trump immediately started whining that his follower count dropped (even though they weren’t real people?!) and accused Twitter of “censoring conservatives”.. even though they were Russian bots.
Shortly there after that, Twitter and Facebook (and by extension Instagram, YouTube and a few other apps) began to listen to the outcry to warn/mute/ban extremist views. This is nothing new, after 9/11 and the rise of ISIS, all of the major social media platforms cracked down on Muslim Extremists by deleting their posts/videos or banning them all together. It’s incredibly important to note that the America and majority of the “civilized” world had absolutely NO problem with this. So currently the USA, a large swath of Europe among other places, have been dealing with an increased amount of White Supremacist garbage, cries for violence against minorities & lgbt+, false reporting regarding vaccinations & and their relation to Autism, and false reporting regarding abortion (laws, terminology, side effects, to what is actually legal) from the pro-life crowd. Social media platforms are just responding, and enforcing their existing TOS agreements. Here is YouTube’s stance on Hate Speech:
Holy shit did a lot of people get banned. On all the platforms. Instead of getting myself thrown into Facebook Jail for posting “They’re Literal FUCKING NAZIS” on a White Power page on Facebook, the white power fucks are getting deleted. The algorithms aren’t perfect, that’s admitted. A guy friend of mine got shadow banned for posting “Men are Trash”. Yet a tweet I reported that proposed using violence to get women to clean up the house or give a guy sex was still allowed. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.
What it comes down to though, is that when you sign up on a social media site, you are agreeing to their Terms of Service (TOS). Usually most people don’t read through them, and just agree. So when piece of shit people like Alex Jones gets banned from YouTube (and a fuck ton of other places – I had an extra beer that day!) conservatives get all up in arms as this somehow “proves” they’re being censored.
Actually, let’s use Alex Jones as an example. YouTube has a 3 strike policy before they will outright ban someone. Alex Jones was banned by YouTube for Child Endangerment and Hate Speech. When he was banned, his channel uploaded those videos to other channels, thus making the ban permanent. Facebook banned him right before that:
“we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”
Even Spotify followed for the same reasons. Seriously, if you’ve ever listened to Alex Jones you’d be nauseated. He spews his vile opinions and spreads misinformation about anyone who is not white or conservative. It’s not just every day opinions he has spewed but pure hate.
I do have to admit, I was really tempted to post his quote about tap water turning frogs gay… but that’s a little much even for me. He’s a sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic piece of fucking trash. I for one cheer that him and people like him are getting banned.
However, bans like this, bans of the Alt-Right accounts on Twitter, etc have the Right all up in arms because “they’re violating our free speech”. Oh for fucks sake. You mean to tell me, that from our President to Senator Cruz to Alex Jones.. NONE of these fuckers understands the 1st Amendment. Not a one.
“Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.”
Freedom of speech pertains to your freedom from having your government regulate your speech.
- Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).
West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
- Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”).
Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
- To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns.
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
- To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions).
Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).
- To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest).
Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).
Just to give you an idea, I’ve listed some cases to show you what the government protects. More importantly, Freedom of Speech does NOT convey to private companies (ie: YouTube, Facebook, etc). It’s comparable to walking into your favorite pub and telling the bartenders wife she’s a fat pig. They have the LEGAL RIGHT to kick you out. Same thing with social media. If you violate the TOS, they have the LEGAL RIGHT to kick your ass off of the platform.
That’s literally how it works. That’s what freedom of speech is. Freedom of speech means that you can kneel for the anthem, that you can give a cop the finger (seriously, you can – don’t recommend it though!), that you can criticize your government AND it’s president (I’m looking at you Trump you god damned dumpster fire).
This is also what gives those god damn bigot bakers the rights to refuse to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding.. and also what got that half-wit in trouble for refusing marriage certificates to gay couples.
It does NOT give you the right to say what you want within a private business. Period. Do you know why? BECAUSE THAT INFRINGES ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CREATORS AND OTHER END USERS. When you force companies and businesses to allow shit that they don’t want.. you know what happens? That bakery that refuses service to gays, the pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control or the morning after pill.. they are forced to. They lose their rights.
That’s the most important thing that you should take away from this. By forcing companies & people to allow things that break their TOS & personal beliefs, you’re taking away the creator’s/their rights. It’s that you want to be able to have social media companies, news media companies AND individuals to be able to control their own creations, what they publish and their own personal safety both in public and on the internet. Which in and of itself is Freedom of Speech. (Note: there are hundreds of social media platforms out there, if you don’t like one, join another.. or create your own, there’s legitimately White Power dating sites and forums out there. Or the entire furry community.)
Once you allow the government to force social media platforms to house certain kinds of rhetoric, against their will, it turns into a whole other beast. Once you allow the government to control news media, to regulate what news stations can report on, or the opinions there of, you have something that I always believed Conservatives were against.. you have state run media. You know. Authoritarianism, Fascism. Ala North Korea and China. (On that note: Hi to my new subs from China!!) (I also want to insert here, that while conservatives, including Trump are crying out about Freedom of Speech, Trump has publicly called to censor news stations and reporters… restricting the Freedom of Press… which is in the SAME DAMNED amendment.)
That’s my point. Because Ted Cruz (is the Zodiac Killer) doesn’t understand how Google Search Algorithms work (Google Search Information), doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I guarantee if I look up “US NEWS” that Fox News & Breitbart show up on the same page as NPR and the BBC.
The Twitter Conspiracy Theorists are convinced conservatives are getting shadow banned, but don’t note that a metric fuck ton of liberal activists and veterans have been banned purely for speaking out. Trump is convinced that his low ratings must be because of social media and news media fucking with him.. not because he decided to use a old Japanese Interment Camp to house children in cages or because his party is doing away with the protections that allow those of us with Chronic Illnesses to obtain health insurance.
Everyone is listening to them screech about “Freedom of Speech”, when not only does it NOT apply, they themselves call for limiting the freedom of speech of protesters and of the press. Yet people are buying into it and helping nudge us even closer to State Run Media and a god damned dictatorship.
I honestly don’t know how many more times I can scream “Wake up!” at my own country. Much more, I don’t know why I’m doing it in the first place. I just want people to think, to know and APPLY our constitution correctly, to stand up for what is right.