Forget Russia, Social Media Giants Banning Alternative Voices Will Directly Influence Elections
While it is certainly within the rights of these companies to refuse service to anyone they like, their influence in the political sphere should not be overlooked. With the click of a mouse, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple effectively erased Alex Jones from their platforms earlier this month.
While many people cheered on this removal of Jones, conservatives included — because of his vitriolic and often close-minded approach — it was just the beginning of a full on press to silence those who challenge the status quo. Since Alex Jones was banned, individuals on the right and the left have found themselves being purged from the interwebs. Or, others have found themselves on the other end of a shadow ban so massive that they would reach more people yelling from a street corner than tweeting or posting to their tens of thousands and even millions of fans.
While there are currently no metrics to show just how large of an effect these bans, shadow bans, and suspensions have been in silencing voices who attempt to put forward a narrative that challenges the status quo, one would have to be completely out of it not to realize the implications of such control over information. To put this into perspective, let’s assume — for the moment — that the Russian government actually did launch a massive social media campaign aimed at influencing elections and they had countless bots doing this for them. Even if they had millions of users actively putting out disinformation, their dissent would be essentially powerless to the almighty algorithm who could and already has castrated their reach with the click of a mouse.
Last month, literally overnight, Facebook deleted thousands of pages they say were linked to Russia. Consequently, a leftist page that was set up to counter the right wing Unite the Right rally in DC, that claims it was not linked to Russia at all, was also taken down. Last month, veteran activist Noam Chomsky accused Israel of “brazenly” interfering in US electoral politics in a way that vastly outweighs any efforts that may have been carried out by Russia. And he’s right. “First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support,” he said.
However, there is no mention of Israel’s interference by any of the social media giants because they promote the establishment’s agenda of constant war and growing the police state. Whether or not Google wants to admit it, their censoring of antiwar channels on YouTube and their bans of Alex Jones and the like will have a direct effect on the information people gather in making a decision on who to vote for. The exact same thing can be said about Facebook as well. A small function in the algorithm could even be used deliberately to steer entire populations into a certain camp.
The power these companies have over the flow of information is enormous and it’s not some “conspiracy theory” to point this out either. Of course, we aren’t calling for Facebook or Google to be regulated or banned, but if this information control is not called out, it will inevitably lead to total control.
All the Russian influence and trolls in the world, working constantly to push out disinformation do not have the power to do what Google can do with their lines of code. In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Hillary Clinton’s former pollster Mark Penn laid out the ominous nature of this censorship and control that these tech giants wield over society. The pair discussed Alex Jones and noted how neither one of them care for his antics, but that his silencing is just the tip of the iceberg in what could become total information control.
“It’s not really about Alex Jones, is it? It’s about the idea that companies can make it impossible for your voice to be heard. Is that a precedent we should feel comfortable with?” asked Carlson.
“I think you have to be worried about big tech becoming big brother,” answered Penn.
“And it’s not just him (Jones),” said Carlson.
“There are many like him who’ve been yanked like him — less known, but still. This has political implications. You ran and managed campaigns for so long, this must of occurred.
A lot of our political debate takes place on social media platforms. So, if they clamp down on one side of the debate, why wouldn’t that influence an election’s outcome?”
“Obviously it could have a big influence on elections — increasingly because where people turn for their news is that they look at the news feeds that are run by the major social media companies. They are more powerful than any T.V. station. More powerful than Fox,” said Penn. And he’s right. But that doesn’t have to be the case. While the future of social media may seem bleak, there is also amazing news on the side of innovation and free thought.
To those who’ve been paying attention, they saw the problem presented by so many people using a similar system that is ultimately controlled by those who have an interest in mining your data for profit, controlling the political narrative, and essentially creating a personal database on billions of people, the likes of which corrupt governments salivate over. Instead of trying to change the system from within, several individuals came together to build a new system—which showed the obsolescence of the old. Thus, Steemit was born. Steemit, using a blockchain technology, enables rewarding comments and posts with secure tokens of value which means its users actually get paid to be on it.
There are a bunch of networks just like Steemit as well. DuckDuckGo is also an amazing search engine that doesn’t track you or filter results like Google does. The options are here, if we don’t want to be manipulated. We just have to be willing to use it. Will you embrace the the system of corporatism and government information control? Or, will you choose to abstain from this system and grow the new one that is based on freedom and liberty? The choice is yours.