Social Media started off with such noble aspirations: break down the borders, remove the boundaries and barriers, freedom to talk about anything, turn the tables and get people socializing more, turn those introverts into extroverts, have an open platform to share everything from gossip to news.
Fast forward and what have we learned? Anything unregulated devolves into complete anarchy. The social media giants have learned this the hard way and have been on the reactionary and defensive path ever since with disastrous results.
Remember, Social Media is exactly that: social.
It is not journalism.
It is more akin to “gossip” yet on a global scale.
It is as if your neighbor had some juicy news about someone cheating and told everyone on the street. Yet the street has 7 billion people on it. That gossip could be baseless or based upon something. Who knows? No one really. Even the person spreading the gossip might not even be who you think they are. There is a really good chance the person posting the juicy “news” is not even from your own country.
This opened the doors for conspiracy theorists to have a platform to be heard. Then the extremists. Followed by, of course, the trolls. And finally the purposeful manipulation of information by groups (governments, organizations, groups) with their individual and sometimes aligned agendas. Add that all together with a large population of users who cannot see the difference between the “gossip” of social media and the “news” and it is no surprise the world is becoming more divisive and fractured.
Twitter in particular attempted to begin to provide editorship over the content being posted. Rather than use the word “editorship”, since that would put them in the realm of a legitimate media organization subject to some stricter rules in the US, let us use the word “censorship.” Yes, Twitter will hide or delete content it deems as bad against criteria they have developed and manage subjectively.
A meaningless phrase that implies meaning.
That phrase is entirely subjective and baseless. If one were to say they do not like lead pencils, another could see it as a hate of lead pencils. It is a made up phrase that is entirely subjective to the individual, yet the phrase resonates with so many people and has become a weaponized phrase.
What is worse is that Social Media giants have recognized their influential power and appear to actively leveraging that power by “choosing a side”: leaning more heavily on stifling one group of individuals while leaning more heavily on propping up another group. Now they are not only editing and censoring, but they are actively crafting the culture of their platform. This activity breeds even more gossip about an agenda. Even more frightening is, whether collectively or coincidentally independently, the Social Media giants are taking similar actions as if they were coordinating with one another.
With the events in the US unfolding as protests turned to riots in May of 2020, the situation has gotten very dark. Twitter specifically has actively allowed their very own definition of “hate speech” to remain which call for violence against a specific group of people: white / Caucasian. Examples of which can be found here. These are disturbing on the gossip platform and extremists like this now have a platform to spout their hate from.
One might excuse it away as “We cannot monitor it all”, but when the platform is actively supporting violence and anarchy it cannot be overlooked.
Those who run Twitter have chosen a side for their community.
The final straw is their take down of a video from the US Federal Government of a speech by the President of the United States for “Healing not Hate”. It is probably the single most important message in these trying times, yet Twitter decides to allow for a DMCA take down notice to be executed.
Twitter would rather be complacent in their contribution to the death and misery of human beings than to be a part of the solution.