American People, Big Tech Causes More Harm Than Good…
Submitted by Kalev Leetaru, senior fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. His past roles include fellow in residence at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government. Via RealClearPolitics.
Last week something extraordinary happened: Twitter briefly suspended the official account of the president of the United States, preventing him from posting until he deleted a tweet it said violated its rules. From merely hiding the president’s tweets, as it had done before, the company briefly stopped him from tweeting altogether.
Then, three days later, Yelp announced it would start formally flagging businesses accused of racism based solely on media reports.
Those two developments crystallized once again a key question that increasingly shadows our age: How can the growing power of social media companies coexist with the foundations of democracy? A democratic society rests upon an informed citizenry free to openly debate their shared future. The First Amendment guarantees this, enshrining both the right of the press to cover the unvarnished reality of daily events and the right of the public to consider all ideas, even those possibly deemed harmful by the majority of society. Pundits who laud social-media censorship would do well to remember that calls for the rights we hold dear today, including universal suffrage and civil rights, were once deemed the same kind of “harmful” speech that in today’s world would likely be banned by social media.
Social platforms were once viewed as a way to promote democracy to the world, granting unfettered freedom of expression and unfiltered access to information. Today they enforce ever-changing opaque rules of “acceptable speech” and define “truth.” Even more troubling, the journalism world is increasingly embracing Silicon Valley’s new role as Ministry of Truth rather than condemning it.
Emboldened by the media’s support for muzzling a president many news outlets despise, Silicon Valley companies have ramped up their censorship of elected officials. It was just five months ago that Twitter first visibly flagged an official statement of the U.S. government as “misleading.” With such censoring becoming almost routine now, it becomes front page news only when a social platform doesn’t censor the president.
Yet Twitter’s suspension of President Trump’s Twitter account last week crossed a new line. What would have happened if a national emergency such as an earthquake or coordinated terrorist or cyberattack had struck during this period, with the president ability to communicate with the American public compromised? Such disasters could have impaired Twitter’s ability to quickly restore his access, and it is unclear if they would have done so even in a national disaster.
The courts have ruled that “Twitter is not just an official channel of communication for the president; it is his most important channel of communication.” How is it, then, that a private company has the right to disable an official government communications channel from posting and Facebook has the right to delete an official government announcement? Unsurprisingly, neither company responded when this question was posed to them.
How do social media companies reconcile this censorship with the traditional norms of democratic societies? In 2018, a Facebook spokesperson offered only that “they’re definitely important questions, but I don’t have anything else to share right now.” Asked again in light of their increasing action against the president, neither Twitter nor Facebook responded. Nor did either company respond when asked what would stop them from banning users or politicians calling for them to be broken up as monopolies.
Not content merely to rule the digital world, social platforms have increasingly stretched their reach over the physical domain. This past April, Facebook banned the use of its platform to organize protests that did not require social distancing. It subsequently quietly relaxed this ban for the George Floyd protests and has remained silent when asked whether it still enforces those rules regarding other such demonstrations.
Yelp continued this trend last week with its announcement that it would begin appending a “Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert” warning label to reviews. Rather than rely on the due process of police reports, forensic media analysis and court rulings, the company’s sole verification source will be news reporting. Given that media coverage itself can be misled by viral social campaigns, it is unclear how, precisely, the company will ensure its new effort is not manipulated. And given the #MeToo movement’s split over the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden, it is further unclear how Yelp will adjudicate the inevitable dual standards that will emerge and evolve.
Yelp’s reliance on news reports for “verification” points to the larger problem confronting social platforms today: How to arbitrate truth? Take the example of conflicting guidance from public health authorities regarding spread of the coronavirus. Asked whether a post recommending masks would have been removed back in February for violating then-current CDC guidelines, a Facebook spokesperson acknowledged the difficulty of determining “truth” amidst the fast-changing scientific understanding of COVID-19 and suggested that government should step in rather than having private companies decide what to delete and what to permit.
Beyond their more overt actions of banning users, deleting posts, and setting “acceptable speech” rules, there lurks an even more powerful force impacting American democracy: the algorithms that increasingly customize what we see online.
The media once served as a bulwark against the narrowing of our national understanding of key issues. While the coastal elites of legacy news outlets were always given outsized influence on the news cycle and national conversation, local journalists would spotlight the events and concerns of their own communities, ensuring their voices could be heard in the national debate. But with the collapse of small-town journalism, the increasingly dominant coastal media often dismiss those concerns as the uneducated ramblings of “flyover country.” Once-sacrosanct media ideals like “both sides” reporting are facing calls for elimination in order to stop promoting “nonsense” and “conspiracy” theories and Republicans’ lies.
In their heyday, broadcast and print journalism exposed us to a cross-section of the day’s events, broadening our horizons with the sometimes-serendipitous discovery of news and ideas we would not otherwise have encountered. In contrast, the algorithms that underlie our social platforms are designed to channel us towards content that provokes the emotional extremes most likely to engage us. Facebook’s own internal research concluded in 2018 that “our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness” and will feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.”
This can lead to almost parallel worlds of information awareness. In 2014, for example, Facebook users famously enjoyed lighthearted videos of friends and celebrities dumping buckets of ice over their heads for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, perhaps blissfully unaware there was anything amiss in America. Twitter users, meanwhile, saw endless livestreams of social turmoil as police and protesters clashed in Ferguson, Mo. Invisible algorithms steered their respective user communities towards two starkly different views of our nation.
As news is increasingly consumed through these digital platforms, the media landscape has begun to drift back toward the narrow parallel views of America that haunted the party-paper model. Viewers of CNN and MSNBC could be forgiven for believing that Portland, Ore., has been at peace the last four months and that Seattle’s CHOP zone enjoyed a “summer of love.” Fox viewers saw video of violent looters rampaging nightly in the streets, while the news channel’s peers praised “peaceful demonstrations.” Their only overlap was a fixation on imagery of law enforcement.
How can a democracy function when half the nation turns on the television, opens a newspaper or reads social media and sees an entirely different America than the other half? How can we reach consensus on issues ranging from policing to pandemic response when we’re exposed to such different views of our nation?
In these partisan times, it can be all too easy to embrace Silicon Valley’s censorship as a necessary evil to curb the flow of hateful speech and misinformation. The problem is that, by definition, a democracy represents the collective will of an informed people, not the arbitrary decisions of unaccountable corporations to determine what is allowed and disallowed.
To see where this path inevitably takes us, ask your helpful Amazon Alexa device, “Is Amazon a monopoly?” — and try running an ad campaign on Facebook questioning its answer.
I believe the Christian understands where this is going, the New World Order elitist are taking charge little by little, we will start to lose control over our own lives, the world is a sick place and there are some sick politicians that have made their choices, and it’s not in the conservative, Christian favor…
HNewsWire-Censorship by social media giants is the new front in the “war” on Christian conservative thought — and conservatives are badly losing it, according to a comprehensive study released Monday by a media watchdog group. Twitter using their enormous power to diminish Christian and conservatives, but pedophiles are welcome.
What the High-Tech Do-Gooders Have Overlooked, There Are No Laws, No Rules to the World They Have Created, Artificial Intelligence Will Eventually Eat Their Own and Anyone that has Contributed to the Undoing of Humanity, Mad-Mix During the Tribulations, Enjoy…
You the high tech conglomerates (HYPER-REPROBATES) chose to attack God’s children (The Christians) you brought destruction upon yourselves and your high-tech corporations, it’s amazing how wrong you can be when dumb down in biblical truth, God’s word has survived the tyrants for thousands of years, yet you CEOs have missed the most important part of life, God’s plan for humanity, enjoy
(HNewsWire)The overwhelming controversy surrounding “fake news” in 2019, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and others, have decided that certain subjects in political positions have no place on their sites. Although these are private organizations, the fact that they censor opinions that are contrary to their liberal agenda is a dangerous precedent. This will continue unless we speak out or create new sites that allow for freedom of speech.
Don’t dare talk about the dangers of vaccines or biotechnology on Facebook, or they ban, block and censor you post anything that challenges the fake science behind vaccines and GMOs and Facebook will block your future posts for an indefinite period of time and remove your posts entirely from its pages. Facebook pushes the narratives of Big Pharma and Big Food by censoring important science that proves vaccines still contain mercury (namely influenza vaccines) and that genetically modified food contains dangerous pesticides and often noxious herbicides that cause cancer, Alzheimerâ€™s, autism, and destroy nutrition and the environment in general. Facebook takes a communist approach to censoring important information that challenges the status quo and the top-paying advertisers that support the Facebook platform and mission. Zuckerberg continues to accept investments from other evil globalists like Bill Gates.
These elitists are working on imposing their one-world agenda upon the American people make no mistake their vicious, ungodly and their determined….
Money flowing into Third World countries is doing more to corrupt religious and cultural beliefs than to boost the nations’ prosperity/wellbeing.
Billionaires and left-leaning foundations are pumping money into population control in underdeveloped countries.
Among them is George Soros, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation, to name a few, plus funding from western governments.
Brian Clowes of Human Life International says those groups are trying to remake the countries into the image of secularized nations in the West. The game plan is laid out in a document called National Security Study Memorandum 200.
“[It] says that we have to hold down the populations of developing countries so we can get our hands on their natural resources,” he says. “In other words, we have to pillage their natural resources by holding down their populations, and that was an official document written by Henry Kissinger under President Richard M. Nixon.”
What Third World countries need is economic development, education, and health care rather than contraception and abortion.
“They still have poverty of course, because all of this population control, all of this pushing homosexuality down their throats does not improve the standard of living of the people,” Clowes points out. “All it does is make large poor families into small poor families. So visually it looks the same but the beliefs of the people are absolutely being corrupted.”
The few groups promoting moral standards in those countries have combined budgets of $10 thousand, while at least $8 billion a year is used to reduce the population, and several billions of dollars more, partly from the U.S. State Department, to promote homosexuality.
Banned By Tweeter and Fake Book:**For Christians, conservatives, and independents believing that social media platforms are your Avenue for messaging, that’s really a fairy tale, altered reality. Understand the liberal elitist that run the social media platforms are globalist, open society enthusiast, another way of describing them, powerful intellectuals that are evil. You should understand that only their views are important and that any other opinion will be censored immediately. Twitter and Facebook shadowbanned those opinions that conflict with the speech Masters. So while you’re thinking you’ve got your message out what’s has really transpired is that your tweet or your Facebook post is placed into a black box, the only one that’s going to be able to read it is “you”, how does that make you feel, really important, the truth is these intellect evil morons are controlling the messaging in an effort to sway the younger generation to their way of thinking. Most of the millennium believe whatever is posted on social media is the gospel, by letting you post your message and then shadow banned that message in reality, wasting your time.
The World Is In Big Trouble, for Those That Believe We Will Go Back to Some Sense of Normal Life Here on Earth, You Will Be Sadly Disappointed, Seven Years of Hell on Earth Which Began January 1, 2020
“Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed” (Isa. 59:14, NLT)…We Turned Our Backs On GOD, Now We Have Been Left To Our Own Devices, Enjoy…
While Mainstream Media Continues to Push a False Narrative, Big Tech Has Keep the Truth From Coming out by Shadow Banning Conservatives, Christians, and Like-Minded People, Those Death Attributed to the Coronavirus Is a Result of Those Mentioned, They Truly Are Evil…
Watchmen does not confuse truth with consensus The Watchmen does not confuse God’s word with the word of those in power…
In police-state fashion, Big Tech took the list of accused (including this site), declared all those named guilty and promptly shadow-banned, de-platformed or de-monetized us all without coming clean about how they engineered the crushing of dissent, Now more than ever big Tech has exposed there hand engaging in devious underhanded tactics to make the sinister look saintly, one of Satan’s greatest weapons happens to be deceit…
The accumulating death toll from Covid-19 can be seen minute-by-minute on cable news channels. But there’s another death toll few seem to care much about: the number of poverty-related deaths being set in motion by deliberately plunging millions of Americans into poverty and despair.
American health care, as we call it today, and for all its high-tech miracles, has evolved into one of the most atrocious rackets the world has ever seen. By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly.
All the official reassurances won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit. The Globals are behind the CoronaVirus, It Is a Man-Made Bioweapon.
“People who grew up with the Internet saw what a wonderful thing it was for free expression, giving everyone access to a global audience. That’s been completely flipped on its head, and now it’s one of the most tightly controlled, manipulated places to find information that you could imagine. It’s a complete 180 from what it used to be, and that’s incredibly sad, because it was, initially, this challenge to old information gatekeepers, this place of free expression, of democratized information, and now it’s just controlled by a handful of increasingly authoritarian ideologically partisan tech companies that haven’t been held to account by officials in D.C. and aren’t bound by any regulation preventing them from who censoring people or interfering in elections.”
Technology companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter and growing increasingly sophisticated in anticipating, intercepting, and suppressing information with the likelihood of going viral
This is what their New World Order looks like, Democrats Lawmaker in California: ‘legalize child prostitution’ SACRAMENTO – Beginning on Jan. 1, police cannot arrest child prostitutes in the streets of California, except under limited circumstances. And dumb down people wonder why California is burning to the ground, poke God in the eyes enough times and his anger will start to show…
The number of Orphans aging out of Child Protective Custody has grown at an alarming rate. The 127 Faith Foundation receives many requests each week to house them at our ranch. Our prayer is that the good people of our country will step up to the challenge and offer financial support for "the least among us." We need your help! StevieRay Hansen, Founder, The 127 Faith Foundation
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