Censorship by online communications platforms seem to be happening every day now. My podcast has been up on the iTunes store for almost 1 year at this point, and today it was removed for ‘reasons’.
You never get a clear reason from these companies. Just a vague reference to an even vaguer list of terms of service.
Basically: we don’t like what you said, get out.
What makes this ‘they’re a private company, they don’t have to do business with you’ concept scary is that it’s now extending beyond social media companies and to hosting and domain services. Restaurants, dating sites, payment services (including Visa), and now even hack protection services have all pledged to ban ‘hateful’ or Alt Right related people or organizations.
The next step is literally being banned from using basic utilities such as electricity, water, housing (AirBNB have already banned us), travel (Uber denied James Allsup service) and internet and cell phone service providers.
Where will the line be drawn?
When is enough enough?
Andrew Anglin, owner of the Daily Stormer website is now referring to himself as an ‘unperson’ because people and companies are oh too ready to treat him as subhuman because he hosts a website that often has objectionable views on it.
Note that I am not complaining about having been banned from these services because of having broken the law in any way, but simply for expressing views that some others happen to find offensive.
Lauren Southern was recently banned from Instagram for having posted photos ‘fat shaming’ her hedgehog.
Christopher Cantwell, now facing possible arrest and trial and in need of a defense lawyer recently had his primary means of income, PayPal donations, shut down just when he needed it most.
Conclusion: we live in a digital world. Social media platforms are the public square now. When the social media companies ban people for having right wing views, they are essentially shutting down right wing views – and that can reasonably be thought to interfere in elections.
Some have speculated that this may be their intention.
Perhaps we could institute a law that says that if a company has more than 1 million customers in the USA they cannot deny service to US residents for their political beliefs (or unless they have actually done something to break the law). That seems reasonable to me as it’s not something that would put undue burden on small businesses.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
PS: I’ll be livestreaming every week at 2 pm Eastern on this channel. For now I’ll continue to post to YouTube. Please join me on pro-free speech website Gab where they’ve promised to honor free speech.