A recent article in Human Events a conservative organization bemoans how modern social media platforms are censoring “Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannopoulos were permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram. “. Will Chamberlain make the error by comparing what big social media is doing to the civil rights movement.
The article makes the argument that could have been made by any leftist or fascist. It shows how for statist conservatives have gone in purging Reagan’s ideas of liberty and limited government from their vocabulary. For example:
“Platform access is a civil right.
You should now have the same right to speak on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that you do in a public park.”
“Free Speech is more than the First Amendment, which only protects you from the government infringing on your rights. In 2019, that is woefully inadequate. Access to the large social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – is a prerequisite to meaningful free speech in 2019.”
“Conservatives should focus on passing legislation – at BOTH the state and federal levels – that protects all citizens’ access to large social media platforms on civil rights grounds. Access should be forfeitable only if one engages in unlawful speech on a platform.”
From Platform Access Is A Civil Right, By Will Chamberlain on May 3, 2019
Legislation, Judicial activism? This is something I would expect from the mouth of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Has conservatism fallen into the statist pit, I believe so.
First, let get one thing straight, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter regardless how statist politicians on both side try to redefine it, are private companies. The First Amendment does not apply; in addition, their size, being public company has no bearing. Second, rights do not trump rights. The freedom of speech and of the press does not trump Facebook private property rights.
So how we got in this mess? Answer, conservatives allowed the centralized control of media by social media platforms. It was not the case in the early days of networking. I started in early 1990’s on bulletin boards. While we did of big platforms like CompuServe, Prodigy and American Online, most media was distributed by individual Bulletin Board Systems. There hundreds of BBS around the county no one group could control them all. If one did not like a BBS, one could start their own BBS; all it took was a PC, software, modem and a telephone line.
Then we saw creation of the internet with personal web pages, content management systems, and blogs. Again, these systems were decentralized in nature, running in individual servers. One can link their page via web rings. All one had to do is buy server space or turn a used PC into a server using Apache. Then came the Zuckerberg, Twitter and Goggle with the utopia of social media communities. Conservatives were too quick to surrender their independence by laying their continent at the feet of Facebook and big social media, but soon we learned the so utopia is really a dystopian network as the big three social media companies excerpt control over media.
The solution is not statisism by bruit though force legislation and Judicial activism, violating the non-aggression principle. The solution is decentralization not giving Facebook control over our content. We need to back away from social media. For example, this post on my blog is using WordPress on a server. Facebook has no control over my site. Other conservative sites have moved to other social networks, like Conservative- Libertarian Fiction Alliance had moved their content to MeWe from Facebook. Others have exploring social media alternatives like using Blockchain. Because a Blockchain is decentralized, running on many servers, no one person or group can control the social the media database.
Finally, conservatives can do better in not giving cause to be banned. I often say never give a sucker a break. Alex Jones, and Milo Yiannopoulos are much in fault by their inflammatory rhetoric. We need to lean to argue with logic and self-restraint, not giving social media a cause ban an account or delete a post.
Stoical media is private property, regardless they are jerks about it. Government is not the solution. Stop putting all your eggs in the same big social media baskets, and keep your nose clean. Find an alternative to Facebook and Instagram.