Tolerance signifies respect for disagreement. Wildly diverging opinions mark a tolerant debate where all the pieces of information are discussed – high tempers, loud voices, yet intelligent arguments based on rationality and relevance to the topic. Freedom of speech implies maximum tolerance for a variety of viewpoints. But not among the modern-day liberal left. They detest freedom and love the totalitarian clampdown on free speech. The state is to control us all, and free speech is only for those who agree with the liberal gospel of hedonism and free sex.
As political columnist and senior editor at The Stream, Rachel Alexander, recently put it in WND: "Liberals are gradually censoring out conservative speech through political correctness because they know if conservative speech continues to get through, it will convince more people not to be leftists. They portray conservative speech in the most offensive way possible to scare people from identifying as conservatives. All the words that apply to themselves – racist, sexist, bigoted – they transfer to conservatives in order to deflect from their own prejudicial views."
The mainstream media have reflected this kind of illiberal and intolerant bigotry for years. Yet, for a brief moment some hoped for social media freedom in the West. When facing mainstream censorship, one could, at least online, discuss perspectives of truth that are taboo and omitted from the politicized Western public discourse. Especially the past year, however, we have seen disturbing totalitarian signs from giants such as Facebook, that seem bent on growth to such a degree that they are willing to compromise on liberty and justice. First, the allegation of Russian meddling via Facebook, then violating the privacy act and leaking personal information of tens of millions. The company's stocks plummeting, millions deleting their accounts.
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For some reason, Facebook now thinks that the remedy to mistrust is to add the same kind of liberal censorship everyone hates in the mainstream media. The aim is apparently to lose even more of its former fans. The past year we have seen what many believe to be the clamping down on Christians, Muslims, conservatives, anti-war activists and those critical of Islam in the West. When under the pretext of de-platforming hate speech, one ends up removing "those voices liberals do not like," we are worryingly close to shutting down free speech in social media. And Facebook joins the mainstream media as the non-trusted.
A recent survey showed that two-thirds of Americans and almost 80 percent among the British do not believe that the media speak the truth. Maybe not strange, considering revelation after revelation of dishonesty. For example CNN, collaborating with known al-Qaida officials, or the undercover tapings of a CNN producer saying that CNN knew well that the Russiagate story was a phony, but only used it to get good ratings. Another CNN producer notoriously stated that the "American voters are stupid as s--t." Needless to say, these attitudes display a remarkably dishonest and unethical attitudes with remarkably low respect for democracy that seem to permeate the CNN structures. Whether the stories are true or not does not matter much, as long as it gives CNN good ratings.
The Facebook era is over, says Gina Bianchini, CEO at Mighty Networks. Facebook's monopolistic network with 2.2 billion users who innocently thought sharing pictures and private information was fun are now slowly realizing the increasing liberal politicization. Not to mention the sneaky algorithms attempt to control your behavior. As Facebook figured out how to make money on the platform, the increasing amount of algorithms began clogging up the simplicity we all loved. Facebook was the alternative to mainstream liberal terror; now it is a part of precisely that which we hate. And then there are the 1 million attempts to make you "boost a post" or "speak to one of our business managers," terrorizing your email inbox with "business proposals" and hindering your attempts to talk to friends. Finally, you turn to private messaging platforms to avoid the Facebook noise and regain the freedom in life.
Silicon Valley guru Jaron Lanier's talk with Channel 4 is worth watching. He warns against the world of algorithms and speaks about how the massive control you are not aware of in social media is ruining your life. Symptomatically enough, when a post about the Facebook critic Jaron Lanier interview was posted on my Facebook it was censored as "against community standards."
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Maybe we'll take Lanier's advice and shut down social media and get back to email newsletters, podcasts and our favorite websites.