Internet Shutdowns – Bloomberg Is Tone-Deaf
Internet Shutdowns – Bloomberg Is Tone-Deaf
Internet censorship is wrong and, far from preventing social problems, is liable to lead to frustrations that end up in violence. That’s the conclusion of an article by the two editors of Bloomberg.
Unfortunately, though, it’s in a totally tone-deaf piece which criticises state censorship abroad while totally ignoring the outsourced, privatised censorship now destroying free speech in the USA, Britain and the entire Western world.
The article complains that “Countries are increasingly ordering telecoms and other companies to block network access, shut down messaging services, or otherwise restrict digital applications or websites, usually citing public order or national-security concerns.
“For autocrats, the appeal is obvious. They can use such restrictions to suppress inconvenient news or unwanted opinions, censor political rivals, prevent activists from organizing, and stifle talk of government misdeeds. For instance, after voters cast ballots last year in an election widely seen as corrupt, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo blocked all internet access for nearly three weeks. The stated goal — which cost the impoverished country roughly US$3 million a day, according to one calculation — was to prevent “chaos.”
“Even in democracies, such bans can be tempting. When terrorists killed more than 250 people in Sri Lanka in April, authorities shut down access to multiple social-media services for more than a week. That might have seemed justified in the moment: Messaging apps can accelerate the spread of disinformation, and further violence appeared imminent.”
Then the article implicitly rubbishes the liberal claim that it is vital to censor what they term ‘hate speech’ in order to ‘prevent violence’:
“The problem is that there’s no evidence such bans work. They do nothing to moderate the anger that might lead to violence, and dedicated troublemakers can evade them with VPNs and other technology — or simply by spreading rumors the old-fashioned way. Shutdowns also tend to become a habit: They are imposed in India more often than in all other countries combined, sometimes for bizarre or trivial reasons.”
Bizarre and trivial, eh?! Well, to paraphrase the great Barry McGuire anti-war song, Eve of Destruction: “Think of all the censorship, there is in red China, then take a look around, to Selma, Alabama”.
So take a look around at the campaign to outlaw Nancy Peolsi parody videos! Just how trivial is that?
The following topics are banned in the US now:
- Making fun of nonwhite races
- Questioning the claims of big pharma companies
- Quoting violent verses in the Koran
- Pointing out the power of the Zionist lobby
- Objecting to the LGBTQ+ brainwashing of children
- Questioning mass immigration
- Saying that men and women are made different
- Affirming that there are only two genders
- Claiming that certain events are hoaxes
When this is pointed out, liberals hide behind the claim that the censorship in the West is different, because it’s being done mainly by private companies and not by governments. Well, apart from the fact that the European Union looks set to play catch up, that argument in nonsense anyway.
The liberal social media giants are being pushed to censor conservatives by many politicians and by entire governments. And, in any case, the effect on free speech is the same whoever pulls the plug.
As for ‘private companies have a right to do what they want’, let’s remember that they all use infrastructure – including telephone cables and electricity supplies – paid for by the taxpayers, so taxpayers and their families have an absolute right to equal access to these services. Particularly since they are effectively a monopoly on the ‘public square’ which is so vital to the First Amendment in the USA and to free speech and democracy everywhere.
IF this issue is not addressed properly very soon (and there is no sign that it will be), then it is all too easy to see a vicious cycle of violent attacks by angry dissidents, driven to despair and irrational violence by the belief that there is no peaceful outlet for their frustrations.
If liberals really think that social media freedom created’ far-right terrorism’, then wait until they see what their social media censorship does!