Censorship, Algorithms and Bans


I watch YouTube all the time; almost never watch cable TV or antenna TV.  So clearly I like to listen to the debates and opinions of all kinds of people.

I hear things like “he violated our rules”, “we viewed that as a threat”, “we viewed that as incitement”, “we could tell they were fake”, or “the algorithm may have caught it”, “I and my team” took it as incitement…and on it goes. “Our platform promotes speech unless people violate our rules.”

The problem with all of these statements is the we, I, our, the algorithm, words, because one person or two or ten, are deciding what is a violation, a threat, incitement, fake.  The folks are so comfortable with being the gods of communication, that they don’t see how they are violating free speech.  And listen, I think their hearts are in the right place!  But once the butts in the chairs around the figurative (or literal) conference room table are removed and replaced by another set of opinions, then the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins.  “Our rules” are just that, yours.  And they will change when YOU are changed out.  And therein lies the rub with regard to censorship.  It’s all fun and games until the power structure falls and is replaced by people who disagree with I, we, our.

Well what ABOUT the ‘algorithms’?  Well, they are derived by someONE, who has a set of someONES around that table, building a system to ‘throw out’, ‘cancel’, ‘suspend’ a particular line of thinking with which they disagree, or which they view as a threat, an incitement, dangerous.  That’s key: If “I” don’t agree (conform, bow down, serve), I’m ‘canceled’ by the butts around the table today.  And that’s dangerous.  And it will change “tomorrow”.

Listen, I HATE some of the things I see in print and hear online, but I value the rights of the ones saying them.  There needs to be a kind of filter to remove child predators, murderers, stalkers.  How do we do this?  I suggest that we just stop the name calling first…how about that?  Opinions don’t have to be put out there as bombs or missiles.  A well thought out position doesn’t need explosives; it can hold strength on its own merit.

One of the censors says people leave the ‘platform’ because of “how the speech is being used”:they don’t want to be harassed anymore, so the rules protect these people.  So the one who disagreed said, “People harass and abuse me all the time and you don’t do anything about that.”  The censor was left speechless at that statement.

I have always said that certain lines of thought (with which I might disagree…or not) come from a good place, a place where protecting people is in the heart, where taking ‘care’ of people is in their heart.  But not everyone agrees with what is protective, what is caring, what is good or a good solution.

This is complicated.  College professors and others have said that the winners write history.  To an extent this is true.  For example nobody can deny the atomic bomb hitting Japan.  But citing numbers of soldiers the winners versus losers lost in battle are ridiculous.  Unbelievable, and the winners always ‘kill’ less of their men.  But today, censorship has gotten way out of hand.  In order to make good choices and decisions, people need the data, good and bad.  The problem is: WHAT IS GOOD?  WHAT IS BAD?

Everyone needs to understand (that indicates actual thought) that different cultures have different ideas of what is good or bad.  In the age of globalism, getting the ‘truth’ out there is evermore complicated.  You canNOT make 8 billion people happy, all at once.  And shutting down completely one gender or political party, for example, is just wrong.


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