Thursday, January 14, 2021

OK, lockdowns and internet speech crackdowns can crash together


I just want to lay out my concerns in the coming days again.

Biden will speak tonight, and many people will be pleased with his promises.  Of course, they have to be paid for. 

I discussed on the “major issues” blog today the possibility that, with the increasing spread of supposedly more transmissible strains of COVID19, Biden will feel pressured to try to implement an unprecedented (in terms of strictness) total national lockdown for about six weeks, as the vaccines try to catch up.

In any such situation, I would be concerned about getting broken hardware replaced or connections fixed.  That could happen from normal wear and tear, or storms, and the like; it might happen because of vandalism and political violence.  Last spring, Virginia’s stay-at-home order allowed visits to electronic stores for repairs, but not all states did so explicitly.  In Canada, Quebec’s lockdown right now appears to allow it.

A severe lockdown could actually result in the suspension of some Internet services seen as gratuitous or unnecessary, maybe even the blogging platform that this is on. 

In the meantime, a Biden administration might get Section 230 revoked, which could set up a situation where many speakers are never allowed back on.

YouTube has admitted before that it may someday have to prescreen new creators.  That idea was stated in 2018 in response to the EU Copyright Directive.  It would be a logical result of the end of Section 230.

It would be speculative as to how YT would pare down its “gratuitous” creators who make no money.  Those who had no strikes might be grandfathered and trusted for a while, or maybe not.

In general, a facility like YT would be open to more new content creators than a cable channel or movie company or even, say, Netflix;  but people it accepted would need real expertise in what they were going to address, and real substance, with evidence of some public support that would generate revenue cleanly.  Possibly new creators would have probationary periods or targets in analytics they would have to meet. 

There would be a “danger” that creators would have to prove that they could work for or raise money for “legitimate” non-profits before being allowed to have their own shows, in the future.  A lot of people seem to think that is how it should be,

More like the world before the Internet, but not quite.

Were there to be a complete shutdown of everything (Internet kill switch), and then restoration to what was there before, I would carry on – except that it could be very difficult to bring everything back up.  I would not get credit for time lost, because everyone has to share in the sacrifice.

But if I were singled out because I was “unnecessary” or “gratuitous” or don’t have “skin in the game’. the setup I have would never return.  Another casualty of the pandemic and the Chinese Communist Party (effectively).

I do want to finish the projects I have (screenplay based on the DADT books, novel, and music).  The least “political” is the music (and the short pieces are in good shape, and can be assembled into varying performance opportunities when the pandemic lets up.)  There are ideas based on the screenplay that are simpler (one idea in particular) that Netflix might go for. 

But I would need to get back on with something without a quid pro quo.  I simply can’t be a mouthpiece for someone else’s grievances of “oppression”, critical theory or not.

But when you have been “privileged”, you owe something back. When you don’t respond and step up when demanded of you (share some that “privilege” with those who really need it, even personally) you can become a casualty of conflict yourself (when you won’t respond to the concept of “victim”).  But this just doesn’t happen very often.

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