Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Parler's de-platforming; Facebook, YouTube censoring questioning the final election certification


Pharra, TX border crossing, 2018

 The debate on big tech censorship has focused on the sacking of Parler, by Google and Apple aps, and then the hosting service being pulled by Amazon Web Services Sunday night.  The New York Times has a detailed story by Jack Nicas and Davey Alba.

Johnathan Turley, GWU law professor, sees this as a gratuitous and monopolistic attack on free speech.

Parler seems to be able to move the service to Epik, a Seattle provider which hosts Gab.  It will have to start from scratch.  (Later Amazon said it would turn over the data for copying.)  It is reported that some users on Parler were giving instructions to rioters as to how to avoid police, and that some of the deleted content may be hacked or used in evidence.

But what also got attention Monday was that Facebook is now banning any content regarding “stop the steal”, almost a GOP meme, because it believes it will incite some people in what is still a dangerous situation with next week.  I actually posted a link to their announcement and to an NBC story and it stayed up (or down, if you get the metaphor).

I had discussed a comparable situation with YouTube on January 7.

All of this sits on top of a controversy we have to face soon, over the value and place of citizen journalism, which does add content that MSM overlooks, but which is often misinterpreted as “activism” by the naïve for dangerous stuff. It also undermines the Left-wing claims that systemic racism is so poisonous that allyship with eliminating it can become a legitimate pre-requisite for staying online. 

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