DO YOU UNDERSTAND CENSORSHIP?
Imagine checking your phone or computer one morning and finding that everything in your life has changed. In the lottery, you did not come out on top. You didn't even see this coming, so it's not like this is a favorable development at all. After being blocked online, there is nothing you can do to reverse the decision.
On social media and other platforms, this has been the case for a lot of people. In the instance of Coffeezilla's founder, this is exactly what happened. If you've watched his vids, you'll know him. He enjoys exposing bogus gurus and critiquing online frauds (he is even very critical of crypto). It's not clear why he was censored. The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtaFWbZdVKI. Even if you don't agree with his viewpoint, think how he must have felt when he saw his whole body of work taken away from him. What's the cause behind this?
In the case of well-known producers like Coffeezilla, a large enough following and influence allows them to influence the decision-making processes of platforms. When it comes to the vast majority of people, this is only the case for a select few.
What if this were you?
Despite the fact that censorship seems to be an abstract idea, one that only affects individuals in other nations, once you are the one being censored, you are likely to feel otherwise.
In what ways is censorship practiced?
There are many questions about censorship that you may be asking yourself. That's a good question, since censorship may be characterized in a variety of ways. Censorship, according to the Oxford Reference, is:
A "rule or framework in which the substance of what is publicly said, displayed or published is governed or in which the circulation of information is controlled" is defined.
It's not confined to a single software application.
Condemnation and "protection of users" are the primary goals of many web2 platforms, and censorship is generally the first solution that comes to mind. The problems we're seeing aren't exclusive to just one or two platforms; they're prevalent and pose a danger to regular people using those platforms every day. If you are blocked on one Web2 network, it typically spreads to other platforms like a virus. When it comes to the internet's rules, you're out of luck before you can even begin to challenge them. If you don't have a tremendous following that extends outside the reach of big tech, you've very much simply vanished off the face of the internet.
Some instances of censorship on Web2 platforms may be found here, if you don't believe us. This isn't a left vs. right issue, as you'll soon discover. Censorship is a problem that affects us all and must be addressed.
Censorship on Facebook
Over-moderation and outright censorship have plagued Facebook for years. They started off as a fun social network, but those days are long gone. Examine how Facebook silenced people who were only expressing opposing views by examining two real-world cases from two opposing political parties.
Elizabeth Warren's advertisements urging for a breakup of big tech were taken down as a first example. For years, she has argued (and still does) that social media sites like Facebook have too much influence and should be subject to more stringent regulation. The fact that Facebook used its centralized monopolistic powers to ban her proves her claim that Facebook has too much power. Although the advertisements were later permitted to appear on the platforms, this kind of censorship demonstrates how big tech will simply eliminate your capacity to criticize them if you challenge them.
Next, we have the removal of material from Prager U., which seems to have come out of nowhere. The platform took down some of the videos posted by this right-wing non-profit. After further public outcry, Facebook issued an apology and permitted the films to be re-posted. How different would things be if they weren't so well-known on the internet? Do we know of any other creators that have been banned? This kind of censoring has left people feeling betrayed and angry.
Censorship on Twitter
Twitter's censorship of voices has made it a household name. Famous instances include the suppression of the New York Post article about Hunter Biden's laptop after it was published about President Donald Trump being banned. There are innumerable additional instances of censorship besides those that are well-known and generally seen via a political prism. Following Twitter's decision to block his work, journalist Alex Bernson has taken legal action against the social media company. Covid-19 vaccination concerns led to Alex being suspended from Twitter. Is Alex correct or wrong in voicing concerns? The problem is that Twitter didn't even allow discussions to take place on its site. Why not just allow dissident voices to speak out and rectify disinformation or erroneous information? How can you perform your work as a journalist when you see platforms censoring people who challenge the status quo on their own? Isn't it the job of journalists to scrutinize the information supplied by people in authority?
Many voices are self-silenced because of the fear of censorship, even if they have not been censored.
Youtube, Patreon, and Google all face censorship.
Censorship may be found everywhere, not only on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. As previously mentioned, Google/YouTube have been progressively policing the material they host. Even groups that advocate Socialism are among the examples. Nearly no one is safe, as we can see in this case study. Despite popular belief, no filtering applies to crypto-related material. Bans and censorship of crypto developers have occurred on several occasions. On YouTube, for example, platforms have defended its actions by alleging that rules had been violated.
Some incidences of restriction have been seen in even the most popular platforms for monetizing content providers. There was a lot of backlash when Patreon banned artists from soliciting money on their site.
In what ways does this impact you?
Assume you're one of the individuals targeted by a platform that touts itself as promoting "freedom of expression" in the first place. In the role of journalist seeking to hold people in power accountable, or as a developer hoping to generate an income online, consider the following scenarios: (1) You may be hesitant to publish anything that has the slightest chance of alienating your followers if you're afraid of losing them at any given time.
Because you've never been censored, it's very unlikely that this is your situation. The problem is that, much like many of the individuals mentioned in this article, you may not even know that you are at risk of being censored until it occurs to you.
Users of Solcial will be given the power of web3 by being able to engage with each other without fear of censorship, and content producers will be compensated properly at market value.