The shutting down of Trump's all social media accounts by all the surveillance monopolies has some important lesson.
The monopolies have vast powers of arbitrary banning or content prohibition. For now, they have used it against Trump, a villain for everyone. But the fact remains that the company officials have become authoritarian arbitrators of democratic free speech.
How will they use this enormous power when someone challenges these companies politically, tries to hold them accountable?
I don't know if you followed, but other countries where the corporations are aligned with the government, the arbitration is pathetic. For example in India. There were newspaper reports that the internal documents of these companies showed that the company refused to block dangerous right wing content because that would affect their business. Also, returning the favor, governments have not regulated data theft by these big companies.
@aseem Your point is taken, but rather than saying the company officials "have become authoritarian arbitrators of democratic free speech" I'd say they "have reminded people that they are authoritarian arbitrators of commercially facilitated speech."
free spech USpol
@aseem: There's a risk of confusing things. The centralization is so big in these social media platforms that they factually establish themselves as the public forums, while they still are private. Being private gives them the right to fix and enforce their terms of service as they see fit... and so they do --rather arbitrarily in lots of cases if you ask me.--
free speech USpol
@aseem: The lines become blurry. YouTube/Facebook/Twitter act like public services, but they still are technically not. They don't owe us a platform nor free speech, even though being deplatformed kind of leaves us speechless in many cases. And let's not talk about their vague ToS that allow them to block harmful content only when it's useful to their image and interests.
@aseem Any concentration of power can potentially be dangerous. To be reminded social media networks aren't public domain but private companies looking out for their interests are often needed.
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