…and who censors the Censors?

I have never viewed RT on a news cycle time, as I am listening to the BBC in the morning; but had to visit my daughter this morning: she had the tv on, so I tuned in to RT. Fair enough, the news items were, of the ones I viewed, a tad sarcastic to the West, but, strangely enough, a lot more balanced that I might have expected.

The item which I took most notice of was of the row between Tech. giants such as Google, Facebook and the like; and the US Congress. Seems as though Congress wants to push through the ‘Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act’, which intends to allow an exception to the blanket protection given to online platforms over what their users get up to. The Act is built around the workings of websites such as Backpage.com, which offers its services to post jobs, shopping, holidays, but also dates and offers of sex, albeit at second-hand.

The websites operate under the protection of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, and Section 230(c)(1) provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an “interactive computer service” who publish information provided by others: No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. The Tech Guys like this section, because it gives them blanket cover against nasty intrusive citizens who wish to sue the hell out of one of ‘the big guys’, along with the offending websites, for whatever reason under the sun; and they definitely don’t want to see change: except change on their terms!

RT also broadcast the other side of the same coin, which shows a slightly different type of thinking when the Tech Guys want to shut someone down, remove pages and indeed complete websites because they promote ‘Hate Speech’, which, I think readers might appreciate, covers virtually everything which earns the disapproval of the ‘straight-laced’ Facebook, or Google, who famously stated ‘Don’t be evil’ as a core belief. There’s plenty out there which would suffer the instant ‘Death by Removal’ from their Search Engines or Algorithms if the likes of of Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page had those pages brought to their attention; but hey; they can do that because they’re both private companies, and also because they’re definitely ‘holier than thou’; and they have the muscle to do it; but they strangely don’t want to give the Government the power to do exactly what they are doing every frikkin’ day! They fiercely chant ‘First Amendment’ when it suits them, but kinda’ forget the whole goddamn Constitution when they decide to close off access to some blogsite or website through their Search engines, because it just doesn’t fit their idea of what is, and isn’t, acceptable.

When I view such activities, when I read of the power of such as that which the Tech Guys wield, I am reminded of only one set of actions, one set of philosophies, and one terrible outcome! Some may state I am totally overboard in my summations; but  remember that a whole, well-educated Nation followed, believed in, and ultimately suffered a terrible defeat; for Time Magazine’s Man of the Year 1938!

2 comments for “…and who censors the Censors?

  1. Tom
    September 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    The First Amendment prohibits only *government* interference with free speech so, while hypocritical, their stance is consistent. Facebook belongs to its shareholders and they can prevent any speech to the right of Stalin if they wish while denying the government’s requests to censor on First Amendment grounds. Their gaff their rules.

    • September 21, 2017 at 4:20 am

      Therein lies the dilemma.

Comments are closed.