Thursday, April 1, 2021

Explaining Censorship to A Blithering Idiot...

 "Democracy and Socialism have nothing in common but one word, Equality. But notice the difference: while Democracy seeks Equality in Liberty, Socialism seeks Equality in restraint and servitude..." -- Alexis de Tocqueville.

In response to the last bit of nonsense I put up here, an Anonymous person (they're almost always "Anonymous") asks the seriously fucktarded question "Why is anyone retarded enough to use Facebook?". The answer to this, of course, is obvious, but it has apparently slipped by the loose intelligence that posed the question.

In the grand scheme of things, The Overlord does not, strictly speaking, NEED to use Facebook for anything. No one does. That's not even the crux of the argument, and is merely a simplistic approach to a more-complex -- and difficult -- problem.

Facebook is to media what Medicare is to medicine. That is to say, that Facebook provides crappy service and is subject to an ever-changing set of rules arbitrarily decided upon and even more-arbitrarily enforced, all supported by a tax. Doctors don't like Medicare because Medicare fixes prices for services rendered below market value, but it does have one advantage: Medicare gives the doctor access to a larger market.

90 million or so potential customers, in that case.

Facebook operates on a similar wavelength.

Facebook, itself, generates absolutely zero content. An internet service that produces no content is about as useful as tits on a warthog, and so what Facebook does is to encourage users to generate content which is then shared with a wider marketplace to which Facebook controls the portals. The "tax" that supports this is money generated by Facebook for use of personal information that forms the basis for targeted ads, market statistics, consumer habits and trends, sales leads, and much more. With over a billion users, Facebook can literally control access to a vast marketplace of potential customers.

Like Medicare, Facebook may be stingy when it comes to actually PAYING you for the content they profit from, but the upside, much like Medicare, is that Facebook puts you in front of a billion-plus pairs of eyeballs.

Now, The Overlord does not write this stuff just to pass the time. There are people out there who are interested in the same things I am; some agree with me, others don't. That's fine. But the ultimate purpose is to have a conversation with as many people as is possible.

When Big Media does things like ban content because it deems something "offensive" it is doing us all a great disservice because if Freedom of Thought and Expression means anything it means the ability to be offensive on occasion. In this particular case, the judgement of "offensive" was rendered by a machine, programmed imperfectly, which brooks no discussion or dissent. This is not "objectivity" -- only humans can be objective -- and it makes a mockery of the very notion of Free Speech. 

A concept, incidentally, which Facebook loves to hide behind when it suits its purposes. The rest of the time it hides behind "we're a private corporation" (publicly traded?). It's the "clown nose on/clown nose off" formulation.

Liken this situation to a factory owner who makes widgets.

The factory produces widgets which are useless unless they can be brought to market and sold (I don't want anyone to think this is about money because it isn't; I don't make a dime on any of this). The City your factory is located in has decided, without explanation and in arbitrary fashion according to an ever-shifting set of rules, that the trucks you would drive your widgets to market in cannot be used on a city street. Anyone else can use the street, but you, specifically, cannot.

When you ask why, the response you get is something less than an explanation and more the beginnings of an Inquisition. Why do you think you have the right to use the street? Why don't you bring widgets to market in a horse-drawn cart? Who did you vote for? What is your race? and so forth. The answer to your question can only be received, if ever, if you answer a ton of questions unrelated to the truck or the use of a street. And even then, you have no guarantee that your concern is being taken seriously, nor do you have any right to expect decent fairness during the process. The Mayor is simply looking for additional reasons to justify his original, unjustifiable, decision to target you.

The Process is not designed to settle the question of whether you have the right to drive your trucks on a city street; it's designed to reinforce the notion that somehow you're the bad guy and deserved this sort of shitty treatment.

The process, then, is the Punishment: just take your banning -- and denial of fundamental rights to Free Expression and Freedom to Trade in a Marketplace of Ideas -- and remember your place.

Now, you've paid for that street, because you've paid your tax that built the street and maintains it, but that does not matter: the Mayor of Facebookville has decided that he doesn't like your widgets because a computer programmed by monkeys told him so, and therefore, your trucks are banned. That settles that.

So, you think, no worries -- there's a state highway that runs near my factory, too, and I'll just use that. Except that the governor of the State is Google, and if she (because Google seems effeminate) decides she doesn't like the cut of your widgets, then you can't use her highway, either. Again, you've paid the tax (Google makes money from your content and connections, as well), but you've been singled out for a special brand of punishment because The Mayor of Facebookville and the Governor of Googleland both eat from the same trough, have the same friends, and think the same stupid shit (which makes them better than you are).

Eventually, you start looking at the rail line that runs alongside our factory too, and think you might make use of that, except that Amazon Railways was told by Mayor Facebook and Governor Google that your widgets are somehow a pernicious poison that might give people pause to think, to converse with one another, and to spread ideas that Amazon doesn't like. because it's computers told it it doesn't like them, too. So, Amazon Railways won't carry your widgets for you; it will carry the trannies' widgets, or the Muslim beheader's widgets, or the pedophile's complete range of child-proof S&M toys, but not your widgets.

All that's left to you is a narrow alley leading from the factory to a scattered network of secondary roads that don't necessarily lead anywhere you need to go.

This is Restraint of Trade, in a real sense, and that's illegal, but it's real effect is not commercial -- I'm not selling widgets, after all -- the effect is censorship by denial of access. 

And this process is deliberate.

So, we have a company which BEGS for my content -- without which it could not exist -- deciding it has the right to ban content whenever it wants to and on the flimsiest of pretexts.

OMG! There's swastika in that photo! It might offend someone, therefore, it is dangerous.

The fact that I find much of the content that passes muster at Facebook offensive hardly warrants a thought.

A Free Society, a truly Free Society, would be allowed to make up it's own collective mind about that sort of thing. But the last thing we want -- especially if you're Facebook,. Google, Amazon or any of the denizens of the Leftist Sewer -- is people exercising independent judgment. You find that even more dangerous than a swastika that appears in what is obviously a joke meme, because if people started thinking and communicating without self-appointed referees then Facebook, Google and Amazon would have to produce a product of their own instead of profiting on someone else's.

Amazon, Google and Facebook are like every other parasitic organization of the Left: they EXTRACT wealth from others, while producing none of their own, and then they pat themselves on the back for their supposed virtue.

Now, I'm fairly certain that Mark Zuckernazi doesn't give a rat's ass if someone posts a swastika on his "service"; for years, he sat idly by while far worse was routinely elevated and celebrated. Especially not one posted by a guy who writes stuff that is seen by a painfully small portion of the internet community and yet, they all keep running scans of my traffic in order to sell me "Search Engine Optimization" and Public Relations packages. Fuck, Facebook sends me "free" advertising offers every week. They sent me one yesterday, even after they banned me!

I can be banned for a picture, but a week later I'm offered $100 in "free" online advertising and, by the way, for a small fee we can optimize your banned content for you so that you can reach a larger audience...that won't see you because banned.

It is exactly this contradictory attitude that is maddening. I must be banned, my posts spiked, because it might be deemed "offensive" by a tiny proportion of the already-small audience who might see any of it, but by all means, let's encourage you to post more offensive shit that we can profit from.

And the fact that Facebook, or any other Social Media company, can, in a real sense, exercise editorial control over your intellectual property -- and not bother to pay you for it -- by means of control of access to the World Market, is, in itself, a crime and certainly un-American.

Regulation of the Internet is not the solution to this problem. Obviously so, because when Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg appear before Congress basically begging to be regulated, you know the plot thickens. They're not really seeking to be saved from their own baser instincts or even those of their user communities; they're seeking protection from the results of acting upon them while still maintaining the illusion of "Social Media" that connotes freedom, free expression and community.

Because that image is what puts money in their pockets.

I don't object at all to anyone making a buck, but when you do so by applying contradictory rules, specifically targeting individuals for exclusion, then the playing field upon which all manner of things depend upon is artificially made uneven.

And asking me to defend my post from an accusation made by a machine that isn't certain WHY it made the decision that it did and is unaware of having made one, is just another means by which the playing field can never be levelled. You can't announce to the world that you're all about openness, the exchange of ideas and freedom of expression and then implement policies that shit all over all three concepts and still believe you're performing a public service.

The problem with Big Tech isn't the Tech or even the Big part; it is that the people who run it are assholes.

To return to the original question, no, I don't need Facebook -- it is rather apparent that Facebook needs me -- but by the same logic, you don't need to use an Interstate Highway, nor have cable television, a cell phone, or even visit the supermarket every once in a while, but having the ability to use all of these things grants access to the wider world.

It is interesting to note that the person who asked the original question did so by using Google. So, I can ask you a similar question: Why are you retarded enough to use Google? And I'm sure the answer I would get would be "because there is no better alternative for my purposes".

The world needs better alternatives.

1 comment:

boron said...

Fb provides a degree of enjoyment and has become a game.
1. It provides me with a slate that allows me to post conservative truths/reports I've located on the Web to my friends (with links to the fearless/foolhardy authors.
2. I enjoy seeing just how far I can push the Bangladeshi Fb Wienies before they ban me (usually for 30 days)