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January 7, 2022

Leaving Censorship for Other Platforms

Could we be seeing the beginning of an exodus from Twitter and Facebook?

Twenty years ago, the Internet was a promising outlet where people hoped to engage in conversations about the important events and ideas shaping the country. As the Internet evolved, new platforms such at Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter offered us unique, interactive ways to connect with one another. But something dark happened along the way, turning what had become an electronic public square into an oppressive system designed to censor certain viewpoints.

In some cases, the censors’ quibble isn’t necessarily with the idea or the comment, but the person who makes it. One example is Rand Paul, who was suspended by YouTube in August for making the claim that cloth masks don’t stop the spread of the coronavirus. That was just too dangerous for the public to hear, YouTube’s censors decided, so they silenced him.

Fast-forward a few months, and CNN’s Leana Wen said cloth masks don’t work. Miraculously, her social media accounts are still active.

It’s one thing to muzzle people on Big Tech’s platforms, but it’s another thing entirely when these tech giants won’t even allow others to create their own platforms. We all remember what happened last year when Google, Apple, and Amazon colluded to shut down Parler.

Essentially, this is no longer about controlling information on their platforms; it’s about preventing us from joining the discussion at all.

Of course, the question we’re all asking is: Where do we go from here?

Some public figures such as Joe Rogan, Rand Paul, and Marjorie Taylor Greene have left platforms such as Twitter and moved over to new spaces including GETTR. Paul launched his own news aggregator site, and Rumble has partnered with Trump Media & Technology Group to compete with YouTube.

Although Rogan’s move to GETTR might seem insignificant, the nation’s most widely listened-to podcaster inspired more than a half-million others to join him.

We shouldn’t applaud Rogan’s move because he’s a representative of conservatives — on many issues, he is not. What we’re celebrating is the fight against Big Tech’s censorship of millions of Americans and supporting those who dare to compete with them.

Meanwhile, Paul has left YouTube and now generates new content on Rumble. “Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are the new town square, and opposing viewpoints are being silenced by the BigTech gatekeepers,” the Kentucky senator explained. “An entire generation of young people, who use these platforms exclusively for their news, will never read or hear of opinions or ideas that challenge the Big Government / Big Tech orthodoxy.”

That means even someone like Dr. Robert Malone, a respected virologist, isn’t allowed to take one step outside of the approved narrative. Malone merely suggested on “The Joe Rogan Experience” that, due to the anxiety over COVID-19, Americans are susceptible to being manipulated by a leader who seeks to take advantage of their anxiety, referencing Germany before the rise of the Nazis. He also criticized government vaccine mandates.

YouTube thought Americans couldn’t handle hearing such “dangerous” information, so the platform removed Rogan’s interview of Malone.

Appearing on Fox News, Malone offered us a bit of hope. “What the media doesn’t understand is that you can’t suppress information,” he said. “It’ll find a way to be free.”

Let’s hope he’s right, but where do we go to find this freedom of information?

Introducing legislation to protect free speech on Big Tech platforms is one approach, but such moves aren’t likely to go anywhere (good) anytime soon. Therefore, the only viable alternative solution seems to be abandoning Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube and joining the competition.

As long as we’re playing on Big Tech’s turf, it’ll always call the shots. But if we create our own turf, and move there in droves, there’s nothing Big Tech can do to stop us.

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