|Originally posted by Wichita:|
Just look what happened to Gawker as an example. They tried to use the shield of "just a blog site" and liability immunity to ignore ceases and desist requests from people.
True, but the Gawker situation is a bit different. As it advertised itself as a "celebrity news" site. And published articles sent in by writers whom they paid for said content. Now they tried to play the "we're just a blog site" game when Hulk Hogan sued them into the ground, but obviously it didn't work. Facebook, youtube and twitter aren't like that. Anybody can just post up whatever they want. Facebook does not "publish" your content, nor pay you for it. And if the content you post isn't to their liking for whatever reason, they will remove it. Which like Fats mentioned, keeps them safe from any liability from what is posted.
I'm not saying i agree with it, just stating what is the current reality.
What do we do about it? That's hard to say, it's literally a "new" type of problem that we has humans have not really had to deal with before. Like Fat's also mentioned, they have become the de-facto "town square" for political and social discourse (how unfortunate!).. Human civilization has had a "town square" of some type to discuss issues with each other for as long as civilization has existed. And sure at times throughout history, no doubt sometimes these "town squares" were hidden from the powers that be, for whatever reason. But this is the first time i can think of where that "town square" is fully controlled by corporations.. And massively powerful ones at that.
Whats the answer? Is it the corporations fault that what started out as a way for college kids to talk online, turned into a world wide phenomena, that the entire world decided to use as its platform? I mean it is a corporate space, and we are all (or at least should be) aware of that fact. Should we get angry when we get censored, or banned from said platforms? After all, they are corporations, and sure, they may have political leanings, whatever they may be, they are run by humans after all. But don't be fooled. Their true main objective is advertisers. In other words.. MONEY! Their entire income is dependent on advertisers marketing their products and or services on their site. So the social media companies are going to cater too, and sanitize their services from, anything that may turn away advertisers and reduce profit.
Do we go after the companies that advertise on social media sites and keep them going, and making them the default media platform? Do we break up Facebook, and Twitter, ect, and regulate them? My conservative side says no, they are just a company using their business model to its capabilities in order to make the most profit for its employees and shareholders. But my liberal side says their product has become too important, and their "power over" their space is too great, and they should be regulated. But regulated by whom? We can put in checks and balances to keep them "in line".. But in line with what? Who decides whats crossing the line? The government? Do we really even want that? Do we want whomever is running the government at the time to decide for us? Is that a sure fire way to keep any type of bias from happening? I highly doubt it. Let it be regulated by the people? Hell that would likely be even worse.
Could create an alternative. A free open space anyone can use, but you would have to remove any business model for it to remain truthfully unbiased and open. The moment money is mixed into the equation, things will sway from one side or the other in order to maximize profit, then we're right back where we are now. So doing something like that would be very difficult to nearly impossible with nothing to keep it going. Of course then you also have the problem of getting people to actually use it. The closest things to that we have now are sites like Reddit, and 4chan, ect. They are lightly monitored by its users, but they are also complete chaos for the most part.
Its a similar problem with news media. Naturally the big ones like Fox, CNN, ect. Their whole business model is built on advertisers. So in order to make the most profit, the best model seems to cater to the views of the majority of your viewers, then sensationalize and rage bait your viewers to keep them clicking and watching videos. Its not so much about pushing a certain agenda, that's the minor part. It's about using an agenda to inflame your viewers, which translates into clicks, and views, and bring in that sweet sweet $$$$$$$...
Don't let "independent" news sites fool you either.. (TYT, Breitbart, ect) they do it to and even worse degree, and cater to an even more extreme. Then you have News Youtuber's. Believe it or not, LOTS of people are now using youtubers as their news sources. Usually lazy morons who won't get real jobs so spend all their time reading biased independent news sites, the regurgitate it on their channel as "news". They will cater to and even more extreme level than anyone. As that's the quickest and easiest way to get views and make money. Basically what im saying is as long as there is a financial incentive, bias, even manufactured artificial bias, will always creep its way in.
Its a complicated problem for sure. No real clear answers. The only one i can think of is.. Not to use the sites. That's the only real sure fire way to take away any narrative control from those who own and run these spaces. You know the old quote from the great movie "WarGames".. "The only way to win, is simply, not to play"... But with literally BILLIONS of people using these platforms on a daily basis, good luck convincing them all to stop.. Especially when there are lots of companies and people on their own, making a living from it.
We all like to think we are champions of our values and beliefs, and for a minority of humans, this is true.. But for the majority, dangle a little $$$$ in their faces, and they will bend the knee, and tow whatever line will enrich them the most. Sad, but true.
[This message has been edited by Jonesy (edited 08-02-2020).]