Imagine a Monster Dictator who claims he wants to Free us all from “Traditional Gatekeepers” while he Controls the Ultimate Gate with Iron Fist
Here, a man who almost single-handedly controls the world’s largest social network – with users counted in billions, implies that there is any connection whatsoever with heroes of the history of journalism and what is now disparaged as “The Media” but was once called the 4th Estate.
Claiming that, somehow, thousands of independent newspapers with tens of thousands of writers and editors, challenging governments and investigating corruption and lies is similar in any way to a digital dictatorship that controls every word or image through its algorithms, and has as its only goal to maximize private profits, is an outrage – and yet this point has only been hinted at in even the most critical coverage.
Express Ourselves at Scale? Really? As long as His Algorithm deems it in Facebook’s Monetary Interest
Mentioning the “traditional gatekeepers” blocking voices, as if his private, for-profit platform has no gate and makes no decision in which voices are heard and by whom is a lie, told in plain sight, so enormous it is shocking.
Except, as he clearly hopes, on hearing vague pronouncements about a fantasy world, most will just switch focus, away from the real way his digital empire functions to some kind of vague discussion of “free speech”. And, in the case of political advertising, speech that he collects millions of dollars to promote and propagate, with no thought of actual free speech that will be drowned out and silenced by his dictatorial decision. That’s the real gatekeeper at work.
Talking about “free speech” as having any role whatsoever on a platform where exposure is controlled 100% by the same network’s private corporate ownership is worse than any Jospeh Goebbles propaganda the Nazi’s ever came up with and is an Orwellian nightmare come to life.
Since Zuckerberg’s speech was clearly designed to confuse and cover up this simple, obvious fact, using Trump style repetition of simple irrelevant lies to influence people to abandon the more complex truths, the underlying truth bears repeating.
Yelling “fire” in a Crowded Theater is of no use if the Crowd can be digitally disappeared at any time
Claiming that “censorship” of “free speech” is not appropriate for a platform that controls who sees and hears that content 100% at all times has to stand as the criminal obfuscation of the century.
As misleading propaganda it is brilliant in its stupidity. To imply that any speech at any time is “free” on a platform that controls access by each and every user at all times is ludicrous at best and vile propaganda at worst.
Have millions of dollars to spend to ensure that your lies are seen by millions? No problem. Have inflammatory disgusting views to share? Sure, the algorithms love anything that increases “engagement”.
On the other hand, as members of the actual 4th Estate found out during the “Great Purge” of 2018, if Zuckerberg & Co decide that you should not be seen for any reason, usually a reason that pertains to increasing profits for Facebook, then you are disappeared, Pinochet style, and can forget about your “free speech” being heard or seen ever again.
Nice way to build a “5th Estate “ to protect us from “traditional gatekeepers”.
Algorithmic Crimes are the Real Story, bigger and worse than Traditional Antitrust Violations
Just mention the word “algorithm” and we all tend to get glossy-eyed and begin to lose interest.
Never mind that the results of your Google search are controlled by algorithms that “decide” what you should be allowed to see or not, while what you may buy is controlled by the private, infinitely biased algorithm employed by Amazon, whose only goal is to increase its own profits at your expense. And then there’s Facebook.
A master of dystopian science fiction would be hard pressed to envision a more sinister, hellish world than the one we already inhabit, where what you think, what you think you “know”, what you believe and what you consume are all controlled by what are essentially robot brains, owned and controlled by evil private corporations with trillion dollar market caps.
And Mr. Zuckerberg has the nerve to talk about “Free Speech” on Facebook? In the words of Greta Thunberg “How dare you!”, and as in the struggle against the powers that profit from the accelerated extinction of future generations, it’s time to end the Algorithmic Dictatorships and, via the real Fourth Estate and free the billions that are, as yet, unknowingly victimized, by whatever means necessary.
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