The European Union is threatening massive fines against firms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter if contents that the EU considers to be “forbidden” aren’t removed quickly enough. The EU (and now some non-EU countries) are demanding the right to impose global censorship on Google, proclaiming that nobody on Planet Earth can be permitted to view materials that these individual countries wish to hide from their own citizens’ eyes.
The U.S. Congress is feigning newfound horror at their sudden realization that yes, Russians did influence the 2016 elections, and is now suggesting that only our brilliant politicians and bureaucrats know how to fix the problem.
Meanwhile, the horned and spiked-tail demons of the alt-right like Steve Bannon are promoting a wet dream of converting firms like Google into “public utilities” — where search results would be micromanaged for the benefit of racist, sexist antisemites like themselves — and for his president apparently residing amidst a chalked pentagram in the Oval Office.
The common thread that defines this tapestry is third parties demanding to control what these firms are permitted to let you see, to strip these firms of their rights to decide what sorts of contents they do or not wish to host.
We’ve seen this attack ramping up for years. Russia and China are obvious offenders. China’s vast Internet censorship regime is without equal and is the model to which most other countries’ Internet censorship dreams aspire. Where the technology for censorship is less advanced, the reliable mechanism of nightmarish fear can be employed — like Thailand’s recent sentencing of a man to 35 years in prison for Facebook posts critical of their damnable monarchy.
We’ve watched the EU’s escalating demands for years, knowing full well that they’d never be satisfied without the powers of global censorship being bestowed unto them.
And now joining the information control chorus are those worst elements of the alt-right. They’re combining forces with an array of other parties who just can’t get it through their thick skulls that their calls for “search transparency and equality” would result in a lowering of search quality for users to an extent that you might as well try to pick out quality websites from an old copy of the Yellow Pages.
Their collective goal is to create a playground for the worst of low quality sites, scammers, crooks, racists, fake news purveyors, and the rest of their similarly decrepit lowlife scumbags.
The alt-right really started to engage on this when firms like Google and Facebook (and to a lesser extent Twitter) recently and wisely ramped up enforcement of their longstanding prohibitions against hate speech and associated garbage, and began seriously clamping down on fake propaganda search listings and posts.
This terrifies the alt-right. They’ve built their entire business model on leveraging these platforms to spew forth their hateful and lying bile, and feel threatened at the prospect of their diseased spigot being closed off. But they’re still smart enough to align their rants with those on the far left who similarly wish to impose their own viewpoints and censorship regimes onto the rest of us.
The results can be dripping with irony. The calls for making firms like Google “public utilities” are particularly laughable, especially given that right wing politicians have long fought against public utility designations for dominant ISPs — who have spent many decades carving out geographic physical fiefdoms void of competition — where their predatory pricing policies could be maintained.
Yet anyone on the planet who has Internet access can freely connect to firms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter — and use these firms’ services without charge — unless their own governments themselves try to block them! Not only is there no possible case for such firms to be considered as public utilities, but there is no historical precedent of any kind on which to base such a concept.
Once again, it’s all really about governments and bottom of the barrel miscreants trying impose information control on the rest of us.
The scammers and crooks want their sites high in search results. The racists and other hatemongers want to disseminate their filth without limits. Russian trolls squirm at the prospect of not being able to as easily illicitly influence future elections. Politicians dream of imposing ever more total global censorship.
None of these evil players want firms like Google to have the continued ability to control the data on their own platforms for the benefit of users overall and for the broader community.
It’s through their politically motivated, falsified “public interest” claims that the alt-right and other malevolent forces are plotting to control Google, Facebook, Twitter, and more. The thirst for control over these firms even transcends these groups’ individual political differences in many cases.
It is up to us to derail these plots, to not be taken in and rolled over by their propaganda and lies, irrespective of own political and social affiliations.
With strikingly few exceptions, pretty much every time that governments become involved in controversies relating to information control or technology policies, we find that politicians and their minions manage to royally screw up everything, often for everyone except (oh so conveniently) themselves.
We won’t be fooled again.