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Life Skills for Fanboys: The Politics of Censorship

written by Tony DiGerolamo, Copyright 2018

To further my goal of helping fellow fanboys, I have included an index of links of previous columns with their topics.  Don’t take it personal, I’m just trying to help.  Previous columns are indexed at the end.

What Happens When You Censor People?

When you decide to censor people for whatever reason, the first thing you have to do is figure out the conditions in which you’re going to censor them.  And if you don’t do it consistently and perfectly across the board, you will be branded a hypocrite.

Twitter, Facebook and Google all tried to censor people, mostly on the Right side of politics.  Look what happened.  Google’s credibility is in a shambles because it promoted it’s politics, while demonizing anyone that didn’t agree with them.  Not only does this damage the side of politics that Google supports, making their side look weak and pathetic because they can stand on their ideals, but need to “cheat”—  They’ve also energized the opposition to their politics by silencing their rivals.  They will be never trusted again.  Google is now a bunch of hypocrites.

Facebook, which had a history of silencing conservative voices for years, recent went on a purge.  They removed around 800 pages, mostly left-leaning political pages.  These pages were supported by people that were silent when right wing political pages were either purged or branded as “fake news”.  Now that the shoe’s on the other foot, suddenly the left side of politics have rediscovered freedom of speech.  Now who looks like a bunch of hypocrites?

Twitter has lost subscribers for the first time in years.  Twitter mobs continue to roam the Twitter fields, bombarding anyone that disagrees with them as “hateful” and “misogynistic”.  Twitter ignores most of the vulgar political comments coming from the left side of politics, but immediately silences conservative voices the moment they get out of line.  The entire site looks like it’s run and supports total hypocrites.

What is happening?

Censorship Never Works

The reason why it never works is simple: Freedom of Speech is a human right.  If you don’t support abhorrent and terrible speech you disagree with, then you simple don’t support Freedom of Speech at all.  Support “acceptable” speech or speech you agree with, while working to deplatform your rivals isn’t freedom, it’s tyranny.  And with the billions of users on Facebook, Twitter and Google, you couldn’t possible censor people consistently anyway, even with algorithms and a staff of thousands.

In the marketplace of ideas, bad idea get shot down, while good ideas rise to the top.  The worry that people on the left side of politics have about the extremists on the right is completely overblown.  Nazis have not returned.  Racists make up and incredibly tiny and marginal amount of people in the world.  In fact, these marginal groups thrive on media attention, which is exactly what protesters end up giving them by overreacting.

These giant corporations don’t care about your political views.  And while, for now, they are run by left-leaning activists, typically they are bought out at some point.  Most companies are run by Right-leaning people with lots of money.  What do you think will happen if Fox News buys Twitter after Jack Dorsey retires?

Will Wheaton 

Will Wheaton had over a million followers on Twitter.  But he then demanded that Twitter remove Alex Jones from their platform.  Twitter, at first, refused and Wheaton took his followers to Mastadon in protest.  But weeks later, it was Wheaton who was banned from Mastadon when it was revealed that his views didn’t comport with Mastadon’s and their users sensibilities.  He was forced to announced that he was “rethinking” things.

I guess so!

If Will had simply embraced the principle of Free Speech, rather than demanding those that he disagreed with be silenced—  He would’ve retained his vaulted position, his followers and his credibility.  He now looks like, in my opinion, like a total hypocrite!

Gab, a Twitter alternative, has made a commitment to Free Speech.  And yes, it is full of craziness and some racism, but that racism is shouted down or ignored, because that’s what happens in an open and free society.  Such ideas cannot survive scrutiny.

The Fight for Freedom

With the Overton Window pushed so far left, extreme leftist have overplayed their hand.  They are being exposed for the hypocrites they are.  When a left leaning writer at Marvel is fired over his tweets, we can see the pendulum is finally starting to swing back into the middle.  This divisive rhetoric is bad for comics and bad for everyone.  By silencing some people and not others, we are essentially trying to control the narrative through artificial means.  And this eventually leads to a backlash.

What’s coming for the SJW’s is a huge backlash, which may ruin careers and destroy lives.  But what do the instigators of Twitter mobs expect when they’ve been doing the same thing for the past four or five years?

The only sensible, principled stance is to support Freedom of Speech for all.  That doesn’t mean you have to support what someone says, just their right to say it.

Hang tight great silent majority out there that has been laying low.  A reckoning is coming that will set things back to normal.  And I say, it can’t happen soon enough.

Previous Columns

Obesity at Cons
The Art of Conversation
The Line Between Fans and Pros
Geek Elitism
Convention Panels
Convention Volunteers
Food Gifts
Women and Cons
Get Your Room Party Together
Stop Bringing Your Kids to Cons
The Face of Geek Needs Work
Fixing the Face of Geek
Franchise Worship
Presenting Your Project
The New Image?
Stop Trying to Make Geek Cool
 Rethinking the Comic Book Con
Zombie Stories Should Still Be About People
Geek Stereotypes and the Big Bang Theory
Con Locations
Traveling to Cons on the Cheap
Con Economics
Comics, Sexism and Trolling
Searching for the Words
How to Fix Comics?  Stop Reading Them
Shopping at the Con
The Hollywood Double Edged Sword
Beware the Geek Scams
Success Kills
In Response to Chuck Dixon, Paul Rivoche and Janelle Asselin
Fanboy Reporters
Dealing with Critics and Haters in the Internet Age
Who Are the Creepers?
The Cosplayer Treaty of 2014: A Proposal
Female Thor
Comics’ Non-News
Geek Feminists and DC’s T-Shirts
Cosplay Blowback
Charlie Hebdo and the Other Stuff You Should Know
Customer Service
The Intolerant Internet
Superhero Movie Moral Compass
Why Hillary Lost
Creators and Politics

Political Nerd Rage

Gender Wars

The Hardwick Situation

In Defense of Comicsgate

Comicsgate Continues

The Dark Universe or the Darker Universe