Diary

It's Not The "Algorithms" - Silicon Valley Really Is Out To Silence You

A few days ago, a gentleman named Chris Wilson wrote a diary aiming to alleviate concerns that facebook’s new curated newsfeed would discriminate against conservative news sources and opinion. Wilson, previously Director of Research, Analytics and Digital Strategy for the Ted Cruz for President Campaign, informed us that Facebook only intends to discriminate against “bad content”, not Conservative content.

Soon afterwards, streiff wrote a response conveying the apparent majority view of RedStaters – the progressives that own and run Facebook, like the rest of their progressive peers in Silicon Valley at YouTube, Twitter, etc. simply cannot be trusted to not equate conservative content with “bad content” and seek to stifle it.

Dennis Prager has had more than 50 Prager University videos restricted and demonetized by YouTube, for no other reason than the fact that they were and are devastatingly effective at making arguments that cut against the social and economic policy preferences of progressives. Let us be clear; YouTube’s claim that Prager’s videos, despite the utter lack of profanity, nudity, or violence are somehow “inapropriate” is transparently nonsensical and no more than a fig leaf for political censorship.

Twitter has apparently shadow banned Ted Cruz’s account to limit his messaging reach as he runs for reelection. Personally, I do not doubt, even for a moment, that Jack Dorsey was directly involved in that decision and that the upper echelons at Twitter are well aware that they are putting their thumbs on the scale in favor of his Democrat opponent. One has to wonder; if Twitter can shadow-ban someone with as large a following as Ted Cruz, there is not that many people Twitter would not happily sabotage.

As for facebook, Diamond and Silk, two African American sisters from North Carolina have had their facebook account deliberately hobbled and made invisible by facebook for the crime of being black and supporting Donald Trump. Facebook’s explanation to the two sisters is a classic of the modern college campus. “The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community. This decision is final and it is not appealable in any way.” [Emphasis mine.]

And they are not the only ones. Not by a long shot.

Let’s be clear here; these things are not – as a member of the posse of Silicon Valley defenders that suddenly emerged said – the result of algorithms gone wrong. The shadowbans, suspensions and demonetizations, etc. of prominent people who have not violated any rules, were not “glitches.”

We’ve seen what happens every single time progressives get untrammeled power, from media institutions, college campuses, corporate offices, government agencies, and yes, to Silicon Valley. The first thing they try to do is to hobble and silence the opposition. It is simply what progressives do, and as we’ve seen, the people who own and run facebook are no different.

We’ve all seen, in real time, the normalization of “deplatforming” on college campuses, the “shadow-banning” and “demonetization” of certain individuals and content on social media, not to mention the increasingly more common attempts by progressives in positions of power in government agencies to criminalize policy differences with political opponents.

We’ve seen Hollywood starlets, singers, and even athletes insult a full half of America on national television, at Award shows, on the stage and even on the sports field in front of thousands of people. So the idea that the bottomline would prevent Silicon Valley moguls, a far wealthier demographic, from seeking to offend, and even silence the other half of the country is already disproven by reality.

In other words, it wasn’t an algorithm that endorsed the notion of political suppression as a future path to follow, it was Jack Dorsey on his own platform. It wasn’t an algorithm that hired and then fired Kevin Williamson from The Atlantic. And it certainly isn’t algorithms demanding the firings of people like Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss from the New York Times

Ultimately, it’s people deliberately making the decisions.

And at some point in time, after being hit so many times, after every ‘mistake’ seems to go in one direction, Hanlon’s Razor – “… never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” – ceases to be operative. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/Google, etc. did not come to their current positions of dominance by being run by incompetents. At some point in time, Occam’s Razor – the simpler theory is more likely to be true – provides a much more likely explanation for what we’re observing.

Just like with the media, i.e. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the NYT, WaPo, etc. … when it comes to Silicon Valley, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. I will pay them the courtesy of presuming competence.

It’s not the algorithms.