The Tyrannical Monopolies of Social Media

Martin Marasigan, Contributor

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On Aug. 26, 2019, the popular video-sharing website YouTube committed a purge against conservative channels. This was following a change in YouTube’s community guidelines, in which the website condemns content claimed to espouse hate speech. Despite the good intentions the policy has, even going as far to say, “Our products are platforms for free expression,” this policy has been used to strike at content creators who have conservative values, even if the criteria of those content creators don’t match up to things considered as hate speech for YouTube. All the channels included under the current purge did not hold any strikes in the past.

Anyone who proclaims to have left wing values, even those on the extreme such as open borders and reparations for minorities, seem to be unaffected by the policy set down by the video-sharing website. Gigantic news corporations such as that of CNN and FOX News are also left untouched by these purges.

This was not the first time YouTube has gone into action to stifle what they see as hate speech. Last year, YouTube went through a change in policy for monetization of videos on their website. As a result, channels expressing opinions on both sides of the political spectrum, mainly on the right, were affected, soon discovering that all their videos were now illegible for monetization. Despite this policy, news corporations and organizations could still monetize the videos they upload on YouTube. Then on Aug. 6, 2018, a person who owned a channel of 2.4 million subscribers, was kicked off YouTube and other social media sites. Many saw this as the roots of several other purges to come.

YouTube is not the only social media site that has practiced stifling the free expression of its users nor is aimlessly banning creators of a certain ideology its only method. Any social media site well known in the mainstream are all guilty of this, as well as other digital services such as Amazon, Patreon, and Google. Twitter and Facebook constantly change what their users see on the front page, usually leaning for a liberal bias, Patreon has banned users previously blamed for hate speech from using their platform. Instagram has banned users for sharing memes they deemed as offensive.

Many leftists will tout that as private companies, these corporations have the right to do whatever they want with their property. If conservatives are banned off these platforms, they should make their own platform and let the free market dictate where people go to. Using that same logic, a railroad company has the right to discriminate against the customers using their service, which has been a real problem in the late 1800s. What many miss is that corporations such as Google and Facebook control the market, working together with other businesses and practicing sleezy actions to snuff out competition, just as the robber barons in the Second Industrial Revolution have. Hit pieces written by left-wing media about competitors, such as Gab, BitChute, and SubscribeStar, against mainstream social media sites are spread quickly through platforms in order to encourage the stifling of smaller platforms.

The methods used to deplatform conservatives and stifle competition are similar. After a tragedy, the media will lay blame on sections of the Internet they deemed to be outsiders. This gives reason to censor people and platforms on the Internet, even if it violates the First Amendment.

Clearly, there is an agenda being followed that the CEO’s of the entire Internet, which they are at this point, want to complete. They would never let certain ideas fly freely through the Internet, otherwise, the truth would be exposed to the public, a public who still believe the spoon-fed information from the Internet. The Internet is the modern public square. If anyone dares to use it as a tool for their own agenda, they have the power to shape the ideas, beliefs, and the government of society.