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February 27, 2019

#MuhPrivateBusinessDecisions and Government-Supported Corporatist Censorship

A thread from Jeff Giesea about America's creeping acceptance of China's creepy "social credit" system, in which semi-official corporate censors "rate" people on their support of official state dogma, and those ratings then determine what apartments you can rent and at what terms and cost.

Tim Pool mentioned in a post about this general subject matter [Update: I believe it was in this video discussing PayPal's reliance on the leftwing extremist front group the SPLC to tell them who to ban] that the creation of parallel/shadow institutions was a necessary precondition for an actual civil war, as people need access to money and credit, and they can only get that in a civil war if there are now separate Blue and Gray systems.

It's an interesting and provocative idea -- and certainly one that has a lot of support in Neocon and Foreign Liberal Internationalist thinking. Those pillars of foreign policy establishment thinking have long claimed that "countries that trade together don't go to war with each other," and have sold trade deals only partly on the economics, seeing them mostly as instruments to create and preserve peace.

Well, then: shared commerce and finance keeps America knitted together in peace too, right?

But what happens when major corporations, especially those involved in finance and the free exchange of ideas in order to further the aims of participatory democracy, decide they're going to effectively exile half the country out of the normal systems of the country?

What happens when half of America won't buy bread from the other half of America, and half of America won't issue a mortgage to half of America based on their failing a Political Test and Corporate Loyalty Oath?

What happens to the idea that peoples that trade together can't go to war with each other then?

The left is driving this nation to the brink of actual civil war, and the corporatist Neocons and #MuhPrinciples cucks are stupidly, ignorantly assisting them in doing so because they don't like how half of the country voted in a single presidential election.


Jeff Giesea ‏

@jeffgiesea

I'd like to elevate the way we talk about censorship issues. Let me offer a few quick thoughts on language and taxonomy around these issues, and how I'm currently thinking about them. /1

Let's look at different types of services engaged in this. I see four:

1. Social networks like YouTube and Twitter
2. Payment and banking services
3. Domain registrars, web hosting, and other digital utilities
4. Retail services like Amazon

/2


Let's look at the different forms of censorship. In the case of social networks, there are four types:

1. Deplatforming
2. Demonetizing
3. Shadowbanning
4. Other algorithmic manipulations (for ex search results)

For the other services, it's mostly just deplatforming. /3

As we look at different services, we may want to draw distinctions between ones that are essential for participating in contemporary democratic discourse and ones that are not. This, in my eyes, is a function of the nature of the service and of its market share. /4


We might agree that a normal retail service should be able to choose its customers (barring protected classes). If it has small market share & there are other options, this is less of a big deal. But what about a retail service with a near-monopoly on distribution like Amazon? /5


Since I'm a gay guy, let's assume I'm both an author and that I'm getting married. Well, I have options for other buying my wedding cake. My world doesn't end because Masterpiece won't bake it for me. I'm MUCH more impacted by being banned from Amazon. Yet which is protected? /6


Regarding banking services: I'm less concerned if there's ample choice in the marketplace. But even so, unless someone's a legit terrorist or criminal, it seems wrong that someone could be banned from a bank for their political views. /9



Let's take Twitter. What bothers me isn't that it has terms of service. (I respect @jack's earnestness tbh.) It's the uneven enforcement of its terms, the arbitrariness & lack of transparency around their enforcement, and lack of due process. /11

Bottom line: We're entering an era of privatized censorship, and it's not clear what a "free society" means in this context. The rise of soft, privatized totalitarianism by near-monopoly services threatens freedom & democratic discourse. We need to address these issues /12

Imagine not being able to fly, take a train, get a credit card, or register a domain because you have a dissenting POV.

If we don't address these issues now, this will lead to a privatized social credit system that will be no better than China's and in many respects worse. /13

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posted by Ace of Spades at 02:37 PM

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