Social media arose, in part, as an alternative to the so-called ‘mainstream’ media, an empowering communication tool for individuals made possible by the incredible technology of the Internet.
With mainstream media dominated by establishment voices of the Left, it was expected that those same voices would also be dominant on the internet and on social media. But that’s not what happened.
The rise of voices on the Right on social media demonstrated that their reports and commentaries were far more reliable – and popular – than what was being heard from the voices of the Left. This presented the Left with a challenge to their narratives that was previously absent.
However, what was initially not relevant to many who participated on social media platforms is the fact that the major platforms are owned and managed by those with a leftist agenda – the ‘social media giants’ – people who apparently don’t seem to mind manipulating the truth to their advantage. So now it has become relevant.
No doubt, the ‘social media giants’ did not expect that the most popular voices on their platforms would become voices from the Right. Here they went to all the trouble to create these magnificent platforms to help shape the world of the future in ‘their image,’ and the public had other ideas in mind.
Regrettably, unable to offer rebuttals and arguments to effectively counter the voices of a rising Right, the ‘social media giants’ instead chose to resort to various censorship tactics, if not by outright censorship, by depriving voices of the Right an even playing field on which to compete with the Left.
This has stretched the concept of ‘censorship’ to one no longer simply defined by state prohibition or intervention. In fact, state intervention now appears to be what is being called for to correct the current problem.
In response, U.S. president Donald Trump held a social media summit with ‘conservative’ on-line content providers on July 11. As reported by the Epoch Times, the summit “was a rare opportunity for creators to have their voices elevated to the national stage, after years of complaints about being suppressed by giant tech companies such as Google and Facebook.”
As both the United States and Canada head into their respective federal elections, this kind of social media manipulation amounts to nothing less than interfering with the electoral process. Ironically, intervention with the electoral process was one of the very reasons used by Google and Facebook to justify suppressing voices on the Right while simultaneously promoting voices on the Left.
Thus, instead of cultivating an informed electorate fully appraised of its choices at the polls, the social media giants intentionally created a social media environment where free speech is no longer welcome. Therefore, they became the ones who are interfering with the electoral process.
So far, it looks like Donald Trump is taking the corrective action necessary to level the social media playing field in a manner open to all voices – Left and Right alike. In the end, a guarantee of freedom of speech on social media will be the test that determines whether his solutions prove to be Just Right.