“DePlatformed?” Us Too!

As if I needed yet another chuckle over how badly conservatives are treated in this country, I almost drove off the road laughing when I heard the news on public radio Friday and some Republican Iowa legislators were whining about being “deplatformed” by social media.

My understanding is that social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tic-Toc and others are now monitoring posts to their websites (or platforms) for things like flat out lies, violent content and calls to arms. The concern of these platforms is pretty simple and logical – if someone commits a crime and they claim they got the idea from a post on Twitter, should Twitter be held accountable for allowing that information to get out to the general public?

As far as I know right now there is no specific answer one way or another. There are some state legislators who would like to make social platforms complicit in crimes if a platform were used to disseminate ideas among members of a group for instance. Much of the planning and co-ordination of the far right wing attack on Washington DC on January 6th was done on social media as very obvious example.

With potential legislation geared to make them liable for what users of their platforms use the platform for, social media has begun to crack down what they will allow users to say on their platforms. Ironically, the crack down seems to be falling hardest on the right. Seems that much of what they post fail the new tests that social media platforms have developed to screen content that is too violent or racist or whatever other categories they have decided to screen for.

Now folks on the right are screaming that the social media platforms are censoring them and taking away their “free speech” rights. Folks, if your postings are being blocked because of content, you really need to review the rules and then measure your content against those rules. Most likely your content has crossed a line.

If you do not like the limits that social media platforms have imposed on content then there are some things you can do. Crying about “free speech” is not one of them. The first amendment pertains only to the government. It does not pertain to Google, Facebook, twitter, Tic-Toc or for that matter radio, TV and newspapers.

All those platforms named above are private entities. As such they are not bound by the first amendment to allow any nutcase a platform for their rantings. And as we now see many folks in government want them to police the content that are posted to their platforms. For some reason Americans seem to think that the internet should be a place where anything and everything goes. It isn’t. While maybe not as regulated yet as other platforms, that will probably be coming.

In order to save their butts from possible lawsuits or even legal charges, platforms have decided to pre-actively screen content. Right now, much of the content that violates their restrictions comes from the right. While they act as if this is “Big Tech” somehow censoring conservatives, I am sure it is “Big Tech” just trying to save its own ass from future trouble. And it looks like the ones that will get them into trouble will be the conservatives.

However, liberals have been subject to a de facto form of what would now be called deplatforming  over the past 40 years since the fairness doctrine was declared no longer valid under Saint Ronald of Reagan. That, couple with major changes in ownership rules on how much media could be owned by one group and we had the groundwork laid for a huge conservative takeover of the media of the day – radio, TV, newspapers and magazines.

The hangover from all that is still with us. For those who follow blogforiowa, you know that media bias is one of our favorite topics. That is because we believe that the media that comes into Iowans homes daily greatly affects how we vote. In Iowa we have NO liberal media and very little non-partisan media. In the past 20 years this has helped move Iowa further and further right as a state.

If you are still with us, name the liberal newspapers in Iowa? I can’t think of any inside Iowa’s borders or any close by for that matter. Iowa’s newspapers seem to run the gamut from right to far right.

What about liberal Iowa radio stations? I come up with another fat 0 here. Right wing radio up and down the dial, though. NPR stations are at best to the right of neutral. If you care. Minneapolis and Chicago do have left wing radio.

And TV stations in Iowa – any to the left? Not that I have heard of. 

So the tears of the “deplatformed conservative” is yet another attention seeking whiner who is crying when that which he or she has been doing to others for decades is somehow turned and focused on themselves.

Hey conservative, can we talk about the fairness doctrine? Or do you like the way the playing is so greatly tilted in your favor?

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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