For some time, I’ve been wondering whether (social) media are responsible for the polarisation of our Western societies. China solved that dilemma by only allowing government-approved content. The (often disputed) truth is no longer relevant (eg, mentioning of Taiwan, the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Xinjiang re-education camps, 2020 Sino-Indian skirmishes in the Himalaya).
Hence, my 2019 update of the 7 Belief systems: introducing the new belief in Data-Info (my blogs) and an exit for the Truth (my blogs) as a belief system. Government-mandated information distribution will be our future, although this development may take years or decades.
More and more, (social) media seem to have a similar business model: Click. Bait. Fight. This business model may increase their turnover but it’s also undermining the democracies that allow the existence of these (social) media companies. No wonder that nations like China and Russia, use Western (social) media for distributing their polarising content.
Something is changing though. In October 2020, 16 years after its 2004 launch, Facebook banned (i) QAnon conspiracy theories, (ii) announced that it will “prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust” (Facebook, Futurism), and (iii) is blocking ads that discourage people from getting vaccines (Bloomberg, Facebook). I’m tempted viewing these changes as examples of the (new) belief system Data-Info (above). But why (now)?
Facebook might expect severe regulation following a Biden presidency, and a “16-month congressional investigation into Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook [which] has found that the tech giants hold “monopoly power” in key business segments and have abused their dominance in the marketplace” (CNN).
Not too long ago, Facebook fended off any criticism by either (i) hiding behind the freedom of speech principle, or (ii) hiding behind being a technology platform that can’t be held accountable or responsible for the content that its users put on it (ie, Section 230). Since 2020, its algorithms are blocking pages and/or posts for unknown reasons, including any reference to this blog.
I suppose any government regulation on the distribution of information is a prelude for government-mandated information. The blocking of incoming information, by governments like China and Russia, is part of that regulation. Again, China is showing us our own future.
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.