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Olusegun Odebunmi, Sponsor Of Press Gagging Bill, Suspends It For Consultation / Gbajabiamila: I’ll Not Be Party To Any Press Gagging Bill / Lai Mohammed Says Nigerian Government Is Not Gagging The Media (2) (3) (4)
|Amplifying Ayatollah Khamenei By Trump-gagging : The Big Tech Question Of Censor by Goodlucknigeria: 1:03pm On Jan 13|
By Comr. Ogar Emmanuel Oko
Recent happenings as aftermaths of the keenly contested United States 2020 presidential elections by Donald Trump; Joe Biden, Howei Hawkins and Jo Jorgensen, and its much debated poser by political analysts will forever cacoon and balkanize the sociopolitical sphere henceforth as being aided by the left giant electronic socializing platforms that appear to be afraid of free speech if nothing is done for the good of all and sundry.
For many reasons, I became apathetic to comment on the disputed US elections on the grounds of bugging capitalism surveillance, political prejudice, human rights violation (free speech) and selective justice just to mention but a few. Nowadays events have left me with much to be bothered about. An instance where people are silenced in a similitude of contemporary fascism and a sort of monopoly antitrust violations by the big tech.
The elections have come and gone. Who won or lost is absolutely immaterial now. What's important is the seeming intrusion on people's rights and the concomitant in later years. Freedom of expression.
No doubt the United Nations Universal Declaration of Humans and Peoples Rights guarantees everyone the right of expression and the United States constitution collaborated such rights too! However, one is not ignorant of the US First Amendment bill.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution according to Wikileak, "prevents the government from making laws which regulate an establishment of religion, or that would prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights."
Though, the First Amendment guarantees free speech, but does not overtly apply to private sectors and overly allows them to moderate speech that instigates violence on their platforms. Granted that such companies have their policies: rules and regulations of operation. Needs abound that deserve a new focus on the power these companies wield. Since technology now rules the world, there come a time in the near future where people would be compelled to say whatever that pleases someone however correct or wrong — but, as far as some group of people want it.
This fear being expressed should concern us no matter what side of the fence we sit currently. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it "should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions."
As we observe, there is an attempt to stifle and gag dissenting voices world over and this could polarize the so-called free-world! A few days ago, Senator Marco Rubio on Fox News argued that ; " We're now living in a country (world) where four or five companies — unelected, unaccountable — have the power, a monopoly power to decide: we're going to wipe people out, we're going to just erase them from any sort of digital platform. " So sad!
Again, no one would bicker if censorship applies to all, irrespective of your political ideology, religion affinity or social status. People would cry foul when it appears to have a censorship that is unfair and discriminatory. For example, this writer's Facebook account was restricted on two occasions within three months for saying that Boko Haram was the Victor Frankenstein (creation) of northern Nigeria.
Be it as it may, it's no news that the big tech CEOs have gone too far in a bid to censor free speech which is a constitutional right in most nations. Their garvel struck on President Donald Trump and some 70,000 people within a week. He was banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google for what they described as violation of their community guidelines. They alleged that he(Trump) was using their platforms to impel political violence which led to the invasion of the Capitol — the US historical legislative complex on Wednesday last week.
If this writer's account could be flagged off; if Trump could be banned whether temporary or permanently in the guise of censorship, why is the Iranian dictator and supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's accounts aren't banned yet for using the big tech to propagate inciteful messaging against Israel, US, UK, France and Saudi Arabia?
One wonders why Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc don't apply the same pressure or rules on some of the despotic and totalitarian leaders we got. Surprisingly, the only action meted out on Khamenei by Twitter was the removal of his tweet which suggested coronavirus vaccines made in the United States and Britain are "untrustworthy", saying the tweet violated its rules.
Individuals are using Twitter and Facebook to promote radicalism; Nazi ideology and antisemitism. These people are the geese that lay golden eggs. They're untouchable. What's sauce for the yam is also sauce for water-yam.
Since Trump is seen as a tree that's growing too great and must be pruned, the pruners have to be careful not to become victims of hitting by branches. Already, Amazon has lost about $5b in two days; Twitter stock went down 12% with a loss of 4 million accounts out of the 330 million monthly active users.
Trump said he can't be silenced and I strongly agree. How can you silence a man that's a megaphone himself? Near impossible! He has apparently informed his supporters that he was going to launch his outlet.
A quick check; before the banning or suspension of Donald Trump's accounts, he was the most followed active politician on any microblogging social media platform on earth. He'd a staggering number 88.7 million follwers on Twitter; 24.6 million followers on Instagram, 35.5 million followers on Facebook and huge followers on YouTube. No sitting or former President has such following while in office except Barrack Obama that's currently on top of the ladder as a private individual.
With the ban, Trump moved to a right-wing microblogging site, Parler. His supporters left in droves from other platforms to join him. Irked by such moves, the Big Tech booted Parler off the internet due to tie with Trump. This has made most Trump's supporters to seek refuge at online conservative platforms like Gab; MeWe, DLive, Telegram, PragerU, Rumble and American Media Periscope. These are free speech networks with little or no censorship rules.
The Telegram has 7 million users in the US and more than 133,000 people downloaded the App only on Sunday. Rumble — a censorship free video platform has grown to 50 million users since Trump's suspension. MeWe received about 1.5 million users in less than 72 hours and was adding more than 20,000 members an hour as people continue to move in droves to new outlets. Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab with over 3.7 million users said the social network got 600,000 new users in the early hours of Monday this week alone after Parler was taken off the internet.
Many outlets are being developed to oust these mainstream outlets. Trump won't be silenced! The mystery for ages would be, how could a man taunted to be irrational, nitwit, loquacious and unruly pulled about 46.9%( 75m) of the total votes cast in the elections 65% turnout of about 165 million registered voters. It's preposterous for any sane person to malign such a man and his supporters.
The 46.9% of America electorate that exercised their franchise in favour of Trump aren't fools. They've shown to the world that US democracy is pseudodemocracy or tycoonocracy where government is controlled by wealthy business tycoons or plutocrats. These guys are the CEOs of big tech, powerful industrialists and oil magnates. Trump can't be silenced. But the world is about to be gagged!
If Trump and his supporters' speeches are to be censored, the table shouldn't be turned. Let the rules be applied to all!
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