Monday, September 17, 2018

A Level Playing Field?

I've been avoiding anything too overtly political here for a while because, for one thing, I'm tired of ranting and because, well, you know, it's like banging your head against a brick wall these days.  Politics today seems to have narrowed down to a handful of issues - Brexit, alleged anti-semitism, for instance - we we just keeping going round in circles over and never getting anywhere.  I'm tired of hearing the same old arguments, half truths and outright lies being rehearsed over and over again.  Particularly on social media.  Which brings us, rather neatly I think (to paraphrase the late Barry Norman) to the point.  I was reading the other day about hoe Jack Dorsey at Twitter believed that his organisation was just so chock full of lefties that staff members with conservative opinions were afraid to voice them in the workplace.  Really?  Really? Well, if that's the case then all those lefties aren't doing a very good job of subverting Twitter (which is Dorsey's clear implication) as it still seems just chock full of unbridled right wing bile.  Sure, every so often some extreme right-winger gets themselves banned because they've been posting race hate, religious hate, pure misogyny or inciting violence.  Bur hey, that isn't evidence of left wing bias on the part of Twitter admins, but rather a regard for simple human decency, shared community values which cut across ideological lines and a desire not to have Twitter's arse sued off.  If you post stuff that's illegal in most civilised societies then you must expect sanctions, regardless of your politics.

But this has nothing to do with actual facts, of course.  It's yet another example of the right's hypocrisy when it comes to the media.  I don't remember hearing any of them crying out about 'free speech' when the only available media was the mainstream media which, in the UK at least, is dominated by the right, promulgating their ideas and constantly denigrating and smearing left wing voices.  But now that they've found that this new fangled social media provides a more even playing field, where all sides have equal access, they cry foul.  Why else do you think that the Tory party has taken an increasing interest in censoring web content under the Trojan horse of 'protecting the children' from all that nasty pornography Tory MPs enjoy accessing in their offices?  But you know something, even if the right are being discriminated against on social media, with their postings and evil bile suppressed, I don't care.  It's tough shit - they had it their own way for decades with regard to controlling the media, now they are getting a taste of their own medicine.  Or would be if there really was some left-wing internet conspiracy against them.  Which there patently isn't.  Some of the claims made by self-identifying 'conservatives' (and since when did this term start including extremists and neo Nazis?) are astoundingly stupid.  I recall some time ago a self-styled 'conservative Christian' satire site complained that they were being censored on Facebook - one of the supporting comments agreed, stating that everyone knew that Mark Zuckerburg was some kind of leftist who used his social media platform to advance his political views.  Wow!  Last time I checked he was actually some kind of right wing libertarian.  But why bother with facts when you are mad that your offensive postings have been taken down because, well, people found them offensive?

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