The internet has been circling the drain for some time. It was inevitable. That Wild West “information highway” that we knew in the 2000’s proved too lucrative for it to simply remain unregulated and un-raped by the business class. The internet once provided an outlet for a diversity of thoughts, beliefs and opinions. The business elites had little stake in the matter. They subsisted quite well on brick and mortar and mail order, thank you. The pressure valve to milk the internet for revenue was yet to intensify.
So long as the profit-crazed commercialists shied away, the internet could flourish in the shadows of mainstream society. Conformity was not the business model. An outback of idealists and contrarians thrived and fringe opinions and interpretations were welcome in the free market of ideas. The vibrancy and popularity of your views did not depend on anything other than their ability to summon the attention and respect of your peers.
Conversely, the failure and death of your ideas happened because they lacked perceived value or integrity. Authorities and governmental bodies were not arbiters; the internet was a self-policing organism.
This classic Kiwi Farms post offers one of the best deconstructions of the internet’s downward spiral.
Like many societal upheavals, a gradual decline that is subtly invisible to our radar because of its shallow slide, suddenly accelerates in response to an event of mammoth proportions. The perception is that it appears the upheaval happened suddenly but in reality, it has been going on for some time in plain sight. “Event A” simply provoked the overnight transformation that lends it a surprising nature.
The internet as a fearless frontier of independence has been declining for many years. The new accelerative blip is upon us. The grand event.
Social media companies are facing new pressure from the federal government to crack down on health misinformation as the Biden administration makes a push to encourage reluctant Americans to get COVID-19 vaccines.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory Thursday stating that misinformation is an “urgent threat” and called on the tech companies he accused of amplifying the misinformation to take action to fight the false, and often dangerous, claims.
The self-anointed arbiters of truth, enlivened by fear and panacea, hide behind COVID-19, but their motivations endure: to gut today’s discourse of contrary skepticism and inflict a one-truth supremacy as an official party reality that criminalizes anything beyond its tight boundaries. Rather than using their over-legitimized public voice to publicly debate and refute that which they accuse “false” at the tops of their quivering lungs, they lazily and cynically seek to shut down alternate mediums. It’s better to be tyrannical than reasonable for the arbiters of truth. Overreach is necessary if your power is to mean anything.
Misinformation experts warned about the threats posed by viral misinformation, both within the context of the pandemic and beyond, and some say the push from the administration may be pivotal in forcing the tech giants’ hands.
A world where we defer to “misinformation experts” is a world that is ripe for the tyranny of truth bureaus.
The following passage lays it bare. This is the playbook of the elites and details the mechanics of their kill-shot that will leave the internet a wasteland of shopping, Disney of everything, and more shopping, shopping, shopping.
“The surgeon general is jawboning the tech companies,” said Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation.
“It puts the tech companies on notice that people are paying attention a lot more than in the past. People get a lot of information from these social media sites, they really have a responsibility to combat misinformation,” he added.
Prominent researchers from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center wrote an op-ed published by NBC News calling the surgeon general’s advisory a “turning point in internet history.”
“In the same way his predecessor decades ago took on the tobacco companies, he is taking on the technology industry by defining how misinformation hurts Americans. In our view, this advisory shows that social media is a product in need of serious consumer protection regulations,” Shorenstein Center research director Joan Donovan and research fellow Jennifer Nilsen wrote.
The Nazi’s, Russia, and now, misinformation. The enemy reveals itself in many guises and the most dangerous guise is the one which only the government is allowed to define under threat of censorship.
Although the spread of health misinformation didn’t begin with the pandemic, it drew attention to the issue and forced platforms to craft policies to moderate anti-vaccine content.
It’s more accurate to say the pandemic gave them the best reason to enforce their narrative under the auspices of pervasive fear.
“People believe in pieces of disinformation because it fits within their sort of the larger narratives about the world and about society and America. So there is a significant demand for disinformation as well. People who are willing to believe certain things over others, whether they are true or not,” he said.
Even if mainstream platforms are able to be wiped of the false claims, new alternative platforms would fill the void, he added.
“There will always be a new Parler,” he said, referring to the app that rose in popularity around the election due to its hands-off content moderation approach. “Or some other social media app that won’t be doing that.”
And here the stage is set to dispel and ostracize dissent by labelling it fake, disinformation and hateful. And murderous.
To be skeptical is the trademark of a free-thinking human. It’s a grand world and disparate viewpoints, conflicting and conformist alike, exist because many people choose not to be sheep. Molding one immutable reality of self-prescribed facts by arbiters of truth is the first step toward an ideologically monochromatic world of binary ethics.
We are in the midst of the internet’s death rattle.
COVID-19 will apply the final cut which Biden & Co will dutifully maneuver over the internet’s artery.