Social Media Bans The Voicing Of Different Opinions

Twitter has announced that David Icke, the British conspiracy theorist, has been permanently banned from its network. This follows his earlier bans from both YouTube and Facebook for apparently posting misinformation about the Covid 19 virus. Other notable bans and suspensions include Professor Jordan Peterson whose Google account was suspended in 2017 and later reinstated without explanation. Some of the reasons given for these suspensions are the spreading of misinformation, but many believe that there’s an agenda at play here, even though social media hardly ever pinpoints the actual reasons for such actions.

It’s common knowledge that David Icke believes that the Royal family are all lizards, that he himself is Jesus Christ reincarnated, that COVID 19 is caused by 5G transmission masts and that the world is run by The New World Order or some other shadowy organisation in the style of a James Bond movie. I think it’s fair to say that most of us who haven’t yet been committed to the funny farm, are able to judge for ourselves whether Her Majesty The Queen is a lizard, and the New World Order conspiracy has been around for decades and I can confirm that Barack Obama is definitely not a lizard.

See what I just did there?

I made up my own mind, judged for myself, and used my own opinion because I know that there will always be fringe characters who believe themselves to be on a completely different plane to the rest of us, and let’s face it, an opinion is just that. In fact, I’m writing this during the nail-biting US elections, where the incumbent president’s Twitter rants have been severely curtailed by that platform with the reason being that he is believed to have been spreading misinformation on the results, the methods used to vote, and the counting of those votes. But are we not seeing double standards at play here? If David Icke is banned from Twitter for proclaiming himself to be The Messiah, shouldn’t the current resident of the White House be banned for his theories on drinking and injecting bleach?

Are media platforms censoring freedom of speech?

I’ve been criticised here at DCT for veering political, but that isn’t what this is about at all– far from it. It’s about asking whether social media platforms should be the arbiters of our opinions and whether they should expel and/or censor information that may be construed as factually incorrect, or indeed wacky opinions per se (see lizards, above).

The above Tweet is a good example where one person believes what they have written to be true but may be proven to be false under later scrutiny. But let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather make up your own mind whether a statement is true or not, or do you need a nanny to hold your hand? History is replete with opinions and theories — the earth is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, JFK, Princess Diana — the list is endless and the question we should be asking is: should alternative opinions be silenced?

What concerns me is the political agenda behind such censorship– the David Icke bans are not political as such, because his views are generally seen as wacky by most of the population who have a right to make up their own minds. Censoring stories on social media simply gives that story more importance and readers will simply find them through other means. Lady Chatterley’s Lover was banned leading to huge demand for the book and prohibition in the US simply created another marketplace. Have we learned nothing?

What are your thoughts on social media control?

11 thoughts on “Social Media Bans The Voicing Of Different Opinions”

  1. IMO, part of the problem is so many people are NOT making up their own minds. They’re taking what they hear say at face value instead of ascertaining if it is fact-based or agenda-based.

    I am on the side of letting people make their own minds up but they need to start with a search for truth. Instead many start with what they want the truth to be and search for ways to support it.

  2. Marc, your topic is a loaded gun. As to censorship, what is allowed, should be allowed, or not allowed is typically not in our hands. Banning someone is a form of censorship. Spreading FALSE information should be a crime, but what is TRUE and what is FALSE?

    The world is very divided on many topics and our current pandemic illustrates this reality. Sad to say common sense is far from common.

    We as humans have the ability to form our own opinions, and not surprisingly we can find others who agree and oppose those opinions. Hope I have made those reading along feel lost and confused, Mindblower!

  3. Marc,
    I’m a resident of the state of Georgia, USA. I have a forlorn hope that somehow social media would just disappear. Too many people are believing that if it is on the internet, it has to be true. Critical thinking has gone by the wayside.
    And, even the discussion about what can or cannot be posted has been politicized. So, even though reasonable folks see through some of the fake or factually incorrect posts, a growing number don’t and it may cause even bigger problems down the road.
    Marjorie Taylor Greene is one result.

  4. I am of the opposite opinion. Social media giants should put more effort into regulating what is posted on their systems. They now have the AI to sort through millions of posts a second and sort out those that are not based on known facts. This is no different than a newspaper checking the validity of a release before sending it to print.
    I believe individuals are entitled to their own opinion. They should also be able to express them as opinions. But, when they post their opinions as “fact” they need to back up their post with proof.
    Social media sites have the ability to sort though posts and request proof before allowing the post to be shown. These sites have so much influence on the general population that they need to take responsibility for what is posted on their sites. I do not believe they should be liable for content as long as they show due diligence about protecting their users from outright lies.

  5. If anyone wants proof of which side of the political fence the totally biased Big Tech is on and how one-sided the censorship is then ask yourself just one question. Name one Democrat politician or Leftist blogger or media representative whose Facebook or Twitter account has been suspended, fact checked, deleted or had their comment’s visibility slowed.

    1. Amen Reg. My experience concerns this article on Dave’s Computer Tips. I get these helpful emails at regular intervals but this particular email was automatically put in my spam folder. Had I not checked, I would have never read this article about people making up their own minds on comments from all the social media. The liberal social media has determined what we can see and read and now it appears they can also determine what emails we can read. My emails come from AOL which is owned by Yahoo which is known to be entirely liberal. By clicking on their news feeds, one can make comments about the news feed. That is of course if you’re a liberal. Any conservative remarks are “rejected” as they don’t meet with their “restrictions”. This country and the world is in a sad state right now with these big tech giants telling us what we can do and what we can’t do. They need to be taken down and soon or it won’t be long before they’re telling us what to eat and what clothes to wear.

  6. There are people that are addicted to “social media”.
    They are a sorry lot indeed but so easily influenced.
    Such a pity for the more enlightened that there are so many of them.
    But as they are so easily duped and swayed then those who can take advantage of them are having a ball!
    Meanwhile the rest of us remain virtually silent.
    Strange times indeed.

  7. Back in the day the village idiot stayed there, in the village but now, thanks to modern technology they can converse with the world. Bad move!!

  8. When those opinions cause dangerous information to spread among the imbeciles and may kill them, their families, and those people they have come into contact with because they do not follow basic protocol to prevent the spread of what is a very dangerous disease, I say shut them the hell up.

    1. Well even if that “was” accepted about Covid-related opinions the censorship isn’t confined to Covid-related topics is it ? It is anything the Left doesn’t like. Big Tech and Mainstream Media are a huge threat to our Democracy. George Orwell was a few years out in his predictions but not by much. The danger is here now.

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