The text below was shared by Rebecca Schmoe, the Kansas Director of The DC Project, and blogger at 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control. I am sharing it with her permission and will add a few thoughts at the end. Censorship vs Free Market: What is happening in the world of big tech and social media by Rebecca Schmoe
Censorship vs Free Market
“When privately owned businesses begin to bully smaller, newer, businesses out of business because they don’t like free market competition and dictate to them how they must run their business, that is a problem. Here’s an example of how this is censorship and not merely a business practicing free market strategies.
People found a social media platform they enjoy. They use it often and it is a household name.
These people share different opinions than the creators of the platform and the creators of the platform decide to block or hide the content these people share. The people are irritated, but share anyway to their limited audience.
The platform creators are not satisfied with this and decide to place warning labels on the people’s content. The people are more displeased with the platform and in free market style go find another platform which has advertised specifically to gain the business of the people who were looking for something other than the voice suppression they were experiencing with their current platform.
They begin to withdrawal from the old platform and use the new platform.
The creators of the old platform are upset at the lost business, due to their own business practices, and instead of changing to what the people want, they go to other large and powerful businesses and together they decide to demand that the new platform abandon their business model (which is becoming quite successful) or else, unless they adopt the business plan which has proven to be unsuccessful.
The new platform says, no thank you, and the larger companies, mafia style, begin to cut off their supply sources to attempt to choke them out of business.
Some have mistakenly thought that myself, and others like me, have been talking this whole time about a single man being told to take his business elsewhere. That is not the case. We are talking about censorship and the practice of large media companies, working as the advertising department of a political party, dictating business practices to other companies in order to gain compliance through threat and force.”
Rebecca brings up some interesting points I think people on both sides of the political spectrum should seriously consider. As Jack Dorsey said in his recent Tweet, banning people sets a dangerous precedence. This isn't about one man. This is about large corporations using their power to squash competition. We have laws against that in America. Innovation and competition are hallmarks of the American economic system. Without either, things don't grow and improve.
This is not just an issue that effects one party either. I see many cheering the ban of companies from certain platforms and carriers. I would ask you to stop a moment and consider Blockbuster and MySpace. Blockbuster and MySpace? Yes, those long defunct household names. At one time these two giants of industry sat on top of their respective markets. They were untouchable. Until they were weren't.
While it may not seem possible right now, someone WILL come along and knock the current tech giants (you know who they are) off the top of the mountain. Eventually something so much bigger and better, with the needed financial clout, will become the new “it” thing. What if this new company doesn't like what you like, think the way you think, or support what you support? How about if they start blocking the people and businesses you follow and support? What if you start to get censored? Will you still cheer them on? It's easy to gloss over a problem when it doesn't impact us directly.
Just some things to ponder and chew on. Always remember the old adage about being careful what you wish for....