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Don’t Underestimate How Badly The Powerful Need Control Of Online Speech

Seems like almost every day now the mass media are blaring about the need for speech on the internet to be controlled or restricted in some way. Today they’re running stories about Joe Rogan and Covid misinformation; tomorrow it will be something else.

The reasons for the need to control online speech change from day to day, but the demand for that control remains a constant. Some days it’s a need to protect the citizenry from online disinformation campaigns by foreign governments. Sometimes it’s the need to guarantee election security. Sometimes it’s the need to eliminate domestic extremism and conspiracy theories. Sometimes it’s Covid misinformation. The problems change, but the solution is always the same: increased regulation of speech by monopolistic online platforms in steadily increasing coordination with the US government.

It’s actually pretty comical at this point, once you notice it. It’s like if you had an expensive Prada bag that your friend really coveted and she was always making up excuses to try and take it home with her. “Gosh I’m carrying all these small objects and I have nothing to carry them in!” “You’re going on vacation? I’ll look after your Prada bag for you!” “Oh no you slipped and now you’re clinging to a cliff’s edge! Quick! Throw me your Prada bag!” Once you know what they’re actually after, their attempts to obtain it look clownish and silly.

Whenever I talk about how the immense power structure which the mass media serves and protects has a desperate need to control online speech, I’ll always get a few people objecting that the powerful don’t care about what ideas and information the ordinary riff raff share with each other on internet forums. They just do what they want regardless of public opinion, like Greek gods on Mount Olympus.

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