"In the US, it's demagoguery versus demagoguery."
Today, we enter an era where the liberty of the people, specifically the right to freedom of expression, is threatened with extinction not from the usual ideologues who either represent the state or the propertied class who invoke their right to dominate by evoking the novel idea of social media.
The social media today is the actual presentation of what one might say “raw nerve” done through the magic of technology but controlled and regulated by those who own and operate this 21st century mass media. It is called social media because the public are made to unwittingly witness and react to the most morbid acts of brutality and bestiality committed before their eyes.
Social media combine the presentation of written words and action to elicit maximum human emotion. For their most horrific presentation of barbarism, the owners and operators want to present themselves as self-righteous condemning others by unilaterally imposing regulation, control, limitation and even prohibition for misdemeanor to their values of freedom of expression.
It was through the social media where a mother and her son were shot in cold blood by a psychopath policeman while his barbarism was being taken live by smart phone. Nobody condemned the owners of the mass media for its candid presentation of what gruesome double murder. Yet, for the slightest violation their paying clients are suspended without them being heard why they are temporarily or permanently being banned.
The private sector, whether represented by the individual person or by corporations is not allowed to take a direct hand, say prosecute violators of their freedom of expression. For the State to take a direct hand on this issue it could be branded authoritarian. This is based on the theory that no private entity should be allowed to stand above the law like those private Gestapos given the misleading title of “fact checkers.”
Tech giants like Facebook and Twitter represent a near-monopoly of social media. This development in technological innovation is a serious reversal to our freedom of expression. One must note that today’s media does not only involve print media like newspapers, books, magazines; the dissemination of recorded pictures with sound and broadcast to wide areas like radio or television; or that it involves the presentation of live motion pictures that encompasses the recording of events showing them in real time that happened for the public to react as witness using their cellphones to give meaning to their freedom of expression.
Social media did not extend to the people their right to freedom of expression but was usurped by the media moguls like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. The state unilaterally inhibited itself as if it was doing democracy a great favor without the public being consulted whether they in fact infringed on their freedom.
The control by these new tycoons of the social media went beyond expectation as if it was handed to them on a silver platter. The neo-liberals in conspiracy with the “deep state” jumped the gun to impose what they now consider as outmoded duty of censorship as if their ownership of the industry is equal to life itself.
The interest of the owners of Facebook and Twitter is no different from the interest exerted by owners of the traditional mass media. It is not freedom of the press or of the privacy of communication that owners value but of their right to property which generated billions of profit in less than a decade. For the laughter and tears made by their clowns to delight the listening public, millions go to the pocket of these tycoons.
They forgot that the foundation of a civil society is anchored on the ability of the state to protect the rights of all the members of society. The state in that capacity act to balance the myriads of individual rights, especially those rights which the giant corporations seek to violate in the name of freedom.
Today, the state seemed to have relinquished to the private sector its most sacred obligation without them being empowered by any law. Facebook and Twitter have unilaterally assumed the responsibility to ban and censor no less the President of the US for acts based on anticipated things that will happen. It is fear by the Democrats and by people behind the “Deep State” who anticipate that their own President would possibly encourage the American public to commit violence.
US Congress has been afflicted with paranoia when it impeached the “El Loco” twice without looking at the implication of double jeopardy and without enforcing the offense first alleged committed. It is demagoguery versus demagoguery that operates in the American political system today. As one media protester scribes for Julian Assange, “to tell the truth is not a crime.”
In the case of Trump, we do not know just how many Americans will react to that harsh punishment slapped against their President by the owners of Facebook and Twitter without them determining whether he specifically ordered those rednecks to ransack, vandalize and loot the sacred American institution of democracy. What Facebook and Twitter did was to curtail the right of the incumbent President? If they can ban him, then who can stop them from doing so?
Such is pretty dangerous to any user irrespective of nationality or citizenship where such social media is allowed to operate. The social media is supposed to exercise freedom but not to put limitations on freedom. To permanently ban Trump is to impose a penalty even before he was indicted for his alleged crime.
The current proposal by the US Congress gets even sillier and ludicrous. Imagine impeaching him to purposely prevent him from running in 2024. This means Congress can now impose a law called bill of attainder banning a person without him being convicted of any specific crime. Remember, a crime has to be committed because it is the commission of that act that makes him liable.
The author is not siding with Trump but just wants to put things in their proper perspective. Trump may have his misdeeds, but China never took him seriously to put the world on the brink of conflagration. Trump made good his promise never to engage the US in war during his term, and for all his nasty rhetoric, the relations between the two ended without bloodshed. China showed it to the world it has a deeper take of understanding and sobriety not to let the world slip to the abyss all for the ranting of one narcissistic megalomaniac.