Hope that title got your attention. Sit back, we have a lot to discuss of what goes on behind the scenes that we creators see and deal with.
Everyone needs to understand that we all view the world through “our own lens” based on life experiences, biases, beliefs, etc. These are called filters. When it comes to censorship, as long as it happens to the “other side” or “other team” it’s okay, because it doesn’t affect you. In reality, it affects us all, and defragments society and communication further.
Remember back when there were only a handful of TV stations, then cable came along with 500+ other channels? Social media is falling into this category as new platforms develop overnight and alternative news sources fight for your attention. As the old legacy and new platforms censor specific content or people, many get upset and then migrate to another one. In the end, it’s a fools errand, and it makes my job much more difficult trying to corral everyone in providing the most accurate weather information. I’ll explain.
Any social platform that has an app to access it on Apple or Google Play stores are forced to adhere to their TOS (terms of service). This is different from the TOS the platform has for you. Meaning all alternative social media companies answer to big tech. Here’s a hypothetical example: Apple or Google tells Parler to ban Trump because his speech violates their TOS. They warn that if Parler doesn’t comply, then they will remove the Parler app from their stores. Parler understands that having their app delisted would kill their outreach and growth, destroying the company. So for survival, they ban Trump. How do we know this? Because it happened to GAB. GAB was the first real challenger to Facebook and Twitter where they refused to censor. Apple gave them a directive to censor or be deplatformed. They refused and Apple banned their app from the store. Shortly after, Google did the same. Their app is dead. But that wasn’t enough. Soon their payment platforms banned them too. As well as their cloud services. Why? Because they wouldn’t cave to censorship. For the record, I have an account for AT’s Weather on both GAB and Parler for those wanting to stay connected (linked at the bottom). I haven’t used them much, as I’m waiting to see the dust settle on where people will finally migrate too, if they do.
Here’s another example with the relative new platform called Clouthub. As per their graphic below, they are for free speech. So what happened? They currently use IBM for video hosting. IBM suspended several CloutHub video accounts, because CloutHub would not take action against these accounts. So CloutHub is now forced to look for another video hosting solution. See how easy it was for a 3rd party to censor their users?
GoFundMe and Patreon are also censoring creators and fund raisers. Pressure is coming from VISA, MC, and Paypal as well for forced censorship. This whole thing runs deeper than anyone ever imagined. It’s how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.
So to put this in perspective, censorship works like this:
- ban content
- ban people
- ban company apps
- ban hosting services
- ban domain names
- ban financial income
So how does one survive with so much pressure? They don’t. GAB is still trying to survive through the donation from its users. But how can its users donate when none of the payment processors will allow funding? Do you get it yet? Everything is controlled.
Today, the majority of the censorship and strong arm tactics occurs against conservatives. And they are angry about it, and rightfully so. So they are looking for a free speech platform. Unfortunately, other than GAB, it doesn’t really exist. There may be some smaller ones I haven’t come across yet, but they’ll have to deal with everything I’ve stated above. Parler is claiming it is home to conservatives. Give it some time, and see what happens. My guess is, the same fate of GAB awaits them as well. Their TOS for users are just as bad as FB, Twitter, or any other platform. It’s how they make money, selling your info in back channels to advertisers, government, and other data firms. Social media is a very dirty battlefield, but yet it doesn’t work if we don’t play along. However, we do it anyway to communicate with each other. It’s a catch-22.
So, let’s say you’re not a conservative and therefore you don’t care. Who’s to say that tomorrow, or a month from now or a year from now, you are the one being censored? That’s the problem when we pick a team and fail to see the big picture or the end game.
There are countless examples of many other platforms regarding censorship that I did not discuss here. Frankly the above is enough to sound the alarms. You may be thinking, well, if they got censored, they probably deserved it. So this is where the philosophical and moral discussions come into play. For example, Twitter openly allows pedophilia communication and porn. Most would argue that stuff should be censored as kids use the platform. Others may say, no that’s free speech. If Twitter leaves those offensive (to you) accounts up, but then bans Trump, what message does that send? How does GAB address this quandary? They ban anything that is currently against the law and anything pornographic.
Now that you are updated on the current status of the social media landscape, where does AT’s Weather fit into all of this? Well, I offer weather content as a creator. I don’t post about politics or anything else usually. So I won’t be banned on any of these platforms for censorship. However, you will disappear from various platforms in your quest to find free speech and stay connected. As a business owner, this is incredibly frustrating to deal with. Remember the 500 channels? Imagine me having to be on every one of those to reach everybody. Social media is the same way. It’s not your problem of course, it’s mine to solve. How do I adjust to a more fragmented audience where I can no longer find everyone on just one platform anymore? As a creator, how do I continue to reach you and not lose you in the cloud of war. As the environment changes, I will continue to monitor the landscape and create new accounts wherever needed. This goes for live video as well. As of today, my live video can be found on Facebook, Twitter/Periscope, YouTube and through my app ATsWeatherToGo and Website. My software allows me to stream in multiple places at one time, but bandwidth is the limiting factor.
I hope this summary was informative and educational. For those wondering, no I’m not leaving any of my current platforms, so if you decide to remain on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll still be there. If you must, you could always just not use those platforms at all, but leave the notifications turned on for when I go live. This way you won’t miss a broadcast. For those that have made the decision to leave, you can follow me here at Parler and GAB. Thanks again for being a part of AT’s Weather! -AT