Greetings ‘kats, welcome back to Meerkat Musings, I am your host Darth Timon, aka Ben, and I will be leading you through this possibly lengthy and certainly fascinating post, as we dissect the words and commentary of recent posts I’ve stumbled across elsewhere. We’ll be pondering whether or not there is truly unreasonable censorship at work against the political right and the conservative elements of society.
There’s been an outcry about the apparent clampdown of right-wing voices on social media – Donald Trump was banned from Twitter earlier in January, and platform Parler (an alternative to Twitter proving increasingly popular with conservatives) was blocked by both Apple and Google from their respective app stores following the events of Capitol Hill. Does this really equate to a clampdown of right-wing voices, or merely an enforcement of something the right increasingly objects to – responsibility for their words and deeds?
Consider Parler. Among the messages on the platform, there are calls to arms and cries for violent insurrection. Openly racist, anti-Semitic messages are strewn across Parler without restriction or restraint. At what stage are these clear calls for violence breaching edicts on freedom of speech? At what stage do we hold to account those who enable such vile comments, and those who provide a platform for calls to violently reject the democratic process?
It’s fairly obvious to this meerkat that refusing to condemn or remove these messages is a tacit form of endorsement. It takes only inaction for such evil to prosper. It would seem the political right in the USA is less concerned with the aggressive noises and incitements to riot than they are about whether or not someone can post threatening comments on social media without consequence.
We hear that the response of organisations like Twitter, Facebook etc to these calls for harm represent a desire to instill ‘group think’, and that these platforms act on the whim of a ‘lefty’ government more interested in becoming a bloated dictatorship than anything else. Control the media, control the people. We are led to believe those who resist are the true guardians of free speech and democracy, but in reality, the hard-righters that populate platforms like Parler want to spew vicious hatred without consequence. Freedom of speech in their eyes is the right to be unrepentant and unapologetic, not in the pursuit of truth but in an angry, divisive agenda.
Group-think isn’t the desire of liberals/the left. Conformity is the wish of the right. Conservatism by its very nature seeks a uniform, rigid and inflexible approach to society. Change is something to be opposed, even feared. An insular society, devoid of compassion (outside of the realm of the heterosexual white man) is what the hard right wants. Notions of free or cheap healthcare for all are derided as evil ‘socialist’ ideas, but spending billions of dollars on a border wall that would ultimately hurt the vulnerable? There’s money for such a callous white elephant. Billions of dollars are available for military budgets but the instant these funds are turned towards addressing the serious imbalances in society? God forbid we try to look after each other. Let’s make sure that the structure of power looks after one very specific group (as mentioned, the heterosexual white man), and those who think differently are the bad ones. Conformity indeed.