The way we interact with one another today is entirely different than it was 100 years ago. Today, if you give a millennial a map and try to make them navigate to a specific location they have never been, would they be able to find it? This is not to bash on millennials, but to point out that millennials have probably never had to use a physical map because of digital technology.
Maps such as Google Maps and Waze have changed not only the way we drive but how we see the world. Everything is going digital.
There is a shirt sold on the internet that says “This mom runs on Target, Amazon Prime, and Starbucks.” There’s a reason for that. The internet makes not just shopping or navigating easier, but everything else as well. Whether it is access to information or reading the news, almost everyone in the United States has access to the internet. There are millions of people using Facebook, and millions of people who consume YouTube videos. Today, we use those large audiences to spread what we believe. Whether it is an opinion or a factual news story, we use these platforms to reach the world.
Just like all sources of news, they want their readers to believe what they are publishing, not that they are trying to brainwash an audience. But news sources do one of two things: report objectively or push a specific viewpoint.
A news source being open about their views may cause issues with the platform if the platform does not agree with those views. Of course, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube all have their own rules and regulations for obvious reasons. What if they used those “rules and regulations” as an excuse for the silencing of a viewpoint, demonetization of videos, or banishment altogether?
The truth is, major platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter have all done just that. They are all pushing away not just conservative viewpoints, but viewpoints they don’t agree with altogether. These are private platforms, so they have the ability to do what they want. With that said, just because they can silence a particular viewpoint doesn’t mean that they should.
The recent banning of Alex Jones from major social media sites has sparked a conversation. Clearly, all of these major platforms saw what the other did and they piggybacked off one another, wiping the face of Alex Jones off of Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. Some cheered them for it; others resent the platforms for it. It’s not even that Alex Jones isn’t on the left of politics, it is that these platforms disagree with what he has to say. Most conservatives either don’t agree with what he has to say and/or think he is not that great of a person (to say the least).
Were these platforms right to ban him? Probably not. This is where the conversation goes even deeper.
This conversation is about the competitiveness of these platforms.
Facebook was a competitor to MySpace, and Vimeo is a competitor to Youtube. Instagram launched “stories” to challenge Snapchat, and other sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest are competing for your attention. The internet is a vast open space where everyone can share their views, and it should stay that way.
With PragerU’s videos being demonetized, Alex Jones being banned, and other conservative sites being suppressed on these platforms, what should be done? The answer is simple yet difficult: start a new platform.
Yes, Facebook may never be defeated, it’s the largest social media platform in the world, and it would cost millions of dollars to get another platform that large. Sure, some other platforms may have attempted to defeat Facebook in the past, but why not in the future? The truth is that conservatives should start their own social media platforms. Not just something that is tailored to conservatives, but something that is open to all opinions, no matter how nonsensical. People will follow.
Let there be a battle for ideas. Having an open platform not only allows for the free flowing of ideas but with Facebook and Twitter hindering conservative viewpoints, another platform could ensure that conservative sites could reach a broader audience. Let’s let the digital age compete for ideas and see who wins.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.