Political commentator Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report recently sat down with economist Eric Weinstein for a dialogue on the future of the intellectual dark web. Immediately, one is drawn in to the exciting discussion across party lines, both belonging to entirely different schools of thought. They highlight the importance of public attention, and responsibility, when looking at tech giants and their control over platforms of speech. Particularly, the two discuss YouTube, what is supposed to be a haven for all voices, and how the simplicity of a Google search or a post on Facebook seems second nature to most of us millennials. When, though, do we start to second guess it?
What stuck out to me most was the simple question: why aren’t conservatives concerned?
As far back as Aristotle, we see warnings of demagoguery ruling the people. We do not want to sacrifice our online freedoms because we are too distracted by just winning arguments for the sake of winning. Perhaps something can be learned from this and the de-platforming of popular conservatives from various popular sites like Twitter and Facebook. Both Rubin and Weinstein tell us this is not going to go away anytime soon. It happens behind the scenes. Not only should we be skeptical, but proactive about addressing what is nothing short of strategic censorship.
Censorship is not a new concept for the conservative movement. We saw James Damore being fired from Google for politically inconsistent opinions with the politicized workplace. Dennis Prager of PragerU even went to court over the content of the organization’s videos, which then received the same shunning treatment from Facebook. This deplatforming only incited a domino effect of voice after voice being removed from the world wide web of ideas for not fitting into the status quo of sensitive content. There’s a reason we have the First Amendment. A similar domino effect of recoiling our speech absolutely cannot ensue. These business interests have a one-track mind, according to Rubin and Weinstein. Its placing society on a dangerous path.