DWIM(.nl) - Censorship worries

DWIM(.nl)

Do What I Mean

July 19th, 2021

Censorship worries

It used to be that if you didn't agree with the government in, say, China, you could get in serious trouble, and that the Free West would be abhorred. But these days you can be deported by democratic governments for just bragging.

You could say COVID is something to take seriously, and you would be right. You could say the Australian government acted for the Greater Good, but that is exactly what the Chinese government would have said.

It seems like science is the new religion. It used to be that disagreeing with the church could get you condemned, or that cartoons of Muhammad could get you killed. But these days, even the carriersof science criticism get accused of killing people. Which to me seems like writing out a ticket to the state, because somebody was speeding on their highway. We are shooting the messengers.

What's really worrying me, is that we make tech giants responsible for the behavior of their users, and with great responsibility comes great power(sic). The result could be that Google controls what information journalists and scholars may collect and share.

I believe that the underlying issue why disinformation is such a resilient problem, and censorship is inadequate at best, is that many have lost faith in science and the government. Trust must be earned, and the very journalists and scholars we suppress are our best bet on restoring faith, but censorship short-circuits their work.

Instead of blaming big tech and forcing them to police the internet, we should let everybody do what they are meant for: companies make money, governments protect their citizens, journalists seek truth, scientists seek knowledge. What remains are the questions of ethics: what is right and what is wrong? Those we decide together, in open discussion in the media, in religions, on the street, etc., using knowledge and facts from scholars and journalists.

tags: society

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