The Empire Strikes Back (Again)

No, Getting Censored and Deplatformed is Not a Good Thing, You Dweebs

Blue Empire struck again. YouTube is removing any content that discusses allegations of fr*ud as being the reason why Trump lost:

Reactions have been mixed, so I will discuss the two incorrect ones briefly before examining the third correct one in more detail:

  1. “This is great. We have the libs right where we want them!”/ “Clearly free speech will eventually win the day! Truth prevails over the long term!” / “Any platform that engages in censorship will die”

All of this is bullshit. 100% cope. Getting deplatformed works. Viewership declines, discoverability declines, etc. Screeching about “muh Streisand effect” means nothing. You don’t even need to suppress information; just frame it in a misleading way to fulfill a narrative. And when you own almost all of the narrative-propagating entities in the country, you’ve already won.

Getting censored and deplatformed is not a good thing you f*cking conservative dweebs. Free Speech is not destined to win. Blue Empire allows you your rhetorical “victories” to distract you from your constant material defeats. Either you organize against Blue Empire or you lose.

  1. “Break up YouTube/Facebook/etc.”

The spirit is correct here, but the policy is wrong. You can’t break up a network effect. Social media sites will naturally consolidate towards a few winners, as their value (to the hypothetical average consumer) increases with each new user that uses the site. Hence bigger platforms = more valuable = attract new users in an endless cycle.

Now, you can overcome a network effect with elite patronage. In this scenario, a permanent move by someone like Pewdiepie or Mr. Beast (or preferably a group of large YouTubers) to another robust and effective platform would lead to many people moving there. You can generate a new network effect. But this is hard, and makes little sense for these creators.

You must understand how important YouTube is to Blue Empire. Most data suggests that YouTube is still unprofitable (or, at the most, breakeven) after years of investment from Google. But, fundamentally, YouTube isn’t there to make money as much as it is to be a dominant media platform capable of shaping the information intake of an entire generation.

So what works?

You can split up an Amazon, or a Google, but you can’t meaningfully break up a social media platform. Only option is to regulate them as pseudo-utilities and eliminate censorship (same way your electric company can’t turn off your electricity for saying a curse word online - unless you live in the UK of course).

Ultimately, we need to actually focus on policies that work and building institutions that would meaningfully challenge these. Regulating these Tech platforms as utilities should be a central litmus test for any political candidate moving forward.