Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have just banned another wave of commentators including gay right-winger Milo Yiannopoulos, conservative commentator Paul Joseph Watson, black civil rights activist and anti-Zionist Louis Farrakhan and pro-Zionist right winger Laura Loomer. Additionally, the politically active actor James Woods was blocked from Twitter. This latest round of censorship by big tech companies drew the attention of Donald Trump who issued the followed Tweet on the matter.
So surprised to see Conservative thinkers like James Woods banned from Twitter, and Paul Watson banned from Facebook! https://t.co/eHX3Z5CMXb
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
While free speech advocates are naturally exorcised and while predictably left are blaming right and right are blaming left, there is a sociological phenomenon at hand which transcends normal political divides.
The fact of the matter is that most major Silicon Valley tech pioneers share some common characteristics. Although these characteristics tend to imply a high level of technical expertise, they also indicate a level of cognitive deficiencies when it comes to normal social skills.
While not all stereotypes are true and some true stereotypes aren’t true all of the time, most stereotypes do exist for a reason – they have some basis in truth. In this case, one must examine the phenomenon of the isolated nerd or “computer geek” who rather than socialise with peers, cuts himself (it is virtually never a female) off from society and busies himself with creating software or working with computer chips in a dank basement or sweltering garage. There is no shame is such activities in and of itself as many prominent companies including Apple and Microsoft had such origins.
But when it comes to social media, the irony of anti-social individuals controlling major interactive platforms is highly significant. Such people have probably never been to a working man’s club where humour is raunchy and politics is discussed with normal casual language. They have probably never been in a factory or on a building site where colourful language is used to describe everything from sexual experiences to football. Such people were also probably so bullied in school that they can’t distinguish between a schoolyard punch-up and a genocide.
To put it simply, these people are out of touch because their formative youthful experiences deviated so far from the norm that they cannot grasp how real people speak, interact with each other and deploy humour to get a point across.
Instead of leading normal lives, most social media owners went straight from the garage to the mansion. Thus, the world is witnessing the rise of proverbial Frankenstein monsters among those who were anti-social in their teens and early twenties before becoming millionaire or even billionaire elites by the time they hit their 30s. By no stretch of the imagination is this a normal life experience, not even in wealthy countries like the United States.
The very concept of “the nerds getting their revenge” was lampooned in the 1984 Hollywood comedy Revenge of The Nerds. But now that it is happening in real life, it is no laughing matter.
Just as Michael Jackson spent his adulthood trying to recreate a lost childhood, it seems that the adult-nerds of Silicon Valley are exacting revenge on normal society for the fact that they had anti-social childhoods. But whilst Jackson retreated behind the walls of his Neverland home, the nerds of Silicon Valley are intent on punishing all of America and indeed much of the world in order to avenge their miserable, loveless, friendless childhoods.
The dangers are very real as genuine political debate is being shut down at will due to the attitudes of the millionaire nerds controlling the online digital speaking platforms used by the normal population. Although platforms like Facebook and Instagram are privately owned, they have long since functioned as monopolies and ought to be brought to justice as such. Furthermore, just as telecom corporations like AT&T or T-Mobile are private companies that have to comply with governmental regulations, so too should social media companies be forced to function in the same way.
In other words, just as AT&T cannot refuse nor withdraw service to someone based on his or her political views, neither should Facebook, Instagram or Twitter be able to terminate one’s account on such a basis. It is time for the government to get real and both take action against monopolies which will strengthen healthy market competition whilst also mandating that social media is just another telecom service that cannot make value judgements about who it lets on to its platforms.
Social media is the new public square but it is disproportionately owned and operated by those who as youths were too anti-social to actually visit the public square. Only the force of law can being these miscreants back into line and teach them once and for all that one does not fight school yard bullying by becoming corporate tyrants meddling in everyone else’s right to democracy.
Society is not collectively guilty for the fact that some nerds who are now wealthy and powerful were once bullied in the locker room. It’s time for society to tell these nerds what their parents should have told them in their teens: “grow up”!