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CENTRAL VIEW for Monday, May 2, 2022

by William Hamilton, Ph.D.

Free speech vs. social media’s Augean stable

Back when Twitter decided to censor what Twitter subscribers were allowed to discuss, this writer dropped Twitter. But now, based on Elon Musk’s promised restoration of free speech to Twitter, I have a new Twitter account so I can follow Elon Musk who will probably take Twitter private, relocate Twitter headquarters away from San Francisco leaving behind the censorship Nazis, fix Twitter’s "spam bot" problem, take Twitter public again, and recover his investment.

Here is Musk’s statement about Twitter: "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it." What’s not to like?

But how does one navigate between the "good" of free speech and the "bad" of abominable taste? Will Musk allow the spewing of pornographic and/or violent speech that might be unacceptable to some and acceptable to others?

Of course, all electronics have an off-button or a cord that can be disconnected from the wall. Or, maybe that is why God gave us the remote control.

So, there’s the problem. Where is the boundary between acceptable taste and truth? And who decides the boundary? Then, there is the matter of what is fact and what is fake news made up to look like fact. Who decides that?

Since its inception, this problem plagued Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. Wiki’s co-founders wanted the entries to be "crowd-sourced," and then edited by a corps of volunteers. The assumption being that volunteer editors on the Left and on the Right would balance each other and achieve the Holy Grail of "balance." You know what they say about assumptions...

Turns out the volunteer editors on the Left tend to have desk or other jobs that allow them time to edit Wiki articles while the volunteer editors on the Right are busy working at more time-consuming Mike Rowe-type jobs and cannot devote much time to editing Wiki entries. That is why so many Wiki articles favor a Leftist interpretation of history.

Wiki’s other weakness is a penchant for devoting pages, for example, to some little-known stripper while ignoring people whose contributions to society are more substantial. But who is to say the "lap dance" is less worthwhile than, say, the Ballets Russes or "Holiday on Ice?"

Still, Wiki is quick and easy for checking the dates of historical events or the spelling of names. And sometimes the entries are free of left-wing cant and bias. But, for now anyway, brave.com seems to be an even-handed research tool.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk faces the Herculean task of disrupting Obama’s Orwellian marriage of social media platforms with a corrupted intelligence community bent on saving the Deep State from a second bite in the derrière by President Trump’s America-first community.

Spam bot defined: a software app sometimes used to make a social media platform appear to have more subscribers than it actually does.

©2022. William Hamilton.

©1999-2022. American Press Syndicate.

Dr. Hamilton can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 2001
Granby, CO 80446

Email: william@central-view.com

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