I was going to save this post for another time, but something occurred which made it rise to the immediate occasion.
Rarely, but sometimes, I comment on articles and blogs. It’s rare because most of the time the comment section is reserved for hateful bigots to scream obscenities at each other, and a random person to make a coherent logical point that will fall on deaf ears (me). Recently, however, I made a comment, expressing my whole-hearted agreement with the original poster. Another person commented, and then I responded. Then the entire original article disappeared.
I was angry, as is my usual response to nearly everything, but censorship really bothers me, and it should. I was angry because I thought this particular publication would not bring down an article because of a few comments- which, by the way, were not angry or hateful or contained any swear words. Sure, remove the hateful comments but not the entire article. Second, I became worried that the author may have voluntarily removed his article. I assumed the publication was printing this author because of his sometimes controversial articles, and wanted to illicit responses and dialogue so removal of the article caused me great concern. Perhaps the author had gone soft. Perhaps the publication was far too liberal and optimistic. It was eventually fixed, no idea if it was a hack or glitch or both or neither.
I hate censorship. May be part of why I use words and phrases that make sailors blush. Not everyone agrees, as a friend pointed out when Facebook said they were going to start censoring fake news. I had said I felt it was not Facebook’s job to determine fake news or alert the masses. My friend disagreed, sharing an article that pointed out how many morons were actually profiting from lying and having ignorant masses follow their mirage of…, ahem, news.
“People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”
“We’ve had presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference. “
I was slightly torn. The ignorant masses have proven they are, well, ignorant, as well as either willingly or unknowingly unable or incapable of research, blindly following whichever beacon of noise is broadcasting the nonsense they believe or want to hear. Maybe it should be someone’s job to at least attempt to broaden the horizons of the stupid.
Here’s the problem: If Facebook begins flagging stories as being fake, the ignorant claim bias on the part of Facebook, stating they are only flagging news stories that go against whatever it is they think Facebook believes in, stands for, buys into, etc. In short, deaf ears. Or would it be eyes? And to a certain extent they are right. Your news is only as reliable as its editor, in a way. This is why the people who watch Fox News hate people who watch CNN and invariably vice versa. Not sure why it hasn’t occurred to anyone to watch both and some how decipher the truth that fell somewhere in between the two channels.
For a long time Snopes was considered the go-to to check out the veracity of online stories and emails that people would forward without reading or researching. Then someone wrote an article on the two people who started Snopes and it snowballed into how biased and unreliable Snopes was/is. It continues to this day, despite having numerous fact-checkers and other staffers. If you want to find bias, it will be found.
I don’t like censorship in my music or TV, either. If you don’t want your kids to learn about sex and swear words, that’s fine. Opting to not by a certain album or putting a chip on your television will only slightly delay the process. First of all, smart kids are going to figure out what word the pause or jumble in the song is actually trying to hide. Further, they’re going to hear it. It’s called life, people swear. Doesn’t make it right or wrong, it happens. Its your job as a parent to teach your kids that those words are rude or inappropriate, its not my job to censor myself.
The government can’t tell me that every 13 year old is the same and therefore issue a PG-13 rating based on, at best, a law of averages which likely is more of a sliding scale that changes probably yearly. Same applies for a 17 year old and R ratings. All arbitrary and the government has no business parenting the masses. If you are too lazy to parent your kid, may want to rethink parenthood and breeding in general.
Anyway, this leads into another of my pet peeves: Government Overreach. Don’t tell me what I can watch, hear, or read. Not when I’m 12, not when I’m 42 or 62. It’s my parents job for a few years and then I am my own responsibility to determine what I can or cannot handle. Not yours. Never yours. Especially since I’ve seen who voted you into office and how unqualified you are to be there.
References: Family Guy “PTV” episode, Wall Street Journal two Trump “Same Paper, Different Story” Editions, The American President (movie), pretty much any recent presidential election in the last… let’s say 60 years,