I am wondering how the reaction of many people will be when they read this viewpoint?
I imagine the majority of the population has a working knowledge of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and its tentacles called censorship. No doubt there are many interpretations of just what censorship means, so I grabbed my Webster’s New Explorer Large Print Dictionary (New Edition) just to confirm my understanding: “noun (n): one with power to suppress anything objectionable (as in printed matter).”
Censorship is actually the adjective — showing description. Now, while I always enjoyed English class in high school, I never particularly cared for learning about the conjugation of verbs and adverbs, etc. Suffice it to say I never intended to become an English teacher.
I imagine many people do not give a second thought to being censored unless, of course, it happens to them. I personally have met this occurrence on more than one occasion, while delving into the twilight zone of the social media world. You know, “you violated our community standards” thing. One such occurrence happened recently in the world of Facebook “uncensored” groups and this is one battle I have chosen to engage in. Perhaps we all need a clearer understanding of what censorship really means and the effects it has on our psyche and our lives.
Take Facebook, for instance. It appears anyone can disagree with another person, report them to an administrator or moderator of a group, or report another person directly to Facebook for whatever reason. At least with Facebook, in particular, one has a certain expectation to have their post or comment reviewed for consideration.
But what about FB Groups that call themselves uncensored? Many FB Groups have “rules” you must agree with prior to acceptance into that group. So, if any group member violates those rules, they are subject to discipline by a group moderator or admin; and rightfully so. However, there are FB Groups that call themselves uncensored and have no advertised rules prior to one’s acceptance into membership. By calling themselves uncensored, it is naturally assumed that any content expressed will remain in the comment or post section of the thread. In this context, it does not matter whether anyone, inclusive of the moderator or admin, challenges one’s written expression of thought.
Now, what recourse do you have when you find yourself banned and blocked by one of these uncensored rule-less FB groups?
It seems the proper thing would be to message the group admin or moderator, or both. Yes, you would think this to be true. However, it appears that FB groups are, in fact, actually only private little clubs (although advertised as public) where, as long as you play with my marbles everything is OK, but if you challenge me or make me mad, I’ll take my marbles back and kick you out of the game. That’s a lighter-side of group thinking. What’s more deviant is the sinister plot of administrators and moderators who push both overt and covert agendas upon its members who simply want to express their opinions.
I remember hearing or reading about the Salem Witch hunts and how people were burned at the stakes by just being labeled a heretic or witch. No proof was required. All it took was someone labeling someone they disagreed with. Is this not happening now in many social media platform groups? I think so.
I was called a heretic by a moderator in one such uncensored FB group — all because I answered a question that was asked and later challenged a moderator’s blatant attack and discrimination against a particular sect of people.
Let’s look again at the definition of censor: The power to suppress.