Censorship: What’s a Non-Geek to Do?

By now, unless  you belong to the minority who are completely disconnected from social media, you’re aware that that there’s been a gradually accelerating program of centralization, control, and censorship operating on the biggest platforms over the past few years. If your views are other than mainstream, it’s been apparent since well before the last election. If you are a straight-edge exemplar of normality who roots politically for Team Red or Team Blue, the 2016 election might have been your wake-up call. If you’re intelligent and curious but apolitical, this week’s purge of Twitter and Facebook accounts might have been the first you heard of it.

What younger people may not know, and older people may forget, is that the dominant players in today’s information game are babies themselves. They can easily go the way of MySpace and AOL (both of which still exist, by the way).

The virtue of the internet is its decentralized, networked nature. As John Gilmore said, networks interpret censorship as damage and work around it. You have the ability to accelerate this process. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  1. Opening accounts on alternate social media sites like Minds, MeWe, and WhatsApp.
  2. Subscribing to alternative-media sites and blogs by e-mail.
  3. Writing and reading content on curated platforms like Quora, Medium, and LinkedIn.
  4. Actively editing my commercial-site/phone newsfeeds to include lesser-known journalists (being sure to keep a tendril extended outside my filter bubble!).
  5. Putting a limited amount of my modest financial resources into cryptocurrencies and actively seeking ways to spend and earn them.
  6. Using Incognito mode or Tor browsing and VPNs when needed. While most people are not in a position to take this step, it helps that I’ve expatriated to another country so my traffic doesn’t automatically go through a US-based server.

Have some faith in the truth. It will prevail.

 

Taming What Infests Us

Invaded, a pouch, a crease, a sulcus

Tiny entities that do not matter do

Matter now that they have bred

Though you never took them in…

 

Nothing to do now but love them

A boy in a tenement’s pets

Six legs, racing roaches in jars

Pigeons, rats, mitochondria.

 

Here, parrots flock and strip

Fruit from the trees and sing

In cages on the porch. Know

What’s yours is never and always theirs.