These days, many people don’t seem to understand that rights trump preferences.
Rights are based on the understanding and recognition of, and respect for, the property of the individual. And the rights of one individual ends at another individual’s property line.
Property owners need not permit someone who is on their property—be it their home, their place of business, their vehicle, etc—to conduct themselves however they wish, or to say whatever they wish. The property owner has the right to eject anyone from their property, for any reason they wish—or for no reason whatsoever, as rights require no explanation or justification (that’s why they’re called rights).
And just because others may not agree with the property owner’s beliefs and/or actions, and would prefer they not do what they do, or that they do something that they aren’t doing, is immaterial; the rights of one individual are not subject to the beliefs or preferences of other individuals (that’s why they’re called rights).
“Please leave my cake shop” is a right; on the other hand, “You will bake the cake, like it or not” is a rights violation. And again, these rights are based on property ownership: self-ownership, the ownership of one’s labor, the ownership of the product of one’s labor, the ownership of the business and/or property.
So I wonder: how many libertarians supported the cake shop owner back when he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, but denounce the same actions of Facebook today?
Facebook owns their platform, and the servers on which it resides, and they permit users to use it free of charge, only agreeing to Facebook’s policies—which are subject to change at any time, without notice, at the company’s sole discretion. So short of any contractual obligations otherwise, Facebook is free to eject whomever they wish from their platform, for any reason they wish—or for no reason at all. That is their right, as owners of the platform.
I have no problem with this. I may not like what they’re doing (again, my preferences, or anyone else’s, are irrelevant), but I recognize their prerogative to do it. My only choice in the matter is whether or not to continue to use the platform. I do get value (though continuously declining in recent years), and it costs me nothing (monetarily)…so I will likely continue using it, until such time as the value declines to a point where it is no longer worth even the time spent using it (and trust me, it’s been close this past year).
So this week, when “The Great Purge” began on Facebook, I shared many posts and screenshots concerning what was happening, just to spread the word, because I thought it was important for everyone to know.
And yesterday, I asked: “How do we all keep in touch, without Facebook?” The intent of my question was to illustrate our dependency on social media, along with the inherent problem in all (as far as I know) current social media platforms.
Best I can tell (and admittedly, my knowledge is limited), though many of the other platforms (MeWe, Minds, and today in 2020, many others) claim user data privacy and non-censorship, they suffer from the same inherent problem as the current leaders in social media: a centralized platform.
What happens when the feds go after those other platforms? What happens when they are court-ordered (or merely ordered at gunpoint) to hand over their user’s data? Or to purge all anti-state users, pages, posts, in favor of state propaganda? What happens if the owners, or board or directors, or whoever makes the decisions at the top, elect to change or end the secure data or non-censorship policies one day in the future?
Bam! Facebook all over again…
So the solution to the ongoing and increasing problem of state/crony control and censorship of social media is not user migration over to new platforms that are based on the same or slightly altered (and fast becoming obsolete) model, but the development of new platforms based on an entirely new model: decentralized, peer-to-peer networking. No overlords dictating content, no centralized bottleneck available for the state or its agents to easily target, manipulate, shut down. A decentralized network would be beyond their reach—much like cryptocurrencies and 3D printed guns.
This is my hope for the (hopefully near, rather than distant) future of not only all social media—but the entire internet.
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