What a strange time for the Internet.
Trump tried to take on Twitter. Then Twitter took down Trump, as did almost every other social media platform.
It’s an ongoing tug of war between corporations and governments over who gets to control and moderate the free flow of information, ideas, and speech online.
But who made these guys the boss of the web?
Most of us experience censorship in some form or another. Sometimes we just call it geoblocking (thanks for nothing, Netflix…).
But this is more of an inconvenience, it’s a violation of our human rights.
In some parts of the world, like in Uganda, governments can authorize a complete internet shutdown to aid their own political agendas. Imagine living without the internet for a whole day. How about months?
Whether it’s big tech or ruling dictators, there should be no way for someone to just flip a switch and deny you access to the web.
Many people (including Twitter’s own CEO) believe that corporate censorship sets a dangerous precedent.
Hate speech and inciting violence are inexcusable and intolerable, we can all agree. Yet normalizing the behaviour of businesses to set the social standards for freedom of expression is a slippery slope.
This new ownership model for internet infrastructure would drastically change the way we not only run it - more accessible, secure and free - but the ways we prevent things like dangerous hate speech.
We need to protect the internet. It’s the home of free information and expression. It’s also the home of cat videos, memes, Wikipedia, and of course, HackerNoon.
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