Opinion: The Control of Establishments on Freedom

Over the course of many decades, we have been able to observe a significant leftward

shift in the cultural, and subsequently the political Overton window – the range of

ideas and policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given

time.


All establishments - academia, tech corporations, government and media - converge and

work in tandem with one another to ensure a narrative is asserted in society that paints

progressive theory as unequivocally correct.


Though there are many factors that have contributed to this, it has been driven in large

part by legacy media and their reporting, which is observably done in such a manner

where a forgone conclusion based upon a liberal ideological lens is inherent. As we hear

a set of ideas and dogma propped up over decades, they become what people perceive

as truth from a simple, often cursory glance.


Further to this, we live in a timeline where our primary sources of information are

funneled through social media. It’s where we see and share these media news stories,

where we can gather data from many sources, and have conversations with others who

can shore up our thoughts, or challenge them, so we can form our own conclusions and

beliefs about the world.


What happens when an entire political and cultural worldview is banned from operating

in these spaces?


In January of this year, we heard of Federal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s plan to

introduce legislation and regulations surrounding social media speech in 2021 to, as he

frames it, “protect Canadians online”.


We also heard the global director and head of public policy for Facebook, Kevin Chan,

say that the federal government should be more active in outlining what content is not

allowed online. His statement to the CBC was, “On this question of content regulation,

we think that having platforms make decisions about all these things and in an

uncoordinated fashion with different platforms having different postures, we think

that's not sustainable. So we think that public rules by Parliament would help clarify

these things and obviously apply across the internet.”


In other words, Mr. Chan is openly advocating for government to have control over

what ideas and opinions are suitable to be expressed and discussed among private

individuals.


Independent media has grown in popularity over the last several years, and they largely

utilize social media companies to get their content out into the public sphere. As this

direct competition to legacy media has increased, we observe the broadening of Terms

of Service within tech corporations such as Twitter and Facebook, which they assert are

for the “safety” of their users. The application of these TOS most often effect

independent media organizations seeking to present information and ideas that would

run counter to the cultural narrative which establishment media and tech corporations

prop up as being ‘suitable’ for discourse.


The media and social media corporations have enormous sway in society; they control

what information you see, or don’t see, at least superficially. With this in mind, we

should be able to dig deeper on our own to try and find further information, search for

other media sources to gain insight into an issue, and to be able to discuss concepts and

beliefs with fellow citizens online. But this is what those seeking to have government

dictate online behaviour are working to erode. Tyranny always operates under the

pretense of being “for the greater good”.


If certain viewpoints are barred by government from being expressed across the board;

when powerful corporations and government are united in working together to control

and dictate standards to the populous, that goes against the very nature of a free

society. We need only look to history to gain understanding on why advocating for this

is concerning, and where it leads.


Do you really want the government to hold authority over what ideas and opinions you

can or cannot communicate? What happens when there is a government administration

in place that has fundamentally different values and beliefs about what is right than you

do? Are you happy for them to take away your right to express yourself, under the guise

of it being for “safety”?


When people, governments, or organizations reference “unacceptable” or “hateful”

speech or ideas, it is simply a euphemism for speech or ideas they don’t like. If we

disagree with someone, we can debate or critique them, but striving to silence them is

authoritarian. Doing so while asserting the purpose is for “safety”, is purely a deceptive

tactic to silence and control the populous. And when people advocate for this form of

action, they often don’t take into account that they, too, will not be pardoned in the

future from the repercussions of a system they worked to establish.


Since the Trudeau Liberals first took office in 2015, online censorship on social media has increased and to also keep in mind, bail out media has been laying off employees due to lack of viewership and financial support.


Does the branding of a company become compromised for taking handouts from the Government?

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