SHENZHEN, CHINA - JANUARY 26: (CHINA OUT) A couple of cartoon online police officers respectively named "Jingjing" (R) and "Chacha" are displayed with actual online police officers at the anniversary ceremony of figures created on January 26, 2007 in Shenzhen of Guangdong Province, China. The two cartoon police figures have been patrolling all the main portals in Shenzhen since Jan 2006 to publicly remind all Netizens to be conscious of safe and healthy use of the Internet, self-regulate their online behavior and maintain harmonious Internet order together. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

Da internett kom fulgte noen år med en berusende frihet, skriver Brendan O’Neill i en tankevekkende artikkel på Spectator blogs. Men de senere år har nedturen slått inn: Nå oppdager man at nettet er ypperlig til kontroll.

I nettets ungdom var optimismen stor.

The Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, written in 1996 by John Perry Barlow, warned the ‘governments of the industrial world’, those ‘weary giants of flesh and steel’, that they had ‘no sovereignty where we gather’. The ‘virus of liberty’ was spreading, it said.

Nylig ble det kjent at Facebook “curates” nyheter, omtrent som kuratorer på et musum velger ut hvilke bilder som skal stilles ut og fremheves.

Det blir problematisk når Facebook er meget politisk korrekt og ønsker å bruke sin makt til å fremme en bestemt agenda.

The most surprising thing about this Facebook story was that anyone was surprised. Social media sites, vast planets of cyberspace, may advertise themselves as free meeting points for humanity, but for a couple of years now they’ve been casting out moral undesirables, blocking the offensive and engaging in political censorship.

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Facebook has suspended gay users who have reclaimed the term ‘faggot’ to describe themselves. The former punk and proud tranny Jayne County has been thrown off Facebook for using the word tranny. After the Paris terror attacks, the comedian Jason Manford had his page taken down after he said that if God wanted the killers to do this, then He was a ‘massive c**t’.

Last month Facebook deleted a post criticising gay marriage, written by a Sydney academic, on the grounds that it breached ‘community standards’. The post was only reinstated when Tim Wilson, a former Australian human-rights commissioner, accused Facebook of censorship. If you’re conservative, don’t like mass immigration or cleave to the Christian view of marriage, watch your words online.

Det er utrolig at Facebook og twitter har fått vokse og overta den offentlige arena uten særlig diskusjon. Teknologi er hevet over politikk, synes man å mene. Men det som nå kommer frem viser at det er på tide å våkne av uskyldstilstanden.

We’re witnessing a massive shift in the whole idea of the internet; from an open platform for the discussion of ideas to something that must be moderated and editorialised. Some argue that, as privately owned platforms, Facebook and Twitter are free to publish or take down anything they like. But it’s more complicated than that. These are vast entities. A full seventh of humanity uses Facebook. This gives it historically unprecedented clout. Facebook has more power to shape the agenda than any media mogul, pope or king in history. He who controls Facebook’s trending bar controls the present. Being turfed off the site for saying stuff its bosses don’t like seriously degrades your ability to be an engaged public person.

Facebook is now effectively the biggest public square in history; if we don’t have free speech there, we have a problem. Moreover, Facebook and Twitter’s move towards censoriousness isn’t simply a case of private companies doing their own thing. State bodies are pressuring internet giants to restrict free expression. From the Culture Select Committee’s grilling of Twitter bosses in 2013 over their failure to tackle ‘trolls’ to Merkel’s pressure on Zuckerberg, we’re witnessing attempts by the state to outsource censorship to private companies.

O’Neill har problemer med loven som gir rett til å få slettet materiale på nett. Den saken har to sider imidlertid. Sterkt belastende saker som er lagt ut med ond hensikt kan ikke forsvares med henvisning til ytringsfrihet.

 

Da Kina opprettet sin store Brannmur mot uønsket nettinnhold i 1997 var det mange europeere som anså dette som tegn på kommunistisk underutvikling og frykt for frie meninger. Men hva har skjedd i mellomtiden? Det er den frie verden som har nærmet seg Kina. Politiet overvåker nå nettet og flere har fått overraskende besøk.

Between November 2010 and November 2013, more than 350 people were arrested for stuff they said on social media. In 2014, a 19-year-old was arrested after tweeting a joke about the Glasgow Christmas lorry crash that killed six people. Police Scotland took to Twitter to issue an unfunny warning: ‘Please be aware that we will continue to monitor comments on social media and any offensive comments will be investigated.’

Last month, Greater Glasgow Police went one better, instructing people to ‘Think… before you post’. Before we tweet or blog something, they said, we should ask ourselves: ‘Is it true? Is it hurtful? Is it illegal? Is it necessary? Is it kind?’

Omslaget er merkbart. Folk er blitt reddere for å si sin mening på nettet.

Flere trender løper sammen: Myndighetene er redd for at nettet kan være som en steppebrann. De frykter å miste kontrollen. Samtidig er venstresiden og de politisk korrekte ivrige etter å oppdra folk og fjerne trollene. Venstresiden har ikke hatt samvittighetskvaler med å kneble ytringsfriheten. Nå kan de vise til sosial fred og undertrykte minoriteter.

Under knivstikkingen utenfor München mandag ble det sagt at gjerningsmannen var tysk. Det var han ikke. Politiet innførte nyhetssperre. Man aner sammenhengen. For hver gang politiet bedrar publikum, vil skepsisen vokse. Til slutt vil folk ikke tro sannferdig informasjon.

Venstresidens forsøk på å skaffe seg et informasjonsmessig overtak vil bare slå tilbake på dem selv.

Løgner har en tendens til å lukte og folk er gode til å gjenkjenne den. Man lærer seg.

 

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/the-internets-war-on-free-speech/

 

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