The rise of the Internet has expanded the ways in which information may be delivered to end users, going around potential media and government control of information.
However, as social media platforms increasingly become our gateways to the web, they are recentralizing the distributed web. As Facebook breaks 1.7 billion users worldwide, every one of those users in every country of the world are subject to a single centralized set of rules governing what is acceptable content that can be posted on Facebook’s pages. ….
One could easily imagine Facebook eventually developing guidelines that prohibit the redistribution of stolen materials, perhaps at the request of US law enforcement or certain foreign governments as a condition of operating in those nations….. In such a world, Wikileaks would essentially cease to exist for the average person, as even news coverage of Wikileaks content would simply be filtered out of their daily news feed, making them entirely oblivious to the organization’s latest data dumps.
As readers of this blog know, social media is a frictionless platform for propaganda messaging. But as the linked column points out, Internet users are increasingly leaving the web for social sharing platforms which are increasingly controlled (“censored”, “manipulated”, “propaganda-based”). Eventually, it may again become hard to find primary sources and to think for yourself, versus being told what to think by the “authorities” and “experts”.