THIS JUST IN:
Evan Osnos has a big new think piece in The New Yorker called Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?
“Zuckerberg is now at the center of a full-fledged debate about the moral character of Silicon Valley and the conscience of its leaders. Leslie Berlin, a historian of technology at Stanford, told me, “For a long time, Silicon Valley enjoyed an unencumbered embrace in America. And now everyone says, Is this a trick? And the question Mark Zuckerberg is dealing with is: Should my company be the arbiter of truth and decency for two billion people? Nobody in the history of technology has dealt with that.” ….
At a certain point, the habits of mind that served Zuckerberg well on his ascent will start to work against him. To avoid further crises, he will have to embrace the fact that he’s now a protector of the peace, not a disrupter of it. Facebook’s colossal power of persuasion has delivered fortune but also peril. Like it or not, Zuckerberg is a gatekeeper. The era when Facebook could learn by doing, and fix the mistakes later, is over. The costs are too high, and idealism is not a defense against negligence. …”
The keywords here are “arbiter of truth and decency” and “a gatekeeper.” Such has been our collective experience with Silicon Valley over the past two years:
Gavin McInnes banned from Twitter.
Roosh V’s books purged by Amazon.
The Chimpire banned by Reddit.
Baked Alaska banned from Uber.
Daily Stormer’s domain seized multiple times.
Occidental Dissent banned by PayPal.
Lauren Southern banned by Patreon.
League of the South banned by Facebook.
Richard Spencer banned by Stripe.
Alex Jones banned from Spotify, iTunes, Pinterest, Apple Store, Mailchip, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Disqus.