Every once in a lightning strike hitting the same tree twice of rarified success within the apologist’s abolitionist approach to enabling criminals, the system works. A similar metaphor applies to European industrial-grade bureaucracy, especially when applied to holding big tech accountable as to the free flow of information. Surprisingly, the UK has once again lapped the federal response of the US government regulatory arm of digital stewardship, first implementing policy to protect end users from vile ingrained facial recognition policy, and now setting guidelines to protect news organizations from the ceaseless censorship of an industry that in too many instances intermixes business with politics.
Light years ahead of American mandates, officials in the UK have drafted legislation which requires that the prodigious social media outlets must alert news outlets if posted content is being moderated, which is an infantile step in addressing the egregious tactics of censorship afflicting Silicon Valley. While publicly traded private entities comprising the electronic communities of the tech hierarchy continuously brand themselves as bastions for free speech, at least in the US, no plan exists to alleviate the nightmare of information being deliberately buried in catering to a specific political philosophy. The measure by the British government requires F***book must alert a journalistic syndicate if a story, blog, or micro-blog that is flagged and ultimately removed, and give the entity a chance to appeal the decision. The previous checkered past of mainstream tech removing tech based on the pretenses of politics has been orchestrated through a team of humans and the evolution of the infamous moderation bots.
Skeptics of the announcement will certainly cite the inability of the tech paradigm to effectively manage a daunting magnitude of infrastructure, and the obstinance of leadership to provide fair and balanced opportunities accommodating the entire ideological perspective. Possessing limitless legal resources and displaying an unrelenting adherence to tyrannical prevarications, actually enforcing the bill will be a major challenge, as tax-payers will be on the hook for essentially funding the pursuit of freedom of expression.
As a record number of smartphone device users now receive their daily dose of news through online communities and compile fragments of information from multiple sources to get what is construed as the entire story, the importance of social media conglomerates at least attempting to be fair and balanced is a vital for the future status of truth. While the younger generations possess an insatiable appetite for appalling quantities of information and data, quality is often overlooked in quenching instant gratification.
Both F***book and Twitter have been maligned for opening the content floodgates at the expense of commercial news purveyors, an almost scandal that has been fueled by the technological behemoths profiting from unethically sharing exclusive stories, while at the same time employing the infamous repressive tactics. The double whammy has forced government to intervene, as the uncontrollable platforms exist for themselves in a mindless magnitude of exponential and unprecedented growth.
To combat the existence of the fickle gatekeeper, Parliament created a series of online “safety” guidelines, and while legislation cannot prevent social networks from barring stories, the mandate at least addresses the issue of automated censorship.
As the major digital communities continue to pawn themselves off as unregulated as a Seattle street corner for rhetoric and meth, even though government subsidies ensure that the internet has a nearly impeccable memory, the already unsettling symbiosis between bureaucracy and tech when operated for insidious purposes (China), what may be viewed as a measure of good faith can gradually over time become a nightmare. With critical thinking skills becoming extinct, society is on a self-flying drone collision course to be ruled by sanctimonious extremists.