In recent years, the view on how technology will change humanity, they seem to have lost their rose-colored glasses and a closer look science fiction writers, authors of dystopian classics like George Orwell or Aldous Huxley. Surveillance, trade of personal data, the negative impact on the psyche and the infringement of freedom of speech — the most frequent claim to IT giants like Google and Facebook. In 2018 the word “censorship” was often mentioned in conversations about technological corporations. Buro. talks about the most vivid cases where IT companies have shown themselves as supporters of censorship, and how it can threaten us.

White “Dragonfly”love Google to China

Google, Apple and Facebook are the most influential technology companies in the world, and, possessing such power, whether they have the ethical right to meet the States, in nothing which places freedom of speech? This issue in August of 2018 is asked by many media and bloggers after the Internet got information about the project Google “Dragonfly” (translated from English. “Dragonfly”).

“Dragonfly” is a search engine developed specifically for China and that satisfies the requirements of the censorship, invented the authoritarian ruling party of the country. Google already did a censored version of the search engine for China in the 2000s, where the user is warned that some results had not shown. In 2010, Google left China after the criticism by the us government and attacks by Chinese hackers on Google’s mail service Gmail.

In “Dragonfly”, a Chinese user would have never found Wikipedia and would never get any results by typing the search phrase “freedom of speech”, the “Nobel prize”, the “human rights” or “student unrest”, and he would never know that he is hiding something. In addition, in order to use this search engine would need to be paid when registering so much information about yourself that “Dragonfly” would be able to track and collect a lot of information about Chinese users, including location and search history.

A Chinese user would never know that he is hiding something

Against “Dragonfly” was launched jointly by 14 international organizations for the protection of human rights, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as about 1,400 employees of Google. Google employees are outraged by the hypocrisy of a company that once attracted them with the idea that the common good is more important than profit. From the point of view of business the company’s desire to go to China is quite clear: in this country, more than 700 million Internet users and this number could reach a billion, and users, as we know, is money.

Google representatives tried to excuse, saying that “Dragonfly”, on which the company had at least 200 people, was just an experiment, poorly made prototype, but the public outcry is not really believed it. In the end, the project had to close due to disagreements within the company.

In Tumblr no sex
In December 2018 a popular blog platform with a focus on visual content, Tumblr has banned any publication classified as 18+. The fact that on 16 November of the same year the App Store has deleted the Tumblr app once in the vastness of Tumblr blogs I found images of child pornography. Well, true, nobody will argue that child pornography is illegal and immoral. The problem was the zeal of the Tumblr: the platform decided not to fight child pornography and fan to remove any content with a hint of sex and erotica. To do this, developers Tumblr, has created an algorithm to mark and delete all unwanted images — gifs, photos, videos and illustrations. No genitals and female nipples, even for statues.

It’s funny that suddenly under attack algorithm got pictures of spider-Man, dogs, landscapes, interiors, cakes, works of art and other completely random objects. It is sad that the platform is lost, the marginalized communities like LGBT, BDSM lovers, owners not model; looks and people with disabilities, who previously found their place on Tumblr and are able to Express their sexuality or to find their identity. Together with them suffered any sex-educational content.

It is sad that the platform is lost, the marginalized communities like LGBT, and people with disabilities

For years Tumblr was famous not only as a refuge for depressed adolescents, outsiders, Amateurs weird artistic photos, and the fandoms, but also as a platform where you could find a more elegant or more simple to explore pornography than Pornhub, as well as aesthetic erotica format gifs, illustrations and photos. Pornoestrella Tumblr in General deprived him of any advantage over other platforms, and the announcement of a new content policy, popular and progressive lifestyle publication began to make lists of alternative sites where one can still find such a sex content.

Instagram and Facebookпротив female nipples

Everyone knows that Instagram and Facebook can easily delete photos, including images of works of art, if it is female nipples. If you believe the Executive Director Instagram Kevin Systrom, the initiative to remove women’s nipples comes not just from Facebook and Instagram, as Apple have strict guidelines for apps in its store, and Facebook and Instagram want for yourself as low as possible age limit, since this affects the number of users, and hence on incomes. However, Twitter is the place to be the Internet’s total smut content, still has an age limit of “4+”. Disingenuous if Facebook and Instagram, blaming everything on the rules of the App Store? Possible. In the end the goal of both platforms owned by one company to have more users, and hence, to cater to all possible social groups, including the puritans and not priemlemom nakedness Muslims. Twitter is a different company and a different approach.

The Internet vs Alex Jones

In 2018 American media and bloggers discussed the deletion and blocking a significant part of the content of the accounts of the Creator of the project of American InfoWars Alex Jones in the Apple Podcasts, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and other major platforms except Twitter.

A passionate conspiracy theorist, a frequent guest of the TV channel “Tsargrad” and admirer of the philosophy of Alexander Dugin. Jones is one of those who vehemently preach that the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 — the work of the U.S. government, and the mass murder at an elementary school in sandy hook in 2012 — dramatization. Draft Jones InfoWars was intentionally sensationalistic, this show irritated the odious opinions of its author.

Jones is one of those who vehemently preach that the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 — the handiwork of the us government

All companies deleted the accounts InfoWars from their platforms, explained that the violation of the rules of their communities, prohibiting incitement to hatred. To be honest, seems fair, if not several “but”. First, IT companies have long been accused of opacity and flexibility of their rules, which in General allow them to do with custom content as they please. Secondly, no matter how unpleasant nor was Jones, incitement to hatred is too vague a concept, and, going to the social network, it is easy to verify that this is one of the most popular custom strategies, but somehow delete only selected posts. Thirdly, the question arises whether IT companies the right to decide what opinions should reach their users and which are not.

Yes, each social platform has the full right to refuse customers in the services, but once the leaders of these same IT companies tried to convince us that the Internet is a place of freedom and equality, and certainly could be, since we pay for it our data.

A matter of precedent and progressivism

The conversation about censorship can only be a comprehensive, complex and long: in the end there are things the existence of which on the Internet should definitely be prohibited by law, revenge porn, child pornography, cyber bullying, incitement to hatred and the like. But each case is censoring content at the initiative of the IT companies is worrying, because every precedent of censorship such influential players can be an example for others, an indicator that censoring information alone, and for some criteria, only because there is a possibility to do it, it’s normal, necessary and right.

Censorship of opposing views, as in the case with Alex Jones, he closes the window in an objective world where everyone has the right to obtain a full picture of what is happening and to form an opinion based on many other opinions, where people engage in dialogue, explain and come to a consensus. As said the head of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, in the midst of a scandal with Alex Jones, they didn’t have to remove the accounts of Jones not only because he in fact did not violate any rules, but because they don’t want to become a platform, acting under external pressure and not by the rules, don’t want Twitter content is determined solely the personal views of the employees of the company who can change.

Leading IT companies of today are not only providers of their services, but major players in the ideological field

Dorsey’s statement is important because it reminds us that if those in whose power to determine what information we get and what not, would change their views or their power will fall into other hands, even the kind of censorship that today we feel good, tomorrow will still work against us.

The second popular type of censorship, banning so-called adult content, recalls the times with which we try to say goodbye: only recently have people begun to learn a positive attitude to your body and don’t consider it sex something dirty and nizkodohodnye years I had taught mankind Christian morality. When the bodily consciousness is associated with unacceptable, it prevents an adequate relation to venereal diseases and their treatment, to disability, to sex education and sex education, menstruation and related products.

The problem is that the leading IT companies of today are not only providers of their services, but serious players on the ideological field: their leaders recognized visionaries and rock stars of our time, may affect the standards of morality, but it seems that their vision is not covered.

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