Don’t be evil would seem to be an excellent motto. It is a good motto from the standpoint of public relations. That is until people realize you have abrogated to yourself the right to decide what evil is.
Which explains why Alphabet, the parent company of Google, dropped their famous motto in 2015.
However, I don’ think evil is the best name for what troubles Google. Pettiness and narcissism are better words. Arrogance is another.
This shouldn’t surprise me. Mozilla showed us four years ago that their principal goal was not making a top end browser. When they bowed to pressure groups led by a hookup website to defenestrate one of the best programmers of his generation from the CEO position, they declared wokeness to be more important than technical quality.
For those not familiar with it Dissenter is an attempt to provide unmoderated comments for any site on the Internet. Because the people behind Gab are bringing us Dissenter the usual suspects have declared it is alt-right, white supremest, racist, sexist, homophobic, and all the assorted bleats of disapproval du jour.
Most users are to the right of Silicon Valley for two reasons. First, Silicon Valley’s center point is well to the left of the center of the US and I suspect most European nations, much less the rest of the world. Second, and this is related, comments by people to the right of Silicon Valley are removed at a higher rate than those to its left.
That is where sites haven’t closed down comments.
The funny thing is, like Mozilla’s bending over to OkCupid led to Brave, this won’t stop Dissenter. You have always been able to download the plug-in from the developer. I have inquired about hosting a mirror of the plug-in, as I suspect trying to make it hard to find is the next step.
The question I have to ask is, what do the Techeratti fear? If their views are self-evident and morally superior, why do they need to ensure echo chambers. Why do they fear first Alex Jones, then Laura Loomer, then Sargon of Akkad, then Meghan Murphy and now thousands of, in their words alt-right trolls?
My answer is, like all censors, they fear the truth about themselves. They know they are not the moral paragons they pretend to be. Look at the speed with which they consume each other. They know they are one slip on whichever tile of wokeness they tread on, either without knowing it was wrong or because it was okay yesterday, from being destroyed.
So they lash out at those free of that fear. What they don’t understand is we aren’t free of that fear because we are morally superior, but because we know we are not and strive to give others space to not be.
That others may say things they disagree with and have other people listen is a great risk. If enough of us do it we might see the Empresses of the Internet are naked instead of clothed in robes of righteousness.
They might have to face they are just like us, human and flawed.
It is so much easier to make it harder for us to talk than face that reality.
As a final note, if you comment please share your comment on Dissenter as well as here. It might be the excuse you need to sign up.
If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my newsletter. Once (and sometimes twice) a month you'll get updates on my writing, life, and brand new fiction.