Let’s Talk Bitcoin! #436 ‘We Need 30 Different Words for Different Kinds of Censorship’

The rallying cry of the totalitarian is “He farted first”, but if both systems have produced similar outcomes, is there much of a difference? Inspired by a recent article inthe Atlantic, in today’s wide-ranging discussion the hosts of Let’s Talk Bitcoin! dig deeply into the questions of censorship, propaganda and how things are both better and worse than in years past.The episode is sponsored byeToro.comandThe Internet of Money Vol. 3Shownotes:Who are they censoring from and how do we unpack this manipulation?The rallying cry of the totalitarian is always “He farted first”Who gets to decide what is censored?The squeaky wheel of child pornography gets the attention, the much more insidious problem of silencing certain voices, or giving preference to other voices.Propaganda goes hand-in-hand with censorshipPropaganda is harder to detect ‘reverse censorship’Private platform curation have the right to moderate which can be interpreted as censorship.You have to choose if you’re a publisher or a platformWhat if AT&T listened to your phone calls, sold ads against them and disconnected you whenever you say something that would trouble sponsors?Common carriers vs. publishersFOSTA, SESTA and turning platforms into publishersCrony capitalism will always co-opt governmentThe only way to win is not to playThe only way to not be coopted as a protocol is to have it not be owned by anyone.It may be impossible to be a platform if you’re not a protocolInformation overload and compartmentalizationAre the solutions that are being proposed the solution that we need to solve this problem?What kind of side effects does the solution have?It’s one thing to say “there are idiots out there who have not developed critical thinking and are easily swayed and we need to fix this” and a whole other thing to say “And that’s why only the landed gentry should vote”Do tech companies think they’re helping?Benevolent fascism is still fascismThe public school system was never meant for the average person to be able to form their own opinion, “it is for factory men not philosophers”Manufacturing consent with the power to control, censor, frame, set up the base assumptions of belief and then seek to nail them down.A dictatorship of the mind is far more effective than a dictatorship of violence.If Let’s Talk Bitcoin! Were on Youtube, we wouldn’t be able to say the word Covid-19.Avoiding totalitarian controlsmeans missing opportunities presented by big would-be platforms.Government surveillance vs. private surveillance provided to the governmentWhat we learned from Edward SnowdenDoes China commercialize surveillance?If both systems have produced the same outcome, is there much of a difference between them?A virtual prison campSuppression of information does not translate to changing realityBiblical verses in the blockchain and”A platform puts data out but search is editorialism”Phone numbers, the yellow pages, cocaine and liabilityPrivacy, anonymity and another form of censorshipWe need 30 different words for different kinds of censorshipIs it censorship when private companies do it?Where did the word censorship come from and what words should we be using?”The problem with censorship is not the content, it’s the person in which the control is vested”Is this worse because of growing polarization and partisanship?Was the internet free-er when nobody used it?Letters to the editor and platforms that amplifyEven more insidious than censorship are the algorithms choosing what is seen and by who.Geographic boundaries vs. idealogical boundaries and the demise of newspaper monopolies on local discourse5G and Coronavirus: Niche ideas wouldn’t propagate if censorship workedThe Streisand effect, reach and survivor biasThe influence that Google’s page-rank has on congressional primariesA generational divide in social media management skills and critical thinkingMasks, conspiracy theories and narrative controlManipulating the wisdom of the crowds as manipulating the wisdom of societyCensorship by private forces for profit and by government for state control, and the coalition of the two.Censorship as controlling access to the publishing of information vs. controlling what is amplified vs. how much reach it has.A big difference is visible in implementation of severe consequences for speechThe chilling effect of harsh penalties and being “disappeared” for speechOstracism, state punishment or private corporate consequencesWhat are your favorite words or terms for specific kinds of censorship?Send us an email [email protected] you light your brainfarts on fire, is that flaring?CreditsThis episode of Let’s Talk Bitcoin features Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Adam B. Levine. Music provided by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats, with editing by Jonas.Photo by Sebastiaan Stam on Unsplash
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