Who exactly gives Mark Zuckerberg the right to say what we can and cannot express online? Sure, clear cases of hate speech and incitement to violence should – by law – be removed and offenders brought to book, but we already have laws for that. It’s upsetting that Facebook can remove content it arbitrarily finds unpleasant or distasteful. But it is a private company; it’s Facebook’s platform and Facebook’s rules. But what’s really concerning – even worrying – is that governments appear to have a say in what and what can’t be shared on the site.
Unless you happen to be living on the remotest island of the Outer Hebrides and stuck in a seventeenth century time warp there is nothing new at nine o’clock at night. News travels fast these days, and even in the wilds of the Western Isles of Scotland people have broadband.
These were the young sharp edge of a country wakening up to itself, and looking back over his weekly updates on YouTube we are impressed with the depth and the calm collectedness of what he was doing.
We have known for a long time that the media comes with a bias, and for far too long too many people have simply accepted this as part of the package. Like Pavlov’s dogs we have gotten used to the power imbalance and made our peace with it. None of this defeatism is now necessary; as we have the tools at our disposal to circumvent the narrative that the establishment is trying to spoon-feed us and find alternative sources of information.