Big Tech are supposed to be the plumbers, not patricians of internet discourse, by Mark E. Jeftovic

Who made Big Tech the gatekeepers of “acceptable” discourse? From Mark E. Jeftovic at bombthrower.com:

When dissent is misinformation, fallacies become facts

“Whoever practices this prophylaxis will experience the pleasure, not from time to time to lose every third or fourth patient from puerperal fever, but perhaps lose only one in four hundred”

— Ignaz Semmelweis, 1860, trying to convince the medical profession that hand disinfection before conducting medical procedures would save lives

My friend Doug McKenty, who does The Shift podcast was just suspended by Mailchimp. He’s been getting more vocal about what he calls healthcare freedom (read: vaccine passports), and something about that coloured outside the lines.

Mailchimp, an email list provider, is known for doing this. You effectively pay Mailchimp to curate what you can or cannot say to your own email subscribers.  You’re using their mailservers, and in their mind that’s what gives them the right and the moral authority to monitor the content of your communications to your own audience.

In my book Unassailable: Protect Yourself From Deplatform Attacks, Cancel Culture and other Online Disasters (the e-book version has been available for free for some time now) I devote an entire chapter to the machinations of the Big Tech and how they overstep the bounds of rationality when it comes to deciding what is within their purview and what isn’t, or shouldn’t be.

No tech company should be enforcing their Terms of Service based on what they think their users have done or might do outside of their own platforms. Yet Twitter, Facebook, Patreon and who knows who else do that.

A mailer company like Mailchimp has no business even parsing the content of their paying clients, let alone summarily judging whether it is misinformation or not. Mail providers should care about two things and two things only:

  1. The list is clean (opt-in and confirmed)
  2.  The mailings aren’t infected with any kind of malware.

That’s it. Beyond that it really isn’t their business and it’s the height of grandiosity and hubris to think that it is.

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