The wish to shut down any opinion that does not agree with far-left rhetoric, and the demands for people to follow a regime of thinking that does not and cannot sit well with normal folk by those on the far left took a very worrying, nay downright frightening, turn last week.
Social media has infiltrated every minute of our lives, it has made itself invaluable to us, via a mobile phone or tablet carried everywhere from bed to table to toilet we rely on social media for everything, ordering food, clothes and talking to loved ones and friends. People have also found this portal valuable for furthering or even starting very successful and lucrative careers. It is a part of our lives now as intrinsic as air and food. Three things have happened this week though that have made me believe in the great scheme of things that this media can be manipulated as a force for real harm and if allowed to propagate will inevitably be as dangerous as the Third Reich.
It started when Tommy Robinson, a person who has gathered a large following on media, 1 million views on his Facebook page, was deleted and taken away. He had already had his Paypal, Twitter and Instagram accounts withdrawn. Facebook, possibly the biggest portal on social media to the world took the decision that his posts contravened their rules on standards by using repeatedly the language that dehumanizes and called for harming Muslims. That may be the case and if their rules are broken then action had to be taken. I would point out that on Facebook one does not have to look too far to find videos and language which are very disturbing. But nonetheless rules are rules and he had received a month previously a written warning explaining he would be removed if he continued.
What is disturbing though is the claim by Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation who said he had had meetings with Facebook executives in London about Robinson. He claimed that he was responsible for the ban. There are photographs now doing the rounds on social media of this man with Nick Clegg, who now works for Facebook in Sillicon Valley in the USA. His job is head of global affairs. So, if this man had a singular direct influence on the silencing of Robinson that is a worrying intervention.
Taken in isolation you may be led to think that as a one off it does not have a deal of gravitas, anyone can make a complaint about anything posted on Facebook and a resolution will come your way, after their due process. In this case though, a man representing an organisation with a great deal of political leanings has had a meeting granted face to face, has links to the head of global affairs and claims he is responsible for the banning from that website of an individual he does not agree with.
This has now been followed up by another worrying part of the jigsaw puzzle. Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour party has written, on House of Commons paper, to add weight to his point of view that Robinson should be removed from his last media portal, YouTube. Wow, so many questions, should the deputy leader of Her Majesty`s Opposition be using his position to attempt to curtail and indeed stop the freedom of expression and speech of an individual. You may or may not agree with Tommy Robinson’s views or rhetoric. I am not getting into that. His inalienable right to say what he wants is and should remain sacrosanct.
Who made Watson judge and jury? He can complain as you or I could toYou Tube about the content of Robinson’s videos, but compared to videos of people being beheaded, raped and tortured, sexual aggression on there and videos calling for young kids to kill themselves, it is a stretch for Watson to do this. His call for this ban is politically driven and is a populist virtue signaling exercise. If successful, this call for a ban in this way should spotlight the power that political figures can wield in silencing those that do not agree with them.
On Twitter this week Suzanne Evans, a former deputy leader of Ukip tweeted in a conversation with Paris Lees, a transgender activist that she, Lees, had not been “very ladylike” when they had met on a TV show. This conversation was between those two women. Lumping on though was one Owen Jones, a far-left political activist. He was vociferous and very aggressive in his indignation at the comment made by Suzanne. Other followers of Jones also lumped on and Lees herself went quiet and did not respond further. Several hours later Suzanne Evans was suspended from Twitter at the behest of Jones. This is not right, how can it be that he calls for a suspension directly and without it seems an investigation or any due process she is suspended.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, is a vociferous tweeter, he clearly hates Great Britain and often blames the problems of the world on Britain`s historical colonialism. He often misleads on facts and figures but does so unchecked. He caused an uproar this week about Stacey Dooley, an award- winning documentary maker going to Africa to film for comic relief. His premise was that white people should not go to Africa to highlight poverty and the fabulous work carried out by the charity. In an overt signaling of racism, nothing has been said or done, no suspensions or censure has come of this. Lammy is in many of his speeches racist, he is anti-white and is allowed his platform with total freedom.
No, this week has thrown a series of events that we should and must be worried about. Free speech must be allowed to continue unabashed and without regulation, no matter how distasteful to certain peoples. The ability to control social media content and those who would partake by virtue of being famous or a politician is a very worrying thing and can lead only to who shouts loudest the longest winning and controlling what we can say or think.