the desperate battle against social media
Posted on Jan 19, 2018 by Ifi Reporter
The established media in Israel continues to wage a desperate battle against social media. A week ago, a veteran financial newspaper called for mass, to curb and dismantle Facebook and Google, and this week the same newspaper called for an end to "anarchy" on Facebook and to replace it with a set of rules and punishment.
The established media is not the only group that is appalled by the media democratization that was born in the last decade. In fact, at least two years since Trump's election, there have been persistent rumors that managers and employees in social media companies are working to silence right-wing and libertarian views. The Twitter investigation corroborated some of the suspicions.
It should be emphasized that Twitter, Facebook and Google are private companies. They are not financed by public funds and therefore their right to discriminate as they see fit - on the assumption that they do not violate the conditions of joining the users. But this is not a legal question but a question of fairness. Users spend time and money building their page and status on these platforms, understanding that they will get the same treatment as users who hold opposing views. But when they are silenced, and not because of the use of a particularly violent language, etc., but only because they do not hold the "right" views, then it is simply despicable.
A fascinating question is whether, following the investigation of Twitter, and perhaps other investigations that will follow, the silencing of right-wing views will continue, or the social media players will correct what needs to be corrected and treat all users fairly. And here's the big difference between companies operating in a free market and protected media companies competing with regulation.
Israel is an excellent example of a market in which it is almost impossible to create a right-wing channel that will compete with existing channels. The media elite uses regulation to suppress competitors and maintain the existing monopoly. For this reason, the traditional means of broadcasting in Israel have no real motivation to conduct a fair public debate and to give meaningful exposure to right-wing and liberal views. Fear of competition does not exist.
The free market in which social media operates is characterized by different trends. Twitter and Facebook know that there is a line they should not cross, and that if they inflame the right too blatantly, it will encourage the creation of competing platforms. Therefore, investigations such as the one published on Twitter are likely to encourage users' fairness.
But it's not safe. Perhaps the disgust of the workers and managers of the social media companies from rightist views will lead them to radicalize the struggle. In their eyes, a war like Trump might be worth the heavy economic damage they might suffer. It is also possible that dominant companies such as Facebook and Twitter are deluding themselves that their status is so well established that no new competitor can hurt them. As is well known, the cemeteries are full of societies that thought they were irreplaceable and therefore it is not a wise position, but it is impossible to completely negate it as motivation.
One way or the other, it is likely that the established media will continue its crash, and this is a great blessing for all lovers of freedom