Surprise! Truth Social Moderates Content.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

The appearance of a pink bubble burst his hopes for an intelligent conversation... (Image by Karsten Winegeart, via Unsplash, license.)
Some on the left are all atwitter (Sorry.) about reports that Truth Social, Donald Trump's Twitter knock-off, might be removing certain content or shadow-banning users whose views don't align with those of the ex-President.

Credit them for not whining Censorship! I give them only one cheer, though because that might only be since they haven't thought of it yet: I am not sure the left knows or cares about what actual censorship or property rights are any more than Trump does.

I'll clarify by noting that my reaction to this news is the same as it was when I learned that Twitter, Facebook, et al. do the same thing, usually with a leftward bias: None of these entities are governments, so what they are doing is not censorship any more than you showing the door to someone who won't shut up about a topic you don't want discussed in your own living room is.

I may not like the fact that they do this and it may be bad for their business -- or at least for real give-and-take -- but it's their platform, and their rules.

Although I am mildly disappointed (but not surprised) to hear that Truth Social has a Trump-leaning content policy, I do welcome the news. First, potential users will know what to expect when considering Truth Social.

Second, and as this post should indicate, Trump's past whining and the present actions of his surrogates offer us the opportunity to clarify the vital issues of what censorship is and is not, and to remind Americans about property rights.

The proper response to a social media platform having biased moderation policies isn't to effectively bring back the Fairness Doctrine, as Trump himself and an alarming number of conservatives have suggested. It's to start, support, or use a competitor -- or to try to persuade the platform to change its policy.

So one cheer to Truth Social for imperfectly exemplifying this response, and for making it more easy to ask conservatives if they really think it would be a good idea for the government to step in and tell Truth Social (or Twitter, or anyone else) how to moderate its content.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Dear Gus, maybe you could spend some time cogitating (out loud) on the role "social media" - the usual suspects - plays in the modern world of communication? Where I'm going with this is the continual complaint I hear that "social media" is essential to, well, social interaction. This would include the grandmas that just want to keep in touch (what a metaphor!) with the kids.

So, it's not the censorship, it's the centrality. And yes, I agree that Zuckerberg or Trump can do whatever they want with their own bits of digital turf. But I smell a ripe odor of altruism when people say they "need" their digital fixes (so gummint should...)
PS: I guess nobody believes that if you're not the customer, you're the product.

Gus Van Horn said...


You forgot to mention that the people who scream the loudest about what they think social media should be (forced to do by government) are probably also the ones who would object the most to having to pay to use it (or something superior).

Your objection to "the centrality" bothers me.

Yes, these are large corporations and they have earned or created near-monopolies. But they're not holding a gun to anyone's head as the would the government -- which many, oblivious to the irony, hope will "fix" this (non)problem.