FIGHT BACK: We Built a Monster and Now it’s Eating Us Alive!
by Free Patriot – 9-18-2020
The obvious response to social media censoring would be, ‘Why not just create a conservative counterpart to ‘Google’ et al?
Well, folks are trying. Amazon managed to put the hit on eBay so anything’s possible.
However I have to reflect on my experiences when living in California, me becoming politically active during the sweep of the Republican tide of 1994.
We were circulating some petitions for the recall of some local politicians. Perhaps our #1 place to collect signatures was outside the doors of Costco. Did Costco approve? They had no choice. The California Supreme Court had ruled that shopping centers had become today’s version of the ‘public square’.
Though I’ve been a business owner for decades and want the government to STAY OUT of my businesses, in many ways I have to agree with this ruling. We needed to go where the people were and public buildings didn’t come close to providing the type of foot traffic as did the big box stores.
Has social media, Google, and the like, become the new town square? I’ll let you decide. But let me share my personal experience with the online business community.
We started on eBay back in 1999 when a lot of people didn’t even have an email account, let alone do any online shopping. It was great back then. This was even before PayPal came into being. PayPal’s motto back then, BTW, was ‘Always Free’. PayPal has since collected tens of thousands of our dollars in fees over the years.
We as sellers built both eBay and PayPal on our own backs. Back then we were simply running an ad on an online marketplace, just like we’d run ads in local papers. We paid a fee to run the ad and that was it. Customers saw our ads, shot us emails, and we made agreements to close deals. eBay raised fees and expanded overseas, on our dime.
They began closing in.
After their own online payment service, which WASN’T free, called Billpoint, failed, eBay bought PayPal and immediately upped the ante. Soon they wouldn’t allow sellers to accept cash, checks, or anything else but PayPal, because of course the fees PayPal was collecting under eBay’s ownership was paying the bills. Fees continued to rise. Shipping restrictions and deadlines were put in place. We were no longer allowed to make direct contact outside of eBays bot-monitored message system. This was all sold as a way of keeping members ‘safe’.
Before long it was clear that it was no longer our business, it was eBay’s. They called all the shots. They are now introducing a measure that will no longer allow sellers to see their money at ALL, it will all go to eBay and THEY will decide when and how to give it to us, subtracting their fees before sellers even see a dime.
As these actions slowly crept into the business model, many sellers like us had tens of thousands of dollars in inventory that we had no where else to unload other than someplace locally such as Craigslist. We had built eBay into an enormous marketplace but had also become dependent upon them for our livelihoods. It was a no-win. Amazon was our only choice and for our model that simply wasn’t an option.
The same has happened with Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and all the others. I don’t use ANY of those outlets, but we are the ones who allowed them to become what they have today. Years ago it became obvious to me that my Facebook page was no longer mine, it was Facebook’s to do as they pleased with. They controlled content, I no longer saw posts of many of my friends and business associates that I’d followed for years, nor did they see mine. It was disgusting. I didn’t think I’d ‘survive’ shutting it down but I felt I had no choice.
I survived. Peace at last. It was SUCH a negative influence in daily life. Sort of like moving into the country after living in an urban area for too many years.
I think the simplest solution here would be to declare social media sites as being the modern ‘public square’ as it pertains to speech. Stop giving them a pass while empowering them in the way we have along the way. Did no one see this coming?
I have for years wanted to start up a YouTube podcast of my own, or similar, but I already know I’d be shadow-banned or simply banned altogether based on what we’re seeing today. Where’s the alternative? A film project I posted years ago no longer exists on YouTube, and without warning. That video alone took 18 hours just to upload onto YouTube. And that was MILD in content.
I watched a podcast with Joe Rogan last night, from 2019. He was interviewing Alex Jones. Fascinating discussion. Jones went from 20+ million followers across a spectrum of platforms to nearly nothing now, limited only to those who visit the sites he owns, InfoWars and NewsWars. Even his payment providers shut him down, PayPal included, claiming hate speech and terrorism.
Look what’s happened with Facebook shutting down so many OK sites. Twitter also banned Oath Keepers. Where’s the competition?
Our election, and our nation’s future, literally lays in the hands of these outlets. Too much power in the hands of the few. We’ve been crabs boiling in a pot and the temperature has reached terminal condition.
It’s time to act, to save the Republic. People talk about politicians, and yes, they’re a problem. But what about these major corporations? How will their feet be held to the fire?
Evil and corruption assume a variety of identities. We need to start calling it what it is, EVIL, and deal with it accordingly.