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The current month of January 2021 will come to an end. The Biden administration will complete its first week, and one can predict what could be accomplished, as well as testify to its first measures (reestablishment of the US alliance with the WHO, funding of abortions abroad, stopping to the so-called “Trump Wall” among other things).
The transfer of users to alternative Web 2.0 providers is still going on after Twitter’s censorship scandal. No, Parler is not yet ready, although it did manage to get an infrastructure where it can host its services (apparently the same one that Gab uses). But Telegram is already close to 500 million phones and Gab no longer has hundreds of thousands of users.
However, it does not seem that these Big Tech companies, whose “state pampering” is now more than evident, are going to rectify or backtrack. Rather, by one mean or another, we have discovered more drastic attempts at censorship, which at the time would have gone unnoticed.
Trump’s Twitter veto was not an isolated case, but a preview of coming attractions
We could talk about several social media but, in this article, we are going to focus on Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, who already admitted, back in the day, his strong leftist leanings.
A few weeks ago a Project Veritas clip came to light, considered a “journalistic coup”, to categorize it somehow, since it was a leak of some statements by Dorsey that made clear what was already in the works back then.
Specifically, they recognized “being focused” on the account of the then-President of the United States, Donald Trump. But, once Biden’s inauguration was over, they would continue for several weeks with these account suspensions. And yes, they made it clear that they would affect numerous accounts.
In fact, in recent days, we have seen how they have come to “add fuel to the fire” (pardon the expression), suspending the marketing and promotion account of Gab (very politically incorrect, since it did not hesitate, among other things, to show Christian praise) and MyPillow CEO’s account for questioning electoral integrity.
AI applied to censorship
It should be kept in mind that one of the technological advances that has set trends in recent times and will in the future is Artificial Intelligence, which can be both beneficial (insofar as it increases economic productivity and improves the quality of life) and harmful (invasion of privacy and going beyond human nature).
Within it there is a sub-discipline based on decision making and execution of processes based on previously accumulated data patterns. These inferences, which help automate many processes and replace previous human observation tasks, are what we know as Machine Learning.
And yes, Big Data will be essential because the volumes of data generated in the network will increase (obviously, Big Tech will have more information). But here, the question is that opinion control on Twitter will not get away from these sophisticated techniques.
Proof of this is that, in a TED talk in 2019, the CEO of Twitter valued the use of Machine Learning to “improve the Twitter experience,” but, in response to a question about “electoral disinformation,” they talked about ensuring “conversational health” and variables such as “temperature” and “facial blushing.”
Delegating censorship responsibility?
It does not seem that the project of imposition of a so-called “official truth” (favorable to the revolutionary ideologies as a whole, friendly to the left, in other words) will be reversed.
However, it is true that the Birdwatch program has been launched, which will allow to delegate on several users the verification and footnote review of each of the tweets that are published (but no, nobody should expect an implementation of blockchain, because, in truth, this would not make sense).
The pretext established for this has been a “consensus” (the term sounds good, really). But what has happened is that it has been chosen to create select working groups (yes, not random) that will allow to dictate what is legitimate or not, also violating freedom of expression.
It is not my intention to be a conspiracy theorist, but to warn about a series of facts. In this case, it turns out that the technological evolutionary potential will be used to reinforce the censorship of anti-Progressive speech in services of large technological corporations such as Twitter.
We will be able to talk about more sophisticated repressive mechanisms that, in turn, could invade our privacy. In fact, let us be aware that countries like China are pioneers in the use of Artificial Intelligence to monitor citizens (and yes, the current pandemic has allowed more trials in several “Welfare States”).
And finally, under no circumstances should we forget that what is being tested can be assimilated into concepts such as the press committees of the Soviet Union or the ministries of “truth” or propaganda liked by statisms of various intensity (Venezuela, III Reich, European Union, among others).
Ángel Manuel García Carmona is a Software Engineer – Web Developer.