I was struck by recent comments from Brian Stelter on CNN. In a conversation with Pamela Brown, they criticized the new Twitter-alternative, Parler.
Stelter said: “People are going more and more into their own echo chambers. More and more into their own bubbles, especially Trump voters. There’s this new social media app called Parler getting a lot of attention. Because Conservatives are leaving – saying their leaving Twitter and Facebook, and going off to Parler because they believe Parler is a safer space for them. What we’re seeing is even more of a bunker mentality from right wing media, and ultimately that is not good for the country.
Brown goes on to call that a “threat to democracy.”
I think that’s all very rich. You have a progressive news network criticizing Conservatives for going into echo chambers. They need to look in a mirror. I love that they want to say this is “not good for the country,” when people are making an exodus for apps like Parler because of progressive liberalism, its influence on tech, and its crackdowns on free speech. So then what is good for the country? A nation where the only discourse which is acceptable is what progressives deem worthy? That’s great for a free society and for democracy.
I’ve heard progressives justify the censorship of big tech as that simply being the free market at work. Well so are apps like Parler and Rumble. That’s the market correcting itself.
Our society has become an echo chamber for progressive thought. They control the mainstream media. They overwhelmingly control higher education and public schools. Liberals control Hollywood (how many outspoken Conservative actors can you name). The sports industry has gone woke. And so has tech. Social media platforms who were created as platforms which once promoted free speech now have political agendas.
Don’t get me wrong. Echo chambers are a bad thing. That’s why I regularly get my news from a diverse array of news sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, the Federalist, and Daily Wire. And while they’re not a good thing, all people, regardless of political belief can be susceptible of falling into echo chambers. That’s why I value having friends who have a diverse array of opinions.
People love to attack the “right wing conspiracies,” but why does no one question the conspiracy theories of the left? We went four years hearing how Trump colluded with the Russians and how Trump stole the 2016 election. People mock the right for questioning this election, but the left was questioning the integrity of the process before the election happened. My point? Both sides can be capable of echo chambers and conspiracies.
But creating an account on Parler does not mean you’re doomed to fall down that rabbit hole.
Stelter and Brown can call apps who do promote free speech to be threats to democracy but what they really are is threats to the power of progressivism in controlling what people see and think.
No, people are not going to Parler just to spread conspiracies. But not all stories which are censored on Twitter and Facebook are objectively false, and people don’t want platforms to dictate what they can post. Secondly, as these sites increased their crackdown of opposing views this election cycle, I think many people have signed up for alternative platforms as a hedge against being kicked off of Facebook and Twitter (I’m not saying I think it will come to that).
You can follow me on Parler @Joshbenner or on Twitter @JoshBennerBlog
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