Columnist Viktor Marakhovsky criticized the actions of Twitter and WhatsApp, whose management, apparently, does not respect its users.
The funniest news of the past week was, of course, the strong condemnation of the social network Twitter of the government of the distant African country of Uganda. The country of Uganda, in order to avoid the impact of political technologies on voters through messengers and social networks, simply banned them on its territory before the elections.
Twitter responded with a very angry tweet, saying “We strongly condemn the shutdown — it is extremely painful, harmful and violates basic human rights and the principles of an open Internet.” This was stated by the network, which just a couple of days ago shut up and threw out the US president with 88 million subscribers — two of the population of Uganda, by the way.
I must say that before the Ugandan leadership banned Twitter and Facebook, they in turn actively banned groups and people suspected of propaganda in favor of the current president. But, as it is easy to understand, Twitter itself does not see any contradictions in what is happening. Because he, Twitter — a private office, which has the right to ban anyone he wants and filter freedom of speech at its discretion. And the states of this planet do not have the right to ban private offices, because they are states.
Private censorship is not censorship, and state censorship is censorship. It’s simple. At this point, you can be horrified by how much power is seized by the brazen companies of the so-called “Big Tech”. But as long as people have alternatives, this power is not absolute.
So, a few days ago, the WhatsApp messenger pleased its users with the fact that from now on their personal data will be transferred to the Facebook advertising network, and they will have to agree to this. What happened in the end? There was a mass flight of users to other messengers, including tens of millions of people who fled to Telegram, whose founder Pavel Durov maliciously commented on what was happening with the phrase “you need to respect people”.
However, it seems that American tech giants will have to learn to respect people for a very long time. At least at first, they will simply try to strangle their competitors, as they did with the American conservative alternative to Twitter, the Parler network, destroyed by a coordinated strike by Google, Apple and Amazon in just three days. We can only be happy that we have Yandex, Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. And they will not be banned – the hands are short.
Viktor Marakhovsky is a journalist, editor-in-chief of a socio-political online publication