The 29th-31st of October 2020, will be remembered as The Zuccening by the liberty community on social media. For those unaware, Instagram has permanently deleted and banned dozens of profiles with ties to the liberty movement.
This mass banning ranges from pages like Libertarian Renegade with over 30,000 followers, to pages as small as 5 followers.
When I went to bed on October 30th, I had 6,153 followers. I woke up to find it had dropped to 5,961 followers. And these aren’t people who “unfollowed” — these are accounts that are now deleted.
Instagram claims the removed pages violate “community standards”. On deeper investigation, it seems the common link between the affected accounts is this: they either stated that they believed you should not vote, or that you should vote for a third-party candidate. Instagram interprets these sentiments and posts as efforts to “discourage voting”. But after sitting down and reading through the community guidelines, I am hard-pressed to find what rule was actually violated.
Do these accounts violate the “foster meaningful and genuine interactions” clause simply because some West Coast tech worker doesn’t find the opinions of the liberty community meaningful?
I’ve had many discussions with the operators of these now-deleted pages. I’ve always found their opinions to be genuine, and their reasons for recommending abstinence from voting to be meaningful. So is what’s happening here a case of a difference of opinions?
Social media companies like to pretend they’re are the ‘good guys’. They posture themselves to be fostering the exchange of ideas and information as an “unbiased” middle-man, but we all know that is a lie.
To them, it’s a policy of, “Our truth is the only truth. If you disagree, we will disappear you.”
Now, that’s their prerogative as private companies. However, we could argue that they are intentionally misleading their consumers by pretending to be a neutral platform.
Maybe I’m just angry at seeing The Zuccening hit friends of mine who have put hard work into their pages and into attempting to get people to think for themselves. But there is one thing that will be true forever, even if Instagram deletes it.
They wouldn’t have to censor us if we were wrong.
Eventually, everyone in the liberty movement will be removed. And when that day comes, they’ll have to find a new boogeyman.
They can try to silence me and my friends, but we’re resilient. And we don’t let our emotions dictate our actions. But the average American does; we’ve seen all year long how emotional people react. So to the CEO’s, I ask this: What makes you think that the mob will be any different to you?
A day will come when people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey censor the wrong group of people. If history is any indication, what comes after that will not be pleasant. And the people will be right to do it.