Blogger Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report writes a pertinent piece about the advantages of blogging, and the weaknesses of confining one’s online presence to the big social media.
The current situation in which social media like Twitter and Facebook act in concert to block an important breaking news story illustrates the heavy-handed censorship being exercised by the social media. For some time there has been a slow-motion purge of right-wing people from Twitter — even the President has been ‘censored’ by Twitter — and Facebook, as well as from YouTube.
But when the social media can succeed in interfering with the publication of certain important news stories, especially on the eve of an election, then they’ve gotten too big for their britches, as the old saying goes.
So Matthew Archbold on his blog says that blogging may be preferable to using the overbearing ‘social media’. As someone who first started blogging in 2006, I believe the atmosphere on the blogs was much more conducive to discussion, especially in-depth discussion, than are the social media. And I think that the popularity of the new means of communication, vs. blogging, gave the social media an advantage for a good while; the generations who grew up on texting, rather than writing in complete sentences and paragraphs, would not have favored blogs. I confess I’ve never used any social media so I am something of an oddity, but there were things about blogging that made it satisfying at times: there was a sense of ‘community’ amongst bloggers of a similar mindset and philosophy. There was a collegiality. It was good to communicate with people who felt and thought the same. And in those days most blogs had more regular readers and commenters which could make for some good discussions.
Now much of the traffic that went to blogs or forums goes instead to the social media. It’s somewhat understandable that everyone wants to go where the crowds are, but what happens when those social media giants are purging everyone who is not politically correct enough? Will the readers being chased away be locked out for good eventually, or just keep on signing up again under another name? You can only do that so many times, I would think.
I hope to continue blogging myself, but the fact is, even the big blogging platforms do purge right-wing or Christian bloggers; I’ve seen it happen, and it’s happened to some people who are far from fanatical or undesirable.
The bigger question that must be asked is: what is the future of free speech in a country so dominated by the ‘[anti]-social media’?
If blogging can make a comeback and if people can be steered away from the social media that would be a good thing; bring back more open discussion amongst small groups of people, minus the stifling control of the social media giants.