I’ve been trying out a new browser called Brave, recommended because it allows for a level of privacy no longer available through many of the big names. I like it so far.
I had been using Mozilla Firefox for years, but I downloaded Brave five minutes after I learned that Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker didn’t think it was enough for Twitter to take away Donald Trump’s platform.
Regular readers know I liked Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate in this year’s election frolics, so you understand this decision had nothing to do with supporting either of the bitter old men nominated by the major parties.
Trump needed to be silenced as merely the tip of the iceburg of “the rampant use of the internet to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy,” Baker wrote. “We need solutions that don’t start after untold damage has been done,” something “more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.”
Among Baker’s solutions are to “Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation,” and to illustrate what tools she means, she linked to a story where Facebook conceded that after the election it changed its algorithms so that news outlets that accepted government decrees at face value were given more visibility than outlets that gave voice to dissenters:
“The change resulted in an increase in Facebook traffic for mainstream news publishers including CNN, NPR and The New York Times, while partisan sites like Breitbart and Occupy Democrats saw their numbers fall. After the election, some Facebook employees asked at a company meeting whether the ‘nicer news feed’ could stay, according to several people who attended.
“But they were told that the ‘break glass’ measures, including the N.E.Q. (”news ecosystem quality”) change, were never supposed to be permanent.
“‘This was a temporary change we made to help limit the spread of inaccurate claims about the election,’ said Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesman. ‘We’re still ensuring that people see authoritative and informative news on Facebook, especially during major news cycles and around important global topics like elections, Covid-19 and climate change.’
Baker’s statement made it clear she is among those who want a “nicer news feed” that choked out alternative news sites, especially those that don’t toe the Party line so much.
The last thing I advocate is violence. A violent revolution typically replaces one group of violent thugs with another.
The second-to-last thing I advocate is censorship. I’m not afraid to give voice to idiots with addled brains, because I believe in a marketplace of ideas the idiots will be seen for what they are, no matter how loudly they shout.
And so hello, Brave. Hello, MeWe. Hello, DuckDuckGo. Goodbye, Facebook “Warren Bluhm, writer” page and Mozilla and Google.