A day ago, I tweeted this:
(Click on the tweet to see the whole thread)
Don't misunderstand government censorship with online censorship from private companies like Google, Facebook et. al, the risks are....— Bᴇɴ Mᴇᴢɢᴇʀ ~sᴇᴅs~ (@vseds) April 12, 2017
So I would like to explain this a bit further. There are two most common types of censorship we see in our everyday life – government censorship and corporate censorship, both are a bit different with each other and bring different risks to society.
When a government censors a content or and act (publicly on the Web or outside the Web), it usually brings consequences to those who commit the “act” or publish that content. For example, if the US government now would propose that sharing cat pictures to be illegal, corporate social medias and any other online corporation would have to follow that specific law, and if you, for some reason share a cat picture, corporate social medias have to take that picture down, and the government might take an action about it. The action they take is the consequence you get when you commit something named to be illegal. Consequences might be torture, imprisonment, a fine or even (nowadays) deportation if you are an immigrant. The same goes for when they decided you are not allowed to protest or say something.
Corporate censorship is a bit different. First of all, they are allowed to do whatever they want (considering it’s legal by law) with your online account as long as you accept their policies (which you do most of the times, because you don’t read the privacy/use terms). Second, if they censor your content, it usually means bring that content down or deactivating your account for a limited/unlimited period of time, meanwhile, you have the “freedom” to move to a different platform that accepts your content.
Governments and corporations are linked to each other, but only on specific reasons. Corporations might contact the government whey they feel threatened by your content, and governments might do the same with corporations. But this is not always the case.
I am not making a point saying “look, don’t worry, one is worst that another”, which it isn’t, both are extremely violent – mentally and physically. We simply not say “look, let’s not care that President X has censored Y, because corporate A has done the same on country B.” This cannot be an argument. Both are extremely dangerous and bring different types of consequences to all of us.
Governments nowadays are extremely dictatorial, including those who say they aren’t (US, Brazil, France, Germany and so on) and governments don’t let you decide. You are excluded from their ideas and proposals, but on corporate organizations, depending on what the censorship was (whether it was linked with a government or simply their terms) you at least have a small percentage of freedom to choose a different service. At least for now.
Just remember, there are always exceptions.
As always, hell to the corporates and governments.
Though corporate Internet can kill freedom of speech much more easily than governments, cryptography helps us bypass that – but that, unfortunately requires technical skills, and not everyone has’em.