EverydayCommentary: The Great Shadow Ban of 2023

Sorry for the delay, but something happened on November 16-18 that deserves special mention. Around that time, Instagram issued widespread restrictions on accounts that had knife content. Makers, retailers, hobbyists, and reviewers were all hit by these restrictions. I was lucky in that I avoided them. I’ll explain how, I think, later. Lots and lots of concerns were raised and I wanted to situate them in a better context. Hopefully, this will explain what’s happening, how to make the best of it, and why social media is terrible.

One thing I saw a lot were posts claiming that Instagram was violating people’s right to free speech. This is wrong. You do not have a right to free speech. You have the right to be free from government restrictions on your speech. That is all the Constitution has ever promised you. Since Instagram is not a government entity it can restrict your speech as much as it wants on its platforms. If you don’t like that, become a shareholder. Those are the only people Instagram’s parent company Meta gives a shit about. Don’t whine. Don’t throw around hyperbole. And don’t talk about your phony free speech rights. Buy stock.

Second, let’s make clear what Instagram is. Like all social media it is an avenue to sell ads and gather data. The feature whereby they host your posts is secondary. Ad views and your personal data are the products made by Instagram. The hosting of your posts is like the sweet smell and vibrant colors produced by flowers—they are there merely to attract bees that pollinate other flowers. If Instagram could get ad revenue without hosting, they would. This is market driven capitalism at its finest. For a group of liberty-minded folks, the knife community seems to have quickly forgotten this lesson.

Well written.  Sculimbrene is a lawyer and a fairly calm guy, less prone to flying off the handle than some. Worth a read.

Read the whole thing at EverydayCommentary.com