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What happens when platforms determine bias?

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Content Creation and The Divide.


Lately, the prevalent formula for success has been; you produce content which people find most agreeable and ride the train of like-ability.

Whereas, what it used to be; you expressed about what you believed in, and were given a fair trial.

In the modern shift, that has undoubtedly emerged after political whirlwind in the United States; the tremors can be felt far and wide on every platform.

From YouTube’s more strict censorship policies and downright removal of anything Right-leaning, to Content Moderation and Algorithms being used to specifically build profiles that determine the content we have access to.

In this spoon-feeding era of news, as technology evolves and conversations are had about AI playing a bigger role as it develops into our everyday lives; my worry is that there is too much news, but a lack of value alongside moderated intellectualism.

Everyone’s got an opinion, and that’s great; congratulations.

But what happens when the very platforms that are designed to assist in the sharing and creation of ideas; emerging as a result, the conversations that are necessary — starts to determine what is and isn’t agreeable or worth noticing?

Think about the homepage of any media website, and how tailored it all seems; sure it’s great, and yeah I like seeing a good ol’ cringe compilation — but what does President Donald Trump have to do with me watching a movie trailer?

Have the recommendations truly deceived us to the point that we have to go down the rabbit hole of discovery to undercover what we should (by all means) have access to?

We’re lazy, and frankly that’s part of the problem; we don’t want to look past the surface, we want what is presented to us.

We want a narrative, picture perfect, served fresh and ready to go — ready to be regurgitated.

Let me put myself on the line here, I grew up in a Religious family; I’m religious to this day, I identify as Muslim — but my family, being as open as they are to other cultures; encouraged me to read about other religions and ideologies.

I was reading Christopher Hitchens before being an “atheist” was cool, and I knew how to sit with my shoulders back before Jordan Peterson made it a “life hack”.

Despite how agreeable or disagreeable we may find someone, despite how pleasing or unpleasing their opinion might be; I damn sure will pay every ounce of respect to listen to the counter-argument, because how else does one education oneself — isn’t that the basis for being informed?

We can’t all be right all of the time, and even a broken clock is right twice a day; ain’t it?

It’s a difficult time, sure; and there’s animosity — everyone is pissed off about something or the other.

But did we come this far only to find that the platforms we trusted to help us voice our opinions are also working towards burying our voice when our opinions become disagreeable?

Is the thought of expression so very repulsive that the voices shall have to be censored and labeled as “hate-speech”?

I live in a country where I can be beheaded by law for leading the wrong “narrative”, and yet it has never kept me from voicing my utmost honest opinions.

But living in this day and age now, of controlled expression, of media savvy tech giants controlling access to information; I can’t help but wonder, what’s worse — being decapitated for expressing my opinion, or having never have had the opportunity to voice my opinion at all?

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it“— Evelyn Beatrice Hall


Tribute to William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal.

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