One thing I have noticed with alarm lately is that on several different groups I monitor, including one tech magazine that there appears to be an unofficial police force forming on the Net which seeks to stop any mention of the Right, or Donald Trump.
They will often populate groups saying that negative stories are “fake news” without much in the way of proof. While it is true that both pro-and anti-Trump types are spouting Fake news, none of them seem particularly upset when it is fake news about Clinton or Obama.
These people are taking it upon themselves to demand that journalists who mention the Trump administration in an unfavourable light to be fired, pushed from groups, or otherwise supressed. In my case they make the additional claim that I am a socialist, because er… I must be.
Investigating some of these people’s earlier social networking posts you notice that they are curiously quiet. One Disqus poster on technology sites ONLY posts defending Trump and was incredibly annoyed when I blocked him from posting on Fudzilla. Another who demanded I was backlisted from a Rosicrucian site had not posted on any esoteric subjects and his only (photo-less) contribution was an appeal to the moderators. When you block them they do write to your editor (or moderators) and demand you are fired. They threaten to take their advertising away, install ad-blockers, write to advertisers and moan about suppression of Free Speech.
All the people I have encountered have been incredibly arrogant and patronising personality types who do not really understand how they cannot be calling for Freedom of Speech while at the same time baying for journalists to be sacked or people who hold differing views to them to be silenced. They also tend to think the word “Libtard” is very funny and use it rather a lot, failing to understand that it instantly shows them up as stupid.
If there is an agenda behind all this it is to stop people talking about Trump or placing his presidency in any context. For example, the technology industry went cap in hand to Trump and promised that they were going to set up jobs in the US. That story past without comment. However, it became unacceptable to the news groups and comment pages when we started reporting that everyone one of those projects was either signed off before Trump came to power, or were moth-balled a few months later*.
The comments included standard comments like “this is a tech site, it should not be talking about politics” forgetting that the technology industry has driven politics since the 1970s. You cannot avoid writing industry stories which do not include politics because industry plays kingmaker in every election.
While it is early days yet, and, like Trump himself, these types have yet to wake up to the reality of what their President can and can’t do, the danger is that we are seeing on social network sites and news comment lists a form of amateur social enforcement police. It is not coming from the left (if it were I would comment on that too) but is ubiquitously in response to stories that remotely hint of a view, or something negative for the right.
While there will always be people who I disagree with politically on the right and the left and normally I am ok with giving them a space. From discussion people learn things and share ideas. However this is not about this, this is a shutting own of discussion and that is what I find alarming.
Now Queue the comments from people saying they come to my blog to learn about occultism and unless I stop talking about Trump they will go somewhere else
*The pro-trump bitching posts on this news story were deleted by the moderator