Friday, July 10, 2020
Home Editor's picks Big Tech is watching you: Dear TrueIndology, you never existed

Big Tech is watching you: Dear TrueIndology, you never existed

History has a way of repeating itself. Once the old privilege class had been humbled, an all-new privilege class rose up. Big Tech realized they were now the gatekeepers and could do whatever they wanted.

Also Read

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

In an ideal world, in an ideal democracy, every voice would be heard equally. Of course, that has never quite been true in practice. Do you think you have the best ideas and want to lead the nation? Good luck forming your own party, getting enough people to hear your message, winning 272 seats in the Lok Sabha and becoming Prime Minister.

In practice, therefore, only a few voices are ever heard. Because even managing to get a handful of people to listen to you is a big deal. Anybody who has ever started a business will tell you how hard it gets the public to even know about your product.

Generally speaking, the media is your gateway to reaching people. As a thumb rule, the gatekeepers will only let you in if you are well known enough to get people to listen. Yes, it’s a vicious circle. Which is why so few make it through.

But there is a second factor. It did not take long for the gatekeepers in the media to figure out that they had tremendous power and could choose to let through only those voices that they liked. In this way, the media could indirectly control the whole nation.

Which is why the social media revolution was such a huge deal. Suddenly, every citizen had a mouthpiece and the old gatekeepers were irrelevant. Worse, the gatekeepers realized they were being watched by the keen eyes of social media. The entry barrier into the marketplace of ideas had been lowered. On this more level playing field, the old privilege was proving useless.

Of course, the tech companies who invented this new space were thrilled. A new frontier had been created. People could make themselves heard like never before.

It was too good to last.

History has a way of repeating itself. Once the old privilege class had been humbled, an all-new privilege class rose up. Big Tech realized they were now the gatekeepers and could do whatever they wanted.

Once the internet decisively won the war with newspapers and old style TV news, a curious thing happened. The old privilege class decided to end its adversarial relationship with social media and big tech and started lobbying with them instead. Like princely states who recognized the paramountcy of the British Raj.

The following picture is completely unrelated to everything else in this article. I am just randomly putting it here.

Untitled.png

Most people who are active on social media will know about the recent plight of TrueIndology, an anonymous Twitter handle dedicated to exposing left-wing distortions of Indian history.

Given its huge following, True Indology had become too much of a threat to gatekeepers in the social sciences. And the old privilege class, now embedded as henchmen of the new privileged class, wanted her/him out. And of course, they got their way.

The excuse was essentially the same as that which gatekeepers have used to justify their power throughout the ages. In the middle ages, the Church would protect the ‘immortal souls’ of people from being captured by the Devil. In the 1800s and 1900s, there was the “white man’s burden” to raise the “lesser races” to civilization. The British claimed to hold India “in trust”, supposedly protecting us from tearing each other apart owing to our many differences. Now Big Tech is here to protect us from “abuse”. They don’t want anything for themselves, they are just happy to make sure that supposed “weaker sections” are not crushed by those with more social privilege. You know, exactly like the British.

Those who followed True Indology and even those who despised him will be hard pressed to give a single example of the handle putting out “abuse”. Even so, there was bound to be something in Twitter terms of service (which nobody reads) that could be used to turf her/him out.

What is interesting, however, is what’s okay on Twitter.

Untitled.png

Indians described as piglets, swine, cockroaches and rodents?

Some folks who reported this tweet claim to have received replies from Twitter stating that referring to Indians as piglets, swine, cockroaches and rodents is not against Twitter rules.

Excellent.

There is a common counterpoint made in such situations that can be easily dealt with. As a private corporation, Twitter is entitled to set its terms of service and indeed its whims. Such a view misses the point that Big Tech functions as a bank for personal data and profits from it, not very different from a bank where you deposit your savings. Would people react similarly if banks functioned in a completely unregulated manner? It is just that the general public is yet to realize that personal data is worth big money. Social media isn’t “free”.

Censorship has existed in every age. The powerful have always tried to impose their worldview on the powerless. But with the rise of Big Tech, something completely new is unfolding in the field of censorship.

In the old days, the oppressor would create a spectacle of punishing their victim. While the victim suffered terribly, ironically, the oppressor would also pay a price, perhaps without realizing it. The spectacle of censorship would create sympathy, keep influencing public opinion until it reached a tipping point. This is why the censors of old never quite managed to kill ideas. Censorship never paid off in the long run. For anybody.

Enter Big Tech. An idea can spread around the world in less than a second. It follows that an idea can also be suppressed almost as soon as it is created. And without anyone even realizing it. As technology takes over all the channels of communication, for the first time in history, somebody has the power to kill ideas. Humanity has not dealt with any such thing before.

Think about how perverse a shadowban is. You create an idea and you think it’s out there. Except it’s not. It’s disappeared. Chilling. In times of oppression, dissenters would invent creative ways to get their message out. But what if the messages simply disappeared into nowhere? An algorithm wipes it out the moment it pops into your head. No visible evidence is left that the idea even existed.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell calls it “reality control”. And those who cease to exist are called “unpersons”.

George Orwell wrote that who controls the past also controls the future. True Indology tried to dig up the past so that people who could stand up against those who control the future. Sorry, True Indology, but you have become an “unperson”. You never existed.

Because Big Tech is watching you.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Trending now

Delhi Riots Chargesheets: Before murdering Ratan Lal, the Islamist mob had held 2 other police constables hostage

The chargesheet filed by Special Investigation Team of Delhi Police in the murder of Ratan Lal and deadly attacks by rioters on IPS Amit Sharma and IPS Anuj Kumar mentions at least 17 accused.

The curious case of ‘Drone Boy’ who has made 600 drones using broken mixer grinders and televisions. A fact-check

While 'drone boy' Prathap NM has claimed to have made 600 drones using e-waste, not a single photo or video of them exist

Criminal Vikas Dubey had tortured his school headmaster to death, exhibited criminal behaviour since childhood: Report

Vikas Dubey had tortured his school headmaster Siddheshwar Pandey to death during his childhood

Used cartridges from the rooftop: What was collected from the scene where Ratan Lal was murdered and what it all means

During the anti-Hindu Delhi riots, the brutal murder of Ratan Lal was one of the first acts of violence that shook the nation from the 24th of February to the 26th of February

Unconfirmed reports of Newslaundry columnist Sharjeel Usmani being ‘picked up’ by UP Police emerge on social media

Islamists and 'liberals' claimed on social media that Newslaundry columnist Sharjeel Usmani, who had hailed Delhi riots shooter Shahrukh as 'Mujahid', has been 'picked up' by UP Police.

From Vikas Dubey has reached Nepal to he may be encountered ‘because he knows dirty secrets’: Read how conspiracy theorists spun yarns

As Vikas Dubey was on the run, the journalists kept themselves busy conjuring up various conspiracy theories.

Recently Popular

Australian surfer Carmen Greentree abducted and raped for 2 months in a houseboat in Kashmir in 2004, pressurised to convert to Islam

Carmen Greentree has penned a book titled "A Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness" narrating her abduction and rape in Kashmir.

Jyoti Basu is the mass murderer India forgot

Please don’t feel bad about speaking ill of the Late Jyoti Basu. If there is another world, be certain that there are (at least) 28,000 voices from the other side backing you up.

Only Muslims go to heaven, Ravish Kumar-like non-Muslims can only hope for a mild level of hell: Dr Zakir Naik explains

Naik said that virtues like honesty and charity cannot ensure qualifying marks for heaven or Jannah. Only Muslims can go to heaven and non-Muslims will go to hell by default, he says.

Netizens ask Netflix to cancel comedian Kenny Sebastian’s special show after he hurls obscene abuses

Social media users are demanding that Netflix reconsiders special show of Indian comic Kenny Sebastian after he was allegedly found hurling obscene abuses to people on his Instagram page.

Payal Rohatgi’s Twitter account suspended, the actress says she is being targeted by ‘liberals and extremists’

Payal Rohatgi has stated that her efforts to share facts has been projected in a bad light by liberals and extremists who control Twitter.

Bhopal: 55-year-old Sabir Ali enters dairy farm and rapes a cow, arrested after CCTV footage revealed crime

Incidentally, the CCTV camera in the dairy farm captured the ghoulish incident, where the accused had stealthily entered and brutalised the animal.

Delhi Riots Chargesheets: Before murdering Ratan Lal, the Islamist mob had held 2 other police constables hostage

The chargesheet filed by Special Investigation Team of Delhi Police in the murder of Ratan Lal and deadly attacks by rioters on IPS Amit Sharma and IPS Anuj Kumar mentions at least 17 accused.

AAP does it again: Arvind Kejriwal supporters hail him for ‘saving life’ of a Modi voter amid coronavirus outbreak

After receiving severe criticism, Arvind Kejriwal supporters have taken it upon themselves to rebuild his lost credibility

Indian and Chinese sides move back at conflict areas along the LAC in Ladakh to create temporary non-patrolling zones

India and China have completed withdrawal from conflict sites along LAC at Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso lake and other conflict areas

Gujarat shows the way in Atmanirbhar Bharat: Morbi, the ceramic tiles hub of India, now looks to take on China’s toy market

150 firms in Gujarat's Morbi have joined hands to create local alternatives to products currently being outsourced from China.

Maharashtra: Thane hospital gives body of wrong Coronavirus victim to family, after cremation hospital informs that their family member is alive

After a family cremated body of Cornoavirus victim, hospital informed they their family member is alive & they were given wrong body

After obscene comments, clip of comedian Kenneth Sebastian calling Sanskrit ‘most useless language ever’ goes viral. Watch video

In the video titled "Journey to the centre of my brain", Sebastian is seen thanking God because 'all the people who spoke Sanskrit are dead'.

West Bengal: News channel owner Sheikh Safiqul Islam, his wife Alima Khatun and journalist Suraj Ali Khan arrested after the channel exposed corruption

Web Channel Arambagh TV owner Sheikh Safiqul Islam, his wife Alima Khatun and journalist Suraj Ali Khan were arrested on 29 June

NCW takes cognisance of the vile, obscene abuses hurled by comedian Kenny Sebastian, asks for probe

Kenny Sebastian was accused of hurling vile, misogynist abuses over Instagram comments. The abuses were flagged by many social media users.

The curious case of ‘Drone Boy’ who has made 600 drones using broken mixer grinders and televisions. A fact-check

While 'drone boy' Prathap NM has claimed to have made 600 drones using e-waste, not a single photo or video of them exist

‘He is with the Samajwadi Party’: Gangster Vikas Dubey’s mother says the government must do what is appropriate

Speaking to the media, Sarla Devi, the mother of Vikas Dubey said that they came to know of his arrest after watching the news on the television.

Connect with us

235,277FansLike
402,115FollowersFollow
272,000SubscribersSubscribe