Is Chinese style tech censorship coming to Reddit?
Tencent is the first Asian tech company to surpass the $500 billion market value.
What appears like business as usual, this move by Tencent may have strong free speech implications. China is notorious for its sophisticated censorship regime, the Great Firewall of China. Ironically, Reddit is blocked under the Great Firewall of China. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Tencent is no casual participant on China’s internet. It’s actually one of the chief actors behind China’s internet censorship campaign. The Great Firewall was not exclusively a creation of the Chinese State. It takes two to tango in order to make China’s censorship program function.
Adrian Shabaz, the Research Director for Technology and Democracy at Freedom House clears up some misconceptions about the Great Firewall:
We tend to think of Great Firewall as this huge thing the state has built. In reality, it’s the companies in charge of weeding out unfavorable information online. There’s a whole host of regulations, one new law passed on average every two days, about what content can and cannot appear online. Then it falls to Chinese companies to comply with this widespread censorship regime set by the communist party itself.
Reddit is a platform that claims to be a champion of free speech. Unfortunately, Reddit has taken numerous actions in the past that have put its mission into question. In 2016, Breitbart showcased several instances that Reddit censored Conservative content.
Tencent’s recent move to buy a significant stake in Reddit should raise even more concerns among those on the Right side of the political spectrum. A potential partnership with a company that is connected to one of the most robust censorship apparatuses in the world would only strengthen Reddit’s censorship campaigns.
This certainly does not bode well for free speech on social media, which is already being curtailed by Big Tech giants. Adding Chinese style censorship into the mix could prove disastrous for Internet freedoms.
White Pill: Montana House Moves Constitutional Carry Bill Forward
Constitutional Carry is one ray of hope for the Right.
On January 20, 2021, the Montana House of Representatives passed Constitutional Carry legislation, HB102.
Weingarten provided some context to the significance of this bill’s progress:
The bill is the accumulation of a decade and a half of struggle against Democrat Governors, who have repeatedly vetoed reform legislation passed with large majorities in the legislature. Numerous sections in the bill show the Montana legislature has learned the lesson from other states as they restore the right to keep and bear arms.
Montana’s Senate is made up of 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats and Governor Greg Gianforte is a Republican, so the passage of this bill augurs well. If passed, HB102 would make Montana the 17th Constitutional Carry state.
Montana is already a very gun-friendly state, and represents a low-hanging fruit for Second Amendment activists to tap into.
Constitutional Carry has been one of the most successful movements on the Right over the past twenty years. It’s easy to complain about the corrupt status quo, but there are still plenty of ways right-wingers can score victories. Constitutional Carry is one of them.
It would behoove the Right to analyze existing trends and build off movements that are already producing results. There’s no need to embark on quixotic campaigns that end up being total fools’ errands. Find what’s already working and run with it.
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