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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Threads already heavily censoring conservative speech

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By Tony Ademiluyi

I have a confession to make. Despite being a journalist of over a decade standing, I suck really hard with my usage and understanding of social media. I am extremely bored with audience analytics, distribution, virality, and other such nuances.

My personal belief is in the division of labour. My primary calling is public intellectualism through my writings and speeches which of course can be greatly amplified by social media but it doesn’t have to be done by me.

I am only active on Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. Not being much of a picture person, Instagram didn’t appeal to me. I couldn’t for the life of me understand Twitter and its lack of a chat feature made me bored with it. The straw that broke the camel’s back was my unfair suspension from it without any justifiable cause. I have not bothered to either recover the account or sign up for a new one.

I read the news with curiosity about the launch of Threads by Meta owned by Mark Zuckerberg which is set to dislodge Twitter. Based on the numbers, it seems to be poised to do exactly so.

Threads acquired 100 million users in barely four days – a feat achieved by Twitter in slightly over five years and the Chinese social media sensation, Tik Tok in nine months. Threads can only be used for now by the owners of Instagram.

As expectedly, Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter cried foul of copyright infringement and violations in the sense that he alleged that Meta hired the services of some former members of staff of Twitter who had been laid off by Musk who according to the world’s wealthiest man had many trade secrets of the blue app.

While I am not concerned with the squabbles of the two billionaires who are so idle and bored that they once tinkered with the idea of fighting a cage. My fear is the allegations of censorship of conservative speech on the latest social media network.

Lifesite News reports that: When Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his new platform Threads would be a “friendly” place – everyone knew what that meant. His idea of kindness and friendliness would be one narrowly defined by the same people that have been on a censorship spree over the past several years.

Threads is Meta’s latest and boldest attempt to go head-to-head with Twitter. Operating as an independent app, but at the moment requiring an Instagram login, Threads is the stage for public textual interactions and dialogues among users, linked to their Instagram profiles. Astonishingly, within less than a day of its debut on Thursday morning, Threads had already attracted a whopping 30 million sign-ups.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, ushered in users with his inaugural post, “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads.” He described Threads as a “friendly” alternative to Twitter, an app that lets people indulge in text-based conversations with a 500-character limit and the option to share links, photos, and videos.

Zuckerberg seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on keeping Threads congenial. He stated in a Wednesday post, “The goal is to keep it friendly as it expands. I think it’s possible and will ultimately be the key to its success.” He candidly went on to take a swipe at Twitter, suggesting that its lack of success is due to its desire to support more free speech.

But of course, what Zuckerberg means when he calls for congeniality is censorship.

Just hours after launch, Threads was caught in the eye of the storm, with allegations of stealthy censorship and unavailability of user appeals.

Conservatives need to be more proactive and take control of the media which is tragically in the hands of the liberals and other left-wingers with deleterious consequences for the rest of the world.

The battle between the conservatives and liberals but I hate to be the bearer of bad news: The left is winning the war because they understand in depth the deft use of financial resources to fight a cause. Rather than the right adapting, they are still stuck with the same boring tactics of asking for donations and greatly risking donor fatigue.

Even Jesus Christ had the left in mind when he said “The children of the world are more astute in dealing with their kind than the children of light.’

Rather than call for boycotts which don’t always work as the left has so permeated the media space that life would be unbearable without their product usage by all.

The right should commercialize their operations to attract high-flying talents who can collaborate with them and the synergy. The era of floating donor-funded media organizations is over as that model is a broken one due to its unsustainability. What stops conservative media houses from leveraging their massive presence online and monetizing with creative ideas like the sale of movies, documentaries, apparel etc which will bring in decent revenue to effectively do the great work?

Conservatives should stop being Mungo Parkish apologies to Charles Oputa a,k,a Charly Boy who used that word in a satiric manner for someone resistant to change like the Luddites of the industrial age 19th century who were soon made redundant and inconsequential when the machines roared.

May this not be the fate of the conservatives!

Tony Ademiluyi is the Director, Media & Publicity West Africa for West African Christian Voice Trumpet Call Ministry and is a contributing writer for the Project for Human Development. He can be reached at +2348167677075 and anthonyademiluyi@yahoo.com.

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