Just Sociology

The Social Media Purges: Censorship Ideology and the Sociology of Media

Social media has become an integral part of our lives, and people use it to express their ideas, opinions, and thoughts. However, social media has also been a platform for debates between two schools of thought, pluralism, and Marxism.

While pluralists view social media as neutral sites and platforms for free expression, Marxists see it as a tool for suppression by dominant ideology and censorship, maintaining the mainstream capitalist worldview. This article discusses these views and the recent banning of Anti-Media from Facebook and Twitter.

Pluralist view of social media

Pluralism sees social media as neutral sites that encourage free expression. Advocates claim that sites like Facebook and Twitter provide an open platform where users can share their thoughts and ideas with a global audience.

Additionally, social media has democratized the media, creating space for small groups and individuals to enter the media industry. However, the plurality of ideas on social media has also created a significant challenge: how to maintain civil discourse in an era of identity politics.

It is essential to manage the social media platform because the existence of toxic comments that escalate into cyberbullying undermines the value of free expression. In conclusion, pluralism views social media as a tool that can promote both free speech and civil discourse.

Marxist view of social media

In contrast, Marxist sees social media as a tool for maintaining the dominant capitalist ideology. The Marxist perspective attaches great significance to the issue of power in the media.

From this perspective, social media’s function in capitalist societies continually reinforces the mainstream capitalist worldview. They argue that media values are intrinsically political, designed to perpetuate the interests of the capitalist class in society.

Additionally, social media algorithms under-represent the voices of minority and under-represented groups, limiting their ability to have a meaningful online presence. The Marxist view sees social media as a tool that can further suppress the experiences of the powerless, as opposed to creating a platform that promotes free expression.

Background on Anti-Media

Anti-Media is an alternative news outlet that provides a counter-narrative to mainstream media. Anti-Media’s mission is to fight injustice and oppression and awaken people to the critical issues of our time.

They typically cover controversial topics such as government corruption, police brutality, and U.S. foreign policy. One of Anti-Media’s most significant roles is to criticize the political system and offer an alternative perspective to the mainstream’s pro-establishment views.

Censorship of Anti-Media on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook’s unpublished Anti-Media’s page in 2018, claiming that the page violated community guidelines. The guidelines cited that Anti-Media was engaged in spamming and using fake accounts, which fell under the Facebook’s terms and condition of use.

Anti-Media denies the accusations and point out that they rely on evidence-based factual reporting. In a statement on the website, Anti-Media criticized Facebook’s algorithmic changes that have been selectively targeting alternative media outlets.

On the other hand, Twitter suspended Anti-Media’s account in 2019, citing violating copyright laws, specifically, the use of a copyrighted image. Anti-Media denies the claims and claims that Twitter’s action is part of a broader effort to eliminate alternative narratives.

Conclusion:

The banning of Anti-Media has kicked up a significant debate on social media censorship. While Facebook and Twitter claim that they are upholding their community guidelines, Anti-Media and its followers see this as a move to undermine free speech and alternative views.

These different perspectives highlight the tension between the pluralist and Marxist views of social media. The pluralist view emphasizes free expression and open discourse, while the Marxist view posits social media as a tool for maintaining mainstream capitalist ideology.

It is essential to maintain a balance between free expression and civil discourse while protecting the marginalized and under-represented groups’ voices.The recent purge of Libertarian pages on Facebook and Twitter has stoked the fires of controversy over allegations of censorship on social media platforms. Though social media has provided an invaluable space for free expression and the democratization of media, many have raised concerns over the censorship of alternative viewpoints they see as hurting the status quo or in conflict with the ideologies of those in power.

Consequently, this article discusses the purge of Libertarian pages on social media platforms, highlighting the pages that were deleted, Matt Taibbi’s analysis of censorship’s implications for both the left and right views, and the relevance of A-level sociology, especially with respect to censorship for ideological reasons and its impact on the theories of sociology.

Other pages deleted during the purge

In addition to Anti-Media, some Libertarian pages, including Police the Police, Hemp, and The Free Thought Project, were also deleted from Facebook and Twitter during the massive purge. These pages are known for promoting alternative viewpoints on matters such as government corruption, state violence, and U.S foreign policy, which are at odds with mainstream media narratives.

However, like Anti-Media, these pages deny any involvement in spam or the use of fake accounts to promote their content. Instead, they argue that social media platforms are censoring them for their alternative opinions and views, which run contrary to political incumbents’ interests.

Analysis by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone published an insightful analysis of social media censorship following the ban on Anti-Media. Taibbi argued that the ban illustrates the dangers of private companies serving as gatekeepers, using left and right political views as themes to justify their censorship.

According to Taibbi, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have a daunting task in moderating content that may offend some users while supporting others. And in doing so, they risk becoming ideological censors rather than impartial moderators, resulting in the suppression of alternative views on social media.

Moreover, Taibbi explained that the ban represents the dystopian use of tech companies to promote dominant ideologies of people in power while suppressing voices that aim to challenge the established status quo.

Censorship for ideological reasons

The social media companies’ actions in the purge of Libertarian pages raise the question of censorship for ideological reasons. The move to eliminate pages that question the status quo and present anti-establishment ideas has been linked to upholding the dominant ideology.

The Marxist theory of sociology argues that power relations are a significant factor in shaping the media landscape. Hence, the powerful elites can use censorship as a tool to maintain their dominance over society.

From this viewpoint, social media companies’ actions can be seen as ideologically motivated and an attempt to ensure alternative views do not gain traction or influence the masses.

Relevance to Theory and Methods

The purge of Libertarian pages has significant implications for theoretical and methodological advances in sociology. For instance, the Marxian theory of collusion highlights the connections between powerful elites controlling institutions and their influence in shaping public opinions.

Social media companies’ actions are consistent with this theory, as they assume the role of gatekeepers who police the outlets where information is disseminated. This selective gatekeeping is instrumental in suppressing alternative voices, thus supporting the dominant ideology.

Hence, the relevance of this purge to theory and method is its ability to provide supporting evidence for Marxism’s importance in understanding media landscape. Conclusion:

The recent purge of Libertarian pages from Facebook and Twitter raises significant concerns regarding censorship for ideological reasons.

The deletion of pages, including Anti-Media, Police the Police, Hemp, and The Free Thought Project, illustrates the continuance of state-sponsored censorship and media manipulation in society. The purging of pages raises questions about the social media platform’s impartiality and foregrounds theoretical and methodological insights into the sociology of media, highlighting the Marxist perspective’s significance.

Nevertheless, this event shows the enduring struggle over free speech, and society must strive to maintain a balance between protecting the vulnerable from hostile discourse and promoting quality, diverse, and informative content on social media. In conclusion, the social media purges of Anti-Media, Libertarian pages, and other content highlight the ongoing debate over censorship and ideological control in the media landscape.

It is crucial to balance free speech with responsible discourse and search for a fair approach to content moderation on social media platforms. Understanding the implications of this issue on A-level sociology, theories, and methods provides supporting evidence for the Marxist perspective’s importance in interpreting the media landscape.

Finally, as social media continues to evolve, the challenges surrounding censorship, moderation, and freedom of expression will likely persist, and it is vital to find innovative approaches to address these challenges. FAQs:

1.

What is the pluralist view of social media? The pluralist view of social media posits social media as a neutral site encouraging free expression, offering a platform for individuals to share their voices widely and promote civil discourse.

2. What is the Marxist perspective on social media?

The Marxist perspective views social media as a tool for maintaining the dominant capitalist ideology, reinforcing mainstream capitalist worldviews while suppressing the experiences of the powerless and minorities. 3.

What were the other pages deleted during the purge of Libertarian pages on social media platforms? Other pages, including Police the Police, Hemp, and The Free Thought Project, were deleted from Facebook and Twitter during the massive purge.

4. What is the significance of the purge of Libertarian pages in A-level sociology?

The purge of Libertarian pages serves as evidence to support the Marxist perspective that powerful elites use censorship as a tool to maintain their dominance over society. 5.

What is the significance of moderation in social media platforms? Moderation is essential as it enables social media platforms to balance the free exchange of ideas with responsible discourse, promoting and protecting vulnerable and under-represented groups, while also fostering an open and diverse media landscape.

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