Free Speech Threats Increase Exponentially with ESG
IHost of The Crude Life, “Everyday Energy For Everyday People”
[Editor’s Note: Jason Spiess, host of The Crude Life and ESG University, exposes the dangers of ESG and those pushing it. He addresses it with humor and, today, focuses on the threats to free speech from ESG.]
Social Media is the latest area of the economy under the microscope by the conversational media, business owners and economic experts. Only now they are calling out the law makers to make a change.
“We’ve had extraordinary damage done to democracy, public health, public safety, and people’s ability to make their own choices,” Roger McNamee, managing director at Elevation Partners and an early Facebook investor, told Yahoo Finance Live. “Yet policymakers have done nothing, absolutely nothing.”
Big Tech Companies have garnered criticism over the past decade, largely due to their role in the dissemination of misinformation/disinformation during the election and pandemic.
In recent years, Twitter has been used for elevating political messages from all walks of life from the former President Donald Trump to Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to rapper Kanye West. Many in society have demonized these individuals for their First Amendment right, however, there are also those who support their messages within a full context.
The reason this ESG Issue is in the news cycle is because West utilized Twitter and Instagram to share anti-Semitic comments before his accounts were eventually locked “due to hate speech”.
“I think that the whole situation with Kanye West, with Elon Muskattempting to buy Twitter, really highlights the extraordinary inaction and, frankly, in my mind, really unpardonable inaction by Congress, by the president, to do something about what is clearly a threat … especially to national security,” McNamee said. “Twitter has a whistleblower who showed that there are people inside Twitter who’re working for foreign governments. For a platform that has as much influence on politics and democracy as Twitter has, that’s extraordinarily dangerous.”
McNamee, who authored “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” continues to cite three key factors to the ongoing problems with social media in the interview with Yahoo! Finance – the scale of the platforms, the latency, and the incentives.
“Facebook, for example, where the worst offenses have taken place, has literally billions of posts every day,” he said. “So the notion that you’re going to somehow effectively monitor that number of posts is a big stretch.”
As McNamee correctly points out, even if they have enough moderators and AI software to identify “hate speech” or “political espionage”, every second or minute the “flagged content” is on Social Media it can create a variety of damages.
Bottom line, even with the greatest detection software in the world, unless it detects the “flagged content” the instant its posted, every second it is up it could be seen by hundreds of thousands of users. Screenshots could be taken and the parent company will forever have the content in their deleted archives.
Then there is the ESG Root Perspective, which McNamee points out in the Yahoo! Finance interview.
“This is the one that’s killing us because there’s no reason from an economic perspective why these companies should look out for the safety of their users, much less protecting the country’s national interest,” McNamee said. “Right now, the incentives are for them to make as much money as they can as quickly as they can and not worry about the consequences. And until that changes, I don’t think there’s a chance we’re going to do anything good about this”
Much of the controversies behind the polarizing people in the above paragraphs would fall under the “Social” portion of ESG. This is where the wicket becomes sticky due to free speech, ethics, manners and accountability. Attributes that can integrate, compliment and conflict with each other, and are often complex due to the situational manner at hand.
From Kanye’s Anti-Semetic tweet to President’s Trumps middle-of-the-night gems, the First Amendment and free speech is at risk of being replaced by censored speech, AI filters and manufactured monologues. That’s the trend the S in ESG taking.
One of the easy ESG Supply Chain Exercises with the Media is the following. Trained media professionals are taught not to yell fire in a crowded theater for attention and ratings. The reason, people will run all over each other in order to get out. If there’s no fire and people died, your quest for ratings and attention are the ESG Root Cause of it all.
According to Wiki:
“Shouting fire in a crowded theater” is a popular analogy for speech or actions made for the principal purpose of creating panic. The phrase is a paraphrasing of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.‘s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919, which held that the defendant’s speech in opposition to the draft during World War Iwas not protected free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The case was later partially overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969, which limited the scope of banned speech to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action
Although it was overturned as law, most trained journalists and broadcasters still respect the spirit and sanctity of it when constructing content.
But times change. There was a time when media outlets reported the news and didn’t speculate in their headlines. Now they use conjectural words like “maybe” and “could be” in the headlines rather than definitive headlines indicating they know the answer.
In the world of Social Media, traditional trusted media outlets have become part of the “false news” and “misinformation” problem too.
Change happens in politics and media too. There was also a time when politicians didn’t advertise or use yard signs on election day in some states. This is a great example of how social media changed democracy and updated an archaic law.
In North Dakota, former Republican chairman Gary Emineth challenged an antiquated state law that suppressed free speech during the election. From The Associated Press:
A federal judge has barred North Dakota officials from enforcing a century-old state law that makes campaigning on Election Day illegal, calling it a violation of free speech.
“There is no valid justification for the law in modern day society, nor any compelling state interest offered to support its continued existence,” Judge Daniel Hovland wrote Wednesday (October 31), issuing an injunction.
The far-reaching ban, challenged by Gary Emineth, a former GOP chairman in North Dakota, was meant to “secure the purity of elections” by protecting voters from last-minute charges hurled against candidates or ballot measures.
In this example, the decision extended free speech options and modernized it in today’s instant social media world. Why would election officials enforce a yard sign law and not a Facebook post showing a picture of the checked ballot of who the person voted for.
But the ESG Narrative is leaning more towards banning some “hate speech” and allowing other types of “hate speech” to stay on the Internet. That’s the issue with Social in ESG, it’s very subjective, cultural and dynamic. So having a one-size-fits-all vocabulary from the ESG Police isn’t as easy or fun as it might sound.
If someone is punching you while smiling, does that mean it’s OK because they are smiling? Or if someone cites sterile science facts that challenges a social narrative, is that negative?
According to HealthLine.com, people with Covert Narcissism often use passive-aggressive behavior to convey frustration or make themselves look superior.
A general definition of narcissism is excessive self-love. In psychology, a narcissistic personality disorder involves a person with an outsized sense of self-importance and entitlement, fantasies of power, inability to empathize with others, or indifference or rage when criticized, to name a few.
People with this personality disorder often need attention or admiration and have trouble with interpersonal relationships. This is why they surround themselves with paid staffers and employees. Paid people aren’t supposed to challenge you or talk back.
Predators in Power love Entitled Enablers and vice versa.
Many times, passive-aggressive leadership can go along with a narcissist. This is behavior that is indirectly aggressive and often manufactured to be happy or positive.
However, in the midst of being falsely polite, there is an underlying hostility brewing inside. Often times this is acted out with a subjectively neutral comment accompanied with a backhanded compliment.
The combination of passive aggression and narcissism can occur together and may not always be obvious. Most of the people who are passive-aggressive want to provoke the other person. This is why politics attracts so many narcissists and sociopaths.
There is actually a term for this – pathocracy. After spending his early life suffering under the Nazis and then Stalin, the Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski devoted his career to studying the relationship between psychological disorders and politics. He wanted to understand why psychopaths and narcissists are so strongly attracted to power as well as the processes by which they take over governments and countries.
In fact, one could argue that the Goldwater Rule passed in 1964 was ESG Driven. The Goldwater Rule, like yelling fire in a crowded theater, became a guide for many media professionals and people with a moral compass.
From Psychiatric News:
Restraint of psychiatrists’ comments on political candidates is grounded in APA’s response to an attempt to question Barry Goldwater’s mental health during the 1964 campaign for president.
“Do you believe Barry Goldwater is psychologically fit to serve as President of the United States?” the editors of Fact magazine asked 12,356 psychiatrists during the 1964 presidential campaign between Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson.
The responses set off a wave of reaction that resonated again most recently after media speculation about the mental status of the current Republican presidential candidate.
Fact published numerous comments questioning Sen. Barry Goldwater’s psychological capacity for office, which ultimately led to the creation of APA’s “Goldwater Rule” in 1973.
Fast forward to today. The direction the current ESG Narrative is heading is very Pathocracy.
Lobaczewski reminds readers that narcissists lack empathy, which means that they are able to ruthlessly exploit and abuse people for the sake of power. It’s a game to them, which is one of the reasons modern political leaders use words like “theater” instead of “war” or “battle field” when discussing military matters.
Similarly, psychopaths feel a similar sense of superiority and lack of empathy, but without the same impulse for attention and adoration.
But pathocracy isn’t just about individuals. As Lobaczewski pointed out, pathological leaders tend to attract other people with psychological disorders. At the same time, empathetic, intelligent and fair-minded people gradually go away or are casted off.
Generally speaking, they are either black-balled, made-toxic or step aside voluntarily, being appalled and overrun by the growing pathology around them.
This leadership style and behavior has infected people on social media too. How many times have you heard people say they’re “getting off Facebook” or “deleting my Twitter” account?
Right now Social Media sites are acting like a passive aggressive leader. People rely on their distribution and information machine, however the parent companies are actively banning people challenging Climate Change and slowly suppressing information attempting to educate the public on the issue.
Shadow Banning is a term for when a user is blocked on a social platform without their knowing. Or when their posts only reach a very small audience. The sites allow your post, but no one gets to see it.
In an August 2022 podcast interview, Meta CEO and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg said Facebook doesn’t have a shadow banning policy, but acknowledged the term likely refers to “demotions,” which is when a post is less likely to be shown to other users because it has been flagged for some reason, such as containing misinformation or being harmful.
However, in 2017, the phenomenon was noticed on Instagram, with posts which included specific hashtags not showing up when those hashtags were used in searches.
On Twitter’s debunking myths FAQ page, the company says outright, “Simply put, we don’t shadow ban! Ever.” It also directs to a 2018 blog post that further explains shadow banning doesn’t happen on the basis of “political viewpoints or ideology,” but there is a system that ranks tweets and search results “for timely relevance.”
That means users are more likely to see content from people they’re interested in or that’s gaining popularity and being widely shared.
The bottom line on Shadow Banning is that it’s a group of isolated and insulated executives making assumptions and decisions for others in a passive aggressive manipulate way.
Consider this., in May 2020, The Crude Life interviewed Monte Besler of FrACN8R on why he was banned from LinkedIn for citing facts about Climate Change and Energy Production.
Monte Belser (left) share his story about being banned from LinkedIn with Jason Spiess (middle) and Shawn Forbes (right) Click here for the interview
Monte shares his story about how and why he was banned from LinkedIn. From the post itself to attempts to understand to trying to reach LinkedIn are discussed in the interview. Monte still to this day is banned from LinkedIn and believes it is for life.
Monte said that really impacted his business too. He also had to reinvent his entire social media strategy. That’s not an easy overnight project either. Censoring Monte was instant, but his network and content generation was years of work.
This is happening more and more everyday. Real people are being impacted and pushed into the cracks while the entitled leaders get more economic development tax dollars to solve the problems they just created.
Today’s ESG Lesson is complex, yet simple. If you do not use your First Amendment right to voice your opinions on ESG today, it might be replaced with a list of state-sponsored words and phrases you can say in tomorrow.
Reposted, with permission of the author, from ESG University. Questions on today’s lesson? Do you have an ESG University story idea? Email: . The ESG University is also a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support Jason’s work, consider going here become a paid subscriber.
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