As many of you all know, sites like Facebook and YouTube have trending sections that are curated by the site. In the case of YouTube incredibly unpopular videos can get into trending - indicating that it is basically just videos selected by YouTube - while on Facebook the process tends to be slightly more organic, although still politically biased.
These measures almost never work as they are intended. They almost inevitably lead to mainstream (and important) political views being censored while some very odd things manage to seep through the cracks. Take the infamous censoring of Conservative voices on Facebook in 2016 (and likely earlier) through the present.
Numerous Conservative voices were barred from making it into the Trending section Facebook used to have. However, DURING THIS SAME TIME FACEBOOK ALLOWED RUSSIANS TO FUND ADS ON THEIR PLATFORM. These adds often appealed to Conservatives and aimed to help turn out the vote for Trump. This is a great example of one reason these suppression campaigns are so problematic - they often give people they sense that something is being done about real problems, while in reality those problems are unaddressed. One key danger with false "solutions" is that they lead people to assume that the whole problem has been taken care of.
So somehow, according to Facebook, normal or perhaps somewhat edgy Conservatives need to be hidden, but foreign ads that aim to interfere with US elections are fine. I wonder what could have possibly convinced Facebook to allow those ads...
As unfortunate as this situation is, it creates a great opportunity for crypto-based social media like Steemit, Publish0x, Minds, etc. Those of us, whether Left, Right, or something else, who want to be able to debate, convince other people, or learn from other people, are going to be pushed more and more towards such websites. This trend will make pro-freedom of speech crypto sites the intellectual battlegrounds of the future. This trend will make crypto social media crucial for the advancement of our society as a whole.
Most recently, YouTube and Twitter have been limiting the exposure of Conservatives on their platforms. Although the term "shadow-ban" may technically not be accurate, these platforms have definitely made a mistake by using algorithms to limit the exposure of these accounts. On occasion the sites have also banned important people with unpopular views.
Of course, the sites use algorithms to do this. That is how the RNC chair and spokespeople for major US political figures get limited, while at times blatantly racist accounts are not. Algorithms are just hopelessly inaccurate and make absurd judgements that no normal human would make. Surely it hurts public discourse for the public not to be able to see many of these accounts. Even though I disagree with the right, discourse is important, and in order to understand what I am arguing against I need to be able to see what they are actually saying. Otherwise they will get to talk to undecided voters and convince people to join their ideology without resistance because I wont know how to argue against them since I will not have seen their arguments! On top of that, people will seek out things they aren't supposed to see. This will lead to a Streisand Effect. This whole process is ultimately counter-productive to the Left.
No algorithm will ever be successful in this task, so it is better for social media sites to not even try to censor people like this. It will always fail. It will always catch innocent people in an overly broad net and let genuinely horrible people though. Please just focus on making a good site, not dictating the views people can see. Good, well-informed, and intelligent arguments will naturally rise to the top. Let the marketplace of ideas work its magic!