At the beginning of my “Social Media Marketing” class I had a very bleak perception of social media. There are several reasons for this, but it was mostly because I’ve had personal experience of being censored on these platforms due to my personal opinion. It’s not easy to question authority and it’s even more difficult to go against the grain of your creed. I happen to be a gay conservative who supports and voted for President Donald J Trump. That may seem contradictory on the surface to most people but if you do a lot of research and analyze the situation surround some of these more controversial issues it begins to make more sense.
This is a dangerous position to be in as I discovered first hand when I attempted to attend a Milo Yiannopoulos event about free speech at the University of Washington. We were surrounded and ambushed by a black clad mob of masked rioters who call themselves “Antifa” and attempt to brand themselves as anti-fascists while applying fascist tactics to shut down debate. I was wearing my black attire as usual and at one point was confused with a protester and handed a can of mace in hopes that I would use it on my fellow conservatives who attended the event. I handed it off to the Seattle Police Department who were simply standing and watching the violence. I asked one officer if they were going to let us into the event as they blocked the door and he shook his head, so I fled back to my car and drove home.
I learned a lot during this quarter about social media and how to maintain composure while still getting my message across. It was touch and go for a bit as Facebook made the poor and misguided choice of locking my account for simply commenting on a classmate’s post. It repeated this action when I attempted to comment on my professors post. Facebook went so far as preventing her from responding to me to squash the opinions I expressed.
As America endured another tragic school shooting the gun control debate raged on social media. Unfortunately for those who see behind the curtain of the official narrative and are opposed to reactionary policy such as gun control, social media became a tool of the state and removed their posts, marked them as spammers/bots, locked their accounts and even banned or blocked many users. I now see social media as the new battlefield of ideas. Wars were once fought with guns, now they’re fought with computers. I hope and pray that the truth prevails in this age of censorship.