In lieu of the incident at the Capitol where people were murdered, the Capitol was invaded and looted, social media platforms have removed Donald Trump and many of his cohorts that incited the incident and have promoted conspiracy theories and hate speech. Social media was used as a way to get the word out and make plans by thousands of people on January 6, 2020. Amazingly enough this was all done in the open and law enforcement says they were caught off guard. Organizations like the Anti-Defamation League warned them of the plans and potential for violence. Parler which many right wing people migrated to from Facebook was a platform that did not censor postings. People had a lot more leeway than on platforms like Facebook. Parler has been removed by Google and Apple. Amazon is willing to allow Parler to use their servers. Parler has lost all of their vendors. There is a good chance they will no longer exist.
The people who want violence and to spread hate will not simply vanish because social media companies and other companies are cracking down on them. If they stay in the open it is easier for us to know who has inclinations to violence. If they are driven underground it will be much harder for them to organize. Where would they go? The dark web. The average person does not know that it exists let alone how to navigate it. The dark web has a high criminal element. A lot of the stuff you would never see on the internet you are using to read this. Law enforcement does monitor it.
Do we drive them underground or do we keep them in the light of day? It used to be that there was a stigma to promoting racism or violence. That is why the KKK wore hoods. We have seen over the last several years that stigma has gone. It is why there were no hoods in Charlottesville. It is why the people who invaded the Capitol were so quick to pose for pictures and post them on social media. Well that and being stupid but many criminals are done in by their stupidity.
I am doing a cost benefit analysis of what is best for those of us who want to live in peace and do not want to ever see images of the Capitol being invaded or Charlottesville again. I think it is best to drive them underground. But then how will we know who these people are? Most of us lived our whole lives not knowing who these people were. The benefit of that is it is harder to assemble and for them to grow their ranks if people do not know about them. They will still try and organize but law enforcement is usually very good at infiltrating these groups. The Capitol invasion was a colossal failure by law enforcement despite the best efforts of some very brave police officers. Still I think that failure is the exception and not the rule. I also believe the incoming Biden administration will make cracking down on right wing terror groups a priority unlike the outgoing Trump administration despite the warnings of Chris Wray of the FBI and others. I believe we should drive them into the darkness where the criminal element belongs and stifle their ability to grow and radicalize people who may not have been radicalized without the constant exposure that social media provides once you go down that rabbit hole.
Maybe you have a different take. Maybe you want it in the light of the day. We will discuss this on Tuesday’s Davin’s Den where you can find us on the internet because we spread laughs not hate!