As bad as the political motivations behind online censorship are - and we are already seeing such machinations regarding our 2020 election - it actually goes much farther than politics and is far more sinister.
Censorship in all its forms, from shadowbanning to demonetization to deplatforming and even to de-banking folks is a far more effective means of controlling people than anyone other than perhaps Orwell ever dreamed possible. Watch your favorite YouTubers and note their reluctance to discuss certain subjects and their refusal to say certain words. Live-streamers are actively moderating their chats for fear of getting a strike against their channel over what a viewer posts. Entire websites can and are being deplatformed by any and every faction of the internet infrastructure, from domain registrars to financial services such as PayPal, Patreon, and even Mastercard and brick and mortar banks.
All of this has brought about both bad and good. The bad is worse than simply silencing people, it has instituted self-censorship far more effectively than the force of law or even societal mores. Beyond the obvious, self-censorship, once broadly adopted, leads not just to changing what people say, but ultimately how they think. This is cultural Marxism in overdrive. We are truly in the midst of an Orwellian conversion to Newspeak, where wrongthinkers must be punished even to the point of losing their jobs and having their banks close their accounts.
The good has been a groundswell of pushback by a lot of ordinary folks who are simply unwilling to be silenced. It has the potential to create a virtual revolution that may change the internet forever. To date, a few technopolies have completely controlled the internet. As the world has become so dependent upon the web, they have gained control to the point that they now wield more raw power than most of the countries in the world. The only way they have been able to do so was with our consent. We gave them control over us when we either willingly or unwittingly ceded our privacy rights. We did so that we could use their "free" platforms...but ain't nothing free. They have grown so large that they own our information, control our access to vital services, and can even spy on us through our devices. But people are slowly rescinding their acquiescence. It'll take time, but it has begun.
One site I belong to has been deplatformed time and time again by every single component of the internet infrastructure. We are now in the Fediverse, have made our own open-source browser, and are working to create an app store, and more. As more and more people walk away from the big platforms, we are seeing other options sprout up to fill the needs. There are sites other than YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Alternatives are being created from crypto currencies to video platforms to new social media sites and search engines. There is open-source software and operating systems, and soon there will be a cell phone available that is neither an Android nor an Apple.
Adversity is truly motivating and innovative. Big Tech has been trying to make society woke...it's time we made them broke.