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Are Social Media Echo Chambers Inevitable?

(AP Photo)

With social media giants purging conservatives faster than you can say “big-tech censorship,” many of us on the right are wondering where can we go. Ironically, when we point out to our followers that they can find us on alternative social media platforms, we get mocked because these platforms, they say, are echo chambers. 

Perhaps they are. But is that not the goal of big tech? If we leave Facebook and Twitter because they’re hostile to conservatives, it’s not like we’re not leaving a vibrant digital public forum that tolerates the diversity of thought—we’re leaving an echo chamber. Many of us established profiles on these alternative platforms some time ago, anticipating the eventual need to jump the slave ship of big tech, where conservatives never know when the groups they grew into communities of thousands will be deleted without cause, and their own accounts locked.

I’ve been on Parler and Gab for some time now. Parler is now temporarily shut down by Amazon Web Service, though, hopefully, it will be back up in a week. Prior to being scapegoated by big tech, it was the primary alternative sought by conservatives looking to flee Twitter. 

Gab is another Twitter/Facebook alternative that I’ve been a member of for about four years, though I haven’t actively used it. It’s still active and thriving. Gab was banned from the Google Play app store and the Apple app store long ago and has managed to thrive without relying on big tech. 

MeWe is another example of a platform I joined a while back, but haven’t fully taken advantage of yet, but probably will going forward. Like Gab, its servers seem to be struggling to handle the demand they’re experiencing right now. But in terms of user-interface and functionality, it’s actually one of the best alternatives available. Another social media platform that seems to be overloaded by demand at the moment is CloutHub, which I only just learned about and, like the other free-speech social media options, is getting hammered with new users. Hopefully, that won’t last long.

The truth is, for years conservatives and liberals used Twitter and Facebook and were able to coexist. It may not have been the most peaceful coexistence, but everyone was using these platforms for some time before those in charge realized that conservatives knew how to effectively use social media to organize their supporters.

But the left hasn’t been shy about their desire for an echo chamber for some time now. Before conservatives were being banned from Facebook and Twitter en masse, liberals were voluntarily cutting off conservative views from their feeds. In fact, liberals are more likely to unfriend you over politics, both on social media and in real life. I’ve been blocked and unfriended on Facebook many times without notice or explanation, by friends and family. Conservatives don’t want an echo chamber. Rather, we’re pushed to alternative platforms that don’t use bogus accusations as a pretext for banning people.

And then they tell us to stop complaining, to build our platforms. Facebook and Twitter, they believe, belong to the left. The problem is that when we create those alternative platforms, they still manage to get them shut down. As of this writing, Parler is offline because Amazon Web Services shut them down, and Parler has reportedly had trouble finding alternate vendors.

I don’t doubt Parler will eventually get back online, but that doesn’t solve the problem that social media, once considered a limitless online community bringing people of all beliefs together, is now a tool of division. The left wants conservative views shut out, and will use any bogus claim to justify silencing them. Conservatives aren’t flocking to alternative platforms because they want an echo chamber, they’re going because they see the writing on the wall. They see that their views are increasingly being censored for increasingly bogus reasons with weak explanations. 

The left wants their echo chamber because they can’t handle dissent. They refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of opposing views by branding anyone who disagrees with them as racists, homophobes, xenophobes, etc., etc., etc. They want conservatives off social media, and for Facebook and Twitter to be left-wing safe spaces. Sadly, that seems to be where we’re at. Liberals want their echo chamber, and they’ll probably get it.

Do they really think that will make them more tolerant?

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Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Parler & Gab @MattMargolis