MaGLIL's avatar
The Gatekeepers of Expression
By MaGLIL   |   Watch
721 68 5K (1 Today)
Published: March 15, 2019
© 2019 MaGLIL
This is a second attempt at a very quick and messy illustration from before.

From my post (from Facebook, ironically):
"I usually don't do political illustrations, but I had to do this one. It's not about how people do too much social media. It's about how a few private corporations have a monopoly on speech, currency, and basically all online activity. They have the power to silence you on a whim. Your voice is not yours, it is owned by these corporations."

Recently instagram banned my business because the product was a legal herbal supplement called Kratom. I also criticized the FDA. But not only did instagram ban my business, they went after my personal account, and disabled my app completely. Yes, they have the power to shut down your app entirely.

I'm ashamed to say I didn't care enough until it started happening to me. I became aware of how dependent I am on these platforms for communication, exposure, and expression. It's scary to me that they can arbitrarily shut you down. I know with twitter and patreon, it happens to a lot of conservatives unfairly. I may not agree with their ideas, but I am absolutely for their right to expression.

But of course, with private companies, there are no such thing as rights, since they own the platform. You use them everyday to get your ideas out, participate in activism, let your voice be heard. All the while, they own it all. They can decide what is said, and under the guise of safety, censor what they will.

I'll also add VISA MASTERCARD and PAYPAL to the companies that have a monopoly on currency, yet they prohibit a legal supplement from being bought and sold with their cards/platform. It's so frustrating how monopolies slowly inch their way into prohibition and control and no one really cares. As long as you play it safe, it won't matter to you.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

(and yes, I recycled the face from my last submission...sue me.)
Image size
700x861px 158.88 KB
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Comments (64)
xXNaxaXx's avatar
xXNaxaXx|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do agree with everything you've said here. I know a few conservative influencers who were banned from places like Twitter and Facebook for 'wrong think', the people who censor these things pretend they're all about free speech and freedom of opinions UNTIL those opinions differ from theirs, then the person who disagrees with them is a bigot that needs to be silenced. In my opinion, that's what the whole 'hate speech' thing is really about, censoring other opinions that don't align with their agenda because apparently, science is 'hateful' speech now.

These companies want to create a bubble around its users, they only want to show one opinion so their users start to believe it is fact, its brainwashing, especially for the younger users on their sites who don't really know any better. 

I really like this art and I like how you pointed out that censorship tends to happen to a lot of conservatives unfairly even though you don't agree with people like them and me, it really warms my heart to know that someone else notices this, even though they don't agree with  conservatives.

Keep up the good work! Love it.
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Elgoono's avatar
Elgoono|Professional Artist
Deviant art keeps it real.
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CadaverCrafts's avatar
CadaverCrafts|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Do the Instagram guidelines specifically prohibit buying and selling substances that can get you high? That might be a reason
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MaGLIL's avatar
If that were true, it's ironic that they allow literal nicotine ads...

But technically, the terms state to follow the laws when promoting "regulated" substances. Kratom is not regulated, so that might be the reason. Curiously, there are many kratom vendors still on instagram and facebook and even approved kratom ads.
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CadaverCrafts's avatar
CadaverCrafts|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nicotine and alcohol will always be treated extremely differently than other drugs which is baffling but... it is what it is.
Are you sure the other vendors aren‘t just there because no one reported them yet?
I totally agree with the message and the sentient of megacorporations completly controlling the market but that argument is also often used by people who genuinly fucked up and cant accept a ban^^‘ Not talking about you but a bunch of people this stuff resonates with.
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JoJoBynxFwee's avatar
"Your voice is not yours, it is owned by these corporations." You hit the nail on the head there. Anything you post on social media is inherently part of the medium's product for sale, directly or indirectly (soliciting visitors with advertisements), so any voice or discussion has no inherent value to them except how it can be best commodified, and conversely content is only seen as unsuitable when it endangers product sales. See: tumblr only cracking down on NSFW content because its proliferation forced the app off mobile stores. Corporations have no "moral" opinions per se; moral statements are only made in response to whichever ideology is most popular with the target consumer audience, shareholders or advertisers (or required by law).

Overall, I'm enjoying this series of illustrations and the discussions in the comments below them.
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Darianblood's avatar
I've been watching this crap coming on and getting scared, most especially because the reaction from people around me has been a shrug followed by "but what can you do?"

Sadly with that attitude the answer is nothing.  This is the beginning of the end of free speech
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MaGLIL's avatar
Yeah, play it safe and you'll slip under the radar. Dare to do something challenging and they'll whack you down like a pop-up mole.
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ZacharyTC's avatar
ZacharyTC|Hobbyist Writer
Do you even know what a monopoly is? :roll:

If you think government is the solution, you are playing right into its trap.

Another solution would be a mesh network where you are essentially your own internet provider, like what is being developed by the owners of this website here: freedomnet.tilda.ws/
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JasonWolfe's avatar
These platforms will ban anyone whose opinions do not march lock-step with their own. However, by suppressing speech in various forms, they actually stifle individual growth. Such growth is achieved by being exposed to various opinions, good and bad.
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Jeff-n-pals's avatar
Jeff-n-pals|Hobbyist General Artist
"fuck it I'm not even gonna tell you you're banned lmao"
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SaintOfTheDragons's avatar
SaintOfTheDragons|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Minds.com
Seriously, I recommend for personal use, not sure how it is with businesses though. Wishing you luck in getting your business back up and running.
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Haiku-TFs's avatar
Fuck Israel
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King-Robinson's avatar
r/im14andthisisdeep
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mindlessdolly's avatar
mindlessdolly|Student Traditional Artist
The fact you perceive it as deep while it isn't, but a vent regarding a real issue everyone else knows about, perhaps just means you are oblivious or it's out of your capacity.
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King-Robinson's avatar
i don't perceive it as "deep"
i was making a joke using the name of a popular subreddit called r/im14andthisisdeep
technically i could screenshot all of this and put it on r/woosh
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mindlessdolly's avatar
mindlessdolly|Student Traditional Artist
Feel free, to embarrass yourself even further. The fact you referenced the subreddit means you thought the author intended it to be deep, nitwit. I'm very familiar with what you are talking about. Speaking up about an issue as obvious as social media censorship is nowhere close to what r/im14 was created for, and I can say that after a 1-minute glipse as I don't usually step in the mud of Reddit.
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Discbreaker100's avatar
Discbreaker100|Hobbyist General Artist
This wasn't trying to be deep, but more realistic about how censoreship works nowdays you can't say "mother" anymore because you migh offend some tranies over there. (This actually happens is australia)
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Dissident-Hellion's avatar
Dissident-Hellion|Hobbyist Digital Artist

Fuck all of them, they're dying platforms anyway, AND their are now viable alternatives available. With the exceptions of the currency ones of course, though I won't be surprised if alternatives to those pop up eventually as well.

"But of course, with private companies, there are no such thing as rights, since they own the platform."

That argument only works if you're talking about rights granted by your governing body and not about the idea itself. For example, when I talk about how all of them are shitting on free speech, I'm not talking about people's granted right to it, but the very idea of it.

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cos-tam's avatar
cos-tam|Student General Artist

preach!!

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PutaRabbitYandere's avatar
PutaRabbitYandere|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happened to me too with writtings. Do you know any posible sites to... like show opinion and not be banned for it? Tumblr was amazing until they fucked everything up for money, or because they were forced to accept the new politics, dunno. But im still searching for a new site, and still didnt find anything propper. Well... instagram maybe, although you must have an... PRIVATE account, so your art wont be visible for everyone. They make you look like some kind of a pervert criminal that has to hide in shadows in order to satisfy your opinion.... XD
Jesus! Sad  but it looks like that.
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ArtsyCosmicDreamer's avatar
ArtsyCosmicDreamer|Hobbyist Digital Artist
For what you want to do, I highly recommend looking into  Archive of Our Own and Pillowfort.io
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gummy-gundam's avatar
gummy-gundam|Hobbyist General Artist
I won't sue you for reusing the pic, I will ban you!

been saying for years since 1980 that the powers that be are ruling the world as we know it right in front of us and fervently denying it to your face with a smile on theirs
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aska-chan's avatar
aska-chanEdited |Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You can add tumblr on this. They banned the evil nipples, but nazis are still allowed.
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anonymous's avatar
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