In today’s world, censorship is pervasive and happens on many levels. While social media platforms are often the focus of discussions around censorship, there are many other areas where censorship occurs that receive less attention.
One example of this is payment processors, which have been known to de-platform individuals based on their online views.
PayPal, for instance, can fine someone up to $2,500 for expressing a “wrong” viewpoint. Banks are also known to shut down credit cards and bank accounts of individuals who express unpopular opinions. Furthermore, domains can even remove websites from their platform due to controversial content. YouTube has been known to ban and remove accounts as well.
Additionally, mainstream media outlets often publish smear pieces that receive top billing in search results, which can lead people away from a particular viewpoint. Social media platforms may also “shadow-ban” individuals, which restricts the reach of their content. Moreover, these platforms may bar certain websites from being shared, further limiting the spread of certain viewpoints. Google may also bury search results that go against a particular narrative.
For those who are not aware of specific URLs, it can be difficult to find information on certain topics due to search engine filtering. Google is used by 93 percent of the world’s population, and it has progressively filtered access to certain articles, making it difficult to find information that may challenge a particular narrative. Many times, search results only go up to the sixth page, and information on page seven and beyond is unreachable.
Therefore, it has become increasingly difficult for laypeople to conduct their own research online. To address this, it is important to identify and follow trustworthy sources and explore the rabbit trails they lead to. By doing so, individuals can gain access to information that they may not have been able to find otherwise.