By Frank Tietie
My faith in God has been renewed by some recent events. The sickness that got me close to crossing the River Styx only to return by God’s mercy, the elections in the United States, and the death of a fellow comrade have all served to reawaken my personal search for “a deeper way than this”.
Ever since I got to really know, a few years ago, that God is love and that the human being is the centre of His love, nothing else in religion really mattered much to me. So I resolved to try and love every human being, irrespective of faith, religion, race, tribe and status. For me so far, as well expressed by Bon Jovi, “love is the only rule”. That the Lord Jesus Christ died as a sacrificial lamb for my natural sinfulness makes a lot of sense to me as an act of love.
I have discovered that there is a raging cosmic war over human minds between the enslaving powers that are driving the social media and modern communication technology on one hand and on the other hand, the original nature of man to always be at liberty and be free from the domination of other men and lower powers. The cosmic war that I seek to describe is known by many yet it appears imperceptible but its consequences are so palpably tangible for all to see.
Thus, I tend to agree that there is a small but powerful force using the media, particularly, the social media and application of modern communication technology to enslave the human race, making it less free and subjecting it to mind control for selfish and less-than-noble reasons. I have therefore been recently constrained to join the warning voices against this new tyranny which is not really new.
Democracy is not necessarily about majority but plurality. The practice of democracy from its Greek origins to its various modern concepts does not mean the tyranny of the majority to the extinction or extermination of the minority.
It is by allowing plural voices that groups that once held minority views (worldviews), untimately by social and political engagements gained enough ascendancy to rule as majority. They may as well, be replaced by another majority in the future which was once a minority. That’s an important aspect of democracy we must recognise.
There is a problem, a big problem when a group that was once a minority but allowed enough plurality by the society to emerge as a majority that now rules, to choose to eliminate plurality in order to dominate the social space and silence other voices.
In Nigeria, a group which used an unregulated social media space to wrest political power from an established party now wants to regulate social media. That group which is now in power is fixated with describing nearly every opposing view as either fake news or hate speech instead of painstakingly, constantly providing correct facts ahead of saboteurs and applying existing criminal laws to determining standards of deviant behaviours. Many Nigerians are familiar with this situation that I try to describe here.
Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, YouTube with other social media companies, radio and television networks- you know them, all, once allowed one time minority groups like Lesbians, Gay, Bi-sexuals, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) to raise their voices, loud enough to gain significant world following. They eventually gained ascendancy and proceeded to change the face of traditional humanity to where same sex marriages became accepted in Western societies and in no distant time will affect the African society. People can now undergo physical sexual transformation from male to female and vice versa for clear reasons. Many more hitherto incomprehensible worldviews were made normal by these media networks. Yet these same networks, have recently chosen to ban others for having opposing views. Their latest victims are David Icke, Donald Trump, Josh Hawley and the Parler app.
It is tyrannical for these networks to vigorously push certain informational agenda while suppressing others. However deviant the views of Icke, Trump and Hawley have been, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter cannot ban them. If they didn’t ban the LGBTIQ guys at that time, then they can’t ban anyone now and in the future.
In disputational matters of law, the courts rule. In matters of opinions regarding facts, let individuals judge for themselves. That is the bedrock of liberty. It is tyrannically disruptive and a deprivation of the right to free speech for any news network to choose to suppress the views of groups and persons.
While Twitter has retraced its steps by unbanning Donald Trump, the signs are now clear that the real purveyors of fake news are the ones who suppress opinions. They are the new tyrants who want to control what we think by controlling the information we receive. Brace up!
▪︎ Tietie, an Abuja-based lawyer, sent this via WhatsApp.