In my Life generally and in my work specifically as The Gentleman Mystic, I speak to the creation, experience, and expression of Beauty. I teach that the reason we are born into this Life is to know the Joys of living. For me, this manifests through Self-awareness and the process of continual personal refinement. My work has absolutely nothing to do with providing commentary on the cultural distractions of politics or its attendant machinations. Hence the title of this present dispatch being #MysticOffTopic.
My concern is not with any specific political stance, party, or affiliation. Believe what you want, support whatever candidates or positions speak to you, it makes no difference to me. What motivates me to write this piece is what I perceive to be the proliferation of throttles and downright suppression in the marketplace of ideas by the gatekeepers of the Big 3 social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube/Google.)
I understand that the Constitutional guarantees regarding freedom of speech are in place to stop the government from using its power to limit expression by the citizens of this nation. I also know that the private sector is not bound (nor should it ever be) by those sacrosanct constrictions. If the aforementioned Big 3 wish to limit the type and tenor of discussions and interactions on their platforms, they are absolutely within their rights to do so. What disturbs me is the unevenness with which these platforms choose to dole out their restrictions, suspensions, and outright bans to certain individuals that could be viewed as libertarian, conservative, or otherwise right-leaning, all the while protesting that they are showing no favoritism and are simply abiding by their own previously established terms of service. Even more troubling are the number of accounts I have observed to be suspended or banned which, though not political per se, do not fall within the present zeitgeist of political correctness, yet are otherwise not even remotely incendiary or maliciously provocative. Conversely, there are accounts (many belonging to well known celebrities) currently active on Twitter that routinely tweet out all manner of vile and inflammatory rhetoric with no consequence. The difference? Those in the last group are openly and vocally left on the political spectrum.
(Lest anyone accuse me of declaiming that my personal “preferred” ideology is being unfairly victimized in/by social media: 1) Unless you have spoken with me personally, you very likely have no idea what are my political leanings, and 2) I would be just as concerned with what I perceive to be unequally meted out redactions if it were the right which were the beneficiaries of such actions.)
The Big 3 platforms will undoubtedly trundle on as they see fit. Certainly, market pressures can be brought to bear but, until dollars (or the loss thereof) supplant ideologies, there is little reason to expect a lessening of the affronts to the right or the non-PC center, or parity with the left being more stridently scrutinized and admonished. So what to do, then?
I have never had a reason for any of my social media accounts to be censured but, as I have already alluded to, reason is a sometimes nebulous and flimsy thing in these matters. (For all I know, the contents of this very dispatch could be sufficient provocation for an audit of my social media presence if word of my position somehow made its way to the proper inquisitors.) It is my intention to remain active on Twitter with it being my primary social media outlet, along with my extant Instagram account. This does not mean I have any degree of confidence that my anodyne gentleman’s voice is in any way safe or above misguided reproach. It is with this in mind I have opened accounts with two current alternatives to Twitter: Minds and Mastodon. Should I one day “disappear” from any of my customary outlets without warning, you will have a way of tracking me down. And, of course, I can always be found here at GentlemanMystic.com.
Two of our greatest freedoms are those of expression and of choice. I hope you will use both wisely.
©Billy Red Horse