surinenglish

Censors working overtime

Whenever we write a load of nonsense on social media - which, let's face it, is ninety-nine per cent of the time - we can be fairly confident that not many people are even vaguely interested. Still, it's the fashion of our times to do so and if seven or eight of our TwitFaceAgram chums can whack up the ginger to express approval by budging their thumb half an inch and pressing 'like', life makes a little more sense again - for approximately thirty seconds, anyway.

Featured heavily in the news this week was the fact that many of the social media giants are now employing vast teams to take down anything they deem to be 'hate speech' or similar.

The problem is, it appears that most of the chaps doing the censoring are barely out of nappies. One of them has been reported as being nearly as dumbfounded the rest of us, apparently replying to a question about his role with the rather splendid 'What do I know? I'm just a twenty-five-year-old kid.' Well, quite.

Anyway, there they all are - mostly blokes, mostly young and mostly with no social life - scouring the interweb for stuff they don't like and then taking it down on a whim without so much as a by-your-leave.

Of course, most of these people should really be assigned to removing photos of plates of food because, frankly, anyone who doesn't find a picture of what someone else is just about to eat offensive is clearly bonkers. Actually, I'm not sure quite how it all really works. Maybe they have some sort of checklist which displays highly undesirable words in no particular order e.g. 'United', 'Manchester', etc.

The kerfuffle in the press has been caused because some public speakers and social commentators who are extraordinarily popular among the great unwashed have been deemed unsuitable for public consumption by dudes in baseball caps who still say 'man' and 'brother' to each other even though it's not 1967 anymore.

Not to worry, I think I've got the answer. They should ditch the hipsters and get a load of grumpy old people on the case instead. It wouldn't be long before the entire internet was censored except for a few pod casts of The Archers and a couple of photos of Rita Hayworth. Then we'd all be back to digital square one.

What's more, you never know - given a second chance, we might even put a little extra thought into the whole internet thing before we dared to let the genie out of the bottle.