Victor Ugochukwu · Dec 1, 2020 . 8min read
Mailchimp’s new misinformation account ban policy strengthens the call for decentralized solutions
Mailchimp, just a few days to the US presidential elections have rolled out a new ban policy on accounts found culpable of misinformation.
By Victor Ugochukwu · Nov 1, 2020 . 7min read
Mailchimp, a mass email marketing service just a few days to the US presidential elections have rolled out a new ban policy on accounts found culpable of misinformation.
As reported by Zerohedge, a Right-Wing leaning website, Mailchimp had already started implementing the policy. It’s users complain of the lock-out or ban on their accounts. Mailchimp dropped the hammer on SGTreport and Press for Truth an investigative journalism outfit by blocking its account.
Specifically, Mailchimp stated that it
“does not allow the distribution of content that is, in our sole discretion, materially false, inaccurate, or misleading, in a way that could deceive or confuse others about important events, topics, or circumstances.”
Dissecting Mailchimp’s new policy statement, the first thing its unequivocally stating that its “in our sole discretion”. Which means it does not consult wit or gives any user of its platform purveying information through Mailchimp to state its case. Once it (Mailchimp) “thinks” any communication is “disinformation”, it won’t hesitate to ban or lockout the account owner.
Mailchimp’s account ban policy reeks of US Elections undertone.
Another concern would be what qualifies as disinformation? Clearly, Mailchimp’s latest policy has political undertones. The social media and arguably the entire tech space is supercharged with US elections effects. However, one would also want to ask if the whole world revolves only around the US. The United States Senates recently subpoenaed Twitter CEO for locking out the New York Post. Twitter’s defence was that it took such action against the latter for spreading “misinformation” or “hacked” materials. However, it had to bow to pressure while also admitting its decision was taken on a somewhat wrong premise. In other words, Twitter was wrong to have censored NY Post. And for the part where it appears Mailchimp is taking this action due to US presidential elections, Pavel Durov of Telegram’s fiery but succumbing response to the United States SEC re-echoes
“If the US suddenly decided to ban coffee and demanded coffee shops in Italy be closed because some American might come there – we doubt anyone would agree.“
Mailchimp will because of US elections enact a policy that could have a far-reaching effect.
Moreso, big tech most times don’t care if their actions could or even end up destroying smaller companies. We saw this during the Apple vs Fortnite saga. Consequently, in that piece, we made a case for decentralized alternatives to most of these traditional tech solutions. The original creators of the internet had conceived something not under the control of just a few. But what is presently obtainable are a few gatekeepers who determine what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Decentralized options to mainstream tech solutions needed.
Decentralized options knock off this censorship hegemony. While AWS offers cloud storage solution, it could turn its services off anytime. This wouldn’t be that easy to pull off if it was a distributed network as we see with IPFS (Inter-Planetary File System). Filecoin has released its mainnet, adding to the decentralized options out there in terms of cloud storage.
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Komal Joshi · Nov 30, 2020 . 5min read