with blogging, website data brings both joy and disappointment. statistical successes and failures are often accompanied with hamster-wheel-like stagnation. hardwork and improved content can not move the meters.
while blog success can be spurred upon “freedom of speech,” it is also harmed by forces impacting “freedom of reach.”
“freedom of reach” involves many factors. platform algorithms can amplify of minimize a blog’s ability to reach both its potential audience. de-platforming or shadow-banning terms have been coined for some of these activities. youtuber often remark how, at times, they suddenly disappear. they either lose subscribers or fail to gain new ones. beyond search engine result censorship, social media, i.e. facebook and twitter, have been accused of restricting “freedom of reach.”
is there a right to “freedom of reach?” “freedom of reach” is arguably a subset right of “freedom of speech.” with no soapbox to stand upon, how can freedom of speech be impactful? thus, if the united states governs portions of the internet, “freedom of reach” is a first amendment concern.
is there a need for some form of government regulation? should internet based companies restricting “reach” at least be obligated to, in detail, disclose who is being excluded and why? should companies inform individuals that they are in fact targeted or placed upon some restrictive list? should detailed explanations be provided as to the reason for the restriction? in sum, as these entities operate within the public, should this transparency be required?
for those not appreciating this prohibition of “freedom of reach,” i offer the following example.
this website, thetcp.org is labeled as a movement to promote the values and morals of the ten commandments. additionally, it explores aspects of moses’ life experience, his ability to overcome his physical impairment. it explores his identity issues of being raised as an egyptian yet belonging to the hebrew people. the blog relates the ten commandments and moses to contemporary events. the blog highlights disabled individuals’ achievements. the blog discusses issues of identity within modern times. these issues are so offensive that microsoft not only censors the website from search engine results that it also refuses to allow it to purchase advertising via “pay per click.” the ten commandments must surely be dangerous to the life of microsoft. while i wished to throw mind hands up in the air and surrender, instead, i placed my hands upon my keyboard to crank out more relevant and meaningful content.
in these moments, i embrace my inaccurate listening of bob dylan’s song “like a rolling stone.” for the line, “when you ain’t got nothing, you have nothing to lose, you are invisible” i always believed that it said “when you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose, you are invincible.” in other words, when you are at the depths, you can only go up.
“freedom of reach” has another aspect-search engine status quo. in 2022, it felt like there were two moments of search engine re-balancing that occurred. there was a period at which this blog was having statistical achievement. this achievement was, however, eliminated during these periods of re-balancing. my impression of this re-balancing is that of maintaining a status quo. it would appear that, for some topics, the internet wishes to provide old content as the results. algorithms, for standard content, fails to appreciate more relevant and more content. while other religious websites have addressed the ten commandments, the thetcp.org has far more articles addressing many different facets. while most religious institutions will touch upon the ten commandments as it comes up during the annual reading cycles, this blog is dedicated to providing content essentially six days a week towards it.
bloggers must confront both search engine censorship, i.e. microsoft and bing, as well as programming that retards website visibility. this is in contrast with the effort for those controlling search engines to adjust to trending topics. controversial statements made as to whether hitler invented highways and the microphone were rapidly addressed. on searches of these items, there was a message that results were being adjusted to address the controversy.
in sum, i wish each and every blogger and happy and prosperous 2023. likewise, i wish all those who use the web and social media to find what they are searching for.
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