When #GamerGate was first coined by Adam Baldwin 4 years ago almost to the day, I doubt anyone could have fathomed the cultural zeitgeist it evolved into or the several ‘#Gates’ it would have inspired. I don’t even think anyone would have imagined the need for such consumer revolts left right and center. Now, however, the horrible beast has been pulled out into the light and it is not happy. As such, it’s starting to become obvious how the whole of our society has been truly blinded, and for the most part without the path of recourse. The internet, though, has changed the visibility not only of activism, but of what seems to be the better option of advocacy.
For example, while the suffragettes take credit for enfranchisement, they wouldn’t have even gotten close without the calm and metered advocacy of the suffragists. Many want to try to attribute to the violent Islamist Malcom X and the Black Panthers the victories of the civil rights era. However, he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if it weren’t for the non-violent protests of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks who are more rightfully remembered. What I seek to do with this anniversary of the Gamers are Dead Attacks is look at what we’ve seen this past year, present the issues we are going to see moving forward, and give an idea of what needs to happen moving forward. Let’s Hammer This In!
Starting out we’ve seen people going after us in reality, we’ve seen some people we’ve trusted turn against us. We’ve seen many of the leaders of the far left start to eat one another and projects based on social justice fail miserably at every turn. We’ve even seen untouchable franchises fall from grace. But we’ve also seen a growing unrest from those in the political underclass, we misfits, outcasts, those who don’t have much in life by the standards of those who presume themselves superior. Also, the authoritarian aspects of many top corporations become more naked in their display, even so much as to have a financial giant look at us and cry out ‘No, you do not get to disparage your betters! Kneel! Kneel before Zucc!” Ok, bad joke I know, but its not inaccurate.
At the same time we’ve seen start-up after start-up pioneered by those in alignment more with our sensibilities and with our views of ethics, humanity and overall decency in mind, showing not only are we a sizable audience but that we are one with some worth behind us in the long run… that the so-called ‘populous’ mainstream perhaps isn’t so popular after all… that like many things they have lied to us about, their influence is very much the same. Catch is, their influence is over the right people and they are using that to essentially farm us, people who tend to be poor and disenfranchised for whatever reason, of what wealth we have, and our ability to obtain resources. This is all to promote an ultimately destructive and hedonistic lifestyle for an extremely limited amount of people.
What’s most devious about this is this type of class warfare is that they are doing it while sporting the visage of the oppressed.
So with that coming about, combined with every bit of alternative media that seems to keep outgrowing and superseding their prior gatekeeper controls, (including the use of various private mailing lists they can’t control and provider services that are outside of Silicon Valley) we now know that they are going through the financier systems as well. This is likely through involvement with the Saudi Royal Family (granted this part is simply speculation). Why is this happening? Because like him or not President Donald J. Trump has interfered greatly with a globalization plan that has been in preparation for the past half a century. Then if you look at every magnate involved with most globalization efforts, ask yourself what they can be traced back to, and you might start to understand WHY they don’t want his retaining power and solidifying it for the 2020 run.
One problem though – through everything that has happened in the last 4 years with the organization capacities granted through more decentralized forces like #GamerGate (that despite popular belief aren’t restricted to singular platforms) the poor can now fight back. This is why the ISP issue is in question as well, because ISP throttling is still as dangerous as social media blacklisting. Right now, competition is very minimal with ISPs, what with Comcast having set things up to where they are the primary provider in much of the United States. That’s why the pushes in my home state of Tennessee seem to be a blueprint for alleviating this issue. One Senatorial Candidate Phil Bresden (D) seeking to replace Senator Bob Corker (R) wishes to expand the contract for TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) which was originally established during FDR’s New Deal to proliferate electrical coverage within a fair amount of the Southern United States. This capacity was opened for possibility by Governor Bill Haslam (R) last year.
Why would this be helpful do you ask? Because it does for the internet what should have been offered from the start with healthcare: Giving an affordable public offer that pushes competition from the private sector, making larger corporations be genuinely competitive no matter what, rather than driving their competition out of business purely so they can hike up the prices when they have an area monopoly. Add to the fact that a few of these corporations have merged with other large companies and you get the making of a very dangerous horizontal monopoly, one that you rarely hear about. Take the previously mentioned Comcast: They also own NBC, Verizon,Universal Studios, and Hulu, oh and if you think that you can escape them by going to satellite they own Dish Network to boot. What about AT&T? They got Time Warner who also has some ownership of Hulu which means they are just as close knit with Comcast. Then you have their ownership of their own phone services and CNN…. the plot thickens.
Point is what we have here is a disingenuous group of conglomerates who have WAY too much control over too many services, giving more elite groups unprecedented control over what the poor can access and therefore gain information from. So how do we as a whole solve this problem? We solve this by realizing that we are better served consolidating our own numbers, getting some of these more foolish distractions set aside and working towards a more comprehensive Consumer Revolt! Push for ethics in consumer services and advocacy for consumer rights! That’s right – I’m calling for a full blown #SERVICEGATE!
How would this work? This is an extension of the Digital Bill of Rights concept, a Consumer Bill of Rights if you will. This would start in the United States to be sure but it would land as a blueprint for the rest of the world. So what would this Consumer Bill of Rights consist of? This is a rough draft so it is something we can hash out better later but here it goes:
The Consumer’s Bill of Rights
These rights being drafted with the understanding that access to various forms of communication is a human necessity in this day and age, and as such is an evolution of our rights as human beings. It is also understood that, as of the writing of this Bill, such rights are not currently respected by many corporations, who view themselves as better than their customers, as if the only purpose for their customers is to be fleeced like sheep. This is to encourage a return to “The Customer is always right” and ensure that services return to serving their customer base and aren’t enforcing a captive audience. In the case of such captivity, where, unavoidable they are subject to the same ethics as they would be with proper competition. To ensure that the freedoms and rights of any human being are understood to be self-evident and are enforced on the individual level, the enactment of this Consumer Protection Protocol is of paramount importance.
I. Freedom of Speech and Expression
As a primary purpose for most internet and phone services is to provide communication across a disparate set and variety of peoples, the ability to speak and express one’s thoughts and concepts openly and freely shall not be infringed by a service, and at the same time the company is not responsible or subject to any other entity for the speech and expression of their clientele.
II. Freedom of Exchange
As the internet and phone services are paramount in economic practices across the whole of the world, the hindrance of economic exchange between two or more parties that is not in violation of a sovereign nation’s laws concerning contraband shall not be allowed.
III. Freedom of Choice
Given the consolidation of various services over the past 30 years of the existence of the internet as a consumer product, the need for competition has become more necessary than ever. It is vital that consumers have options and alternatives readily available to wherever they have decided to migrate to within their country. This means that in order to provide healthy competition, laws must be enacted where absent to prevent monopolies or oligopolies from taking place, including but not limited to both Public and Private options.
IV. Freedom of Privacy and Security
Individual identity has come increasingly under attack in the past decade. As of this writing it has become evident that securing privacy is now an integral part of the human experience. As such, the customer must be given the ability to opt out of any provision allowing the service to provide the consumer’s personal data and information for any reason short of a legal investigation that requires a warrant. This includes ISP logging of user search histories and financial transactions. In addition, affordable security software can be marketed by the ISP as long as it is understood that the end user is allowed to provide their own.
V. Freedom of Ownership, Contract, and Negotiation
This is to ensure that the individual user has the ability to own every step of their access to the greater internet, beginning with an individual terminal (i.e. personal computer, cellular telephone, streaming television box) all the way to the individual router, allowing a rent-to-own option in addition to an individual providing their own router to provide control over how they are able to use their services. This includes being able to opt out or negotiate at any time addenda or revisions to existing contracts, defending the ability to refuse any anti-consumer practice without rebuke. In addition, any revisions to any contract can not be retroactively enforced, especially in the case of pursing a personal or political agenda.
VI. Freedom of Defense
In consideration to violations of various terms of services one must be allowed to defend their position in relation to what they post on a particular service before termination of an account is even considered. In consideration of this a terms of service agreement must have a clearly and concisely defined set of rules and bylaws that can be easily understood by the layman user, and enforcement must be done evenly, regardless of the identifying aspects of the user in question. A provider can not discriminate for reasons of race, religion, creed or political affiliation. As such a provider cannot be directly affiliated with an organization that discriminates in such a fashion as the organization can determine who can and can not use a service.
VII. Freedom to Serve
This is the right of any individual consumer to be allowed to become a provider of any service they so wish if they have the capacity to. This stems from as small as providing a physical product to as large as providing an exchange of currency service or a social media platform without hindrance or interference by defamation from established services that would be considered competition.
VIII. Freedom of Personhood
In no case can a group of services conspire together to erase any singular individual from a host of services in the name of a political agenda nor as a defense against a legal action. Considering the necessity of the internet in contemporary interaction and parlance, a person must be allowed the ability to exist in some form upon a platform unless they have violated a law that would prohibit them access to such services.
IX. Freedom of Conscience
As an extension of Freedom of Speech and Expression, the ability to disagree with another individual or organization shall not be infringed. As such it can not be a bannable offense to disagree with a specific political or religious position regardless of what said political or religious affiliation desires on the matter. Any country that promotes any form of anti-discrimination standard must cover political and religious affiliation under the umbrella of protected classes to preserve not only cultural hegemony of sovereign states but to defend the ability of persecuted classes to overcome said persecution.
X. Freedom to Self-Identify and Right of Anonymity
To expand upon existing anti-discrimination terms, a person is free to accumulate information, ideas, sentiments, and/or resources that may aid or motivate in the construction of a personal identity; religious, political, or otherwise. This includes the right to remain anonymous where one feels their personal livelihood is endangered.
XI. Evolution of Rights
It must be understood that in the spirit of protecting consumer and therefore human rights across the board that this list can be expanded and refined as issues surface that require such debates and discussions to sanely take place. In addition, due to the nature of the internet and freedom’s necessity for the evolution of the human race, this document must be accepted by any country or organization that participate in such international commerce.
I know this may seem a bit much but as it has been seen as necessary to have a Digital Bill of Rights I figured that this was the best way to go about it, basically working out a way to enforce an international level Free Market system. Now I’m not a legal draftsman so I realize this may need further revision but that’s where comment sections come in. I want people to come to this regularly and discuss in depth how to expand and modify the wording, to give the consumer the power as opposed to activists that don’t consume a product or service, or even prevent corporations from having power over governments. At the same time, this will be set up to prevent any authoritarian government from violating the sovereign rights and human rights defenses of a free country.
Considering how necessary this sort of document is now, with any luck this will not only defend the speech of all, but provide a truer form of Net Neutrality than what the FCC can enforce. I look forward to discussion of the evolution of consumer advocacy in the comments below! Next week, I’ll be discussing a recently remastered game from the era of the Sega Dreamcast, and how it deals with male emotion more honestly despite notoriously bad voice acting…. Next time on Breaking the Narrative, Shenmue. Until then Please Remember to Game Freely!
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