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When complaints about censorship are about protecting the status quo

Whenever I hear someone talk about the importance of political neutrality online, part of me assumes they’re talking about maintaining the status quo.

Many complaints about online censorship come from conservatives. Pauline Hanson here in Australia is a perfect example – she fluctuates from calling on Parliament to vote on whether or not “it’s okay to be white” to complaining that both she and her party are criticised more harshly than others when negative attention turns their way.

Some people will inevitably raise valid issues. But they also feel disingenuous – especially when you consider that, in most Western countries, conservatives are in power (often comfortably so).

A lot has changed to get us here, but one thing feels important:

Progressives have won the day when it comes to social politeness, while the right have shifted further from the centre in policy and rhetoric.

The right have built a new sense of what’s “okay” to say at a time more people are more prepared to reject that.

Basically, conservatives get to think themselves victims while also being in power.

Best of both worlds.

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