Alexander Hall

Contributing Writer


Latest from Alexander Hall

If competitive soccer games are too toxically masculine for your taste, and if your idea of “diversity” is an all-black cast, The New York Times has some games for you! The Times in mid-October posted “Fear, Anxiety and Hope: What It Means to Be a Minority in Gaming,” a roundup of diverse and (uniformly) progressive video game creators who The Times hopes will replace gaming’s “toxic” culture.Many of the games specifically deal with the creators’ own trauma and issues of identity. From an artistic perspective, the classic advice of “write what you know” is an understandable starting point, but many of these creators seem happy to jump off the deep end.



With experts warning about hackers and insider sabotage as Amazon expands into the business of elections, should American voters worry about officials putting all their eggs in one basket? Amazon Web Services (AWS) has increasingly become involved with both “state and local elections,” noted Reuters inn an article titled “How Amazon.com moved into the business of U.S. elections.”  “More than 40 states now use one or more of Amazon’s election offerings,according to a presentation given by an Amazon executive this year.” But security experts are concerned about how risky AWS’s decentralization of election data will be. 



Twitter Inc. released a blog post titled “World Leaders on Twitter: principles & approach” on Oct. 5, which aimed to give “more context” on their “principles and process” for censoring tweets by world leaders. 



A proposed commission to bully online platforms into cracking down harder on speech has civil rights advocates outraged, The Hill reported. At least three bills were discussed, including ones targeting cybersecurity, drones and online platforms. The last bill was the “National Commission on Online Platforms and Homeland Security Act,” which Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) explained by saying: 



The company behind “World of Warcraft” has been vilified by its fans and its employees have walked out in protest after it banned a professional gamer for supporting Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.Activision Blizzard employees walked out of work on Tuesday at their campus in Irvine, California. The walkout happened after Blizzard announced a one-year suspension and withheld prize money from Hong Kong-based competitive Hearthstone player Chung Ng-wai, better known as “Blitzchung.”



Video game industry legend Mark Kern disavowed Blizzard for kowtowing to Chinese censorship, encouraging gamers to “rise up” and “#BoycottBlizzard.” Kern, who grew up in Asia, was involved in some of Blizzard Entertainment’s most famous games. He worked as a producer for demon-slaying epic “Diablo 2” and as a team lead on “World of Warcraft.”



Are gangs now off-limits to crime-fighting superheroes? Allegedly, the South American MS-13, whose motto is “kill, rape, control” is considered to be a “marginalized group” by Big Tech liberals. American comic book creator Mike S. Miller alleged via his Twitter account on Oct. 2 that Kickstarter had deplatformed his comic book project on the grounds that it “subjugated” a “marginalized group.” Miller tagged many conservative media leaders and cited this incident as “[m]ore wokeness from the tech companies on display.”



Another American company bowed to Chinese censorship in order to protect their bottom line. Blizzard Entertainment found itself in the same hot water as the NBA about China. The computer gaming firm, famous for titles such as “World of Warcraft” and “Starcraft,” has publicly announced a one-year suspension as of Oct. 8 for a professional video game player Chung Ng-wai, better known as Blitzchung. His crime? Shouting a Hong Kong protest slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times!” 



Facebook is taking a free-speech approach to political campaign ads, and letting users decide what is or is not fake news. Naturally, the left is upset about it. President Trump’s re-election campaign launched a new ad both on television and social media last week that condemned Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the Ukraine controversy. 



Strange political times make for unexpected allies as Democratic primary candidates defend Trump’s right to have a platform on Twitter. Democratic presidential nominee rivals Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts rejected comments by Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) calling for Trump to be suspended from Twitter.



One of the news social media apps is copying the strategies of big name sites — censorship. TikTok, a wildly popular app that is managed by a sinister moderation system, is censoring posts about President Donald Trump, Christianity and the LGBT community, according to leaks sent to The Guardian.



So much for the Declaration of Independence? The top court in the European Union ruled that Facebook, an American company, must delete content globally if a European court deems it defamatory. As the Court of Justice of the European Union press release wrote, “EU law does not preclude a host provider such as Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal.”



Move over Russia, a Big Tech executive allegedly has had ties with an "information warfare" unit of the British Army. As reported by NewsWeek, Twitter executive Head of Editorial  Gordon MacMillan, who has editorial responsibility for Middle East and Africa, “also serves with the 77th Brigade—an outfit formed in 2015 to conduct "information warfare" and develop ‘non-lethal’ ways of conducting war.” He cited on his LinkedIn profile that he is a “reserve officer” and that his division “specialized in non-lethal engagement.”



Dr Jordan B Peterson’s meteoric rise in popularity has started intense intellectual conversations on topics from free speech to gender politics. Now, after seeing free speech threatened by Big Tech censorship, he worked with experts to create his own platform for people to have just those kinds of discussions. MRC Techwatch, which covered the creation of this new platform, was selected as one of the first users. 



“The free press that the founders envisioned looked a lot more like” Reddit. It didn’t look like New York Times writers who misrepresent basic tenets of free speech and demand censorship to protect their friends from “online harassment.” So said Donald Trump Jr. en route to arguing “the greatest threat to free speech and our democracy today is not the government, but the technology giants that deplatform people at the behest of liberals and then justify the action as ‘combating hate’ and making the internet somehow safer.”



Are there Coulrophobes at YouTube? Big Tech’s fear of clowns appears to be no laughing matter. A YouTuber known as the Video Lexicographer released an installment of his “Video Dictionary,” a channel where “we explore the language and the words we use every day.”



Celebrities that once called for Trump to be dead are now calling for Trump to be banned from Twitter. The director of Avengers, Firefly, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer has called for the next step in the impeachment battle: banning President Trump from Twitter. Joss Whedon retweeted a Twitter thread so fantastic it wouldn’t make it as Buffy script. In it, aTwitter user asserted that “civil war” was the clear “promise of MAGA.”



The brazenly liberal Anti-Defamation League, which works with Big Tech companies to remove “hate” from social media, has declared that images that are against the left wing Antifa mobs are now “hate symbols.” The ADL’s “Hate on Display(tm) Hate Symbols Database,” states that “white supremacists” use imagery “directed against antifa (short for anti-fascist),” which the ADL innocuously describes as a “the loosely-organized left-wing and anarchist anti-racist movement.”



The finger-and-thumb OK sign, once an international gesture of approval, has been declared to be a racist gesture by the Anti-Defamation League. As CNN wrote in its September 26 coverage, “The ADL added that symbol along with several others on Thursday to its long-standing database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.” While the ADL has said that not everybody necessarily intends it to be a signal to fellow racists, the sign has been co-opted by the alt-right.



President Donald Trump described Big Tech censorship as one of the “new challenges to liberty” and declared that “a free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people.” President Trump blasted social media during his speech at the UN, and covered its problems ranging from blacklisting to censorship.