Letter to the Editor

Discrimination is an unconscionable assault against the soul of any person who is victimized by it. It is a betrayal that goes deep and devastates a person to their core, leaving nothing but anguish and utter despair in its wake. Discrimination destroys the value of tomorrow for those who face it today. I am a victim of discrimination so I know it when I see it. And I am seeing it again now played out with what Google and other social media companies are doing to people like you and me.

Like many of you, I have grown to depend upon the services of Google as it has become such a staple in our day to day lives that it affects virtually everything we do. So imagine my surprise that after a decade and a half, my “Google account” had been suspended with no information provided as to why.

I find it doubtful that the cat videos I have uploaded over the years are in violation of any of their nebulous terms of service. Like so many others, I find myself blindly placed on an ever increasingly growing list of victims of Google’s digital discrimination.

Google has become that one company that we cannot live without. Google controls the means by which we access our email, our phones, web browsing, searches, and so on. Imagine for a moment what it would mean to you if, without warning, through no fault of your own, you were banned from all of your Google accounts, including but not limited to, emails, contacts, photos, uploaded videos, web favorites, browsing access, and all of the apps on your Android phone forever. Your life would be irreversibly and permanently harmed. Just think, email alone is tied to everything we do from Netflix to online banking. The damage that a company like Google can do to a person is incalculable. And Google answers to nobody so there is no recourse. Once your information is deleted, you are ruined. That kind of power is pure evil.

This issue of digital discrimination is so important to our democracy that to stand by and let it happen is a betrayal of all that we are. I know times are tough and politics are especially tenuous at the moment, but things will change for the better. We must not lose who we are in the struggle to get there. I fought for equality, civil rights, against discrimination, against racism, and now I see all of that being swept away one civility and one social media account at a time and it must be stopped.

Don’t be digitally murdered like me. Call upon our politicians to act today. We need an internet and social media bill of rights to ensures equal and fair access to the goods and services we have all grown dependent upon. Tomorrow could be too late for you, so act now to stop big tech today.

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