Original response video by Scott Creighton – additional written commentary by Abdul Hussain
To start things off, before you read my response post below, I suggest you to check out The Saturday Evening Laissez-Faire Show: Test Run Edition article and then go and watch this video from Scott Creighton from Nomadic Everyman to help with understanding the topic of this post a little better:
Now with that suggestion out of the way, while Scott Creighton (Scott), Aunt BB (BB), and I did a Test Run Edition of The Saturday Evening Laissez-Faire Show , we were, as usual, having a nice, relaxing session on Skype, talking about worldly events, while having a good time and trying to help Aunt BB with finding optimal settings for recording the chats, and testing them of course for future videos.
However, while we were playing Trio’s “Da Da Da”, the music track in question was suddenly muted. Scott and BB attempted to play back the aforementioned music track, but without success, and Scott has even shown his audio settings (spoiler alert: his audio output is almost at 100%). Oddly enough though, I was the only one who managed to play the track in question without issues, though the only audio input source I had set-up is the microphone, due to the limitations of my operating system set-up, in which for those who do not know, I run Puppy Linux on a microSD card, while BB runs Google’s Chrome OS, and Scott runs Microsoft Windows 10, but even then, operating system/audio input-output setups alone should not handicap audio playback for some systems in a weirdly inconsistent fashion, or at least, that is what I initially thought at the time of the making of the show.
After the show though, I immediately decided to look up on Skype censorship, and while Scott has dedicated a video to it, with a supplementary blog post detailing the situation in question, I’ve decided to do some digging as there was mentions of Skype/Microsoft altering its Service Agreement, and sure enough, I’ve found an article dedicated to the subject in question and another article here by The Register, which talks about the Service Agreement tweaks being made [those tweaks were made in 2018, the same year as that technological firms were hell-bent on suspending accounts, like Scott’s now-dead American Everyman WordPress site] reportedly clamp down on swearing, nudity, et cetera, while also talking about taking action on copyright material, with the obvious consequences to violating the Agreement being account termination, and also, “we [Microsoft] may block delivery of a communication”.
That in itself is pretty creepy, and I think that the terminology in the Agreement is deliberately vague enough to allow flexibility of the interpretation and implementation of the Agreement at the expense of users who use its services in a fair manner, especially within Fair Use rules – so much so that it could lead to further censorship, and if the experiences here are anything to go by, it would not surprise me if it turns out, without absolutely uncertainty (exempli gratia: a company notifying you of a violation via email, and having confession-based evidence to back up a point), that the Microsoft Service Agreement rules were implemented mid-event like how it has happened here, but then again, events like this (playing music during the video, only for it to miraculously cut out) do certainly line up with the Microsoft Service Agreement and its Code of Conduct, so frankly, after thinking about this, it is no surprise that is the case, though nobody should frankly have to put up with that. What’s next? Talking about news stories on Skype only for that conversation to be scrubbed and muted mid-session? With issues like this, that is a frightening possibility, and thus, it is a legitimate concern one should have when using mainstream services from major companies like Microsoft, Alphabet, et cetera, especially at a time when videos, articles, and posts are already being deleted, and accounts suspended due to such content and posters challenging the prevailing false worldly orthodoxies..