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Aaron Gwin - The Inside Line Podcast

We're honored to have Aaron Gwin back on The Inside Line podcast. He was on the show a few years back, and with the World Cup Downhill in Les Gets on the horizon, we figured it was time to reconnect. In this episode we discuss his struggles at the first World Cup DH race in Les Gets, the challenges of being a podium-level racer now and if his training has changed over the years. Bike development with Intense is a topic of conversation as is being present on social media. Does he remain a bike racer only or does he share thoughts and questions about social and political ideas on Instagram? Enjoy the show as one of the fastest bike racers on the planet opens up.

 



Cover photo by Dan Hearn

Thank you to jensonusa.com for supporting the Inside Line for over 4 years now. Shop for mountain bikes, components and riding gear and use coupon code insideline (all one word) at checkout so can save you 10% off on qualifying items.

Summertime is the right time to try something different on your bike and Maxxis tires will let you slide around with a semi-slick or go big and grippy with a DoubleDown or DH casing. hit up maxxis.com for all tire sizes and constructions.

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26 comments
  • NoahColorado

    6/29/2021 11:51 AM

    Gwin has incredible talent, drive, and a serious work ethic. I still remember watching him ride and race in-person in late '00s and early '10s, and being absolutely blown away by what I was seeing. I hope he returns to the top of the sport, and I'll be cheering for him every run. But, the whole part where he was insinuating that Instagram was suppressing his reach because of his beliefs was pretty laughable. C'mon bruh.
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  • jeff.brines

    6/29/2021 2:33 PM

    Noah,

    Not to be a douche, but its not "laughable". Its probably spot on. There are a few factors at play here. Lets talk about two...

    1) Most mountain bikers lean left. No, I don't have any statistics to back this up right here, but I don't think this is a far fetched assumption. If Gwin posts something that leans more right, and his followers don't engage with it guess what? The algorithm won't show it to as many people. Put another way, you run MRPs insgram. Post something political, post something right leaning, see what happens. It won't go anywhere. Do this a few times and see what happens to the number of times your story is seen and number of likes your posts get once you get back to posting what your audience "expects". This isn't the algorithm "hating" rightist politics as much as its skewing based on the echo chamber it expects you to continue to fill.

    2) Its no secret big tech leans left. Have they built this into the algorithm? I don't think so, but there is a massive amount of skewing of certain information based on how they pull or "shadow ban" certain ideas. The lab leak being one of them (until recently); now vaccine adverse effects and invermectin information. All that said, I don't think Gwin was the victim of any of this, but to suggest its a fair playing field no matter what sort of speech you want to share is a farce.

    I really dug Gwin's willingness to bring this up, and his willingness to want to get into the nuance of these bigger conversations (which is exactly what I'm doing here). While I'm not the biggest fan of athletes getting political for politicalness sake, I do love someone's willingness to discuss harder topics, develop some thoughts and defend them. This shouldn't be frowned upon, no matter what your values structure may be.

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  • NoahColorado

    6/29/2021 3:32 PM

    OMG, never in a million years did I think you'd post a long reply to this. smile

    So you're saying that if you post relatively unpopular content, you'll get fewer likes and interactions? Shocker. It doesn't matter if it's "political" -- for example, I got into gravel in the last year and started posting more gravel content. Then my average post likes started going down...because my audience isn't as into gravel as I am. That's not some nefarious plot by Instagram, like Gwin was implying.

    "Big tech" may be left-leaning, but the most popular, highest-performing Facebook posts are consistently right wing. The way they monitor and police their platforms may not be ideal, but the idea that there is extreme bias has yet to be proven.

    I enjoyed the podcast, applaud Spomer for asking these questions, and appreciate Gwin answering in earnest. That doesn't mean I have to agree with him....which ironically, was his point as well.

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  • jeff.brines

    6/29/2021 3:55 PM

    Is Gwin implying it was nefarious? I heard it as it seemed as though his posts weren't getting engagement following some COVID/political related stuff. I'm illustrating how that might have happened with or without any bias in the algorithms.

    You suggested his claim was "laughable", which is a pretty lame thing to same IMO. You didn't say "I disagree with this", you cast his claim off as though he is a kook. That's not having a nuanced conversation where people disagree, at least to me its not.

    The fact is you nor me really knows how big tech's algorithms work. They are always changing, and we're mostly in the dark. We can speculate, which is all Gwin was doing. It sure seems if you post something that doesn't jive with your audience it can feel as though its a "strike" against your account. Maybe this isn't even on purpose and clearly has no political bias. But so long as things are algorithmic, not chronological, this will be a bug in the system where it can feel as though your ideas are being shut down because the code didn't like what it saw for the business of the xyz social.

    We agree right wing outlets do well on Facebook (specifically) but this doesn't mean that certain rightest ideas get pulled entirely. I have zero idea what Gwin was trying to discuss specifically, but I can name a handful of stories (or ideas) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google etc have openly pulled down. And yes, they are rightest "ideas".

    Again, I take issue with your language more than your point. I didn't find any part of what he was talking about to be "laughable" and this is clearly something I care very much about.

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  • NoahColorado

    6/29/2021 4:44 PM

    Jeff, with all due respect, do you really find the word "laughable" to be offensive? Do you ever laugh? Do you understand the difference between laughing at someone and laughing at something?

    I gotta go ride, so this is the last thing I'll say...

    I think people sometimes jump to the conclusion that big tech is suppressing or censoring certain voices, when it's more likely those voices/opinions are just not all that popular.

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  • jeff.brines

    6/29/2021 5:07 PM

    @NoahColorado,

    Maybe we have different thoughts on what "laughable" means. According to the dictionary, it is defined as "so ludicrous as to be amusing".

    I think this conversation alone shows its not so ludicrous (but it might be amusing...in a certain weird way).

    In modern context, "laughable" seems like a way to write someone's ideas off without even addressing them. A synonym might be "delusional". As we are seeing now, there is certainly a logical back and forth to be had about this topic which in and of itself should suggest its not laughable nor delusional.

    If these types of thoughts really are so fringe, I question as to how someone as big as Joe can hold an "emergency podcast" about said censorship surrounding covid (just listening to it now - hence its on my mind). While I'm not suggesting Gwin is Bret Weinstein, I am suggesting, in the words of Walter "This effects all of us man".

    Lets put this in another context for fun - If Gutenberg only made a handful of printing presses, and he and his buddies had the say as to what went through the press, or in what order, I'm sure there would have been a bit of a reaction from the people. I'm not sure what we are seeing is all that different from this sort of analogy.

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  • bajaguy

    6/30/2021 2:14 PM

    Wait Gwin said he researches both sides left and right to make an informed decision but all he posts are far right stuff. That totally makes sense since the right side has all the correct information.

    Newsflash IG or any social media platform will bombard your feed with whatever side or interest they think you cater to so that's all you will see to rile you up. Sounds like he was a victim of the same "right leaning" group he follows that riled him up during Covid just like far left followers. Hopefully getting back to racing will get him off his phone.

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  • jeff.brines

    7/1/2021 10:36 AM

    @dd and the rest of the replies/downvotes who may care to read this.

    1) Reread what I wrote. I am not a conservative. My favorite podcast host is Sam Harris second to Bret Weinstein (both are self identified liberals/progressives). I also WORK IN NEWS. Literally, I stare at news all day for a publicly traded company where our exact job is to disseminate accurate information to the 100,000 or so who subscribe to our platform. I've done this for a decade, and if I sucked at it I would have been fired a long time ago. My point? I might actually have some expertise here. The broadly accepted consensus is big tech leans left and has steered content accordingly.

    2) To anyone thinking there is no censorship on behalf of big tech, wake the hell up. If you want me to post examples, I'm happy to. Yes, its generally "right leaning" ideas that get censored. We saw this with the lab leak hypothesis (this was censored on Youtube and other platforms) until...just now. We saw this with the NY Post story on Hunter Biden's emails. We saw this around (mostly idiot) doctors talking of hydroxychloroquine. This is now happening with Bret's latest suggestion that a drug by the name of Ivermectin may be very helpful in treating COVID. Again, I can give a myriad of examples if you like.

    If you don't see the problem with keeping people trapped in their information bubble then you are also likely to think science is a place, a destination as opposed to the process it really is.

    3) What did I say that was so false (or "nutter")? Or is everyone here that thin skinned you can't debate an actual idea? I literally said "I don't know the algorithm Instagram uses" (and neither do you).

    Its ironic for a conversation that is ultimately about how speech is disseminated to end up with a number of people name calling, trying to cancel me etc. as opposed to logically address my ideas one by one.

    Noah was willing to converse with me, which I appreciate even if we don't see eye to eye. I still respect Noah. I'd still ride with Noah (and I know him!)

    I'd appreciate it if the rest of you did too.

    EDIT: Like Aaron, I enjoy conversation and thinking critically about topics. If anyone wants to comment (or debate) but is not super happy doing so publicly, I encourage you to reach out to me at Jeff.Brines@gmail.com - I mean this sincerely, and clearly care about this topic more than most. Cheers!

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  • lightatron

    7/1/2021 9:07 PM

    I loved this podcast. Well done to the interviewer for asking some very upfront questions, and for Gwin for handling them so well.

    I've been through his Insta, the only things vaguely right leaning I could find were religious posts. Where are all these polarising posts he's put up?

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  • boom

    7/2/2021 1:43 PM

    @jeff.brines it is classic how your examples of censorship consist of crazy conspiracies and right wing propaganda clearly coordinated to impact an election. How about some examples of core conservative ideas (not conspiracies) being censored. Or are those the same thing at this point?

    It does seem that these crazy conspiracies seem to be mostly on the right (hi infowars). However, all these covid conspiracy topics that are being complained about being censored, have permeated both the far right and far left (google "the horseshoe theory"). The amount of new-agey lefties being converted into anti-vaxxer, q-anon, anti-mask, trump supporters is pretty staggering. So, you might actually then have to conclude it isn't a right or left issue, but a crazy conspiracy people issue. And the content being filtered or labeled misleading by private social media platforms, is simply things that have a major impact on society due to misinformation.

    All the conspiracy B.S. has broken society. Just because there are conspiracies in history, it does not mean that every event is a conspiracy. But, if you live in that conspiracy think world, they are all turned into one via conspiracy peddlers and the echo chamber on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The silos you've created for yourself within those platforms leads to you attaching yourself to an alternate reality.

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  • jeff.brines

    7/5/2021 5:57 AM

    @boom

    First, what am I suggesting that had anything to do with a "conspiracy"? Instead of lobbing labels to my ideas, show me how I'm wrong. Sure, the NY Post story's timing was a bit "odd" but welcome to politics. If you think conservatives are the only party to play by these rules you are woefully mistaken. What I'm citing here has a lot less to do with the substance of the story and a lot more to do with big tech's reaction to it, which was clearly censorship in light of a TRUE STORY!

    The other ideas I've put forth had a lot less to do with politics, though Trump suggested the lab leak hypothesis (on the wrong reasons) very early, likely resulting in its censorship by big tech.

    Second, I often light up conservative Tucker Carlson InfoWar type people using the exact same "logical discourse" you are seeing here. For the bazillionth time, I'm not a right wing conservative.

    Third, I have zero data to suggest left wing people are somehow becoming q-anon trump supporters. No comment there.

    Fourth, I do not believe social media platforms should be the moderator of the content beyond suggestions of acts of violence. IQ, and public discourse is the solution to free speech problems and the infowars type strawmen.

    The same way the phone company is not responsible for what is said on a phone call (and cannot censor) is the same way I feel about big tech & social media platforms. When you are censoring ideas in the absence of complete data you are sure to miss. These misses can have major consequences (the potential of ivermectin comes to mind now).

    To add, I didn't vote on Zuck or Dorsey to regulate the flow of ideas. Yeah, I know the private company argument, but I also don't feel the founding fathers could have foreseen social media's power with respect to the dissemination of ideas. Again, this is a value thing - free speech matters to me.

    It comes down to values - do you put freedom over safety/security or safety/secuirty over freedom.

    Fifth, again, I work in news. My job is to create feeds that are outside social media. The client base I "report to" demand objectivity, being they trade on this information. Financial markets are a great equalizer of information in that greed tends to trump opinion. The way you think matters more than what you think - if you are trying to make money. You may do well to heed some of what I'm saying.

    Sixth, just cause I know the story - but it shouldn't even matter in the context of this conversation - here is an example of right wing ideals being censored by Youtube. https://www.businessinsider.com/youtube-google-censor-court-prageru-first-amendment-2020-2

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  • bdawg

    7/5/2021 2:50 PM

    Jeff, you started this whole thing with "Not to be a douche". My comment about the algorithm was meant to be "laughable". The fact that you took it serious is "ironic". Pretty sure everyone on here is down for free speech.

    Gwin has always had polarizing views and that's ok. He used the word tyrannical to describe California's policies. I think how many Americans we lost during this pandemic that could have been prevented is logically tyrannical. Maybe you shouldn't "blackout" and then comment on the part of the podcast everyone is commenting on.

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  • boom

    7/5/2021 3:41 PM

    @jeff.brines we clearly not going to agree on this topic, but I just have to point out the irony of the conservative idea censorship example you posted. It is such a great example, but not of what you were hoping.

    You may be good it filtering the news to identify what will move the markets, but I'm not sure you're so good at sorting out facts, fiction, and clickbait.

    It's hilarious that you, after proclaiming your skills for professionally disseminating the news, sends me an example from one of the great websites at creating click bait, emotion driven headlines. And one with such solid conservative foundations being discussed (sarcasm): "the flagged videos included titles like "Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?" and "Why Isn't Communism as Hated as Nazism?"

    Any conservative who sees the headline of the article you sent is sure to start off enraged. Digging into the article they'll also leave enraged, with the impression the videos were removed, but not having the full story. They won't research it and they'll just share it to their facebook echo chamber and get all their group think buddies worked up.

    But then you take a look and... Actually the videos were simply set to have teen age restrictions so minors would not see them. Basically youtube set to restricted mode like I have it set for my 6yr old daughter. Poor children being censored from learning this important lesson on owning libs by questioning college rape stats and likening their beloved commies to Nazis! I mean what kid wouldn't benefit from a few rape and nazi topics between blippy vids.

    Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PragerU
    "In October 2016, PragerU claimed that YouTube had put 21 of PragerU's videos in the "restricted mode" setting, which ensures content is age appropriate."

    The actual lawsuit: https://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2680&context=historical

    "42. The appropriateness of the Teen ratings assigned to the PragerU videos listed above is clear from the videos themselves. To give a few specific examples: In a PragerU video entitled “Born to Hate Jews” the narrator discusses how he used to think Jews in Israel were engaged in genocide and violence against Muslims. Another video entitled “Why isn’t Communism as hated as Nazism?” describes mass murders and other atrocities in Communist countries. Another video, entitled “Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?,” includes an animated depiction of a nearly naked man lunging at a group of women and discusses college rape culture and the level of consent that should be required to engage in sexual activity... YouTube concluded that these and some other similar PragerU videos, which deal with sexual situations, mature subject matter, and violent imagery, do not meet the Restricted Mode guidelines, which are designed to meet the needs of users that have chosen a more limited YouTube viewing experience free from potentially mature content. Based on that, YouTube assigned those videos a “Teen” or higher rating, which keeps them available to anyone using YouTube’s general service, but not available to users who have chosen to activate Restricted Mode"

    The right currently loves to play the victim of censorship, but it isn't a right vs. left issue, it is always an issue of content that violates the written policies of the private platforms they are posting on. And of course those policies (often automated) are not perfect and mistakes can be made. If the right is violating those policies more, then more right content is moderated than left. But you'll also find the left complaining about it online. How about asking the question of why is the current right wing ideology regularly violating the policies of private platforms, that sound pretty reasonable in writing? These platforms obviously have to moderate content for a variety of reasons.

    Oh and the Hunter Biden story you've latched on to–a clear leak with hacked content, timed to affect the election of the greatest country in the world and issuer of the world's reserve currency–if there was ever a piece of content they had to put the brakes on that would be it. At least until various content was authenticated, but... Attempts by media to vet the content were also blocked by Giuliani even though there were major questions and red flags. "Giuliani who ultimately told NBC News he would not be providing a copy of the hard drive. NBC News responded by asking if, instead of a full copy of the hard drive, he could just provide copies of the full set of emails. Giuliani did not agree to that proposal. NBC News then declined an offer of copies of a small group of emails." (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/here-s-what-happened-when-nbc-news-tried-report-alleged-n1245533). Even the beloved right site was not confidant about things https://www.foxnews.com/politics/hunter-biden-tony-bobulinski-joe-biden-unanswered-questions "Fox News has reviewed emails from Bobulinski related to the venture — and they don't show that the elder Biden had business dealings with SinoHawk Holdings, or took any payments from them or the Chinese."

    It's really just not a good example for your points, even though it probably pisses off trump fans the most since it was their ace in the hole for the final run. But, even with that hunter story not achieving its full reach, TRUMP WON!, amirite?

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  • jeff.brines

    7/5/2021 10:06 PM

    Everyone is right, I can't imagine why Gwin would feel so crappy on social media after posting his thoughts. He really should stay in his lane. Dance racerboi dance. I mean cmon, This has been such a nice and civil conversation where we've really shown we can act like adults. Nobody seems triggered and everyone is learning so much. L O L.

    Against better judgement, and because I'm clearly bored, I'll reply.

    @bdawg, if you go reread what I have written I think you'll see I didn't "blackout". I do however love the Doctor Evil thing you are going for in your posts. Using quotes as much as possible does add a lot of affect. In all seriousness, if you do have any legitimate questions, or want to make a point that hasn't already been made, let me know. I do my best to answer.

    @Boom you asked me for an example of right wing values being censored. You did not ask if I believed in these values, I want to make that clear.

    Anyway, two things I want to mention here. First, wikipedia isn't any better of a source than business insider. Though BI does break news from time to time, and isn't a tabloid level media outlet, I could have found you something better. That said, you are still getting lost in the weeds trying to do a deep dive into one or two (out of 99) that maybe or maybe not should be restricted. Why not look through the entire list (below) and tell me if you still feel all these should be restricted. Or maybe I'm missing something?

    https://www.prageru.com/playlist/restricted-by-youtube/.

    Videos such as "Do not steal", "why I left the left" or "facts don't care about your feelings" sure don't seem to violate any rules or regulations anymore than Professor Weinstein's conversation about ivermectin https://twitter.com/bretweinstein/status/1409683806471155712?lang=en - however they've all been demonetized, restricted or pulled down. Why? I can literally watch the most explicit rap video with more sexual references (and references to sexual violence) than ANY prager U video with zero problem. Why aren't the rules applied here, too? This is my point - rules are not being applied the same across all facets of content.

    My entire intent of this entirely too long diatribe is to suggest there is a less than fair application the rules depending on a number of factors including political bias. This is what I was backing up Gwin on, while most of you just tried to name call, cancel or use superfluous adjectives (such as "hilarious" to discount my ideas).

    Show me the same type of censorship or restriction with left leaning content or "pop culture" content. You'll struggle to. I can find all sorts of videos aimed at sexuality under a more "sex positive" leftist light and there is no restriction, no demonetization and no supreme court case. To be clear, I'm fine with ratings, and with content control (given to parents).

    This brings me to the biggest one in this entirely too long essay - who do you want deciding what is censored and what is not?

    For my money I don't want a handful of people in Silicone Valley making that call and quietly shaping the national discourse in their eyes. The supreme court ruling ruling pertaining to the Prager U case was in essence saying "YouTube can do anything it wants because its a private company" (I'm paraphrasing). The same remains true for every other one of these companies, companies that arguably have more control over public discourse than even the Federal Government itself. Think about that for a bit (as we all stare into super computers underpinned by algorithms that are wired to keep you looking at the damn thing)

    This is my big concern. You seem fine with the application of the rules, so long as its the NY Post story, not Wikileaks (both violated the exact same rule - one was okay, one wasn't). You seem fine with speech that fits your values, just not speech that you deem inappropriate. But what is to keep the tables from eventually turning on your ideology?

    The problem with free speech is its dangerous. But the opposite, to me, seems far more dangerous and the attempt at controlling it seems to only be possible through tyranny itself. Again, this is coming from someone who voted for Biden, loathes Trump, thinks the insurrection was disgusting, knows the election was never stolen etc.

    The privileges' we have to debate these topics freely is not something I take lightly and certainly not something to laugh at. Its something I value very much. The thought my entire discourse could get pulled down because someone doesn't jive with my "freedom over safety" ethos isnt something I want to stay quiet over.

    (edit... if Spomer wants to pull this because its on a mtb website, THAT I actually sort of agree with. Lol. Mtb > politics. )

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  • boom

    7/5/2021 11:56 PM

    @jeff.brines I realize I'm honing in on this one example you've raised, but it's just such a good case study of the problem.

    You've really got to dig a little deeper when you come across these seemingly outrageous cases of conservative censorship. While I'm not going to watch the hours of video you shared on the PragerU website to find what might have caused it to be flagged as mature (I'm also not familiar with YT policy), the lawsuit case doc does provide an answer to your stated challenge:

    "Show me the same type of censorship or restriction with left leaning content or "pop culture" content. You'll struggle to"

    It wasn't too hard, I scrolled down the document to the handy table that lists the percentage of other, largely liberal leaning channels. Go to page 15 (https://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2680&context=historical). Fewer than 12% of the ParagerU videos are rated teen/restricted, while some liberal (and pop culture) channels have massive amounts of videos restricted:

    The Late Show With Stephen Colbert 12.68%
    Huffington Post 13.90%
    Midweek Politics 24.46%
    Vox.com 28.27%
    Sam Seder 36.14%
    BuzzFeedVideo 40.12%
    Al Jazeera English 44.34%
    Democracy Now 46.00%
    NowThis World 47.46%
    Last Week Tonight 49.78%
    The Daily Show 54.50%
    The Young Turks 70.62%

    I mean you're literally worked up about YouTube content being rated and restricted so it doesn't show up in kids YT feeds. That's the problem when that Business Insider article gets shared and amplified via FB and Twitter. It's not the full story, just a version curated for clicks and shares to woke right mob.

    Take a look at the top-performing posts on facebook each day https://twitter.com/FacebooksTop10 and then come back and tell me again that conservative voices are being silenced :facepalm

    To be clear, I don't disagree that this is a challenging issue and that mistakes aren't made in moderation of content. I just don't think it is pressing free speech (mainly against conservatives) issue you are turning it into. I mean, you do feel that these platforms have to be moderated I hope? Anytime there are rules someone will get their feelings hurt and the ones crying the loudest currently are majority on the right.

    To circle back quickly on the topic of Gwin's perceived anti-conservative punishment by Instagram. It sounds like he got a shadowban https://influencermarketinghub.com/instagram-shadowban/. It isn't like this is something Facebook (Instagram) uses to target conservatives, though it could seem that way if you already are biased to think that is happening on social media. In the interview Gwin mentions he created a second account. Only he knows what he was doing/posting/interacting with that anonymous account. Maybe he can share the user name here in the comments and we can dig a little deeper wink Perhaps he was flagged by AI algorithms for bot behavior from multiple accounts. Sounds like he's fairly into the conspiracy think (you have to look to find the truth) and maybe he got a bit crazy with Q-anon hashtags and anti-mask/vaxx posts. Kinda joking there, but it seems there are many fairly innocent accidental ways you can get shadowbanned as well https://alextooby.com/instagram-shadowban/.

    I hope we are also aware that Facebook owns Instagram and Facebook is the main amplifier of conservative voices (again, see https://twitter.com/FacebooksTop10). What Gwin thinks happened makes no sense and is just more conspiratorial thinking.

    Finally, I want to say I'm not here to hate on Gwin. I am a fan of his racing and have major respect for what he does and how he has dominated for periods of time. I did enjoy the podcast and he clearly has created a rewarding and happy life for himself. Kudos in that regard.

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  • jeff.brines

    7/6/2021 5:45 AM

    @boom - great pull. I learned something. I honestly did not know the age restricted guidelines around other channels. As a big youtube user myself, I have never seen the restrictions so just assumed it was applied unfairly in this case! See, I can be shown I'm wrong.

    I also didn't watch the hours of prager u videos, so maybe you are right. Maybe there is something that warrants regulation. I only watched one and it seemed appropriate for a 3rd grader, but who knows. I also feel there is a big difference between "age restricted", "demonetized" and "pulled down". I do know certain ideas, such as anything that runs in the face of CDC/WHO guidelines, your stuff is usually pulled. This is less a left vs right debate, and more of a "is this okay" debate (in the absence of complete information). Its...tricky.

    I still do feel there is an unfair application of the rules at times and that rightest values play into big tech's censorship by their very nature (freedom over security). I'm not sure we'll ever see eye to eye on that. At a point, it will become a "he said" "she said" kind of debate, which are the worst.

    I also agree places like Facebook is where we see rampant extreme rightest idea spreading that leads to things like the January 6th insurrection, Qanon shit, etc. Facebook is in the business of eyeballs, of time on screen. If this post is a reflection of anything its just that - when people's values are questioned, or when their intellect is put under fire, they will take crazy amounts of time to defend it. It feels "good" to feel like you are leading a mob, equally as bad to feel like you are being attacked. This is very bad for society. Good for an ad serving model based on time on screen. I think we agree on how damaging this can be, and I think we do agree how it can seem as though your values are being censored when in fact its just what the algorithm has deemed "best for business" with respect to your account and your audience.

    As far as regulation goes, Its a very tricky landscape to navigate. One I'd rather see broader government oversight around with broader more 1st amendment rules put in place that take much of content moderation away from tech itself. Right now, when push comes to shove, I feel tech has more power with respect to a person's day to day life than the federal government (this side of war). From the ideas & news you are/aren't shown, right on down to the song that is stuck in your head. That's something I don't think anyone saw coming, and something that is a reflection of an entirely new era. This isn't tin foil hat stuff, and I'm not saying they are doing the worst job possible. This is to say I'd wager some of what is being run in the background (machine learning driven algorithms) the firms themselves don't even fully understand or have control over.

    Thanks for taking so much time to think critically and find information that really is important to share (well, at least to me).

    I'd honestly love to talk more about this, and in no way is this a cop out - but this is a mtb website. If you are ever in the tetons ping me and I'll buy the beers. Would much prefer to finish this in real life.

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  • dd

    7/1/2021 10:12 AM

    Jeff, I've been reading your comments for years and have appreciated your insights about bikes and US racing, so it is disappointing to learn you are a nutter. I apologize for my language, but that is the nicest and most accurate term at which I could arrive in the short time I am willing to allocate to this reply. What you wrote here is a mishmash of modern American right/conservative propaganda and you sound like a conspiracy nut. You have been misled by false information.
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  • westeast

    7/2/2021 9:25 PM

    Where have you all been the past year and half? Youtube, facebook, instagram, twitter have all been censoring anything critical of the pro-lockdown, pro covid shot, pro-mask and anything else the left is pushing these days. Whole youtube channels, facebook pages, twitter accounts have been outright deleted. Others have lost promotion. For Gwin to simply wonder if something is up is not unreasonable. Your responses simply back up what he said in the interview; we're not even capable of having a conversation about what is going on.
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  • DubC

    7/2/2021 9:39 PM

    You cant argue with Gwin's racing pedigree and be blown away by some of his absolutely freakish wins in Leogang, MSA and VDS. That said, it was comical listening to him talk about how informed and educated he is about varying views and opinions only to transition into parroting tired right-wing talking points. I'm no Newsom fan myself, but that was some pretty typical uneducated, white Inland Empire stuff.
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  • jeff.brines

    7/5/2021 5:46 AM

    What did he say, specifically, that was 'uneducated'? Maybe I blacked out for that part of the podcast. I heard him suggest he didn't like the totalitarianism of Newsom and the way he handled COVID from a lockdown perspective. I heard him imply he would have liked business owners to be able to keep their livelihood. Fair point to make, especially in the absence of real data as to how well lockdowns really worked in the US (where adherence was far from good).

    We have a lot of learning to do following 2020, but to suggest you are positive one way or another of anything is to show the same ignorance you are proclaiming Gwin to come from. The data is going to take years to sift through, and the biggest variable - human behavior - is going to be tough to isolate from public policy.

    We'd all be a lot better off going "hmm, lets wait and see" than dunking on a dude who may (or may not) be saying something right.

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  • spudreau

    6/29/2021 7:33 AM

    Aaron ... Bozeman ... getting closer to Whistler ... hmmm whole new video game up there with tracks and fast rippers. Spice it up, give it a go !!
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