The Problems with Politicizing a Platform

Recently, CBS published an article about how Roku has refused to remove NRA TV from its streaming platform despite pressure from organizations like Media Matters to do so. I’ll openly admit that there are some businesses that I won’t patronize. Why? Because they conflict with my views or beliefs. But I have always deemed using this kind of social pressure on a corporate level a double-edged sword. It can come back to haunt you And this is no exception.

Roku Is Open To Everyone

One aspect of Roku I’ve always liked is that any organization, religion or even political affiliation has an opportunity to be on the platform. They could promote themselves free of any worry of harassment.

Whether you are Bill Oriely or the Young Turks there is nothing preventing you from creating a Roku channel and sharing your beliefs. But there are certain expectations that must be met. In order to have a public Roku Channel there is a list of rules rooted in certain basic rules and grounded in common sense. When a channel is submitted to be made available to the general public ( through the Roku Website or “Streaming Channels” section of your Roku) they are reviewed to ensure that they are abiding by Roku policies.

It Goes Both Ways

Here is my basic fundamental problem with demanding Roku to remove the NRA channel from its list of available channels. It could set an example that coud have some serious ramifications for every channel that Roku has available. Understand, those who support the NRA can do the exact same thing to another channel one day. If a channel falls under the regulations set by Roku it should be able to exist.

The most recent estimates of NRA membership claim to be around 5 million people, but that’s just the members. There is no telling what sort of group they may target due to its views on any given subject concerning firearms or other social issues. And the whole thing could start again on the other side.

The truth is that no one benefits from that environment at all.  Roku is as close to a public platform as exists in streaming. The proper answer to this is for those who are calling for the NRA channel to be removed from the device instead create their own Roku Channel and argue why the NRA is wrong in its views.