Tag Archives: Social media censorship

The New Normal “Reality” Police, by CJ Hopkins

The reality police is reaching lower and lower to make sure that no non-approved narratives get promulgated. From CJ Hopkins at consentfactory.org:

So, according to Facebook and the Atlantic Council, I am now a “dangerous individual,” you know, like a “terrorist,” or a “serial murderer,” or “human trafficker,” or some other kind of “criminal.” Or I’ve been praising “dangerous individuals,” or disseminating their symbols, or otherwise attempting to “sow dissension” and cause “offline harm.”

Actually, I’m not really clear what I’m guilty of, but I’m definitely some sort of horrible person you want absolutely nothing to do with, whose columns you do not want to read, whose books you do not want to purchase, and the sharing of whose Facebook posts might get your account immediately suspended. Or, at the very least, you’ll be issued this warning:

Now, hold on, don’t click away just yet. You’re already on whatever website you’re reading this “dangerous,” “terrorist” column on (or you’re reading it in an email, probably on your phone), which means you are already on the official “Readers of Mass-Murdering Content” watch-list. So you might as well take the whole ride at this point.

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Global Social Media In The Era Of Great Power Conflict, by J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, and Edwin Watson

Social media is flying too close to the sun. From J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, and Edwin Watson at southfront.org:

While on the one hand Twitter flexed its muscles when it permanently de-platformed a sitting US president and deactivated tens of thousands of other accounts, with Facebook closely following suit against accounts the two social media giants claimed were “disinformation” concerning the 2020 election results, in practice it was a pyrrhic victory at best. The real power of Facebook, Twitter, other social media lay in their reputation as essentially neutral, impartial platforms where free speech was triumphant and the invisible hand of the marketplace of ideas dictated which accounts would get millions of followers and which would languish in obscurity.

That, of course, was never really true. Twitter and Facebook were no strangers to muting, banning, or at least stealth-banning accounts that promoted ideas inconsistent with whatever dogma, social or political, prevailed in Washington D.C. at the moment. However, this tended to be done in dribs and drabs, not in avalanches which moreover explicitly targeted specific political candidates or parties. Twitter’s knee-jerk panic-induced purge of Trump and Trump-supporting accounts that followed the events of January 6, 2020 on the flimsy pretense that there was a “risk of violence” created by the mere existence of these accounts, showed that @Jack and indeed the entire @TwitterSupport team are not impartial at all, for all the world to see. Naturally, as Twitter and Biden apologists were quick to point out, the First Amendment does not extent to private entities, which means that, legally, US social media giants were in the clear. Unironically defending a mega-corporation’s inherent right to censor speech in a way that US government institutions are prohibited from doing was not exactly a very good position to be in. That is a blow to the foundations of Twitter’s free-speech reputation from which it can never recover. That toothpaste can never be put back in the tube again. Banning accounts, rather than suspending until “offending” material is deleted, is a form of “prior restraint” of free speech that is explicitly prohibited by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Even such Donald Trump non-fans as Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron found themselves decrying Twitter’s decision to muzzle the US president, on the basis of it being a corporate abuse of power that should be reserved only to national governments.

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Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment, by Glenn Greenwald

The government telling, or implying, backed up with an explicit or implicit threat, an ostensibly private media company who they can and cannot publish or broadcast is as much an abridgment of the First Amendment as a direct government ban. From Glen Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it.

CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey (R) and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (L) are
sworn in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in
Washington, DC, on September 5, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)
(Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”

The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”

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Techno-Censorship: The Slippery Slope from Censoring ‘Disinformation’ to Silencing Truth, by John W. Whitehead

We’re already at the bottom of that slippery slope. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”― George Orwell

This is the slippery slope that leads to the end of free speech as we once knew it.

In a world increasingly automated and filtered through the lens of artificial intelligence, we are finding ourselves at the mercy of inflexible algorithms that dictate the boundaries of our liberties.

Once artificial intelligence becomes a fully integrated part of the government bureaucracy, there will be little recourse: we will be subject to the intransigent judgments of techno-rulers.

This is how it starts.

Martin Niemöller’s warning about the widening net that ensnares us all still applies.

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

In our case, however, it started with the censors who went after extremists spouting so-called “hate speech,” and few spoke out—because they were not extremists and didn’t want to be shamed for being perceived as politically incorrect.

Then the internet censors got involved and went after extremists spouting “disinformation” about stolen elections, the Holocaust, and Hunter Biden, and few spoke out—because they were not extremists and didn’t want to be shunned for appearing to disagree with the majority.

By the time the techno-censors went after extremists spouting “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, the censors had developed a system and strategy for silencing the nonconformists. Still, few spoke out.

Eventually, “we the people” will be the ones in the crosshairs.

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YouTube Financially Deplatforms Swath Of Indie Media Accounts, by Caitlin Johnstone

Nothing is quite as pathetic as liberals who have cheered every censoring of opposing views by mainstream and social media and who now are astonished, horrified even, that the media are now going after “progressive” alternative media. Caitlin Johnstone was not one of those liberals. From Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

 

The Google-owned video sharing platform YouTube has demonetized numerous independent media accounts, a jarring escalation in the steadily intensifying campaign against alternative news outlets online.

Progressive commentators Graham Elwood, The Progressive Soapbox, The Convo CouchFranc Analysis, Hannah Reloaded and Cyberdemon531 have all received notifications from YouTube that their videos are no longer permitted to earn money through the platform’s various monetization features, as has Ford Fischer, a respected freelancer who films US political demonstrations. No explanation has been offered for this decision beyond the vague claim that “your channel is not in line with our YouTube Partner Program policies” due to “harmful content”.

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Twitter suspends small business advocacy group that called for regulating Big Tech as utilities, by Sophie Mann

It was obviously a case of hate speech and Twitter was completely justified. From Sophie Mann at justthenews.com:

The Job Creators Network is a nonpartisan organization that advocates for the Americans that rely on the success of small business

Twitter
Twitter
(Nikolas Joao Kokovlis/SOPA Images)
 

Twitter has suspended the account of the Job Creators Network, a nonpartisan group that advocates for small businesses and policies that protect Main Street jobs.

According to the group, the social media giant sent them a message late last week saying JCN had violated Twitter’s “rules against platform manipulation and spam.”

Company President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz rejects that claim, saying the deplatforming effort is retaliation against JCN for implying that Twitter should be regulated as a utility.

“Twitter has silenced JCN and the 30 million small business owners it represents after JCN implied that the tech giant should be regulated as a utility,” Ortiz said in a statement. “Given that JCN’s internal review demonstrates we did not violate Twitter’s terms and conditions, the tech giant’s bold move is likely pure retaliation against us for our position on tech regulations.”

Twitter on Monday did not respond immediately to several attempts to contact the company to learn why JCN, which advocates for lower taxes and progressive policies, had been removed from the site.

 

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The Pendulum Of Internet Censorship Swings Leftward Again, by Caitlin Johnstone

How about that, liberals and leftists can be cancelled too, and it’s just as wrong when they’re cancelled as when its done to the other side. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

There has been a purge of left-wing accounts from social media, with socialist organizations being targeted on Facebook and multiple Antifa-associated accounts suspended from Twitter.

“We have just confirmed that Facebook has disabled the page of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at the University of Michigan, as well as the accounts of all admins,” World Socialist Website editor tweeted today. “This is an unprecedented attack on the speech rights of an official campus student group.”

World Socialist Website also reports the following:

On Friday, Facebook carried out a purge of left-wing, antiwar and progressive pages and accounts, including leading members of the Socialist Equality Party. Facebook gave no explanation why the accounts were disabled or even a public acknowledgement that the deletions had occurred.

At least a half dozen leading members of the Socialist Equality Party had their Facebook accounts permanently disabled. This included the public account of Genevieve Leigh, the national secretary of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, and the personal account of Niles Niemuth, the US managing editor of the World Socialist Web Site. In 2016, Niemuth was the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US Vice President.

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You Can Blame Big Tech Censorship on The Deep State Money Manipulators, by Charles Goyette

Much of Big Tech’s financial power comes from America’s fake money regime. From Charles Goyette at lewrockwell.com:

Forget the great teeming horde of anti-trust lawyers.  That is a beast better starved than fed.  And for the love of progress and prosperity, please, oh please, do not turn to federal regulators and their plague of unintended consequences.  In fact, the problem with the big internet censors, de-platformers, information monopolists, and enemies of free speech is much bigger than Section 230.

The power Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Google, and Apple (FATGA) have amassed to shut down political speech and conceal the corruption of their political darlings can be traced directly to the Deep State Money Manipulators.

That is the name my co-author Bill Haynes and I have given to the Federal Reserve in our new book The Last Gold Rush… Ever!  It is a deep dive into the decay of the dollar standard and the convergence of accelerants that are about to inflict unimagined financial pain on the lives of the American people.

As we explain, The Deep State Money Manipulators have been hiding in plain site for over a hundred years. During that time, they have been serial bubble blowers, inflating the dot-com and housing bubbles. They have quietly overseen the destruction of the dollar’s purchasing power. They have pumped unimaginable wealth to crony banks and played an essential part in America’s growing income inequality. Their interest rate manipulations have encouraged the formation of debt and discouraged capital formation, which is the engine of growth.

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The Trump Ban: The Only Free Speech Zone for American Conservatives Is Russia, by Tim Kirby

What a propaganda coup for Russia if it becomes the go-to alternative for open American social media platforms. It’s already starting to happen. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.org:

This is the moment Russia has been waiting for but it is unknown if those in the halls of the Kremlin even know that it is happening.

The only side that is going to really benefit from Big Tech’s war on free speech will be the Russians. In fact, it is really the Western elite’s deep hubris that has given Russia so many opportunities to become “russurgeant” after being crushed in the Cold War. Decades of questionable wars of “convenience” along with unending threats of destruction for anyone who dares question Washington have created a diverse group of scorned nations all willing to shake hands with Moscow. Making international agreements is a lot easier when no ideological strings are attached and no submission demanded. Thanks to incremental anti-Russian sanctions imposed because the pro-Washington Maidan didn’t take 100% of the territory of Ukraine, 1990s import addict Russia is now living a sober West-free lifestyle actually producing the things it needs to survive under Capitalism. And now, the blanket ban of Right Wing/Conservative figures over Social Media including the President of the United States himself is opening the door for Russian Social Media to explode onto the English-language online space. Without pettiness from within the American elite itself Russia could have never create this #migration of non-Russian speaking users to their sphere of electronic influence. But the big question is will the Russians actually understand this and jump on this truly unique opportunity?

Image: A now iconic screenshot about the state of the 1st Amendment.

It seems impossible to believe but the present “leader of the free world” Donald Trump has been completely banned from the big Social Media giants for his role in the recent storming of Capitol Hill by the MAGAmen. It is important to note that Trump has never admitted to organizing the aggressive protest nor has he been convicted of inciting a riot in a court of law. Twitter, Facebook and others believe he did this and that is good enough evidence for them. For the morally self-righteous accusation is now as good as guilt. Furthermore, this ban extends to “allies of Trump” which could be anyone of the ~80 million who voted for him and foreign people who like his memes. Noted Conservative speaker Ron Paul was temporarily and inexplicably blocked for “violating community standards” which has become coded language for “we don’t like what you have to say on our platform”. Long story short, anyone for any reason at all, real or fake, can be completely and totally banned from the largest public spaces on the internet and the key victims of these purgings will be those with morals that conflict with Big Tech and the Beltway.

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The tech supremacy: Silicon Valley can no longer conceal its power, by Niall Ferguson

Do we want a world where tech oligarchs get to decide what we see and don’t see? From Niall Ferguson at The Spectator at zerohedge.com:

‘To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,’ George Orwell famously observed. He was talking not about everyday life but about politics, where it is ‘quite easy for the part to be greater than the whole or for two objects to be in the same place simultaneously’.

The examples he gave in his 1946 essay included the paradox that ‘for years before the war, nearly all enlightened people were in favour of standing up to Germany: the majority of them were also against having enough armaments to make such a stand effective’.

Last week provided a near-perfect analogy. For years before the 2020 election, nearly all American conservatives were in favour of standing up to big tech: the majority of them were also against changing the laws and regulations enough to make such a stand effective. The difference is that, unlike the German threat, which was geographically remote, the threat from Silicon Valley was literally in front of our noses, day and night: on our mobile phones, our tablets and our laptops.

Writing in this magazine more than three years ago, I warned of a coming collision between Donald Trump and Silicon Valley. ‘Social media helped Donald Trump take the White House,’ I wrote. ‘Silicon Valley won’t let it happen again.’ The conclusion of my book The Square and the Tower was that the new online network platforms represented a new kind of power that posed a fundamental challenge to the traditional hierarchical power of the state.

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