Tag Archives: Social Media

The Apogee of Social Media, by Chris Farrell

Chris Farrell thinks the existing social media behemoths have peaked. Let’s hope he’s right. From Farrell at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Most famously, of course, is the banning of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. But there are many, many others.
  • Journalist friends from center-right outlets saw tens of thousands evaporate. Colleagues were suspended for reposting something they had said on multiple occasions for a year.
  • The social media giants are still flush with cash, convinced they are righteous and enlightened, and, most of all, are exceedingly arrogant. They believe they will continue to define and influence society – and they may – but only half.
  • The nearly consistent claim from established social media companies against their start-up competitors is that they are guilty of some “ism.” Take your pick: racial, ethnic, political, religious, sexual, whatever. Some crime, syndrome, or deplorable belief – some “ism” – is usually attached to any platform other than themselves.
  • This is not the stuff of right-wing conspiracy theorists. It touches on press freedoms and landmark legal cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan. In that 1964 case, the Supreme Court established that a plaintiff in a defamation case concerning a public figure must prove “actual malice” in reporting false information. Actual malice is the publication of a false statement with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.
(Photo of logos by Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images)

When a business turns on roughly half of its customers, treats them like criminal suspects or seeks to deprive them of their services, can they prosper? The answer is “No.”

Social media is dying, they just don’t know it yet. All the so-called “giants” of Silicon Valley: Twitter, Facebook, and their ilk cannot continue successfully “as is.” In the lead-up to the 2020 election, and certainly in the aftermath of the January 6th Capitol riot, persons and organizations not subscribing to the new orthodox socialist ideology of the American Left have found themselves “de-platformed,” suspended, erased, minimized and banned.

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Liberals want to blame rightwing ‘misinformation’ for our problems. Get real, by Thomas Frank

A rare liberal who believes that liberals’ problems may have more to do with liberals than conservatives. From Thomas Frank at theguardian.com:

In progressive circles these days, there is a palpable horror of the uncurated world, of thought-spaces flourishing outside the consensus

Large cursor over speech bubble on computer monitor. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown.<br>E4NFH0 Large cursor over speech bubble on computer monitor. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown.

‘American political culture is and always has been a matter of myth and idealism and selective memory.’ Photograph: Ikon Images/Alamy

One day in March 2015, I sat in a theater in New York City and took careful notes as a series of personages led by Hillary Clinton and Melinda Gates described the dazzling sunburst of liberation that was coming our way thanks to entrepreneurs, foundations and Silicon Valley. The presentation I remember most vividly was that of a famous TV actor who rhapsodized about the wonders of Twitter, Facebook and the rest: “No matter which platform you prefer,” she told us, “social media has given us all an extraordinary new world, where anyone, no matter their gender, can share their story across communities, continents and computer screens. A whole new world without ceilings.”

Six years later and liberals can’t wait for that extraordinary new world to end. Today we know that social media is what gives you things like Donald Trump’s lying tweets, the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Capitol riot of 6 January. Social media, we now know, is a volcano of misinformation, a non-stop wallow in hatred and lies, generated for fun and profit, and these days liberal politicians are openly pleading with social media’s corporate masters to pleez clamp a ceiling on it, to stop people from sharing their false and dangerous stories.

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How Democracy Dies: Big Tech Becomes Big Brother, by Leni Friedman Valenta with Dr. Jiri Valenta

The only thing that might get in big tech’s way is governments’ fear that big tech, and not governments, will control what people see and hear. From Leni Friedman Valenta with Dr. Jiri Valenta at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The power-sharing of the U.S. Federal government with Big Tech appears a recipe for unharnessed power and corruption. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny caught on right away, saying: “This precedent will be exploited by the enemies of freedom of speech around the world. In Russia as well. Every time when they need to silence someone, they will say: ‘this is just common practice, even Trump got blocked on Twitter.'”
  • Fortunately, governors such as Ron DeSantis in Florida, Greg Abbott in Texas and Kevin Stitt in Oklahoma are now moving legislatively to counter federal laws that may have adverse effects on freedom of speech, jobs, election integrity, the energy industry, the first or second amendments and general constitutional rights.
  • Democracy cannot survive in a country where a few technocrats and oligarchs can choose to deny access to information or platforms to candidates running for office. It is simply unacceptable that they alone — unelected, unappointed, untransparent and unaccountable — can deem what is “harmful” to society. The job now for all of us is to prevent the United States from slowly becoming a full-blown tyranny.
(Image source: iStock)

“Digital giants have been playing an increasingly significant role in wider society… how well does this monopolism correlate with the public interest?,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on January 27, 2021.

“Where is the distinction between successful global businesses, sought-after services and big data consolidation on the one hand, and the efforts to rule society[…] by substituting legitimate democratic institutions, by restricting the natural right for people to decide how to live and what view to express freely on the other hand?”

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“Did You Agree To This? Everybody’s Locked Up”: Ed Snowden On Power Of Silicon Valley Amid COVID Lockdowns, by Tyler Durden

Who made the social media moguls overlords of the entire world? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A new video montage of recent interviews with former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden exposes how the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns – which have been particularly severe and far-reaching in Western countries like the UK, Canada, and in a number of major US cities – coupled with the already immense power of Silicon Valley and its allies in the national security state, has served to keep individuals and entire populations ‘gated off’ from one another. “This is just the beginning,” Snowden warns of these unprecedented times. “All of these things today have consequences which we are not informed about.”

“I would say this is sort of unusual… we’re all spread all over the world in different rooms, everybody’s locked up… but for me this is how I’ve always lived.” He narrates that so much of our life is “intermediated by the screens.” Increasingly our lives are “intermediated by these screens. We spend less time outside and more and more time staring into glass or through glass to connect with that larger world – something beyond ourselves.”

Ultimately he poses the following questions as a warning in the video entitled, “Edward Snowden 2021: The Most VICIOUS HONEST 10 Minutes of your LIFE!”… “Increasingly it feels something distinct from us, something apart from us – something that we are witnessing rather than participating in. Ask yourself: Is this your will? Is this what you want? Did you agree to this? Is this consistent with the vision of the future you want to see?

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The State Is Destroying Freedom, Life, and History By Censoring and Eliminating Information and Speech, by Gary D. Barnett

Wholesale attacks on civil liberties are the hallmarks of totalitarian regimes. From Gary D. Barnett at lewrockwell.com:

“The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all — is called “life.” Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft — and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them! Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”

State censorship has been evident over all time, but what is happening today, especially considering the ease of access and the voluminous amount of information available, is far beyond the scope of understanding for most in this country. The Internet is a wonder, but it is a very sharp double-edged sword. The real power among us understands this concept intimately, while the ‘public’ has little awareness of the potential for the controllers to eliminate history and speech by using the very tool that should allow for an expansion of learning and intellect. The Internet can store and make available all the works of man, both past and present, and all this information is seemingly accessible to anyone with little effort, but is that really the case?

The risk that is missed by most, is that as easy as it is to access information today, that information can be manipulated, hidden, or eliminated just as easily, and that process could be controlled by a central ‘authority’ through any of its fascist partnerships. If much of the underlying information of recorded history; books, journals, letters, and all historical and political records and writings, can be captured, controlled, or even destroyed by nefarious efforts, then that would leave available only what is stored digitally. This would be an abomination, because it would also allow for the loss of much hard knowledge of the past and present by those controlling the Internet and communication systems. For this horror to occur, all books would not have to be destroyed, but if much of the important information were restricted from view by whatever means, or made very difficult to access, then people would know only what the state wanted them to know.

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The Despicables, Eric Peters

The big social media companies have asserted their rights as private businesses to choose who gets to use their service. Fair enough, but why are other businesses who want to exercise their rights as private businesses and choose either to mandate masks and social distancing or not called out and demonized by the social media companies? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

 
 

One of the nuggets to be mined from the wholesale cancelling of politically unapproved speech by the Tech Oligarchs – soon to be empowered by government oligarchs, if the “kraken” doesn’t somehow prevent it – is how obvious their pathological dishonesty has become.

Amazon, Facebook and Twitter have asserted that, as private businesses, they have the right to decide with whom to do business – and not do business with. But do they feel the same way about the right of other private businesses to practice what they preach?

Only when it conforms with what they preach.

Consider the religious tenets of the Sickness Cult; specifically, the dogma that requires all to wear a Face Burqa within a privately owned business, even if the owner isn’t religious and isn’t interested in proselytizing to his customers, much less insisting they show respect for a religion he doesn’t subscribe to.

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The Democrat-Big Tech censorship alliance just ran a masterclass in media control for dictators around the world, by Graham Dockery

This is how totalitarianism announces itself. From Graham Dockery a rt.news:

The Democrat-Big Tech censorship alliance just ran a masterclass in media control for dictators around the world
 
Despite the mewling of the spineless American media, the real coup this week wasn’t committed by President Trump’s supporters, but by his opponents. They’re writing a manual on modern regime change, and it’s ready for export.

When President Donald Trump’s supporters forced their way inside the US Capitol on Wednesday, they did not act as a unified force bent on seizing power. Instead they snapped selfies, looted souvenirs, and engaged in petty vandalism. While the rampage ended in tragedy for the protester shot dead by police, the police officer fatally injured, and the three others who suffered “medical emergencies” and died, it was soon snuffed out and Congress returned to work that evening to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Their ringleader even urged them to go home and committed himself to the “seamless” transition of power to Joe Biden. Worst. Coup. Ever.

Yet politicians on all sides and their enablers in the media swiftly declared it an “armed insurrection,” a “coup attempt,” and an example of “domestic terrorism.” ‘Never Trump’ Republican Kurt Bardella described Wednesday’s events as “symbolically worse than Pearl Harbor or 9/11,” while pundits described the littering and hooliganism as an assault on the “temple of our democracy”  – you know, the same temple where respectable politicians vote on which foreign land their young soldiers will die in next.

 

The Cultural Purge is Now in Overdrive, by Mark E. Jeftovic

All improper thoughts and improper thinkers will be eliminated. From Mark E. Jeftovic at outofthecave.io:

Four years ago, after the unthinkable happened and the wrong guy won the US election of 2016. I wrote an article about how I had feared a type of “cultural purge” from within the corporate media, Big Tech and cancel culture spheres. Like everybody else, I didn’t expect Trump to win (like most other Libertarians, I was holding my nose and pulling for Gary Johnson, whose running mate, Bill Weld, endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election campaign).

What I expected then, after Trump would have unceremoniously lost the 2016 election,  was a type of cultural purge against anybody and everybody who enabled his run or supported him. What surprised me was that after he won the cultural purge proceeded anyway. In retrospect it seems obvious, at the time it blindsided me.

For the next four years we watched any (remaining) semblance of objectivity and impartiality wither away from the mainstream media. Even more troubling, was that it was also happening within Big Tech. Everything polarized and all judgement calls became characteristically asymmetrical. As I noted on occasion, that compared to the post 9/11 era when the Neocons controlled the narrative and the word “liberal” was a slur, everything flipped. Now it was the word “conservative” that was unusable and being a single micron to the right of centre was equated with being “literally Hitler”.

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The Threat of Authoritarianism in the U.S. is Very Real, and Has Nothing To Do With Trump, by Glenn Greenwald

They’ve been calling Trump an authoritarian fascist for four years, but they’ll authoritarian fascists are the Joe Biden crowd. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

The COVID-driven centralization of economic power and information control in the hands of a few corporate monopolies poses enduring threats to political freedom.

(L-R): Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY,TOBIAS SCHWARZ,ANGELA WEISS,MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Asserting that Donald Trump is a fascist-like dictator threatening the previously sturdy foundations of U.S. democracy has been a virtual requirement over the last four years to obtain entrance to cable news Green Rooms, sinecures as mainstream newspaper columnists, and popularity in faculty lounges. Yet it has proven to be a preposterous farce.

In 2020 alone, Trump had two perfectly crafted opportunities to seize authoritarian power — a global health pandemic and sprawling protests and sustained riots throughout American cities — and yet did virtually nothing to exploit those opportunities. Actual would-be despots such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán quickly seized on the virus to declare martial law, while even prior U.S. presidents, to say nothing of foreign tyrants, have used the pretext of much less civil unrest than what we saw this summer to deploy the military in the streets to pacify their own citizenry.

But early in the pandemic, Trump was criticized, especially by Democrats, for failing to assert the draconian powers he had, such as commandeering the means of industrial production under the Defense Production Act of 1950, invoked by Truman to force industry to produce materials needed for the Korean War. In March, The Washington Post reported that “Governors, Democrats in Congress and some Senate Republicans have been urging Trump for at least a week to invoke the act, and his potential 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, came out in favor of it, too,” yet “Trump [gave] a variety of reasons for not doing so.” Rejecting demands to exploit a public health pandemic to assert extraordinary powers is not exactly what one expects from a striving dictator.

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Big Media: Selling the Narrative and Crushing Dissent for Fun and Profit, by Charles Hugh Smith

The legacy and social media companies and our rulers and betters all swim together in a giant cesspool. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The profit-maximizing Big Tech / Big Media Totalitarian regime hasn’t just strangled free speech and civil liberties; it’s also strangled democracy.

The U.S. has entered an extremely dangerous time, and the danger has nothing to do with the Covid virus. Indeed, the danger long preceded the pandemic, which has served to highlight how far down the road to ruin we have come.

The danger we are ill-prepared to deal with is the consolidation of the private-sector media and its unification of content into one Approved Narrative which is for sale to the highest bidders. This is the perfection of for-profit Totalitarianism in which dissent is crushed, dissenters punished and billions of dollars are reaped in managing the data and content flow of the one Approved Narrative.

So don’t post content containing the words (censored), (censored) or (censored), or you’ll be banned, shadow-banned, demonetized, demonized and marginalized. Your voice will be erased from public access via the Big Media platforms and you will effectively be disappeared but without any visible mess or evidence–or recourse in the courts.

That’s the competitive advantage of for-profit Totalitarianism–no legal recourse against the suppression of free speech and dissent. And if you’re shadow-banned as I was, you won’t even know just how severely your free speech has been suppressed because the Big Tech platforms are black boxes: no one outside the profit-maximizing corporation knows what its algorithms and filters actually do or exactly what happens to the disappeared / shadow-banned.

Shadow-banning is an invisible toxin to free speech: if you’re shadow-banned, you won’t even know that the audience for your posts, tweets, etc. has plummeted to near-zero and others can no longer retweet your content. You only see your post is online as usual, because this is the whole point of shadow-banning: you assume your speech is still free even as its been strangled to death by Big Tech black box platforms.

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