Tag Archives: Social Media

Regulating The Public Space, by the Zman

Alternatives to the tech social media oligopoly are springing up. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

There are few things good about aging, but one of those benefits is you start seeing how history often repeats itself. There is nothing new under the sun, but when you are young most everything is new to you. When you get old, you have experienced enough to begin noticing the repeats of things you saw in your youth. For example, those old enough to remember the early the days of the internet, probably recognize what’s happening with the tech giants trying to regulate the public space.

By early days, I’m not talking about the iPhone 4 days. I’m talking about the Windows 3.1 days, when the internet was for weirdos, who knew how modems worked and liked tricking the phone company for free long distance. It was when hobbyists assembled their own computers It was when NewEgg was called Egghead and operated in shopping centers. That was before the phrase “social media” existed, but there was still plenty of social media and plenty of people on it, just smarter people.

Usenet and bulletin board systems served the same role as Twitter and Facebook, without the cute names and billionaires trying to control the platforms. Like the big social media platforms, they started with the same general idea. They would be open forums for people to debate and argue. The internet was going to be free from the censorship of the old media and free from government control. The same things people say about bitcoin today were said about the internet in the olden thymes.

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Censorship Is the Last Tool of Tyrants, by Joseph Mercola

Science depends on the free flow of information, including the free flow of scientific opinion. It is telling that one side of the vaccination debate wants to cut off the flow of information and opinions from the other side. Which side do you think has the weaker case? From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

Is the vaccine business a profitable industry? You bet!1 Many vaccine pushers like to promote the idea that vaccine profits are slim, hence there’s no financial incentive behind the push for vaccinations. Two years ago, the blog Skeptical Raptor, just to point to one example, stated that ” … [T]he Big Pharma vaccine profits conspiracy is still one of most amusing myths of the antivaccination world.”2

In reality, Pfizer’s Prevnar 133 vaccine (which protects against common strains of pneumonia) actually made more money than Lipitor or Viagra in 2015, both Pfizer top-selling drugs,4,5 and the 2018 revenues for Gardasil 9 was $3 billion according to CNBC.6

As noted by Financial Times,7 profits from Prevnar 13 shot up in 2015, reaching $6.25 billion, nearly three times more than Viagra that year, thanks to the U.S. government recommendation to start using it in seniors over 65 and not just children. “The success of Prevnar shows [vaccines] can be as lucrative as any drug,” the article states.8

Censorship Aimed at Blocking First-Hand Testimony of Vaccine Harms

When you have a profitable business, you want to nurture and protect it, and promote its sustained growth. That’s normal in the world of business. What’s not normal is enlisting government to mandate the use of your product while simultaneously preventing the sharing of bad reviews that might impact sales and/or force you to improve the safety or effectiveness of your product.

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Russiagate Might Be Dead, but Big Tech Censorship Is Here to Stay, by Michael Krieger

The fake news about Russian collusion was that there was Russian collusion with th. In response to a nonexistent threat from Russia, big tech implemented various forms of censorship. Now that the fake news has been exposed for what it is, don’t expect the censorship to be lifted. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero.

– George Carlin

Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community and they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.

– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a 2017 interview on MSNBC

As someone whose website was slandered by the earliest manifestations of the hysterical Russiagate mob, I could go on and on now that’s the whole spectacle’s been disproven, but I’m not going to do that. Rather, I want to highlight how despite the whole thing blowing up, we’ll be living with severe direct consequences for years to come.

First, it’s important to point out that none of Russiagate’s most irresponsible grifters will face any serious repercussions for wasting the country’s time, money and energy on a fake story for the past two years. Russiagate was as much a business model as it was a conspiracy theory, and some of it’s most shameless peddlers made out like bandits over the past couple of years.

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Censorship Tightens As Governments Lose Control, by Tom Luongo

The harder government squeezes, the more that slips through its grasp. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Governments have lost control of the narrative that they are in control of events. Everyday I wake up to another instance of outrageous censorship from some ‘social media’ company blocking or banning someone for no apparent reason.

The latest outrage is Twitter banning the account of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange’s mother, Christine.

Australian and New Zealand ISPs have gone bonkers IP blocking sites in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. Sites like Zerohedge have been targeted in the past two weeks for publishing narratives orthogonal to what the governments in the West are comfortable with people consuming.

First it was Facebook, blocking and then unblocking Zerohedge with no apparent reasoning behind it. Now its ISP’s over-reacting to an emotional event ensuring that a good crisis never goes to waste.

And these ISPs are going much farther than just avoiding any potential legal liabilities. They are now openly calling for the platforms themselves — Twitter, Facebook, etc. — be regulated by governments to stop ‘dangerous information’ from reaching the eyeballs of consumers.

And another mask is ripped off revealing the ugly totalitarians underneath.

It begins with legitimizing de-platforming people like Alex Jones and social media companies like Gab. Because some speech is too free. These are people supposedly too fringe to be suffered.

So it’s easy to whip up some public support for censorship of them alongside a one-sided media bombardment of justify their silencing to a large swath of people.

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Would Social Media Have Censored Video of 9/11 or Kennedy Assassination? by Thomas Knapp

Let people decide for themselves whether they want to watch the New Zealand shooter’s video or read his manifesto. No good purpose is served by suppressing real news, no matter how disturbing the content. From Thomas Knapp at antiwar.com:

According to CNN Business, “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struggle to deal with New Zealand shooting video.”

“Deal with” is code for “censor on demand by governments and activist organizations who oppose public access to information that hasn’t first been thoroughly vetted for conformity to their preferred narrative.”

Do you really need to see first-person video footage of an attacker murdering 49 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand?

Maybe not. Chances are pretty good you didn’t even want to. I suspect that many of us who did (I viewed what appeared to be a partial copy before YouTube deleted it) would rather we could un-see it.

But whether or not we watch it should be up to us, not those governments and activists. Social media companies should enable our choices, not suppress our choices at the censors’ every whim.

If Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube had been primary news sources in 1915, would they have permitted us to view footage (rare, as film was in its early days) of New Zealanders’ desperate fight at Gallipoli?

How about the attack on Pearl Harbor?

The assassination of president John F. Kennedy?

The second plane hitting the World Trade Center?

Lucinda Creighton of the Counter Extremism Project complains to CNN that the big social media firms aren’t really “cooperating and acting in the best interest of citizens to remove this content.”

The CEP claims that it “counter[s] the narrative of extremists” and works to “reveal the extremist threat.” How does demanding that something be kept hidden “counter” or “reveal” it? How is it in “the best of interest of citizens” to only let those citizens see what Lucinda Creighton thinks they should be allowed to see?

CNN analyst Steve Moore warns that the video could “inspire copycats.” “Do you want to help terrorists? Because if you do, sharing this video is exactly how you do it.”

Moore has it backward. Terrorists don’t need video to “inspire” them. Like mold, evil grows best in darkness and struggles in sunlight. If you want to help terrorists, hiding the ugliness of their actions from the public they hope to mobilize in support of those actions is exactly how you do it.

Contrary to their claims of supporting “democracy” versus “extremism,” the social media companies and the censors they “struggle” to assist seem to side with terror and to lack any trust in the good judgment of “the people.”

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism. He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

 

The Corporate Lemmings Who Rushed into Mobile/Social Media Ads Are Running off the Cliff, by Charles Hugh Smith

Click bots don’t buy anything, as many advertisers are finding out. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Now the corporate lemmings have rushed into mobile advertising.
Given that corporations are run by people, and people are social animals that run in herds, it shouldn’t surprise us that corporations follow the herd, too.Take the herd move to forming conglomerates in the go-go late 1960s: corporations suddenly started buying companies in completely different sectors in businesses they knew nothing about, because the herd was forming conglomerates–not because it made any business sense but because it was the hot trend.
Oil companies bought Hollywood studios, and so on. (Ling-Temco-Vought was one of the conglomerates whose success inspired the herd.)
Few if any of the conglomerates hastily assembled in the 1960s survived the 1970s intact. Once the lemming-like frenzy to assemble conglomerates wore off, managers discovered the conglomerates were mostly financial disasters: rarely did the expected synergies or economies of scale emerge, and inexperienced, tone-deaf hubris-soaked corporate managers often destroyed the acquired companies through ill-advised strategies or acquisitions.
In many cases, success was ephemeral: once the economy slumped, growth reversed and debt-laden conglomerates were forced to liquidate, often at a loss.
The dissolution of the conglomerate herd mentality set up the early 1980s frenzy of leveraged buy-outs as predatory financiers staked out the remaining carcasses of flailing conglomerates, bought the conglomerate and profited by selling off its constituent companies piecemeal. The stripped entity was then loaded with debt and sold to the public as an initial public offering (IPO).
Fast-forward to the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the corporate herd was offshoring production to east Asia. On one of my trips to China in the early 2000s, I sat next to a youthful corporate manager in the semiconductor equipment sector. The flight being long (10-11 hours), we were able to have an in-depth conversation about his company’s dismal experience with offshoring production from the U.S. to China and other nascent manufacturing hubs in east Asia.

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Break the Cycle: In 2019, Say No to the Government’s Cruelty, Brutality and Abuse, by John W. Whitehead

The Founders are spinning in their graves. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”—Edmund Burke

Folks, it’s time to break the cycle.

Let’s make 2019 the year we say no to the laundry list of abuses—cruel, brutal, immoral, unconstitutional and unacceptable—that have been heaped upon us by the government for way too long.

Let’s make 2019 the year we stop living in a state of utter denial, desensitized to the government’s acts of violence, accustomed to reports of government corruption, and anesthetized to the sights and sounds of Corporate America marching in lockstep with the police state.

Let’s make 2019 the year we refuse to allow the government’s abusive behavior to be our new normal. There is nothing normal about egregious surveillance, roadside strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, police brutality, profit-driven prisons, or pay-to-play politicians.

Here’s just a small sampling of what we suffered through in 2018.

The government failed to protect our lives, liberty and happiness. The predators of the police state wreaked havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives. The government didn’t listen to the citizenry, refused to abide by the Constitution, and treated the citizenry as a source of funding and little else. Police officers shot unarmed citizens and their household pets. Government agents—including local police—were armed to the teeth and encouraged to act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies were allowed to fleece taxpayers. Government technicians spied on our emails and phone calls. And government contractors made a killing by waging endless wars abroad.

The president became more imperial. Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) have claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill. The powers amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The presidency itself has become an imperial one with permanent powers.

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