Tag Archives: Social Media

An Open Letter Challenge To Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey On Censorship, by Jason Sullivan and Bill Binney

You have to wonder if Jack Dorsey will ever read this letter, but it has some worthwhile sentiments. From Jason Sullivan and Bill Binney at zerohedge.com:

Open Letter to Jack Dorsey…

The American People and Social Media

“We seek a free flow of information… we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.”

– John F. Kennedy, February 1962

Dear Mr. Dorsey,

At the September 5, 2018, U.S. Congressional Hearing in which you gave testimony under oath, you stated, in part:

Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules. We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially. We do not shadowban anyone based on political ideology. From a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform.”

What we now know, thanks to multiple media investigations, is that; not only is Twitter engaged in censorship, but that it also openly weights its decisions by subjective terminology like “highest potential for harm” meant to obscure its motive of silencing any opposition to the mainstream narrative of both political “sides.”

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The Purge: The Natural Progression Of “Woke” Censorship Is Tyranny, by Brandon Smith

The natural progression is from a little tyranny, like censorship, to full-on tyranny. Give in to the former your asking for the latter. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

As I have noted in the past, in order to be a conservative one has to stick to certain principles. For example, you have to stand against big government and state intrusions into individual lives, you have to support our constitutional framework and defend civil liberties, and you also have to uphold the rights of private property. Websites are indeed private property, as much as a person’s home is private property. There is no such thing as free speech rights in another person’s home, and there is no such thing as free speech rights on a website.

That said, there are some exceptions. When a corporation or a collective of corporations holds a monopoly over a certain form of communication, then legal questions come into play when they try to censor the viewpoints of an entire group of people. Corporations exist due to government sponsored charters; they are creations of government and enjoy certain legal protections through government, such as limited liability and corporate personhood. Corporations are a product of socialism, not free market capitalism; and when they become monopolies, they are subject to regulation and possible demarcation.

Many corporations have also received extensive government bailouts (taxpayer money) and corporate welfare. Google and Facebook, for example rake in billions in state and federal subsidies over the course of a few years.   Google doesn’t even pay for the massive bandwidth it uses.  So, it is not outlandish to suggest that if a company receives the full protection of government from the legal realm to the financial realm then they fall under the category of a public service. If they are allowed to continue to monopolize communication while also being coddled by the government as “too big to fail”, then they become a public menace instead.

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SILENCED: We Live in a Time When Our “Opinions Qualify as Crimes”, by Daisy Luther

The project to silence those not purveying the official party line proceeds apace. From Daisy Luther at theorganicprepper.com:

Currently, we’re living in an upside-down and backward world where the minority of people hold all the microphones, successfully shouting over a potential majority of people who don’t like the way things are going.

I truly believe that most Americans don’t hate their neighbors, don’t indulge in cruelty for the sake of cruelty, don’t indulge in cruel behavior toward those of other races than their own, and just want to live their lives with what happiness they can find. This is not to say that racism does not exist – it does and I’ve seen it in action. It also isn’t to say that there aren’t extremists who wallow in hatred – there are and on all fringes of the political spectrum.

The trouble happens when one of those fringes tries to silence everybody else. And it’s working.

How big independent sites are being silenced

Take the recent threats against ten websites in the United States, all of whom a new website in the UK is trying to get “defunded.”

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Narrative Control Operations Escalate As America Burns, by Caitlin Johnstone

Judging by ratings, fewer and fewer people even listen to the narrative, much less are influenced by it. The most adept user of social media is Donald Trump. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and mainstream media are falling all over themselves with censorship and spin jobs to get the narrative back under control as mass protests continue to sweep across America.

In 2017, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed in a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that it is their responsibility to “quell information rebellions” and adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment to “prevent the fomenting of discord.”

“Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words,” the representatives were told by cold warrior think tank denizen Clint Watts. “America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”

“Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced — silence the guns and the barrage will end,” Watts added.

Those words rattle around in the memory now as America burns with nationwide protests demanding an end to the police state, and as narrative control operations ramp up with frantic urgency.

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New App Automatically Updates Your Profiles With The Latest Virtue Signals, from The Babylon Bee

SAN JOSE, CA—The tech wizards at Capo Creative are launching a new app that will help users stay abreast of the latest trends in virtue-signaling—it’s called Signlr. Algorithms within Signlr analyze virtue signal trends across the Internet and, as soon as a new one is detected, update all your social media to fit the current narrative. Not only will your avatar be replaced with whatever flavor-of-the-day icon for social justice people are replacing their faces with in order to not be shamed and doxxed by the ever-rabid online mob, but Signlr will also update your profile status and post regularly using socially acceptable bandwagon language that will show everyone you are all-in on whatever the latest thing is.

Beta testers have been extremely happy with Signlr’s performance. “I honestly have just been playing a lot of Fortnite, but I checked my social media, and Signlr had me covered. It changed my avatar, retweeted some woke celebrities, used all the right hashtags, and even auto-generated some socially conscious slam poetry to let people know I really meant it and was totally on board with whatever it was that they were all going on about,” said Signlr beta-tester Ezra Fenwick.

“My profile has entire rants auto-generated by Signlr’s outrage generator,” said another beta-tester. “I even got retweeted by Shaun King.”

“We at Signlr agree with the current belief that silence is violence,” said Signlr developer Marchonne Winston. “There is nothing more important than to blurt out your support for the leading virtue signal trends. Anything else—like thinking, hesitating, or trying to make caveats—is violence. With our app, you don’t have to think or even pay attention.”

She added, “You know you’re a good person, but letting the world know that is a lot of work—until now.”

https://babylonbee.com/news/new-app-syncs-all-your-social-media-to-latest-virtue-signals-so-you-never-look-problematic

Silicon Valley Has Effectively Banned the Freedom of Speech. It’s Time We Take It Back, by Robert Bridge

The title is overwrought; Silicon Valley hasn’t banned freedom of speech. But they shouldn’t be shielded under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 as open-to-all platforms rather than point-of-view-pushing publishers. They’re definitely pushing their point of view. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:

Somewhere along the road of America’s development, corporations were blessed with not only ‘personhood,’ but with the power to sanction what sort of messages were permissible to enter the public realm. Let’s be clear: This sort of corporate control, which borders on pure fascism, has no place in a democracy.

There is no need to ask. There is no need to be polite. There is no need to debate. It is only necessary to point to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for this fundamental human right, inscribed into law over 200 years ago, to be returned to the American people.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So how did it come to be that such a straightforward and unambiguous command has become so unattainable in reality?

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NSA’s Social Network Mapping is More Vast, Omnipresent and Horrifying Than Snowden Revealed, by Jake Anderson

The reality is even scarier than the headline. From Jake Anderson at themindunleashed.com:

This is shocking, and represents an ongoing existential threat to American citizens.

Most people know by now about the surveillance abuses perpetrated by the NSA earlier this century, but a new book about Edward Snowden suggests that the metadata collection programs introduced to us through previous whistleblowers and disclosures are part of a “live, ever-updating social graph of the US” that is ongoing and far vaster than we previously imagined.

The revelations come from journalist Barton Gellman, who described the content of his new book Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State for Wired. The article, entitled “Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network,” catalogs Gellman’s attempts to reveal more details about the programs Snowden first disclosed to the world.

What he found shocked him, and represents an ongoing existential threat to American citizens, he says.

Gellman says that originally he wanted to understand more about the logistics of the NSA phone records. The Snowden archive hints at but does not explain the details of the agency’s project pipelines.

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Narrative Managers Argue China-Like Internet Censorship Is Needed, by Caitlin Johnstone

This is Caitlin Johnstone’s take on the article SLL posted earlier today, “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal.” From Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Neoconservative publication The Atlantic has published an article authored by two university professors titled “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal”, subtitled “In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.”

The article is actually worth reading in full, not just because it’s outrage porn for anyone who values human communication that is unregulated by oligarchs and government agencies, but because it’s actually packed full of extensively sourced information about the way Silicon Valley tech giants are collaborating with western governments to censor speech. The only difference between this article and something you might read on some libertarian website is that this article argues that all of these regulations on speech are a good thing.

Here’s an archive of the article if you don’t want to give clicks to The Atlantic, whose editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg once assured the world that “the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.” Do give it a look if this interests you and you have time.

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Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal , by Jack Goldsmith

Believe it or not, there are some people out there who think its just fine the government and corporate Big Brothers are monitoring everything we say online and removing that which they don’t like. Jack Goldsmith is one of them. From Goldsmith at msn.com:

COVID-19 has emboldened American tech platforms to emerge from their defensive crouch. Before the pandemic, they were targets of public outrage over life under their dominion. Today, the platforms are proudly collaborating with one another, and following government guidance, to censor harmful information related to the coronavirus. And they are using their prodigious data-collection capacities, in coordination with federal and state governments, to improve contact tracing, quarantine enforcement, and other health measures. As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently boasted, “The world has faced pandemics before, but this time we have a new superpower: the ability to gather and share data for good.”

Civil-rights groups are tolerating these measures—emergency times call for emergency measures—but are also urging a swift return to normal when the virus ebbs. We need “to make sure that, when we’ve made it past this crisis, our country isn’t transformed into a place we don’t want to live,” warns the American Civil Liberties Union’s Jay Stanley. “Any extraordinary measures used to manage a specific crisis must not become permanent fixtures in the landscape of government intrusions into daily life,” declares the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group. These are real worries, since, as the foundation notes, “life-saving programs such as these, and their intrusions on digital liberties, [tend] to outlive their urgency.”

But the “extraordinary” measures we are seeing are not all that extraordinary. Powerful forces were pushing toward greater censorship and surveillance of digital networks long before the coronavirus jumped out of the wet markets in Wuhan, China, and they will continue to do so once the crisis passes. The practices that American tech platforms have undertaken during the pandemic represent not a break from prior developments, but an acceleration of them.

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The Real Meaning of Red Scare 3.0, by Nicholas Levis

One of the things Russiagate and the impeachment spectacle conclusively demonstrated is the waning power of the mainstream media, because most people simply tune them out. Recently, the highest rated nightly TV news program had 9 million viewers. That is less than three percent of the US population. You’re not “controlling the narrative” and thereby “controlling people’s minds” if nobody is watching you. From Nicholas Levis at counterpunch.org:

The US corporate media, who had such a long run as relative monopolizers of truth, have been discrediting themselves in serial fashion since 9/11. Their lapdoggery to the Bush regime backfired on them during the WMD lie operation and the resulting war of aggression. Then came their participation in the fraudulent business reporting leading up to the 2007-2009 Wall Street crash, and their big lies afterward that “no one could have imagined.” The next big rupture arrived in 2015-2016, their million-minutes spent on preemptive coronations of Trump as one candidate and Clinton as the other, and their responsibility for the unexpected result, which they have tried ever since to blame daily on a vague, ever-present “Russia.”

In the last few years, it is true that a few million mostly well-meaning people have partaken in the fandom and breaking-news rituals of the Extended Maddowverse. A similar number have bought into the sorry fantasies of Murdochworld, in which a heroic manly Trump is always about to drain the swamp that spawned him. These groups are like the devoted audiences of Game of Thrones or Star Wars, but smaller. Of course it’s a far more serious matter, because they don’t distinguish between their favorite shows and reality, and they are politically influential people, relatively speaking. A third minority, meanwhile, also small if growing, reject both sides of the #Russiagate coin.

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