Tag Archives: Social Media

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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How Social Media Is Becoming an Arm of the State, by Jose Nino

The “Is Becoming” in the title should be replaced with “Has Become.” From José Niño at mises.org:

Say the wrong things and you might get kicked off of your favorite social media platform.

Tech titans Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have wiped out talk-show host Alex Jones’s social media presence on the Internet. But the social media crusades weren’t over.

Facebook recently took down popular pages like Liberty Memes and hundreds of other prominent libertarian-leaning pages . In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, social media network Gab was on the receiving end of suspensions from payment processors like PayPal and Stripe and cloud hosting company Joyent. Although these companies did not provide clear explanations for their dissociation with Gab, the media had a field day when they learned that the synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, had an account with the social media network.

Should libertarians fear social media de-platforming? Or is this a case of private actors exercising their legitimate property rights by excluding those they wish to no longer do business with?

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Censorship and Gun Control Will Not Make Us Safe, by Ron Paul

The desire for an unattainable absolute safety only paves the way for repression and tyranny. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is being used to justify new infringements on liberty. Of course, opponents of gun rights are claiming this shooting proves America needs more gun control. Even some who normally oppose gun control say the government needs to do more to keep guns out of the hands of the “mentally ill.” Those making this argument ignore the lack of evidence that background checks, new restrictions on the rights of those alleged to have a mental illness, or any other form of gun control would have prevented the shooter from obtaining a firearm.

Others are using the shooter’s history of posting anti-Semitic comments on social media to call for increased efforts by both government and social media websites to suppress “hate speech.” The shooter posted anti-Semitic statements on the social media site Gab. Gab, unlike Twitter and Facebook, does not block or ban users for offensive comments. After the shooting Gab was suspended by its internet service provider, and PayPal has closed the site’s account. This is an effort to make social media websites responsible for the content and even the actions of their users, turning the sites’ operators into thought police.

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