HomeArticleWhy I Disagree With The Strategy Of Exiting Facebook, Twitter And YouTube

Why I Disagree With The Strategy Of Exiting Facebook, Twitter And YouTube

Earlier this month Ben Swann, an important voice for whom I have nothing but respect, expressed a sentiment in one of his excellent Reality Check videos that I’m seeing more and more in anti-establishment circles, and I happen to strongly disagree with it.

In a presentation titled “Internet Purge of Dissenting Voices?” on the recent increase in censorship of anti-establishment voices by large social media corporations, Swann said the following:

“The problem for any dissenting voice is that if you are using your voice on someone else’s property, i.e., YouTube or Facebook, you will never have control of it. Which is why the next frontier must be decentralized platforms. Platforms like Dtube and Steemit, built on blockchain, will be future of how content, the good the bad and ugly, will be stored. And the efforts to silence dissenting voices, will actually be the undoing of YouTube and Facebook.”

I disagree not with Swann’s endorsement of decentralized platforms like Dtube and Steemit (which are both excellent and essential weapons in our revolution against the establishment oppression machine), but with Swann’s assertion that the social media giants’ censorship of dissenting voices will be their undoing. It will not.

“2017 was a strong year for Facebook, but it was also a hard one,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month. “In 2018, we’re focused on making sure Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content. Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is well spent. In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.”

Two questions:
(1) Does this sound like normal corporate talk to you? A corporation deliberately decreasing its advertising revenue for the benefit of “people’s well-being and society”?
(2) Does anyone honestly believe that Mark Zuckerberg has ever once in his life cared about “people’s well-being and society?”

Fast Company reports that time spent on Facebook is down a whopping 24 percent in a tone that seems to be warning that the company is in trouble, but Zuckerberg is actually publicly boasting about the loss and how beneficial it is for mankind. Not only has he drastically slashed his viewership, surely at great expense, but he’s also massively increased his overhead, hiring an extra 14,000 people to help fight “fake news”, which is expected to have risen to 20,000 by year’s end.

What kind of corporation does that? What kind of multibillion dollar corporation slashes its own profits that drastically without being legally compelled to, and does it for the good of “people’s well-being and society”?

These questions make it clear that we are looking at two possibilities here:
(1) That a Silicon Valley tech plutocrat, who censors the speech of political dissidents and hoards tens of billions of dollars while the poor starve, honestly cares about “encouraging meaningful connections” and being “good for people’s well-being and society” so much that he would slash his own profits to make that happen.
Or,
(2) This isn’t about helping people, and it isn’t about money. This is about marginalizing dissident voices as part of Silicon Valley’s extensive and well-documented alliance with the national security state.

Millionaires think in terms of money and profit. Billionaires think in terms of power and dominance. Zuckerberg isn’t filtering non-mainstream media off of Facebook for the good of society, and he isn’t doing it for money either. He’s doing it because he is an oligarch in the borderless new empire, and it is in the empire’s interest that dissident voices be silenced.

Silicon Valley is so intertwined with the agendas of intelligence and defense agencies that it’s gone beyond being used for surveillance and propaganda, and we now see things like Google straight up building AI for the Pentagon’s drone program. In an environment wherein money translates directly into political power, it’s impossible to grow beyond a certain size without learning to collaborate with existing power structures. Defense and intelligence agencies are the biggest enforcers of existing power structures in the new empire, and they will either empower you or your competition based on how willing you are to collaborate with them.

My point with all this is that the few clear-eyed rebels are not going to kill Facebook, Youtube and Twitter by marginalizing themselves into the fragmented fringe of alternative social media outlets like Steemit, Dtube, Gab, Minds, MeWe, etc. That’s exactly what these bastards want. They want us far away from their mainstream livestock. They want us to exit into some fringe circle that they will then invent a name for and smear as the place where all the kooks go. All of a sudden you’ll see all the mass media outlets simultaneously start using that label (“fringe conspiracy sites”, “fringe media”, who knows) in a derogatory and dismissive way, and from then on their herd will be immunized from our influence.

We should absolutely be expanding into new social media platforms (MeWe is an especially pleasant and collaborative site right now due to the current absence of pro-establishment disruptors), but we need to be engaging the mainstream as well, because they will not follow us. If Facebook can absorb a 24 percent dip that it caused by its own actions, then it can absorb the far smaller group of anti-establishment activists who would exit it as well.

I know it’s intensely creepy that these Silicon Valley corporations are being used to gather information on us. I know it’s incredibly frustrating to watch them strangle our numbers further and further into marginalization. But the reason they are fighting so hard to wedge us out of their mainstream platforms is because they want us out. Saying “Okay, well if you don’t want us here, we’ll leave!” is not a punishment, it’s a reward.

We need alternative social media platforms to enable us to talk to one another, but we need mainstream social media platforms to enable us to convey information to the mainstream as well. The empire is happy to have all of its dissidents marginalized into a small fringe group that it can then paint over with smear campaigns; what jams the gears of the propaganda machine is counter-narratives being shown to mainstream westerners.

Contrary to what the ideology of libertarians like Ben Swann would lead you to conclude, this isn’t a problem that the free market can sort out, because this is not a free market. The scales are being heavily weighted toward the social media outlets which collaborate most extensively with the interests of the empire, and that is where the mainstream population is going to remain for the foreseeable future. We cannot shut them down by exiting and taking some small amount of ad revenue away from them, but we can frustrate them so much that they are forced to expose their ham-fisted totalitarianism more and more.

By taking the revolution deep into the guts of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, we can force them to either allow us to speak or become more and more totalitarian with their censorship, until they are forced to reveal to mainstream America just what kind of beasts they really are. Either way, we’d be making it harder for them instead of doing their job for them by marginalizing ourselves.

The mainstream will not follow us if we exit mainstream platforms into tiny websites most people don’t even know exist. The average American isn’t going to say “Hmm, I’ve noticed there’s a disappointing lack of anti-imperialist ideas in my news feed, maybe I should go check out that Twitter imitation with the frog logo?” They’re going to stay right where the propagandists want them. So since we can’t pull them out, we’ve got to go in after them.

Noam Chomsky said that the smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum, and that’s exactly what the propagandists are engineering with their censorship practices on Facebook, Twitter, and Google/Youtube. The only thing on the menu in cable news is an extremely heated ongoing debate ranging from the corporatist Orwellian warmongering neoliberalism of MSNBC to the corporatist Orwellian warmongering neoliberalism of Fox News, and they want that debate to be happening on mainstream online discourse as well.

As long as we refuse to leave mainstream social media circles, it’s like they’ve got Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity telling everyone what to think, and a bunch of fiery-eyed rebels keep storming the studio and kicking over their desks.

Stay where they don’t want us to the extent that you are capable, please. If you’ve left, go back in. Go back in and shine as bright as you can, attracting as many followers as possible and telling as much truth as you can get away with. Don’t leave until they drag you out kicking and screaming.

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Latest comments

  • I’d be hard-pressed to count the number of “progressive” groups on Facebook that I’ve been kicked out of – including, I’m sorry to say, a group that you are apparently a moderator for, Caitlyn. It’s easier when you have followers, I suppose. Personally, there’s a limit to how long I can bang my head against a wall. Particularly while being stabbed in the back again and again by supposed “progressives”.

    • Quick clarification: I’m fairly sure that you were not even aware of what was going on with that group, and I’m certainly not suggesting that you had anything to do with kicking me out of that one. No criticism was intended. I was just trying to explain that fighting against an unending army of paid trolls is just too much to handle sometimes.

  • I agree… I’m Not Going anywhere… I spend too much time on Social Media as it is… Fracturing our Voice and attention over a slew of Alternate sites is just Counter Productive and weakens us even More!! Remenber Stength comes through numbers and we MUST stay where the Numbers Are!!
    Right Here!!
    NOTICE TO FACEBOOK… You can Keep throwing me in your Censorship Jail… But I will come back out and keep doing the same old same old… because that is what i believe. and your censorship only Empowers me and Validates what I do!!
    Thank You very much!!

  • I’m neither 100% in agreement or disagreement.
    It’s not difficult to see why you would equate MSNBC to Fox News. After all, now that Comcast owns NBC and its related outlets like MSNBC, why should they be significantly different, other than in manner of presentation. Both Fox and Comcast are owned by conservatives. Of course, I don’t watch either one, given that both predominantly spew nonsense.
    As for alternatives, etc., I do not have a Twitter Account, never have, never will. I never learned how to talk in soundbites, nor do I have any such desire. I haven’t had the time yet, but will be exploring alternative social media. I will not leave Facebook, but WILL reduce my frequency of visitation, likely to once/day – primarily because can’t now handle everything of importance that comes my way. And, as much as I’d like to, I simply do not have the time to visit every Friend’s timeline to see what might be of interest to me.
    So, what I will likely do, as I find time to check out sites other than FB, is clean out some Friends, from whom I almost never hear anyway. That way, the vast majority of notices I get on FB (other than from select family members) will be on subjects that already matter to me, or notices that inform me of new information of importance. I will get rid of Friends like those Dennis commented on, who only want to tell me how they goosed their pet frog, or that their new peed on the carpet. I want to communicate with people who care strongly about things and in ‘fixing’ what’s broken in the world – even when we don’t agree, I can learn something from that and vice-versa.

  • If we stay on FB, we have to be more proactive and visit the pages of friends who still believe the mainstream lies, post in their comment sections, and share Caitlin’s articles there.

  • I have not used facebook but for 15 minutes years ago. Twitter/NO/and others(not the ones that have banned me)No. I may tweet soon! Sounds Presidential. Wage peas..Put a cog in the wheel

  • Educate…etc. Thanks Caitlin

  • Not sure if I agree. The great majority of what goes on in FB, Twitter, utube, is the glorification of bullshit, anyhow. Oh, look at me making my dog jump through hoops. Oh, look at me goosing my pet frog, etc. Meanwhile, since the cyber oligarch, Zuckerberg, makes money off your info, haha, what a joke. The final straw for me was to become aware of the degree to which these sites are in cahoots with the man, the law, the FBI, CIA, etc.

    My solution has been to connect directly to the sites I want to hear from, and maybe check in with MeWe. There is something weird about fighting to be let in to a platform that will dismiss you for reasons unknown: a curse word, a political position, too left, too right, or just too—–

    What if en masse milliions of people left? What then? What if the millions joined another site elevating it to the point where it had to be paid attention to.

    I appreciate your point of view Caitlyn, and for being ahead of the pack, in bringing up the question, and your solution is admirable, but I am simply tired the whole shit.

  • isn’t this similar to the situation with voting? “if we we leave voluntarily, so much the better for them”. abstention is interpreted as disinterest or ambivalence. of course elections are prone to rigging so the numbers are bound to be inaccurate anyway. at least with social media we can sneak in some anti-imperialist facts for our friends.

  • I don’t see much difference between print , broadcast , or internet journalism in this particular regard , and , as has proven to be the case in the print and broadcast fields , individual journalists will make their own choices whether to leave early-on in the harassment game , like Robert Parry , or stick it out even if the environment is sub-optimal , with perhaps someone like Stephen Kinzer at the Boston Globe as an example.

    I can see the reasoning behind either choice. In the end , though , I think the Borg always wins under the current legal regime. Anti-trust laws and regulations governing media consolidation , market capture , and so forth could , theoretically , be rolled back to something like what they were back in the 1950s-1960s , which would be a healthy change for all forms of journalism , but a disastrous change for the Deep State , so I’m not holding my breath.

  • As usual, you hit the nail on the head. Getting rid of dissenting opinions is the goal, and if we we leave voluntarily, so much the better for them. It can be immensely frustrating to watch what is happening, and hang in there nonetheless, but doing so is more important to those who need to hear dissenting voices (the sheeple) than it is to people like you who are dissenting, or at least as equally important. Regardless, if dissenters leave, they will have the echo chamber they are striving for, and we should do all we can to ensure that does not happen.

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