HomeArticleInternet Censorship Just Took An Unprecedented Leap Forward, And Hardly Anyone Noticed

Internet Censorship Just Took An Unprecedented Leap Forward, And Hardly Anyone Noticed

While most indie media was focused on debating the way people talk about Kanye West and the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an unprecedented escalation in internet censorship took place which threatens everything we all care about. It received frighteningly little attention.

After a massive purge of hundreds of politically oriented pages and personal accounts for “inauthentic behavior”, Facebook rightly received a fair amount of criticism for the nebulous and hotly disputed basis for that action. What received relatively little attention was the far more ominous step which was taken next: within hours of being purged from Facebook, multiple anti-establishment alternative media sites had their accounts completely removed from Twitter as well.

As of this writing I am aware of three large alternative media outlets which were expelled from both platforms at almost the same time: Anti-Media, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police, all of whom had millions of followers on Facebook. Both the Editor-in-Chief of Anti-Media and its Chief Creative Officer were also banned by Twitter, and are being kept from having any new accounts on that site as well.

“I unfortunately always felt the day would come when alternative media would be scrubbed from major social media sites,” Anti-Media’s Chief Creative Officer S.M. Gibson said in a statement to me. “Because of that I prepared by having backup accounts years ago. The fact that those accounts, as well as 3 accounts from individuals associated with Anti-Media were banned without warning and without any reason offered by either platform makes me believe this purge was certainly orchestrated by someone. Who that is I have no idea, but this attack on information was much more concise and methodical in silencing truth than most realize or is being reported.”

It is now clear that there is either (A) some degree of communication/coordination between Twitter and Facebook about their respective censorship practices, or (B) information being given to both Twitter and Facebook by another party regarding targets for censorship. Either way, it means that there is now some some mechanism in place linking the censorship of dissident voices across multiple platforms. We are beginning to see smaller anti-establishment alternative media outlets cut off from their audiences by the same sort of coordinated cross-platform silencing we first witnessed with Alex Jones in August.

This is about as acute a threat to our ability to network and share information with each other as anything you could possibly imagine. If new media outlets are beginning to silence dissident voices together in unison, that means we can see entire alternative media outlets not just partially silenced but thoroughly silenced, their ability to grow their audiences and get information out to heavily populated parts of the internet completely crippled.

This is huge, this is dangerous, and this is being under-reported. When I was removed from Twitter in August for “abusing” John McCain, there was a large and outraged uproar on Twitter, and my account was quickly restored with an apology. And I’m really grateful for that, but the phenomenon of multiple high-profile alternative media outlets suddenly being silenced in unison by the two biggest social media platforms should be generating more outrage than some ornery Australian blogger losing her Twitter account, not less. This should be the top story in alternative media, because it affects us all.

Any time you try to talk about how internet censorship threatens our ability to get the jackboot of oligarchy off our necks you’ll always get some guy in your face who’s read one Ayn Rand book and thinks he knows everything, saying things like “Facebook is a private company! It can do whatever it wants!” Is it now? Has not Facebook been inviting US government-funded groups to help regulate its operations, vowing on the Senate floor to do more to facilitate the interests of the US government, deleting accounts at the direction of the US and Israeli governments, and handing the guidance of its censorship behavior over to the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO and Gulf states? How “private” is that? Facebook is a deeply government-entrenched corporation, and Facebook censorship is just what government censorship looks like in a corporatist system of government.

Speaking of the Atlantic Council, it recently published a very interesting 21-page document about a US military conference detailing, in present tense, how Silicon Valley tech giants are being used to nullify the threat that the new media landscape poses to the US power establishment.

Of this document, World Socialist Website writes the following:

Enter the social media companies. The best mechanism for suppressing oppositional viewpoints and promoting pro-government narratives is the private sector, in particular “technology giants, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter,” which can “determine what people see and do not see.”

 

Watts adds, “Fortunately, shifts in the policies of social media platforms such as Facebook have had significant impact on the type and quality of the content that is broadcast.”

 

The private sector, therefore, must do the dirty work of the government, because government propaganda is viewed with suspicion by the population. “Business and the private sector may not naturally understand the role they play in combating disinformation, but theirs is one of the most important…. In the West at least, they have been thrust into a central role due to the general public’s increased trust in them as institutions.”

The best way to deal with a manipulative sociopath is to point and make a lot of noise every time they do something weird and creepy. The more you let them abuse you in private, the more they can rope you in and get you playing along with their sick agendas. If you notice them doing something weird, the best way to nullify all the tools in their wicked little toolbox is to point and yell “Hey! What are you doing?? Why are you doing that? That’s weird!” Get people looking, because such beasts can’t advance their manipulations with a lot of critical eyes on them.

Propaganda and censorship operates very much the same way. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the Streisand effect, I encourage you to begin to acquaint yourself with it. Named for an incident in which Barbra Streisand attempted to suppress online photographs of her Malibu residence and thereby inadvertently drew far more attention to them, the Streisand effect describes the way attempts to hide and censor information can be used to draw more attention to it if the coverup attracts the interest of the public eye. Every censor needs to prevent this from happening in order to do their job effectively; if it looks like removing something from public view would draw more attention to it, then they cannot practice censorship in that case.

So let’s Streisand this thing up, hey? Let’s make a big angry noise about this new cross-platform escalation in internet censorship, and let’s make a big angry noise any time anyone makes a move to silence dissident political speech in the new media environment. Manipulators can only function in darkness, so let’s never give them any. Anything they try, we need to make a ton of noise about it. That by itself would be throwing an enormous stumbling block in their path while we find new ways to clear a path for more and more networking and information sharing. These bastards have controlled the narrative for too long.

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Latest comments

  • I am sharing this to Facebook and will be interested to see how long it remains there. Normally, I agree with almost everything you write, as I do with most of this article. However, I usually discard any article in which you offhandedly disparage Israel. Not only is it clear to me that you do not know the real truth about Israel, but that such remarks – especially without referencing the basis for those remarks – is fodder for a new breed of anti-Semites – not that I believe you to be one, but others grab on to what you say as a means to support their bigotry. Without going into in great depth, there are two Israels. The first is an ally of the U.S. out of necessity and survival, but must also do as the U.S. dictates, or it will be summarily treated as is any country that is an ally of the U.S. but then falls out of favor. The second is the Israel that has a multi-millennia right to survive and, to do so, must live surrounded by those who have sworn to obliterate it. Perhaps you are unaware that Hamas, an extremist group that took over by coup from the previous Palestinians in charge, has – from its inception in 1987 – sworn to obliterate Israel and every single Jew everywhere. Perhaps you are also unaware that the Palestinians were, in WW II, the Nazi’s greatest ally in the middle east. Israel does not initiate hostilities, but it does respond – ten times over – as it promised years ago, because that has been the only way to prevent perpetual war. As for the people in Gaza, they are every bit as great a group of terrorists as is Hamas, even if they permit groups like Hamas to live among them and to bomb Israel from civilian locations. In movies they would be termed accomplices who are treated equally as those who actually commit the crimes. The fence is there, even though those Palestinians, despite the fence, still manage to kill Israelis and to cast bombs into Israel, because the guilty ones are terrorists as one-minded as ISIS or Al-Qaida would be were they attacking Sidney or Melbourne instead of New York City.
    Caity, I do not receive follow-up comments on comments I make here. I have not signed up for them, because everywhere I post comments, I get more replies than I have time to read, let alone respond to,
    However, if you want to dispute what I have written here, you can do it by email at the address we are required to leave before posting comments.
    PS My position is one of right vs. wrong, based on the truth. but I have no desire to ever actually visit Israel. That’s not what my position is about.

  • Of note, this has been taking place (step by step, as planned) across all spectrums: Censored, Blocked, and Banned: An Open Letter to Google/YouTube https://seaclearly.com/2017/08/04/an-open-letter-to-googleyoutube/

  • Caitlin, more people noticed that than you may know of. But, what do you expect of these arrogant Marxist pigs ? I’d say to hell with Zuckerberg and his filthy allies. We don’t need FB, Twitter or others of that ilk. If enough people quit these cultural Marxist, censoring media forms, they would not be so arrogant.

    • Billionaire Capitalist Zukerberg a ‘Marxist pig’??? Oxymoronic statement at outset obviates need to read further.

      • Groucho not Karl probably.

        • 😉

  • Our rulers know full well that their house of cards is about to come crashing down. “They” want to keep the “sheeple” from figuring this out too soon & make a mess of things before their ready.
    So where is there a social media that doesn’t excessivly censor? They may shut up desenting voices but they can’t shut out reality for much longer.

    This civilization is totally dependent upon TEMPORARY fossil RESOURCES that are in decline. Climate heating will also make things nasty then impossible for most of us.

    I expect the economy to be the first to fail, then our agricultural system will fail as more crops are destroyed by a hostile climate & the excess population starts to starve.

    So called “renewables” are just as tied to OIL as our SUV’s, trucks, trains planes etc, the cannot even begin to replace oil, we are being LIED to about “renewables” there just another way to profit from oil.
    Censorship is another way to keep us in the dark as to our fate & imminent collapse.

    “They” believe they can hide in luxury bunkers as this civilization collapses & most of us die off & “they” expect to emerge to rule the survivors again, wrong!
    “They” will not have the power they once had, “they” will be killed & eaten.

    The masses will remain asleep, they are too stupid & ignorant to accept reality, anyone who believes in invisible people in the sky just can’t be very bright!

    The smarter ones will prepare as best they can for this collapse & they will become self sufficient if they are in the right place with the right tools, knowledge, water & the right kind of land.
    I wish them luck, they will need it!

    Most of us are doomed as there are just too many of us to survive without fossil resources.
    Censorship will become the least of our problems.

  • “The illusion of freedom will continue for as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will take down the scenery, move the tables and chairs out of the way, then they will pull back the curtains and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

  • “The illusion of freedom will continue for as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will take down the scenery, move the tables and chairs out of the way, then they will pull back the curtains and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa
    https://thedailycoin.org/2018/10/13/the-true-power-of-lies-video/

  • Pertinent to this issue:

    New Samizdat: RT brings you a new censorship buster [https://www.rt.com/news/441119-new-samizdat-rt-censorship/]

  • Not scared yet? Read this:
    “…evidence that the United States is collecting, across Russia and other areas of the world, blood samples for DNA analysis to be used in the development of genetically targeted biological and chemical weapons, exists.”
    https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/13/outbreak-a-world-threatened-by-proliferation/

  • ““Business and the private sector may not naturally understand the role they play in combating disinformation, but theirs is one of the most important…. In the West at least, they have been thrust into a central role due to the general public’s increased trust in them as institutions.””

    This person knows better. Governments and ‘their’ militaries are indispensable to capitalist classes who therefore know it.

  • From searching on a non-google search engine, I found the websites that go with two of the three alt media outlets in the article. The Anti-Media and The Free Thought Project were easy enough to find. However, Police The Police is not. Since the word Police is both the name of a popular old band and an otherwise very common word on the internet, a search on that term found lots of links to songs, music articles, and sites that tell me how to find, join or complain to police depts. Thus, my question is does this group have their own non-Facebook website that I can go visit.

    I learned long ago to go and check out what the censors don’t want me to see. Of course, that leads sometimes to suffering through reading Alex Jones’ website, but it has otherwise provided some nuggets of knowledge and insight. Thanks!
    ————–
    BTW, I’m the sort of science-fiction reader who realizes that someday it will be wrong to discriminate against Robots posting comments. Of course, by then, I’m sure robots will be able to recognize which pictures have busses in them. I also dislike when I have to go into No-script and allow google access to my web browser. But hey, I also know why such things are there in this world of today, so I deal with it. 🙂

  • Very good article, Caitlin.
    ..
    Just as the NYT is the US “newspaper of record”, I would say that the private Toronto Globe and Mail is the “Canadian” newspaper of record. Private Global News is a major “Canadian” MSM TV outlet. I mention these two private businesses because both are very recently publishng self-serving, disparaging, lie-filled articles and, in the case of the latter, TV “news” segments, about RT, which one of my favorite sources of information. In the case of Global, these TV segments have turned into a “series” that is re-hashed night after night. The fear of becoming irrelevant in these private businesses is now becoming palpable.
    ..
    Around our neck of the woods in Canada, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are “private”, just as, apparently, Facebook, etc. are. I believe that the next step that the Elite will take is to, essentially, order these private ISPs to cut off their customers’ access to “alternative” web-based sources of information. I am pretty amazed that this has not already happened. I fully expect that some day soon, when I click on my computer’s RT icon, I will be told that that page “does not exist”. Unfortunately, Caitlin, I believe that your web site may suffer the same fate.

    • The day is certainly coming when the US will block access to websites.
      That is why I urge everyone in the US to get experience with using a VPN.
      Many home routers now support a VPN service.
      Using a VPN you can enter the internet in the EU, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc, outside of US control.

      • My experience with VPNs has not been good. And stay away from HMA, which gave up a user to the government. On the other hand, I use Epic browser (together with Pale Moon), which has some awesome, unique (to my knowledge) features, including a built-in vpn and video downloader. It comes in handy when I’m trying to watch a movie trailer that can’t be shown in Canada. I just toggle the vpn button and voila!

        • You are correct about HMA. And thanks for the input on Epic browser and Pale Moon. I have used AirVPN which doesn’t log. There are VPN reviews that help to identify which do not log. AirVPN is not in US jurisdiction but with trends in the EU I may more on from AirVPN.

    • Today, there is no Toronto Globe and Mail. There was that entity years ago, or one having a name something like that, years ago. Today, Its The Toronto Star (one paper) and The Globe And Mail (another paper).

    • Have had the same thought for quite some time now with the same websites as potential targets…

  • Thanks for this & yesterday’s discussions on this overt attack on press freedom, Caitlin. Your inputs are valuable as are those others who’ve taken notice and tried to awaken a sleeping public.

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