After a week of vocal protests from online supporters of Julian Assange, Twitter has reversed its unjust removal of the prominent pro-Assange activism account @Unity4J.

After the account was suspended without any explanation being presented to its operators, Assange supporters drew a clear line in the sand against internet censorship and began making a big noise that couldn’t be ignored. The account’s suspension drew condemnations from high-profile Assange supporters like Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, World Socialist Website, RT and Lee Camp, as well as a sustained social media campaign by grassroots supporters which included artwork, memes, and of course relentless “tagging” of Twitter Support and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Political dissidents in general, and Assange supporters in particular, can take this as a very positive sign. It cannot be denied that there is pressure being applied to new media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to forcibly marginalize all perspectives which fall outside the ever-shrinking Overton window of approved political discourse, but it also cannot be denied that speaking out works. If enough people push back against internet censorship to make it too conspicuous and obvious, it can’t happen.

Unity4J co-founder Elizabeth Lea Vos called this from the early hours of the account’s suspension, tweeting, “We know that Twitter can and does reinstate accounts after suspension in the wake of a public outcry: @caitoz was suspended only to be reinstated after multiple journalists spoke out against it.”

“@caitoz” is my account, which was indeed reinstated after I was suspended from Twitter for expressing political wrongthink last year. A bunch of high-profile journalists and activists helped voice objection to my unjust removal from the platform, not necessarily because they liked my work but because they understood that the direction the platform was headed posed a grave threat to all politically dissident speech.

So we see a pattern here where censorship can only happen in the unseen margins. In a society where our rulers must maintain their nice guy image of free speech and democracy, censorship only works when it’s invisible. The social engineers cannot operate in an overtly totalitarian way without shattering the free democracy image and thus losing the ability to effectively propagandize the masses, without which they cannot rule. We can use this weakness of theirs to our advantage by continually ringing alarm bells and shining a spotlight on any overtly totalitarian behavior yelling “What’s this? Why are you doing that? Hey everyone, come look at this weird thing they’re doing!” Internet censorship in its current form can’t operate under such conditions.

Though Twitter’s opaque and unaccountable moderation process makes it impossible to ever know exactly what happened behind the scenes, from my own experience it’s probably safe to assume that @Unity4J was conducting itself in the same way thousands of other Twitter accounts behave every single day without issue, but it got singled out (possibly via establishment-friendly mass reporting) due to its dissident political speech. Some admin ruled that if you squint at the account’s behavior and the Twitter rules in just the right way, removing the account was warranted. Then a bunch of loud complaints began coming in, prompting an investigation which found that by golly, it turns out that we don’t have to squint at the facts of the matter in that weird way after all. After which the account was restored.

Whenever there’s a spate of iron-fisted censorship from a large online platform, I see many dissidents talking about vacating that platform in favor of fringe sites with a more tolerant attitude toward dissident speech. Please do not do this. If you want to spend time on a much smaller platform like Mastodon or Minds then by all means go ahead and do so, but please remain active on large, mainstream sites as well.

Remember, the goal of all political dissent is to get dissident ideas into mainstream consciousness. If we all vacate the areas where the mainstream public are spending their time, we’re doing the social engineers’ job for them by quarantining ourselves to some isolated fringe sector of the internet. That’s exactly what they want us to do. They want us to remove ourselves so we can’t infect the mainstream herd with wrongthink.

So don’t do it for them. If they’re going to keep clamping down on dissident speech online, force them to do it out in the open where everyone can see. As we’ve just witnessed, they have a much, much harder time conducting censorship while under the light of public scrutiny.

Our job here is very simple: if we can get the mainstream public to start paying attention to the actual mechanisms of empire, oligarchy and oppression, we win. If we can’t, we lose. Everything that doesn’t help us toward this end is a frivolous distraction. The social engineers understand all of this quite clearly. We need to understand it too.

Stand in the center of the public stage, and keep infecting the herd.


The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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30 responses to “Twitter Restores Assange Activism Account In Response To Backlash”

  1. I’m not a very social person, I work, next door to our home, in my own shop, I make things, and I’m very outspoken politically, because I’ve spent two decades in the Marines, and was raised a “navy brat”, and know what it going on, and hate it.
    What Caitlin is saying is simple: we can all choose our own way to speak, in different places, moving when forced, or we can stand together, not allow “them” to remove us, but gather our best efforts, and make it impossible for them to profit, while they do this evil thing, and I mean evil.
    The “freedom of speech” isn’t granted anywhere, it’s not a product of our constitution, it’s a “natural right” found by logic and reason, “if anyone can speak their mind, everyone must be able to, without fear”.
    I left facebook behind, mostly because I don’t have the time to waste on it, but in part because they hate what I write, and have “punished me” for it, numerous times. I took to “friending everyone” for a while, just to overload their data mining, but something like twitter, is apparently an important means of communication, and for that reason, fight for it.
    No matter how communication is transmitted, its our “freedom” that is exercised or impeded, by government or other’s actions. I’ve always loved, “Freedom’s just another word for ‘nothing left to lose’”, having spent a life on the edge, but being able to be “on the edge” was something I had to fight to be left to, and any and all our freedom is worth every gram of sweat, every drop of blood we have.
    Our constitution was “ordained and established, for Ourselves, and Our Posterity”, how can we possibly pass on even an “attitude” to posterity, without ensuring it arrives there, intact, because we can trust our government, and our culture.
    All of our freedom rests on maintaining our first, most basic rights, life, liberty, and property. The internet of of no value, if no one will use it, because it’s monitored. We, my own generation, have boycotted things, and made the world notice. I watched and marched for civil rights, and am witness to radical change.
    We must not allow corporations to do what we wouldn’t allow government to do. Use twitter, if you can, and protest every infringement, regardless of who is attacked, even if you hate them, we’ve been betrayed badly by our respective media, and they need to be abandoned, so we must use our voices against the weasels who are afraid of what we will say.
    Semper Fidelis,
    John McClain
    Vanceboro, NC, USA

    1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
      Joe Van Steenbergen

      Great note, Marine; thanks. I, too, abandoned the Facebag some months ago, never watch mainstream media (though I do watch One America News Network – you might want to check it out), and only use Twitter as a source for news (I almost never comment). Enjoy your retirement.
      Semper Fidelis,
      Joe Van Steenbergen
      Carlsbad CA

  2. Good News! That term has almost become outdated.
    Way to go Julian Supporters and Real Journalists.

  3. I wish I could get some ‘backlash’ over the suspension of my Twitter account.

  4. “Maybe a ‘journalist exchange’ could be negotiated, with that NYT ‘cover-uperrer’ guy heading back to London, and Mr. Assange coming to the USofA for freedom and feting.”

  5. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    Hard-hitting heat wave, volcanoes, earthquakes… There is Something wrong with nature no doubt.

    If you read french, this article by weather expert appeared today:

    The title can be translated this way: “Something is wrong with the weather all around the world”

    The reason could probably be found in Revelation 16:8: “Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given power to scorch the people with fire. And the people were scorched by intense heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent and give Him glory.”

    We really are in the last days, the return of the days of Noah when everybody was a bad faith except Noah who was of good faith. So we have to pray the Holy Rosary to hasten the return of Jesus. Really, really, I have seen and heard enough.

  6. There once was a lad from ‘down under,’
    whose fine journalistic thunder,
    the halls of pow’r shook,
    exposed many a crook, and
    helped tear ‘the cabal’ asunder.

  7. When I go to share this article on Facebook, it defaults to appear only to me.

  8. R Daneel Olivaw Avatar
    R Daneel Olivaw

    The world will know that Twits and other social media have gotten serious about banning misinformation, hate speech and violence on the day the headlines read that Twits has banned Donald Trump.

  9. My Twitter account was just suspended this past week. I never said anything unkind or threatening, and I make a habit of not using curse words or or other offensive types of speech. I was just supporting some of the other posts/tweets by pointing out some facts to back them up, and also “liking” some of the posts. In this particular case, I was writing in favor of some conservative voices (as a libertarian socialist, I have some conservative/libertarian and some very left-leaning opinions, especially as it relates to economic issues and the concentration of wealth and power). I know that there was no way that my posts violated any of their TOS, but I also refuse to give them any identifying information, so cannot go through the process of unlocking my account.

    The censorship issue is very real, and it’s incredibly alarming. The ability to access diverse opinions about a range of issues is quickly being diminished. What’s even more frightening is how so many people, especially younger people, are not bothered by this.

    1. R Daneel Olivaw Avatar
      R Daneel Olivaw

      I find that the Political Spectrum is more like a mobius strip. The two ends connect and it is really quite easy to step back and forth between what is considered far left and far right. In American politics, I have at various times been Green and Libertarian. I caucused for Ron Paul in 12 and for Bernie Sanders in 16.
      I tend to throw out the entire narrative that politics is a 1-D linear strip that only goes from left to right. I find it is much better pictured as a 3-D cone. The rich 0.01% have self-defined themselves as the apex of the cone. Most of the rest of us are down near the bottom of the cone. What we call “Left vs Right” really relates to where we are on the circle that is the bottom of the cone.
      This is also a better predictor for who will be banned by Twits or other (anti)social media. Those who are near the top of the cone, or who support them, are safe from being banned. Those who do not have such a privileged position, and who might harm the profits of the mega-corps or injure their political allies are the ones who get banned.

      1. R Daneel Olivaw Avatar
        R Daneel Olivaw

        Those at the top of the cone want the various groups at the bottom of the cone to constantly fight each other. Their fear is that everyone will look up at the same time and yell, “hey, lets get them!”

        1. R Daneel,

          Yes, I agree very much with what you say, both about the political “circle” and also about those at the top wanting to keep the masses divided via identity politics and other more personal, emotionally-charged issues.

          In real life, I think that most people agree on the bigger issues more than they disagree. That’s what the 1% fear the most.

    2. libertarian socialist is an oxymoron. they are opposite philosophies.

      1. That’s only if you think of things in binary terms. As R Daneel noted above, political beliefs actually lie more on a cirlce or horseshoe than they do a straight horizontal line.

        Left libertarians are pretty common. We strongly support civil rights, civil liberties, and personal freedoms (as long as they don’t harm others), and oppose the concentration of wealth and power (including police power), whether in the private or public sector. We also belive that there should be strong safety nets (though this is only possible in a closed system), and believe that “the commons” belong to the collective. Most of us are strongly anti-authoritarian politically, so that part is libertarian; but we also support a type of socialism (with many variations, but the main point is that labor is superior to capital) that benefits the working, middle, and lower classes.

  10. There is some interest being taken in Congress (again) with regards to politically motivated abuses by the social media platforms. The latest I saw was Sen. Ted Cruz, AKA “the smartest guy in any room”. He had that “AH, we got’em now!” gleam in his eyes so this might be worth watching.

    Sen. Cruz Slams Google’s Monopoly, Calls It ‘Unprecedented’

    1. R Daneel Olivaw Avatar
      R Daneel Olivaw

      For American politicians, that translates to “Microsoft needs to donate more money to my campaigns and pacs.”

      1. R Daneel Olivaw Avatar
        R Daneel Olivaw

        Sorry, I put the wrong evil mega-corp into my message. Should have said google. But still, the point remains the same. The Shakedown is a well honed art by politicians of all stripes.

        1. Shakedown is a most excellent description of that process, made easier to accomplish by having SCOTUS declare that “corporations are people too” regarding such political donations. I’m waiting for those bozos to expand that to add, “and are therefore entitled to vote as well as contribute” along the ever continuing line of such total corrupt nonsense. So, how many citizen votes can a corporation buy for X amount of dollars? But isn’t that what’s already happening?

  11. I’m conflicted about whether it’s better to remain on these social media sites (inside the tent) or leave the tent and let them die from lack of patronage. Certainly, the leavers would initially be on ‘the fringe’ but a flood starts with a tiny trickle breaching the dam wall. The powerful never relinquish power, it has to be taken from them.

    1. R Daneel Olivaw Avatar
      R Daneel Olivaw

      You can do both. At the same time. Use the big tech corporations for what they are good for. Their value is that most people are on them. So, use that. Use them to broadcast when you are in broadcast mode. Do your promotion and politic-ing there. But, if you can get a circle of friends to move to an alternative, you can stay in touch with your friends via a company that is not yet evil. Once you got it going, its as easy as keeping two tabs open on your browser.

  12. “if we can get the mainstream public to start paying attention to the actual mechanisms of empire, oligarchy and oppression, we win.”

    Not really. A win is when you defeat the empire and it collapses for ever, not when it still exists and carries on doing what it has always done, ignoring you and everybody who thinks like that.

    To make sure MSM dies, there should be another site where planning can take place, unhindered by the MSM censorship. By all means attack MSM by pointing out its shortcomings, but have a safe base to work from first.

  13. As much as I don’t agree with the principle of social media regulation, it is becoming more and more evident that the large platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Google are deliberately censoring content for a variety of reasons. Censorship of any kind is dangerous and leads to ever increasing corruption and crowd control.

    But it also highlights the larger issue of media – all types of media – censorship and bias, and the inability of most people to determine fact from fiction.

    We need, here in Australia and elsewhere, tight media regulation and genuinely independent oversight to enforce neutrality and higher levels of accuracy. Sadly, I can’t see any political support for such a change.

    1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
      Joe Van Steenbergen

      The main reason for this censorship, IMO, and the most overlooked reason, is that Big Advertising has determined that anything even remotely controversial is not “brand safe” so must be fenced off from advertising, either restricted or banned. Since we know that advertising is the main revenue generator for these platforms, in essence the advertiser is God, and anything and everything will be done to make him happy. Since Big Ad also has determined that anything Trump is toxic, it appears that most of the bans are occurring on conservative, libertarian, dissident sites that may be even remotely pro-Trump. That cannot be allowed; Big Ad won’t allow it. Want to get to the root of censorship? Look at who is driving the train, and it isn’t always, or even mostly, social media.

  14. This event gives me much needed hope that our voices do count, and we should redouble our efforts to penetrate mainstream sites and public consciousness. Good one Caitlin – score one for our team!

  15. Jenny Kastner Avatar
    Jenny Kastner

    Do you realize that the only way many of us can share our pieces on Facebook, is by copying and pasting the link itself?

    EVERY time I try to use the facebook symbol on your page to share, I get the same message from facebook — “sorry, something went wrong”. Every single time.

    1. I did not know that, thanks! I’ll look into it ASAP.

      1. Another issue I have noticed is your site slowing down dramatically on west coast of USA. Just now going back to your homepage took near a minute. Other sites are instantaneous while this happens. I am thinking your increased popularity it overloading your server.

        1. Ditto on the slow loads relative to other sites. Could it be on your server’s side?

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