HomeArticleHave You Noticed How Social Media Purges Always Align With The US Empire?

Have You Noticed How Social Media Purges Always Align With The US Empire?

Twitter has suspended multiple large Cuban media accounts for reasons the social media platform has yet to explain as of this writing, a move which journalist Dan Cohen has described as “the equivalent of silencing CNN, Fox, WaPo and NPR’s accounts” for that nation. The Union of Cuban Journalists has denounced the move as censorship.

Last month we saw Twitter suspend hundreds of accounts which it claims originated in mainland China for engaging in “covert, manipulative behaviors” against the Hong Kong protests, with Facebook and Google/YouTube following suit in the creepy, uniform coordination we’ve come to expect between these social media giants. In June of this year Twitter removed thousands of accounts it claims were associated with the governments of Iran, Russia and Venezuela, as well as 130 accounts reportedly tied to the Catalan independence movement in Spain. In May Twitter removed 2,800 of what it claimed were “inauthentic accounts originating in Iran.” Earlier this year, Twitter and Facebook coordinated with each other to remove hundreds of accounts they claim were tied to “coordinated influence operations” in Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.

Cuba, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the Catalan independence movement. Noticing a pattern here?

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the dynamics of empire, you will immediately recognize all of these purges as having targeted groups which are not aligned with the US-centralized power alliance. There have been no comparable mass social media purges of groups that are aligned with the US-centralized empire; a few accounts critical of Beijing were accidentally suspended from Twitter in June and replaced with a hasty apology, and a few Saudi bots were removed for defaming Jamal Khashoggi after his death, but that’s as close as you’ll find to any non-empire-aligned purge.

“But Caitlin!”, you may protest. “That’s because the US and its allies are free democracies which never engage in propaganda or coordinated influence operations. Those other governments that got their accounts purged are evil authoritarian regimes whose dishonest manipulations must be curtailed!”

And to you my hypothetical friend I say bull boogers. I can prove to you that propaganda and coordinated influence operations are at least as prevalent in the so-called free democracies of the western empire as they are in the so-called authoritarian regimes of unabsorbed nations, and I can do it without even looking up from the story I’m already reporting on.

See that hyperlink I put at the beginning of this essay when I first told you about the suspended Cuban media accounts? It links to an article that as of this writing is the only report in written English-language media on that story. The archived link says it’s from Yahoo News, but that’s actually just the outlet that picked it up; the story itself was from the news agency AFP, which is one of the mere three news agencies that are responsible for most of the news media reports in the western world.

This very AFP report claims that “Cuba is regularly criticized by watchdogs for exerting excessive control over the internet,” citing to substantiate this claim an organization called Freedom House, which the report describes only as “New York-based”. Freedom House, which self-brands as an “independent watchdog organization”, is in reality a narrative management firm that is funded by powerful plutocrats and has the bulk of projects paid for by the National Endowment for Democracy. The National Endowment for Democracy is funded directly by the US government, and was set up in 1983 to do overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly up until that point, namely effecting regime change in sovereign nations.

So to recap, the narrative management operation which calls itself a “watchdog” claimed that “watchdogs” criticize Cuba for internet censorship, and that “watchdog” organization is in fact funded by the US government, yet the news agency disclosed only that their source is “New York-based”. In an article about internet censorship.

To put it another way, one of only three news agencies responsible for generating most western news media asked a US government-funded PR firm that was specifically created to make news-friendly propaganda which literally meddles in other countries’ governments to validate the claim that the news of a country that they target conducts propaganda, while omitting the fact that it is a propaganda organization.

This is Inception-level propaganda. This article, the only one available as of this writing to anyone who is interested in Twitter’s censorship of Cuban media outlets, is infinitely recursive, fractal, nesting doll-level propaganda, a pure coordinated influence operation, from top to bottom. And yet all the parties known to have been involved in crafting this piece of propaganda still have their Twitter accounts up, from Yahoo News, to AFP, to Freedom House, to the National Endowment for Democracy. Because the free democracies of the west do not engage in propaganda.

Again, that’s just literally the first example I reached for because of the story I happen to be writing about here. It’s one of endless possible examples, because it’s happening constantly.

Whenever I criticize these Silicon Valley tech giants for de-platforming voices which dissent from establishment narratives, I always get a deluge of pushback from establishment loyalists and capitalism cultists who insist that Twitter, Facebook and Google are private organizations who are free to do as they like with their personal property, and, since they are not government bodies, what they are doing cannot strictly be labeled censorship. But we see time and time again that their behavior absolutely does fall in line with the agendas of the CIA and the US State Department, and continually discover more and more evidence of extensive overlap between these corporations and government power.

“And these big tech giants… have basically gotten into bed with the US state,” journalist Alan MacLeod recently told The Canary‘s Slava Zilber. “I mean, we’ve seen Facebook partnering with the Atlantic Council, which is an offshoot of NATO, whose board includes people like Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and six or seven different former or current heads of the CIA. That’s the group that’s deciding what is ‘fake news’ and what is ‘real news’, and how the algorithms that dictate how billions of people around the world are going to see news. That’s who’s deciding what you see and what you don’t.”

Journalist Morgan Artyukhina noted this past May that FireEye, the very cybersecurity firm that Facebook and Twitter are relying upon to determine which accounts are inauthentic and require removal, was in fact “founded in 2004 with money from the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel.” As noted in 2016 by journalist Yasha Levine, FireEye itself feeds into anti-Russia narratives while simultaneously funding neoconservative narrative management firms which are hawkish toward Russia. As Sputnik noted last year, FireEye also happens to be “one of the few cyber firms to forensically analyze the alleged hack of the Democratic National Committee.”

“We need to stop pretending FB and Twitter aren’t arms of the US state,” Artyukhina said in a popular Twitter thread last month after another purge. “For over a year they’ve deleted accounts of Iranians, Venezuelans, Russians, and Chinese simply for daring to voice opinions different from the imperialist narrative, under the aegis of combating ‘disinformation’.”

“These reports often claim the accounts were ‘used to promote content from inauthentic news sites,’ but that simply refers to outlets like PressTV and TeleSUR, which don’t toe the Western MSM line,” Artyukhina added. “As always, it’s only propaganda when somebody else does it.”

“Inevitably, when the US targets a country for standing up to it, we’re bombarded with stories of evil deeds to justify US action against them,” Artyukhina continued. “This is not propaganda, to them, it’s simply ‘facts.’ However, try to counteract the massive MSM infowar – that’s disinformation.”

In a corporatist system of government, which has no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is government censorship. There are manifold distortions that have been put in place to mask the reality that the same power structures which control the US government are also dictating the behaviors of the handful of social media platforms upon which the public has become dependent for networking and gathering information about what’s going on in the world, but that is indeed the reality and we do indeed need to regard it as such.

Just because there are no official connections between these corporations and the government doesn’t mean we have to make believe we can’t see actual connections right there in front of our faces, plain as day. There is no legitimate reason to go on pretending that these plutocratic Silicon Valley institutions are meaningfully separate from the US government. The only way to keep that illusion in place would be to continue swallowing all the lies that the propagandists have been shoving down our throats.

________________________

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Latest comments

  • Yasha Levine covered a lot of this in his book “Surveillance Valley”, well worth reading.

  • It doesn’t matter which platform you currently use or if you try to move to another platform in an attempt to get away from the censorship and propaganda. Once a new platform starts to gain any traction, you can bet that the govt will either force them to comply with the govt’s wishes, or they will be taken offline, or targeted in some made-up criminal case and braded as a “hate” organization. See Gab or 8chan, for example. These SM companies were set up to be targeted, and we know for a fact that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agents are swarming all over those platforms in an attempt to get them (falsely, IMHO) branded and taken down — and their owners fined or even jailed — as an example to anyone else who would like to set up another privacy/freedom/truth-based site.

    I actually believe that some of the founders/owners of the current social networking sites would prefer to allow more free speech and less censorship, but look at what happens to them when they try to stand up for what’s right:
    ……….

    Congress pressures tech companies to ban more accounts

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/17/17581444/facebook-hearing-judiciary-committee-twitter-google
    …………….

    Congress Threatens To Regulate Facebook During Zuckerberg Hearings

    https://www.investors.com/news/technology/zuckerberg-facebook-hearings-congress-regulation/

  • Interesting overview of the media landscape: https://swprs.org/media-navigator/

  • Just waiting and hoping a new platform will emerge and leave these evil lying Mass Surveillance Industry platforms for dead. Surely Russia could come up with social media platforms as they have done in the news and analysis field with RT and Sputnik. And Yandex gets a tick from me too. (And no, I’m not Russian.)

  • “But we see time and time again that their behavior absolutely does fall in line with the agendas of the CIA and the Trump/Pompeo controlled State Department…”

    Fixed.

      • prolly on a mission to spread the anti-Trump spin.

  • The United States war in Vietnam changed everything! You will never again be allowed to see United States soldiers killing civilians anywhere. You will only be allowed to see and hear ” government issued news ” from then onward. Do not think. Do not peruse. Do not entertain anything that is not government issue; lest you end up in the re-education camps or mental a institution. Believe them or else!

  • It’s all in your head. There is no conspiracy. You are making mountains out of molehills. Our government would never do anything like that. We are not censored. We are not censored………..end of transmission.

  • One thing that all people must be aware of is that things change over time. There was once a point in time where these sorts of social platforms did indeed provide an ability for people with non-government-backed views to organize and communicate. They were indeed revolutionary in that regard ….. for awhile.
    Then of course, as the State reacted to this, and cracked down on it, they stopped being that.
    We’ve seen this course over the last few years, beginning of course with the Russiagate farce that blamed the fact that Hillary was even less popular than Donald Trump on ‘Russian interference.’ We saw after that the beginnings of the calls of cracking down on these SM sites to prevent ‘foreign interference’. CEO’s were called to testify as to what steps they were taking to keep America’s oligarchs safe and in control. We saw the beginnings of the bannings and blockings as a few outlying characters were targetted. Now it has moved on to anyone who represents the view of any country that the Pentagon wants to destroy is blocked and banned. There will of course be a ‘next step’ after this. The cries of the Democrats that the Green Party was really Russian interference is an ominious hint that further politics in America outside of its One Party System may be a target to crack down on.
    ———–
    But the key point is that all of this keeps changing. Which only means that we need to change with it and adjust ourselves. The big SM companies are now all heavily censored and monitored. Thus, they now have zero real use as a means of getting news, as those useful, alternative stories are being removed from feeds. Now your feed on them is only what the CIA wants you to know. And it has been true for sometime that anything you say or post is monitored, stored and will be used against you when needed.
    The good news is that if we keep moving quickly, the lumbering bureaucracy will be steps behind us.

  • After all the internet was a industrial military project to begin with ! nothing is safe and secure

  • As we make our corporate masters more visible, their attempts to silence us increase. This is a proof of our effectiveness so far, but we need to find more ways to get our truths out to the sleeping public to counter their suppressive efforts.

  • Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, defined fascism as “the merging of state and corporate power”.

  • Interesting, I did a search (on Duck) for the keywords “Cuba Social Media Purge”.
    No ‘news’ stories came up. I did of course get a bunch of right-wing sites complaining how these socialist, left-wing companies block truth, justice and the American way.
    Right-wingers do also get banned, occasionally, for going outside the allowed lines. But such stories of a few people getting banned don’t cover what’s been happening lately in that all alternative points of view from entire countries are getting banned. The early test cases of kicking Alex Jones off have now been expanded such that the bannings are a part of what the Pentagon calls “Information Warfare” and these bannings are obviously in support of such campaigns.
    ————-
    And of course, to comment here I had to tell Google that an obvious “van” is really a “car” to get passed the gatekeeper.

  • Bing is Microsoft. I wouldn’t trust them at all.

    • Note … this was supposed to be a comment on a comment towards the bottom of the stack before I got confused and it ended up here. 🙂

  • Propaganda and censorship — opposite sides of the same coin designed to control our minds, and ultimately control us. This is just more confirmation of the kind of psychology that our leaders display. They are sociopaths, dangerous deviants who deceive and manipulate in the pursuit of power and control. Until we find a way to identify and manage sociopaths, they will continue to dominate us, as they have for over two millennia. Any other solution is just a temporary band-aid.

  • Why keep using Twitter or FB, anyway? Who cares if they’re mainstream? MSM is precisely where all the mind control takes place, and always has. It’s like trying to get radical leftist messages, memes and analyses the attention they need on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, etc. Even if we could, which we can’t since all such reporting and commentary is censored on corporate media, we’d be drowned out by establishment narratives that dwell there permanently.

    To hell with Twitter and FB! Twitter is where all foreign and domestic policy is carried out, under the bumptious Trump. Leave that trash-talking platform to clowns like him.

    • I could go out to the end of my driveway and shout out all of my radical leftist messages ….. and on a good day two cows and a horse in the neighbors field might here me. And maybe a duck flying south overhead.
      If you want to reach people, you have to be where the people are.
      That’s true for people like Tim and Caitlin. They want to be heard. But if I was an ordinary user, then yes, people should be looking for ways to move away from these outlets. If you are using SnM to talk to family and friends, no reason to do that on these censored and surveiled platforms.

  • Add to the mass purges, the opportunistic pretextual banning of Daniel McAdams and Patrick Randall (The Freeway Blogger), both of whom work to undermine the imperial narrative. I am sure there have been others of which I am not aware.

  • It’s fascism…period!

  • “New Think Progress and the Ozzard of Wiz” > satire at FauxScienceSlayer(.)com
    Orwellian Multilevel Information Racketeering for Sheeple and Zombies

  • “This is Inception-level propaganda.” Fantastic line (just re-watched that movie last night). Caitlin, I really appreciate what you’re doing, and admire your courage.

  • Sadly I believe all these men have a defective Y chromosome that makes them all mentally ill, and equally sad is that is that while we can’t do anything about it at the moment, they are out looking for other equally Ill men to copulate with until finally all of humanity is nothing more than one great big gangrenous blob of death.

  • It cannot be otherwise.

    The real rulers of the West are the billionaires from Silicon Valley and Wall Street (they are also probably those behind this sad event 18 years ago, 9/11).

    And the West is ruling the entire world.

    Fortunately, prophecies are telling us that the Second Coming of Jesus is very near. It could be any day now and I pray the Holy Rosary to hasten His Glorious return because I have really really seen enough of all the bullshit.

    • “The West” clearly does not rule “the entire world”. That’s what this story by Caitlin is about. There are areas outside of their control, with Cuba being one example. Thus we see the banning of Cuba’s media in the Western oligarch controlled SM. If the West ruled the entire world, there would be no need for such an action.
      Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, etc are all regularly attacked using everything from propaganda to lawyers to corporate bans to million dollar smart missiles precisely for the reason that the West does not rule there.

      • Every leaders of every country in the world have clearly seen wreckages of airplanes into the Pentagone and into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11 where there were no wreckage at all to be seen.

        How do you explain that if it is not that the West rules the world?

        But I have seen enough and I pray the Rosary to hasten the return of Jesus, which return is very near according to prophecies.

  • It’s like Britain’s D-Notices – censorship where even the censorship is censored – so literally no-one except the Government Agency issuing the D-Notices and the victims-media editors themselves know. Beautifully Orwellian stuff. Thank-you for always making plain the deviousness of so-called “democratic” governments!

  • in the neo-liberal New World Order, there is no seperation between the government and the private corporates: the government serves the private corporate master class. there’s no borders between the countries or nations or religions or races either. the “fights” shown by the pressititutes are infights between factions within the master class. the real struggle is betwen this master class ghouls (and their hired thugs in and outside of the government) and the so-called 99% of the world. that explains most of the problems.

    • http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/09/the-longer-wars.html
      Foreknowledge of the WTC-7 collapse is one of the sloppiest points in the sloppy cover-up of the events of 9/11/01.
      Everybody on the street was told for an hour before the 5:20 PM collapse to get away, that the building would be brought down soon.
      “The Lehman Building” was announced as having already collapsed on BBC news, as it still stood in the window in the background.
      “Lucky Larry” Silverstein spun on camera that the Fire Department told him WTC-7 was a goner and he told them to “go ahead and pull it” (demolish). There is camera footage of firemen telling people the building would soon come down, to get away.
      On 9/8/19 I posted the story about the U. Alaska, Fairbanks study that basically found that nothing but controlled demolition could have done it.
      That’s always been the case. The top of WTC-7 hit the ground in freefall time.
      A basketball dropped from that roof at the same moment would have tied hitting the same ground.
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/foreknowledge-wtc-7-collapse/5688839

      Matt Taibbi has this (brave judge should not fly in small planes now)
      ​ ​A judge last week ruled the federal government’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), which secretly categorized more than 1 million people as “known or suspected terrorists,” is unconstitutional.
      ​ ​Like a number of “War on Terror” reforms instituted in the Bush years, the TSDB’s unconstitutionality was obvious from its inception. Indeed, the very idea that we needed to “take the gloves off” in our post-9/11 “State of Exception” was an original selling point of some of these programs.
      ​ ​The TSDB is cousin to the No-Fly List (a different and more restrictive list ruled unconstitutional in 2014), the Distribution Matrix (the drone assassination program also known as the “Kill List”), the STELLAR WIND warrantless surveillance program, multiple expansions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the broadened use of National Security Letters to obtain private data without warrant, the “Enhanced Interrogation” program the rest of the world calls torture, and countless other War on Terror initiatives that were and are clear violations of the spirit of the constitution.
      https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/were-only-beginning-to-see-the-consequences-of-the-bush-era-assault-on-civil-liberties-881179/

      Asia Times says Bolton’s firing raises the odds of a US-China trade deal. (Stocks went up and gold went down on the news.)
      https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/boltons-exit-raises-the-odds-of-us-china-trade-deal/

      Today’s hot rumor is that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might serve both as as National Security Adviser, and as Secretary of State, as did Henry Kissinger. Other candidates for Bolton’s vacancy are also discussed.
      This will be another signal regarding US foreign policy and sincerity of negotiation overtures going forward.
      Bolton was always a genocide-first kind of guy.
      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/09/mike-pompeo-replace-john-bolton-nsc

  • There will come a time when we are all deplatformed, we who say JFK was assassinated by his enemies within the US and Israel, CIA, mob and Fed, and that “9/11 was an inside job” as insider Bill Clinton succinctly branded a questioner at a speech a few years ago.
    http://www.johndayblog.com
    We should all be well underway with our other physical and spiritual work by then.
    Start last year!

    • we the people have been deplatformed for over 35 years.

  • This situation reinforces the need to take a long look at what can be done in at the local or regional level for both discussion platforms, and the listing of important links by category. I am working on a big project in that regard and hope to attack to my profile soon. Being able to confirm identities at the local level seems a lot more verifiable than the international games

  • Therefore Caitlin, do a good dead and move your videos to a non-Google platform. You know that we would all follow you there!

      • until you get booted out. but you can also use alternative platforms right now. where’s the harm?

      • Why not both?

      • Which begs the question: As this site, moderator and responders both, are mostly vociferously in agreement with those being booted out, not necessarily with their religion, but at least, they had a sovereign right to do, as you point out, the exact same things as the Trumperium SpitLicker’s Doodoo; why isn’t the TrumpReich-quisition stoking the bonfires under this bogan site?

        If it were me considering the question, I can’t think of an answer which wouldn’t start with #1 Get The Fuck Off government-backed monopolies Immediately, primarily because you’re absolutely assured, if you ever got close enuff to effectively “attack the machine head”, you’d be gone before you even got done thinking of the possibility…, and barring that scenario, the only reason you’d be allowed to continue is if you’re helping the Empire’s Narrative, which could be acting (hopefully inadvertently) as a sinkhole for respondents creativity by keeping their attention glued on the daily atrocity list, which hasn’t abated for millennia (just different victims), instead of giving them a quiet place to find real solutions, or my site might be so ineffective, they wouldn’t give a shit, but they could use it as a straw man example they weren’t doing what we’re saying they are…

        Be that as it may, we’ll never evolve past the Trumperium by playing in their court, by their ad hoc rules (nauseous narratives). I believe the only option is to design a solution so compelling and reasonable as to draw in the unawakened We no matter where they hear or see it, like a billboard, or graffiti scratched sidewalk… I call that Bonobo (the Love gorilla) Peacefare…

        • the only real trigger is “anti-semitism”, which caitlin has been carefully tiptoeing around.

  • When will the public get it that these government contractors, google, twitter, facebook and amazon, MUST be ditched and move to decentralized substitutes, of which there are many. We have no reason NOT to expect censorship from these behemoths, which are government agencies pretending to be private corporations. I could provide you with a list of alternatives but you can find it by searching using duckduckgo. get google, facebook and twitter out of your lives forever

    • Exactly! DuckDuckGo or StartPage or Ecosia or even Bing (!!!) Use another video platform. Get a protonmail email address! Use Telegram. Use Groups.io instead of Google Groups. Find another social platform and get all your friends to move there too! Why let our laziness help to Empire to control us?

      • The poor old Ruling Class must be pretty worried if they feel that they have to regulate a mental sewer like Twitter. I am cheered,, rather than depressed or outraged. Stuff must be breaking loose! But Twitter has been visibly an arm of the state for a long time. You may remember the ‘Color Revolution’ in Iran, where the US government overtly requested that Twitter stay up (in those days, they went offline periodically) because they thought it would enhance their plans for Iran. And of course they complied, wagging their tails. Well, here’s a chance for hackists to Do Something. It shouldn’t be too hard to front stuff for the dissidents.

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