HomeArticleThe Idiotic Claim That Other Nations Are ‘Disrupting The Public Conversation’ On US Politics

The Idiotic Claim That Other Nations Are ‘Disrupting The Public Conversation’ On US Politics

Twitter claims that it has suspended 130 Iranian accounts for “attempting to disrupt the public conversation” during the US presidential debate.

“Based on intel provided by the FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran,” a thread by the Twitter Safety account reads. “They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate. We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard. They had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation. Our capacity and speed continue to grow, and we’ll remain vigilant.”

This evidence-free claim aligns with the narrative popularized by the Russiagate conspiracy theory that foreign governments seek to “sow discord” in the United States by amplifying controversial political opinions from both sides of mainstream US discourse, and it is idiotic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, anyone who watched America’s trainwreck of a first presidential debate knows the argument that a few social media accounts could make the US political conversation any more polarized, hostile and toxic than mainstream news outlets and elected officials have already made it is like saying a tsunami was exacerbated by someone throwing a thimble full of water in the ocean.

The much-touted Russian social media election interference in 2016 was shown to be a joke, consisting of a few thousand dollars going toward silly memes and posts amplifying both sides of the political conversation, and much of it happening after the election itself. The few sample tweets provided by Twitter in this latest so-called attempt to disrupt the public conversation from Iran are vastly less significant than even that, saying nothing particularly noteworthy and bizarrely appearing to side with Trump.

The idea that any of this could have any effect worth mentioning on the gibbering vortex of irrational vitriol that is American political discourse makes no sense whatsoever, and again Twitter itself admits that it “did not make an impact on the public conversation”. Twitter’s response is a melodramatic swinging at shadows which did nothing but help manufacture the US State Department-friendly narrative that Iran is working to interfere in American democracy.

Secondly, the entire premise is bogus because other nations have every right to influence US political discourse. The US uses its military and economic might to bully and manipulate the world into compliance with its agendas; this by itself is an outrage, and at the very least people around the world should be allowed to exert influence on the political conversation of people who, unlike themselves, are able to cast votes which influence the US government. Anyone in any nation on earth is well within their sovereign boundaries to influence the political discourse of a nation whose government does not honor the national sovereignty of any other nation.

This is especially true of nations like Iran, because it is no exaggeration to say that US politics affect Iranians more than they affect Americans. The lives of Americans have been impacted by the Trump administration far less than the people of Iran, for example, as more starvation sanctions are being pushed while crucial goods are already skyrocketing in price, sick Iranians are having difficulty obtaining life-saving medicine, and life in general has been getting much more difficult for the poorest and frailest Iranian civilians.

When Trump nearly started a war with Iran earlier this year, Americans worried about the price of oil while Iranians worried about their children getting ripped apart by explosives dropped from the sky. These things are not equal, and it’s not even close.

To claim that Iranians–or even the Iranian government–should not be allowed to exert any influence over how people are talking about the government that did this is absurd. Such a viewpoint only looks acceptable through the American supremacist worldview which sees Americans as better, more worthy, and more important than the people who live in other nations.

Thirdly, it is not legitimate for monopolistic tech corporations to align themselves with the US government and then censor speech in a way which always benefits that government. These mass social media purges consistently target accounts from nations which have resisted absorption into the US-centralized power alliance, while known troll operations like the fake “Heshmat Alavi” Twitter account from the MEK terror cult are left free to influence US political discourse because its anti-Tehran focus aligns with the US government.

When you’ve got monopolistic tech giants aligning with government agencies like the FBI to implement censorship which aligns with the US government, what you have is government censorship. There is nothing else you could reasonably call it. We learned back in August that Twitter, Facebook, Google and other massively influential platforms are collaborating with the US government to prevent foreign influence in the lead-up to the US election, and there’s no reason to believe this corporate-state relationship will get any less cozy after November third.

In a corporatist system of government, where corporate power is inseparably intertwined with state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Every horrible thing the US government accuses other nations of doing is something it itself does as a matter of routine. Increasingly authoritarian control over information and communication is just one more example of this.

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Latest comments

  • Oh the irony!

    Watched a PBS program tonight. The series is called “Hacking Your Mind”, the program I watched tonight was titled “Us vs Them”. The program demonstrated the natural tendency of human beings to divide into groups – Us vs Them, and how this human tendency presents a danger to our nation as we fall prey to media influences that make us divide one American group against another American group (Us vs Trump supporters, for example). Us vs Them – divided.

    Irony is seen in the program as it sounds the alarm about THEM – the Russians.

    Them
    THem
    THEM!

    Here is the PBS video. The segment of interest begins at the 21 minutes mark.
    https://www.pbs.org/video/us-vs-them-2t0c0s/

    The segment in question discusses an anti-muslim video that had been shared on the internet since 2014.
    2014.
    Apparently, a Russian guy also shared this video on Facebook in 2016 and thus provided convenient fodder for Russiagate and this PBS program.

    I found the segment beginning at 21 minutes very spooky and troubling and I fear for our nation that PBS is pushing hate. Pay attention to the distressing sound effects that accompany this segment.

  • Actually, the Anglo-Western world is completely taken by the electoral ‘conversation’, cheering for one side or the other for the socio-political fate of the West.

    However, guys like Soros and their faux Progressive globalist fifth column are far more of a danger to the U.S. and the West than than Putin or Xi.

  • “We learned back in August that Twitter, Facebook, Google and other massively influential platforms are collaborating with the US government to prevent foreign influence in the lead-up to the US election, and there’s no reason to believe this corporate-state relationship will get any less cozy after November third.”

    Much more than collaborating, I think. Plenty of evidence, that Google was created by/with CIA seed money. It seems the CIA literally controls google. To me, the relevant question is who controls the CIA.

    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e
    `
    I don’t doubt the same is true for the other big social media platforms.

  • “at the very least people around the world should be allowed to exert influence on the political conversation of people who, unlike themselves, are able to cast votes which influence the US government.”
    A rare blooper from Caitlin Johnstone. I am an American citizen and I have a ballot I can mail in or drop off. I can vote, and quite possibly even have the vote counted. But can I thereby “influence the US government”? No. Trump is an embarrassing and frightening monster but my choices are to vote for him or for Joe Biden, or Howie Hawkins, Green Party. Obviously I’m not going to vote for Trump but if I vote Green as I usually have done, it will have no influence as the game has been rigged by the Demublican and Republicrat Parties so only they can win. I can and may vote for Joe Biden since Trump is rendered especially dangerous by his cult following–but I need to avoid news because every time I see something Biden has said I think “Oh my God I can’t vote for that evil warmonger.” The Page and Gilens study proved that public opinion in the US has “near zero” influence on policy. Theoretically Americans have power over our government, and the world desperately needs us to exercise it–but we are repeatedly led down the cul de sac of voting, as a way to drain off activist energy without interfering with corporate rule.

  • “Secondly, the entire premise is bogus because other nations have every right to influence US political discourse.”

    The issue goes beyond the fact that the U.S. is pushing its weight around in other countries, and deserves to allow those countries to talk back: The *US voting public* has the right to HEAR voices, from ANYONE. And that is an accountability US elected representatives cannot deny to US citizens.

    • It’s not a matter of ‘deserves’, it’s a matter of law. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” There is nothing in there about limiting the rights of free speech to citizens or whatever. Indeed, the Supreme Court decided that free speech applied even to abstract entities like corporations in _Citizens United_. Twitter can claim it’s a private company but it has been explicitly ordered to serve the U.S, government so it is more or less a government organ. Of course the ruling class and its established order need bogeymen, so no free speech for foreign twittists. But Twitter is a sewer anyway.

      • Agreed, re “matter of law”. (I was thinking of that but was not sufficiently conscious of it at that moment.)

    • Thus the only people “disrupting conversation” are those preventing the conversation from happening in the first place.

  • Interesting article, at the Free Thought Project, about the interview Chamath Palihapitiya (former top level exec of facebook) gave in 2017. He made the claim that 150 men rule the world.
    `
    “Some of you may remember Chamath Palihapitiya from his warning that social media was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” which received generous attention in the media and went viral as a result. What most people completely missed, and what no single major media outlet reported — at least to the best of my knowledge — was when he explained that “150 men rule the world” and they are “going to roll over” the tech entrepreneurs in the coming years.”
    `
    TFTP article: https://thefreethoughtproject.com/former-top-level-facebook-executive-claims-150-men-rule-the-world-everyone-else-is-a-puppet/
    `
    Video clip of the Quote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RZf7wNEy30&feature=youtu.be

  • Thanks Caitlin, you have great clarity, and I have to say you are very good at cutting through the crap.

  • “a corporatist system of government, where corporate power is inseparably intertwined with state power, corporate censorship is state censorship”, also known as fascism, as defined by the man who created the term, Mussolini. A far bigger threat to civilization than any supposed “systemic racism”, which among its many faults, is largely non-existent in the US. There is a constant, ongoing, expanding war between the bank cartel and its minions in governments and corporations, and the rest of us. We are losing. The current preferred tool of the bank cartel, the infliction of the COVID bogeyman upon us, has driven us apart, destroyed our means. and completely changed the state vs population paradigm, giving the state absolute authority “for our own good”.

    • tell the proud boys that it is largely nonexistent in the u.s. tell the people run over by cops at blm protests, or killed by the cop auxiliaries like kyle rittenhouse. and guess who just came down with the “hoax”? the most fervent proponent of a state having absolute authority, to kill its own citizens in the streets, is trump. nobody claims systemic racism is a threat to civilization, but it is absolutely a threat in he u.s., and so is the even more ingrained classism. and the democrats, as usual, are just slightly better than trump on the issue. biden’s a long time racist no matter what he says.

  • The U.S. claimed recently in Court in the U.K. that people all over the World are complied to adhere to the U.S. Constitution, thus Assange laid himself open to charges because he did not comply.
    So, if such a claim by the U.S. is valid, then it goes to follow, every such citizen on the planet is entitled to have a say on these idiotic affairs in the U.S, we would even be entitled to a vote ourselves. So all this crap trying to minimise input from people who’s daily affairs are effected by these morons in the U.S. means we are very much entitled to make our objections heard.

  • # justwon’tgoaway
    # # covfefe – 19

  • I wonder how much of the Donald Trump – Joe Biden shitshow was seen in other countries. If Trump is re-elected how many countries would ever want him to visit them? Donald Trump is the president of the United States; his thug personality ideally suits this thug country.

    • Russian, Chinese and UK media have all been repeating the ‘highlights’.

  • This is American Supremacism in a nutshell:

    The same America that whines like a triggered snowflake about supposed “foreign interference” in the USA’s (bogus) democracy is the same America that thinks it has a God-given right not only to interfere in the politics of other nations but also to destabilize, balkanize, and “democratize” these nations through America-driven regime change operations, economic sanctions, and ultimately wars of aggression!

    [See America’s (and its allied crime partners’) political subversion operations or outright coup d’etats in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Belarus, Ukraine, Cuba, Thailand, Iran, China, or Russia for a few examples.]

    Un-fucking believable.

    Even if these accusations of Iranian interference in the USA were true, it would only be a case of America getting a well-deserved taste of its own medicine.

    That is what Americans cannot stand and are morbidly afraid of: To reap at home what they are massively guilty of sowing around the world.

    Killing Hope
    U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
    https://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope

    • Excellent post, my thoughts exactly. This IS the reason Americans are so AFRAID of the people’s of the World. They are very much aware of what they have done over the years, their biggest nightmare is blow back and retaliation from the people they have aggrieved. They KNOW, it will eventually come, but don’t know when. I suspect times running our for them quicker by the day.

    • well said.

  • Always follow your posts. Agree with almost everything you say and it makes me feel at least there is one kindred spirit out there in the madness.

  • Damned straight, Caitlin.
    .
    Meanwhile, top generals in the US military have become political and partisan all across the American media as never before, crapping all over Russia as though Russiagate has not been debunked a hundred times over already, as though the whole thing was not a false narrative created by Hillary’s campaign. Now they spout as flat fact in the absence of any evidence that Putin ordered Navalny assassinated with novichok and must be punished. Needless to say, they are all pledging fealty to Dopey Joe, even the ones hired on in cabinet posts by Trump.
    .
    The MIC is licking its chops for Joe, once ensconced in the WH through any means, to wave the green flag on WWIII. With all the rampant madness in the air I do not see how the world makes it through the year 2021 without being reduced to a smoldering cinder.
    .
    Here’s the deal (as Joe would say): Maybe the Mayans just inadvertently reversed two digits in the year and miscalculated the end of the world by 9 years. It was not 2012, it’s gonna be 2021!!!

  • “the gibbering vortex of irrational vitriol that is American political discourse”
    Nice.

  • The beacon of democracy in America is constantly threatened by evil dictatorships and socialist hell holes around the world. It is the right of America to protect itself from such evil. It is almost time for the great country of America to drop a several strategically placed nuclear bombs across the globe. Yes America will have to shed the blood of several of its great citizens to keep the flame of democracy alive but it is a price worth paying. Myself, my loved ones and associates along with our great leaders will be safe in nuclear proof shelters with many years of food. We plan on emerging in a suitavble safe time to leading America once again to greatness. Put your trust in us. Vote and God Bless America.

    • So you disagree with Vice-President Dense, who wants to watch the world being annihilated while he ascends into the skies in the Rapture?

  • “where corporate power is inseparably intertwined with state power”,,,,,,! Is that not the very definition of Fascism?

  • Personally, I’m hoping that a certain foreign national from Australia continues to make a ‘UGE disruption in the public conversation world-wide. 😉 Whatever you do, don’t tell the propagandist social media moguls who that certain person is.

  • Caitlin, do you have evidence that this was not happening?

  • LOL, funny as hell, couldn’t even get past the title because it’s so totally true. I hope that you married anywhere else but here in the USA. Because everything here is an outlandish lie.

    • Oh. I was hoping Caitlin was single because I wanted to marry her myself.

  • Other nations have every right to influence US political discourse. <— Bingo.

    And to a well informed populace foreign influence would have negligible impact. To an ill-informed populace the influence would still be small.

    Yesterday morning WA DC was on my website and a couple minutes later I had a You Tube Video struck down for a 'copyright' violation. I did not know You-Tube had offices in the Washington DC beltway. Always new things to learn don't you know!

    My point is Americans have a hell of a lot more to worry about than 'foreign' influence.

  • Given the role of the United States as a global hegemon, or at least its perceived goal to attain and retain such status, every person on the planet has a stake in the results of elections in the United States and, consequently, if not a right to vote (as would exist in a fair world), at least to share with eligible voters his, her or its perspectives, opinions, aspirations and concerns. The argument, especially during the past four years, that foreign “meddling” in United States elections is not only improper but intolerable, is ludicrous. That is the case even ignoring the reality that since its inception, the United States has felt entitled to “meddle” in the internal political, civic and social affairs of every country on the planet. The censorship role assumed by enterprises like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Instagram, etc. which purport to be global enterprises serving the world community is likewise ludicrous, crossing the border into malevolent, something this article by Caitlin Johnstone makes clear. If the United States believes it is, or aspires to be, a hegemon, then it must accept the participation by others that such role requires. If it feels entitled to “meddle” in the affairs of others, then it too must accept such “meddling” by others. And that is true whether such “meddling” involves, social, political civic or military matters. Something to seriously consider if one wants a world at peace, a just and equitable world, a world with a chance of surviving.

    • Except for trolls most of us who read here have the mental horsepower to understand foreign influence can’t determine the outcome of an election. Foreign voices are part of free speech.

      But beating the foreign influence drum is not directed at people who think using their brain. It is directed at people who think using other parts of their anatomy.

    • Hello Guillermo, i fully agree with your lucid and sober perspective.
      Pretending that influence must be a oneWay process
      is a denial of Reality, a core dynamic in every form of inSanity.
      `
      The USA has made itself as an opponent of diversity, the basis upon which evolution by naturalSelection operates, a defiance of the natural processes of Life.
      `
      Opposing and punishing diversity is the opposite of Freedom.
      The duplicity of USA is no accident, it is strategically purposeful.
      `
      This duplicity and its hiddenAgenda fits neatly with the mud-shadow ‘prophesies’ of harvesting their livestock, as is yearned for by both Islamic and Christian zealots … Armageddon.
      `
      Mankind is not naturally this stupid.
      NonHuman interference is not only a heresy,
      but plainly is the meaning and intent
      of commandments throughout Bible & Koran.
      `
      “God” is by definition nonHuman,
      as was the apparition which dictated the Koran to Mohammed …
      after claiming to be archAngel Gabriel, the chief lackey of Allah.
      `
      Artificial stupidity is required to accept the insults to mankind explicit in the ‘holy books’.
      Insults which justify zealots like Mike Pompeo and William Barr in treating mankind as though we are not sovereign offspring of the Creator, but something to be manipulated on behalf of the creatures whose forgiveness they have gambled their destiny upon.

  • “When you’ve got monopolistic tech giants aligning with government agencies like the FBI to implement censorship which aligns with the US government, what you have is government censorship. There is nothing else you could reasonably call it.”

    Oh? What about fascism.

    • The American Way? You could call it that!

    • Government censorship is a documented feature of previous fascist states.
      Lou proposes a false error … as if he is smarter than Caitlin.
      Nasty and impertinent, a detractor with nothing to contribute.

      • Actually, he is correct, corporate power intertwined inseparably with state power is the very definition of Fascism.

        • Liars use truth for credibility and to disguise their hidden agenda, such as stealing our freedom of thinking.
          Only a retard does not know what fascism is, after 4 years of Trump.
          Yet here comes rndun to tell me that my assessment is worthless because Lou said something right.
          `
          Where does this kind of “thinking” come from ?
          Certainly Not from Me.
          So, what is different between me and this individual
          who used obfuscatoryNonsense to defend toxicNonsense.?.
          `
          I have an agenda, which has been clearly stated in this forum.
          But who or what ? has an agenda of making me seem stupid, notWorth understanding.?.
          `
          Although rndun has posted nonsense, it has an effect and an intent.
          A defence : the mudShadows want their methods and existence kept secret.
          `
          When wondering what to do with my life,
          i decided to study the origins of Stupidity.
          Not like choosing a channel on TV or a career in stupidity,
          but as a detective, an intrepid explorer of the unknown (of which there is ample supply.)
          `
          So i choose knowledge instead of money whenever i can.
          The lack of competition in mapping the unKnown makes it easy to be a pioneer at this time.
          `
          All it takes to become your own detective is deciding to get real.
          Everything else in detectiving is learn-as-you-go.
          `
          rbdun’s agenda is to make my life’s work seem useless.
          This serves exactly the purpose of a parasite as outlined above,
          and referenced in many of my didactic posts.
          `
          Being a genuine detective who’s been on the job for 7 decades,
          i‘ve achieved lots of things generally thought to be impossible.
          Knowledge is power when in competent hands.
          `
          The most important discovery of my career as an innovator and inventor
          is corroborating nagual Juan Matus’ description of the mudShadows.
          `
          Most important because their influence drives overpopulating Earth with humans,
          readying us for harvesting … in Mike Pompeo’s grand religious vision
          of being on the winning side* at Armageddon. *(of Jesus the Forgiver of Sins)
          `

    • Government censorship is a documented feature of previous fascist states.
      Lou proposes a false error … as if he is smarter than Caitlin.
      `
      Nasty and impertinent, a detractor with nothing to contribute.

      • I think Lou has a point. I think the US has been heading toward a form of fascism for a while, and this is a prime example.

        • The point you defend is so shop worn it does not bear further repetition.
          Insisting that conversation stay on yesterday’s tramtracks increases Stupidity, Ian Perkins.
          `
          Saying something original, something to extend the horizon of knowledge … is not done by worshipping Stupidity, noR by praising the banal.
          `
          Man or Mouse ? what shall i be.

          • “you’ve got monopolistic tech giants aligning with government agencies like the FBI to implement censorship”

            So shop worn it does not bear further repetition? We’ve only had these tech giants for a couple of decades. One aspect of fascism is this marriage of state and corporations. Mussolini said it was the central aspect. It needs pointing out.

            • Ian Perkins must be remarkably slow on the uptake to think that it takes more than 20 years to notice and comprehend the bleeding obvious. Before Google and Amazon, there was IBM, which was big enough to overturn the industry standard for computing (cp/m 3.0) with a half-baked Micro$oft operating system which is still having its defects patched 35 years later.
              `
              Innate to his rebuke of my pragmatism is the presumption that Ian is at the cutting edge of opinion,
              when he is advocating for more time for the complacent and unCurious drifters to catch up (they never will.)
              .
              What we need is competent commentary and new strategies,
              but Ian still thinks we have unlimited time to undo the inertia of fossilFuels, overPopulation, and systemicStupidity.

              • On the bright side, fossil fuels are a salvation, not a threat. Just counter the carbon by iron-ferilizing the open deep ocean phytoplankton pastures. The U.N. acted with uncharacteristic haste to condemn ocean iron fertilization as ‘geoengineering’, and replace it with the financeering games of ‘carbon credits’ and ‘carbon taxes’.

                http://www.russgeorge.net

                Overpopulation is taking care of itself; the aging world population has far fewer breeding pairs and those who can reproduce are producing fewer children. In a few decades we will enter into obvious global depopulation bomb territory. The collapse of worker-consumer aged people to run whatever economy is around then, live our (hopefully still diverse) cultures and ways of life, and care for the aged is projected to be an extreme challenge.

                That is, if the Idiocracy doesn’t succeed in taking the easy way out and killing everyone off trying to kill off everyone not them.

  • It’s also worth noting how much the US prides itself on its famous ‘Freedom of Speech’ and its glorious First Amendment, while doing its best to ensure the inmates don’t get any news from outside. Shows you how fragile the elites and authorities feel their grip on power to be..

    • Insistence is not fragility.
      Insistence is a method of hijacking consent,
      and has been a plague upon mankind since the arrival of the mudShadows.
      `
      Insistence is their primary weapon in stealing our freedom of awareness.
      Insistence is characteristic of the ‘holy books’
      which act as cognitive software for zealots and jihadists.
      `
      The fragility is in the deception implicit in compulsory beliefs.
      Deceit can easily be discovered and refuted.
      `
      “Somehow” mankind tolerates being lied to
      by those who spend our taxes,
      a moral blindSpot which enables artificial massStupidity,
      a phenomenon demonstrated by 100 years of USA politics.

  • “…other nations have every right to influence US political discourse. The US uses its military and economic might to bully and manipulate the world into compliance with its agendas; this by itself is an outrage, and at the very least people around the world should be allowed to exert influence on the political conversation of people who, unlike themselves, are able to cast votes which influence the US government.”
    .
    This world has an established protocol of… “I can do this, BUT YOU CAN’T”. This shows up repeatedly in world affairs all the way down to our personal encounters with bosses and others in our life circle. Certain (many) people reserve unto themselves the right of power and influence over everything else without, of course, allowing this same right to others. To do so would diminish their own power and sense of importance and self-entitlement. In short, there is not and will not be a level playing field in world and national affairs, politics, finance, business, relationships, or anything else in life. It’s deep within the DNA of many persons (and like-minded groups of people) to dominate over all others. They will do so, and others will let them as they prefer to avoid and not confront the Predator Class.

    • They will do so, and others will let them as they prefer to avoid and not confront the Predator Class.

      It is a lack of courage. Sadly I can’t agree the double standard of freedom we both see shows our elite to be weak. It shows the American people are weak. I wish I could agree with you.

    • Agreed. This is characteristic of all hierarchy, a concept fundamental to all religions, in which “superior beings” tell us what to believe and what to obey.
      `
      The alternative is self-reliance, which depends upon self-respect.
      Hierarchy undermines self-respect.
      Sacredness undermines self-respect.
      Politicians undermine self-respect.

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