HomeArticleHow Did People Have Conversations Back Before Tech Oligarchs Were There To Police Them?

How Did People Have Conversations Back Before Tech Oligarchs Were There To Police Them?

Twitter has announced the rollout of even more censorship policies in the lead-up to the November US presidential election.

“Starting next week, when people attempt to Retweet a Tweet with a misleading information label, they will see a prompt directing them to credible information about the topic before they can amplify it,” Twitter informs us, with “credible information” of course meaning information from the same mass media outlets who’ve lied to us about every American war throughout their entire existence.

“We’re taking more steps to encourage thoughtful amplification by preventing Tweets that have been ‘followed by’ and ‘liked by’ accounts you don’t follow from showing up in your timeline,” adds Twitter, as though the social media echo chamber that is turning us all into idiots wasn’t bad enough.

This is just the latest in the stack of additional censorship measures that Silicon Valley tech corporations have been rolling out in open coordination with the US government under the banner of protecting American democracy. We may be certain that none of these measures will be rolled back when the election is over.

As my regular readers are no doubt tired of hearing me repeat by now, when you have monopolistic tech corporations which attract the bulk of online communication coordinating with governments to censor speech, what you have is government censorship. As Matt Taibbi recently wrote after the irrational Facebook purge of QAnon cultists, this censorship regime is continually expanding and this expansion is likely to continue, especially in the direction of those who oppose these same establishment power structures that are promoting this censorship.

It’s just so brazenly authoritarian. The only reason people are putting up with it is because they’ve spent four years being bombarded with horror stories about Russian propaganda and right-wing disinformation by the same plutocratic media institutions that are now being upheld as “authoritative sources”. But the fact that consent has been successfully manufactured doesn’t make it okay.

Imagine if you were at a party and a bunch of guys with clipboards who work for the government were going around from group to group listening to the conversations people were having and forcibly removing anyone who said anything they deemed false or disruptive. Would you be okay with this? Even if the people they dragged out of the social gathering were saying things that were indeed false?

Of course you wouldn’t. Nobody would find such an occurrence acceptable, but because basically the same thing is happening on the relatively unfamiliar conversation forum known as social media, people accept the authoritative voices of the plutocratic punditry who are telling them it’s normal.

Well it’s not normal. How do people think conversations happened back before there were monopolistic tech oligarchs policing their words in coordination with the government to make sure they weren’t hazardous to democracy? Did they forget that this wasn’t something that used to happen? Do they think before online political discourse people used to have to meet at the FBI headquarters to have a fed supervise their conversation if they wanted to debate whether or not a conspiracy theory is true?

No, people just talked to each other. Sometimes what people said was true, sometimes it was false, sometimes it was an idiotic urban legend about a Hollywood celebrity putting rodents in their butt, but at no time did anyone stop and think they needed a team of billionaires and government agents to jump in and police their conversations for them.

It’s abnormal, it’s insane, it serves only the powerful, and it’s being advanced by the powerful. The powerful understand the primacy of narrative control; they understand that they are vastly outnumbered by the rank-and-file public their continued rule is therefore entirely dependent on their ability to control how people are thinking, speaking, acting and voting. These rollouts of corporate and state power collaborating to control speech are not a response to a crisis of democracy, they’re a response to a crisis of narrative control.

From Taibbi’s aforementioned article:

In my mind, this argument became complicated in 2017, when the Senate Intelligence Committee dragged Facebook, Twitter, and Google to the Hill and essentially ordered them to come up with a “mission statement” explaining how they would prevent the “fomenting of discord.”

It’s right there in black and white: censor speech to prevent “discord”. This coordination between corporate and state power to censor speech has gotten more and more egregious ever since, just as it was designed to be. Government power has been threatening online platforms like Google and Facebook with antitrust cases in order to ensure compliance with government power from them, and as long as these platforms bow to the pressure and keep expanding the censorship regime that is designed to protect imperial power structures, they’ll probably be safe.

You can’t reach billionaire levels of influence and wealth control in the current system without collaborating with existing power structures; if your collaboration isn’t trusted you’ll find yourself targeted like TikTok and WeChat. This is why all the libertarians and free market types who say Silicon Valley censorship can be fought by moving to a different platform are false; no platform is going to be allowed to rise to the level of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube unless it aligns itself with the same power structures that are pushing censorship on those platforms. This is why attempts to compete with them keep failing.

These platforms were built with the help of establishment power structures, and they are maintained with the consent of those power structures. A few giant platforms sucking up all human conversation to then censor those conversations in alignment with establishment interests is an extremely valuable asset to the powerful, and they’re not going to let it go easily. It’s an extremely effective weapon against dissident thought.

First the wealthy controlled the newspapers, then they controlled the radio, then they controlled television, now they control online speech. It’s been the same story for centuries, and in each instance they collaborated with existing power structures to protect the status quo upon which their kingdoms were built. They did this because they understood the real secret of power: that whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Humanity will only transition into a healthy collaborative way of functioning on this planet when everyone else awakens to this truth as well.

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Latest comments

  • Well done, Caitlin! It’s wonderful to see you have censored my comments again. It means I’m on target, and you are not. I hope others have noticed your unwarranted censorship of reader comments and really understand what it means. I know you know what it means.

  • So glad they increased our ration of chocolate… Doubleplus good!

  • “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Voltaire

    The wide array of self-righteous tyrants to which this adage on censorship applies makes authentic free-speech advocates shiver.

      • Hey, good find. I’m a vetting fanatic, but never thought in the gazillion times I saw Voltaire attributed that I should double check it. Whatever.

        It’s certainly one of the greatest quotes there is against censorship. Going forward, I’ll just stop including an attribution altogether. I appreciate your help on that.

  • It isn’t just happening on social media but in face to face conversations as well, whatever people on here who aren’t already working for, or aren’t already mobsters, are probably already amoung the walking dead, they just don’t know it yet, and it’s probably already too late to change anything, so just keep telling yourself that it here.

  • Advertising ruins everything it touches!

    Once ad revenue, and the harvesting and sale of our personal information, became the business model for Big Tech, it was only a matter of time before advertisers would de facto be in control of internet content.

    Advertising ruined commercial TV (too many commercials), the NFL (60 minutes of football takes 3+ hours to watch), and now advertising is destroying freedom of thought and discourse on the internet, the last, best forum for the free exchange of information. No more.

    • Agreed — advertising is to promote consumerism which is a source of income for the 1%. Stop purchasing their crap.

  • Google, Twitter & Faceshit, are nothing more than Social manipulation tools used by the government to MANIPULATE peoples thoughts (brainwashing) though decietful means (like behind your back) and push same with the corrupt criminal MSM that supposedly is there to protect & serve our interests, which in fact could not be further from the Truth. In fact they are pushing their CORPORATE buddies AGENDA & narratives, rather than give us the Truth, you see, these filthy discusting creatures known as polititions ( comes from the word Polytic, meaning multiply blood sucking parasites). PLEASE REMEMBER THIS, & PLEASE REMEMBER TO REPRIMAND YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY LIE, AND TELL THEM THEY ARE ACTING LIKE OUR POLITITIONS & LAWERS, VERBALLY, SO IT SINKS IN WHAT HORRIBLE DECEITFUL FUCKERS THEY ARE! PARENTS NEED TO ENFORCE THIS WITH THEIR CHILDREN, LEST THEY BECOME THE SLIMEY WHOREING SHIT_BAGS THAT GOVERNMENT, LAWERS & BANKERS ARE!

  • Google is continueing to block my posts Caitlin! Still, I receive “duplicate post” message when no post has been uploaded! Cheers.

  • How did people have conversations before big tech? Perhaps they didn’t, at least most of the time.

    Perhaps nearly everyone just told each other what they thought the other wanted to hear, while keeping their true thoughts to themselves and their most trusted bubble in the circle. Only a few expert journalists and academics developed the fringes of thought.

    The internet offered a fair amount of anonymity for truth telling, plain speaking, and exploration and development of ideas and positions that simply wouldn’t be politically correct in-person or outside cosseted trusted company.

  • I opened a Twitter account to follow one individual, but found that the site was the total garbage I always expected it to be. Five minutes later, I permanently closed the account. Instagram – opened it, due to one thing that wasn’t working on Facebook, which is weird since Facebook owns Instagram. I tried to delete it, but i couldn’t find out how. So, I turned off every setting that would have shared anything about me and/or send me a notification. So, it now resembles a black hole.
    At least of Facebook, I can still share anything I want (even your columns, Caity,, though I suspect it doesn’t notify a lot of people. so, I am going to have to start telling people to check out my timeline on something of a regular basis.

  • To paraphrase Amschel Meyer Rothschild, one of history’s premier overlords: “Give me control of a nation’s money, [substitute “narrative”] and I care not who makes its laws.”

  • I once heard that back in the old Soviet Union people used to pass cassette tapes and copies of banned books around. In China people criticize the government in social media using code words. People will find ways to communicate and the government will always be playing whack a mole.

    • The trouble is that the state is quite good at whacking. In fact it’s about the only thing it is good at.

  • Google owns Youtube where many political videos are banned as “inappropriate.” Any that address controversial topics have a link to the accepted facts at Encyclopedia Britannica. For example, my mini-doc “The False Tale of Killing Osama Bin Laden” has this inserted.

    Context
    Osama bin Laden
    Encyclopedia Britannica
    Osama bin Laden, also spelled Usāmah ibn Lādin, (born 1957, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—died May 2, 2011, Abbottabad, Pakistan), founder of the militant Islamist organization al-Qaeda and mastermind of numerous terrorist attacks against the United States and other Western powers, including the 2000 suicide bombing of …

  • “How Did People Have Conversations Back Before Tech Oligarchs Were There To Police Them?”
    .
    How? We were incapable of having conversations. In fact, people could not even communicate well at all. Before Our Tech Giant Saviors came along, all we could do is grunt and point and use facial expressions to try to convey something to someone else. We did not have written language before these Tech Giant Saviors came along and created Alphabet and the written word. Once They did, They realized that we were so ignorant and uncivilized that we could not be trusted with words and ideas without Their strict supervision. Thank our lucky stars that They now monitor everything we say and do because They know we must be led by They who are smarter, wiser, more fair, and more trustworthy than We the People are.
    .
    We are seen by Our Tech Saviors as being mere animals hardly more intelligent than anything found at the zoo. Animals do not have formal written language, so as already stated, Our Tech Saviors had to create and provide that to us. Animals communicate with the occasional “Meow” or bark or growl or something. That’s how Our Tech Saviors view us. That’s still how we sound to They who float high above us in the Celestial Stratosphere of Tech Heaven.
    .
    We are so lucky to have Our Tech Saviors watching over us every second of every day and logging and cataloging our words and thoughts and selling all that information for Their profit to hidden unseen hands all over the world. Thank you, Tech Saviors, from saving us from ourselves.

  • Tech giants be like, “Yesterday I couldn’t even spell Illuminati, and today I are one”.

  • “(N)o platform is going to be allowed to rise to the level of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube unless it aligns itself with the same power structures that are pushing censorship on those platforms.” Then the task we face, those of us who oppose and want to deconstruct the oppressive, ecocidal neoliberal world order, is to find effective ways to communicate and build solidarity other than through social media. If and when blogs like this are erased from the internet, we’ll be up shit creek unless we have built, behind the scenes, an alternative mode of talking with each other immune from government/corporate censorship. The most elemental, hardest-to-control mode of interpersonal communication is, of course, direct conversation. How to scale that up, how to maintain and increase it even when we need to hunker down and practice social distancing, are questions we all should be thinking about. How do we amplify the individual human voice, enhance its scope and power, outside the ever-constricting space provided by social media and the internet itself? Caitlin has urged each of us to become instruments of neoliberal narrative deconstruction, which means knowing what we believe, knowing the crucial facts which support these beliefs, and then personally engaging with the people we encounter in daily life–from family members and friends to the checkout person at the grocery store, the person who leaves a package on our porch, etc.–all of whom are in the process of being replaced by AI machines (as are most all of us). Covid has opened an incredible opportunity to talk to others about the future, how the vast majority of people are being made disposable, and how we might restructure society to nevertheless sustain and nurture human life and that of all other creatures. Ideas like a guaranteed annual income or, better yet IMHO a federal job guarantee, should be explained and promoted in virtually every conservation, while we make plans to supplement such interpersonal communication with things like pamphlets, booklets, and similar physical documents, so easily mass produced in light of modern technology. Just think about how the 18th Century mass distribution of Thomas Paine’s pamphlets helped to ignite and keep aflame both the American and French revolutions. If he and others were able to do that world-changing work back then, with the relatively primitive tools they had in hand, then I submit we can do something similar, perhaps even more earthshaking, at this point and place in history two centuries later.

  • George Orwell called them the ” thought police “. In Hitler’s Germany it was the ” Gestopo ” and the SS. Over the years the United States of America has built up a whole bunch of laws concerning ” speech “. Some of it is outright idiotic. Everyone has their very own opinions about it; this author makes some good points.
    ~
    This article can be read here:
    Thought Control American Style: The Social Justice Warriors Will Destroy Our Basic Freedoms by Philip Giraldi!
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/10/08/thought-control-american-style-social-justice-warriors-will-destroy-our-basic-freedoms/

  • The beat goes on. Drumming on our poor stressed and propagandized brains until we can’t think straight, and finally give up trying to do so.

  • I am going to take the opposite viewpoint. I own a business, tech company, social media site, whatever. Once I open what rights do you have. None, except to use my business or not. Now Social media works the same way. You have no right to complain, only to use it as I set it up or walk away. Twitter censors, walk away. Facebook censors, walk away. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS TO DEMAND HOW THEY CENSOR THEIR OWN BUSINESS. Walk away.

    • So very true. I don’t understand why people don’t just quit FB and Twitter.

    • Once a business reaches monopolistic levels though, it must be regulated or be broken up into small businesses again. Twitter/Facebook/Google/Amazon need to be reigned in order for society to thrive since they are now able to control election results & what government policy is. Once you reach that level of power, you can do anything you want regardless of the social/environmental consequences & get away with it. It’s dangerous to let corporations do whatever they want consequence free.

  • One of the very saddest points I come away with after reading this is that we call the transactions we have on Twitter as conversations

    • Thats the truth.

  • “…threatening online platforms … to ensure compliance …”
    Thanks for that, I missed applying what happens to journalists. (Udo Ulfkotte)
    Are we going into the Dual State E Fraenkel describes of the 30s of Nationalist-Socialism in Germany.

  • The technocrat media uses the US Constitution to protect it as “private business” and therefore not subject to the first amendment protection of free speech. They are NOT private business. Corporations are a creation of the state, and so are beholden to it. They have no rights the state does not grant them. They have no more Constitutional authority to restrict speech than the state does. Of course the only one of the Bill of
    Rights not violated is the third. As far as I know, troops are not being quartered in private homes.

    • That is where corruption comes in.

  • The thing about ‘social’ media of course is that it ain’t social.
    It is ANTI SOCIAL.
    Anti humanity.
    Anti future.
    Anti hope.

  • ” . . . whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Humanity will only transition into a healthy collaborative way of functioning on this planet when everyone else awakens to this truth as well.” 

    I believe everyone including so-called deplorables already know this.  It ain’t no secret.  We just don’t know what to do in the face of such unprecedented power.  But I say a seminal step in their dismantlement is to excavate and uncover the small group of psychopaths behind the ownership of the narrative platforms.  Name their names.  Crimes cannot be charged until the criminals are identified.

  • The owners and the masters have forbidden ” unauthorized human thought “; you must echo their opinions and thoughts or you will be sent to an ” institution, camp, compound, prison, or just eliminated. Resistance Is Futile! Enjoy your coma, peon; rational thought is way above your pay grade.

  • Through the centuries the christian notion of heaven became more wonderful and the christian version of hell become more horrible. Having the FBI participate in your conversations which their algorithms already listen to cloaked my social media servers is time progression along a parallel line.

    The Michigan governor was targeted by a right wing militia of nut-balls. Now the FBI is saying that they had ‘informants’ which gathered the evidence.

    I’m sure they did, but an I-phone 11 or a Samsung Galaxy is not a flesh and blood informant with a social security number as they would have you believe. Nowadays FBI informants have MAC addresses.

    Another turn of the screw.

    • cloaked by social media servers

      It is always something. Could the FBI please fix it next time I typo? I would deeply appreciate it and it is not like you have not done it to me before. We both know that.

      Thank you ahead of time.

    • I don’t believe that the ” attempted kidnapping” was a legitimate one. There’s no cause for a right-wing ” nutball” to have a reason to kidnap the governer as the court sided against her unconstitutional lockdowns. Have you noticed more divisive activities in the news of late? I have, I wonder why.

      • You may well be right. I personally have knowledge of a false flag which happened on April 15, 2013 but I was told the incident that it would happen on January 20, 2013. Almost three months in advance.

        The conversation went like this:

        What is the matter with you Keith, are you naive? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx only about for people will die. No big deal.

        I did not argue the point about the four people. It is a big deal. But there was no point in arguing with the man in the black suit. He was not sent at me to argue with me. There was no point for me other than to extract myself from the situation as quickly and as easily as possible. His point was to keep me from talking about something I had found out.

        • The owners and the masters never want anyone to reveal anything, large or small, that displays there depravity or contempt for god or humanity. If you take their money they know you will be silent. If you do not take their money because of your integrity; they will make it their business to make your life extremely miserable. Welcome to the real U.S.A.

  • Aye mate
    Good post

  • I agree, I have witnessed the hysteria in loved ones. The media are perpetrators and should be held accountable. As for big tech, they have grown out of their useful size. They need to be “ trimmed” in a big way.

  • Caitlin, you stated a few weeks ago that you would not publish nor permit opinions and allegations about powerful Z10nist agencies which manipulate US and international finance, banking, politics and education. I watched many excellent documentaries on this subject. Rather than policing your blog, why not allow readers to post their opinions, allegations and links to documentaries so that you can examine the evidence.

      • Nice one!

      • “What’s forbidden here is talking about the world’s problems as though they have anything to do with Jews or Judaism. If you can’t talk about the world’s problems without babbling about Jews and Judaism, it’s because you don’t understand the world’s problems.”
        What happened to the person that wrote the article entitled “How to Become a Mentally Sovereign Human”? I’m not taking a position on the issue of “Zionism” but I would like to examine the facts and decide for myself. If you do not allow the debate then you are basically saying that you have decided that you are 100% correct and you are dismissing the possibility of new evidence or new theories that would contradict your position. How is that seeking the truth?
        In addition, you criticize the people that talk about Jews or Judaism as the problem (apparently criticizing their practice of “grouping”) but then in other articles you attack elites, capitalists or capitalism (which is also “grouping”). Maybe we need to consider whether is it appropriate to stop the practice of “grouping”. Maybe we need to consider admitting that virtually every human (even the elites, capitalists, nazis, etc.) and every organizational system (Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc.) have good qualities and bad qualities. Maybe we need to consider whether it is appropriate to stop the practice of universally condemning individual humans but instead condemning their unwanted acts. Maybe we need to consider whether it is appropriate to stop saying that Capitalism is bad and Socialism is good and admit that each system has pros and cons.

        Solving the world’s problems requires a deep understanding of the issues and “grouping” is at best a mistake or intellectually lazy or at worst propaganda.

        • Grouping by class is needed as it crosses cultural lines. Grouping by nationality is racist. Grouping by faith is racist. You are either naive or acting innocent purposely. Zionist and jews are too tightly woven to avoid being racist in the discussion. It is a fact jews are hated and persecuted over the centuries. Attacking zionists is just a new subverted attack on jews.

  • We have had authoritarian censorship as long as we have had civilizations. The general population simply did not know about it. But kings, governors, bishops and military leaders knew their authority depended on keeping their minions ignorant and indoctrinated just enough to think they knew how their governments and churches worked.

  • The Oligarchs, especially in the United States, England and Australia have terrified the populace through the use of the media. They have created fear-porn TV and have manipulated the population to quiver in their homes while the economy falls apart. Never in the history of the world have millions of people allowed governments to lock them in their homes, destroy their jobs, prevent them from seeing friends, etc. It is amazing there isn’t a revolt, especially since the deadly virus has the kill rate of the flu and we deal with the flu every year without terror. I feel very sorry for the English speaking world. Media has driven them crazy.

    • Quite so, and a result of the very censorship Caitlin is protesting. The technocrats won’t allow any content that defies conclusions of the WHO or the CDC, two of the most corrupt agencies on the planet. Only content that promotes coronaphobia, or is critical of any sane alternative is permitted. It is by far the most fact free psyop we’ve ever experienced, and I would attribute the fact to antisocial media. Never before was it possible to distribute such propaganda so broadly, while concealing any resistance so completely. Which is why forums like this one are so very valuable. Of course engaging here is difficult if one can’t form a coherent sentence, or express a critical thought. Which public education has done its best to prevent its victims’ ability to do.

    • Oddly enough, there seems to be a lot of people supporting lies and tyranny not because they are fooled, but because they believe ‘Things need to change’.

      They honestly think making things worse is the path, the needed ‘sacrifice’, to achieve their utopia.

      No matter how bad things get, they just have to be right, and as long as there are other people suffering worse than they are, all is good.

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