HomeArticleSpotify Purges Dissident Voices In Latest Censorship Escalation

Spotify Purges Dissident Voices In Latest Censorship Escalation

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Multiple American podcasters who speak critically of the political status quo in their country are reporting that their channels have been shut down as the censorship campaign against Russia-backed media continues to escalate. These include Moment of Clarity with Lee Camp, The Politics of Survival with Tara Reade, and By Any Means Necessary on Radio Sputnik.

“My podcast ‘Moment of Clarity’ has been removed from Spotify,” Camp tweeted Wednesday. “Let it be known – you can do anti-women, anti-trans or racist content on Spotify but you can’t be anti-war. That’s not allowed.”

“Without explanation or notice, Spotify has removed By Any Means Necessary from their platform, but we’re not going anywhere!” said the program’s Twitter account. “There’s a clear effort in motion to suppress anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist voices, join us in the fight by spreading the word!”

“You can still find my podcast on other platforms even though Spotify inexplicably removed it,” tweeted Reade.

This comes as Spotify closes its office in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

It is true that these podcasters have been platformed by Russian state-sponsored media. It is also true that their grievances against their government are authentic, legitimate, and frequently excellent, as you can easily ascertain by listening to them for yourself. It’s easy to tell that these are nothing other than Americans who know about the malfeasance of their government and its allies and want to talk about it, and accepted a platform from the only place that would let them speak.

There’s this bizarre, stupid notion people have accepted that socialist and antiwar voices should never allow Russian media to platform them, and should instead wait until they are given a large platform by western mainstream media, and keep waiting, and waiting, and just keep on waiting until we all die in a nuclear holocaust. Like it’s your job to help the oligarchic empire marginalize and silence you, even when you know you’re right and you’re speaking the truth. Like you’re obligated to collaborate with their narrative management.

If you have something important to say and you know it’s a true and helpful message, then it doesn’t matter if it’s the Russian government who’s giving you your platform or anyone else, because the message itself is intrinsically valuable. Lee Camp did a great bit on this back in 2017 when people were beginning to shriek about the fact that his show Redacted Tonight is on RT America, mocking the idea that an American in America sharing his own ideas about America could somehow be a horrifying psychological weapon of the Russians.

Unfortunately the link I have for it is on YouTube, which means that since it’s on RT’s channel you won’t be able to watch it if you’re in Europe and don’t have a VPN because the Google-owned video sharing platform is censoring it there. Here it is for everyone else:

“It’s so backwards that I’m at the only network in all of US media that allows me to be anti-war. And for doing that, I’m called a war apologist,” Camp told me. “It’s being used to eliminate the tiny bit of remaining left wing voices.”

“It is another sign of the Western government failing when they have to silence voices with suppression and censorship,” Reade said of her de-platforming from Spotify.

Russia doesn’t write the scripts for what these dissident voices say on their platforms, it just gives them a platform to say it. The kind of platform that has been bolted shut to them in western media, where only voices which support the capitalist imperialist status quo are permitted to have a seat. As Noam Chomsky famously told the BBC’s Andrew Marr, “I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t been sitting where you’re sitting.”

Does Russia benefit in some way by amplifying western critics of oligarchy and empire? Sure, to an extent. It benefits from a greater awareness in the west of the horrific nature of western imperialism, of the lies we’re fed daily to hold the oligarchic empire together and feed its war machine, of the dangers of NATO expansionism and nuclear brinkmanship. But you know what? So does the rest of the world. The amplification of western voices who draw attention to those things is therefore an objectively good thing.

But they’re being banned, while bloodthirsty psychopaths like Sean Hannity get to maintain immensely influential platforms while calling for a direct NATO military attack on Russian forces in Ukraine. That’s perfectly fine. It’s not like he did something unforgivable, like criticize the Pentagon.

If they were telling the truth about Russia they wouldn’t be censoring Russia-backed media. One is reminded of the words of George RR Martin, “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

It’s funny that such a big deal is being made about “Russian propaganda” hijacking people’s minds and manipulating them, because the institutions doing so are so close to admitting to one of the most underappreciated and overlooked aspects of western society: that we’re all being aggressively propagandized constantly by the mainstream news media, by Hollywood, and by Silicon Valley, and that it greatly influences the way we think, act, and vote. And the amount of wealth and energy going into brainwashing us in this way is many orders of magnitude greater than Russia’s, done with billions of dollars worth of immensely sophisticated perception management instead of just letting someone who hates war have a podcast.

Really these escalations in censorship have never been about countering Russian propaganda, or fighting Covid misinformation, or any of the other excuses they’ve been churning out. It’s because the democratization of information poses a direct threat to ruling power structures, and their very existence depends on their ability to gain control.

The “liberal democracies” of the western empire found a loophole in their own freedom of expression laws (the same laws they claim make them superior to overtly authoritarian regimes) in that they can outsource their censorship to government-tied monopolistic megacorporations. This allows the oligarchic empire to control the dominant narratives about what’s going on, thereby controlling how people think, act, and vote.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. The powerful understand this. The people, for the most part, do not.  Humanity’s immensely exploded ability to share ideas and information could have been a tool of the people to advance positive change, but because of censorship, it’s just becoming a tool for the powerful to propagandize us faster and leaving us no ability to counter their propaganda.

The story of humanity’s future (if humanity does indeed have a future beyond this tense standoff between nuclear superpowers) is a struggle between the impulse to see and to know and to make things conscious, against the impulse to keep things dark and unconscious and secret and distorted. The former desires free communication, free thought, and truth come what may, while the latter desires censorship, government secrecy, unconsciousness and control. One of those impulses will win out, and will ultimately result in either our extinction or the dawn of a healthy Earth.

__________________________

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Latest comments

  • Nobody practices hypocrisy as brazenly and passionately as the ruling class of the Western ‘democracies’.

  • One of those impulses will win out, and will ultimately result in either our extinction or the dawn of a healthy Earth.
    I used to talk like that–there is a desire to believe in binaries, to think we’re approaching an Ultimate Moment of Truth when we will either win our way to paradise or go up in balls of flame forever. But the years and decades keep passing, and neither of those extremes come to pass. Instead, some things keep getting better while others get worse. Yes, a nuclear holocaust is possible and would terminate the human experiment–and it’s a greater possibility now than at any moment since 1962–but outside that, it’s likely that things will continue to get better and worse, and the Shining City on a Hill/Paradise/utopia we long for will never arrive–however things go, we will never get to stop fighting. The time will never come when we live in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

  • ……got that?….furthermore……so if you………that’s not true!…….tongue stuck between cheeks…..$&£@%€!…and so if……my pinky is stuck too!…..a lot of toilet paper……i’m just saying…….and so on……..too stinky…….what does that mean?…….bean and cheese……navel not seen…..ok mr. big shot know it all gazillionaires, try and censor that!…..you can hack your way through the amazon jungle before you break this code!…………………..just leave caitlin out of this!……

  • The insinuated “Why don’t you censor Joe Rogan instead” argument, completes devaluates the complaint.
    Since you used some of my favorite Chomsky quotes lately, this is the most important one in my opinion:
    “There are only two positions on freedom of speech!”
    On another point: Have you planned ahead for when they will be coming for you? (and they will)
    Maybe a good time to learn how to work around internet censorship.

  • Caitlin, I just want to say thanks a lot for your newsletters! They express exactly how I myself feel in the current media environment. Please keep it up!

  • Putin had to do this or the same thing would have happened to them as what happened to the Palestinians in 1948 !

    Rothschilds ‘ created ‘ ISRAEL through slaughter and THEFT !

    SAME people here !

  • For natural born idiots like Hannity, life is simple. His mental landscape must be something like this: for years there was this guy gesticulating in Russia and we didn’t really know what he wanted because he didn’t speak English. Then as we were doing good business in Syria with our truck noria smuggling oil over to Turkey, he comes out of nowhere and bombs it off. The cheek! With a couple of Stukas he’d got from the Jerries in WW2 and that were not spotted by our radars because they’re tuned to modern aircraft. And now while the usual suspects were doing good business with Ukraine in the shade of the general corruption where a few bucks will buy you the police, the judges and the media just like in the US, he comes out of nowhere again and invades the joint! Well let’s be precise here because objective reporting requires precision. What do we know exactly? On one hand, Putin is killing millions of civilians. He’s been personally seen attacking old ladies in the streets, raping young girls in broad daylight, throwing babies against the walls and making fun of spastics saying, quote: “What some people will come up with to dodge the draft!” Even sniffing kiddies like J.R. He looks like his mother mated with a mix of Dracula and Vlad the Impaler with a hint of Genghis Khan and Mephistopheles. And then there’s his army, a totally different animal: morons in rags who haven’t even thought of bringing gas for their tanks or ammo for their guns. I’m asking you… No planes of course. Their Stukas were eventually shot down by our boys and all they’ve got left now is a couple of biplanes from WW1. And they’re in Vladivostok with their generals. So all we’ve got to do is declare a no-fly zone and send those of our F35 that haven’t crashed yet to bomb their forty miles column sitting defenseless near Kiev without even a map or an i-phone to tell them what to do and where to go. Putin would never know who bumped them off. It’s not like he had radars or missiles or any of that modern stuff we’ve got. And what can his archers do against our jets? Then we would send the boys to retake the whole shebang, march on Moscow, kidnap Putin and replace him with Ivanka. Got the perfect name too! Who’s gonna stop us? Their lancers on horseback like you see in movies (Don Corleone, I think they’re called… What? Don Cossacks?) while we’ve got the most modern army IN THE WORLD that it took the Taliban a whole week to rout? If President Trump – who, I remind you, walked on water last week on the golf course – was still at the helm, we would have got cracking long ago, even before Putin attacked, even before he was born for Chrissakes! This tragedy would never have happened! And now our special retards about the true story behind 9/11 brought to you by Raytheon.

    • LOL
      Thanks for including the F-35s.
      My city in the US wanted to get these to improve our economy.
      Now our city got a better idea to make us drink recycled sewage as city water.
      You literally cannot make this sh*t uu fast enough.

  • It’s not just media outlets. Regular people have embraced this frenzy with a vengeance. Oddly both liberals and conservatives have jumped on the war bandwagon, but don’t like being on the same side pointed out to them.

    If I say something like, “yes Putin is wrong, but adding more death and destruction is not going to help anyone”, I get called Putin-lover.

    If I say “yes, Putin is evil, and probably admires Stalin, but I doubt that he admires Hitler”, I get called Mrs. Putin.

    What is really nuts, is they say Putin is like Hitler, while also saying the Ukrainian Army, which has neo-nazi units, is good and holy. Somehow, Hitler is bad, but Nazis are good. ??? Then they lecture me about needing to learn history.

    • LOL You can ignore them so you do not feed monsters.
      Or you can say “How interesting!”
      Or “Thank you! I learned a lot today…”

      • Heraclitus remarked that every phenomenon is in motion toward its opposite and that’s one of the things propaganda plays like a fiddle: force politically correct down people’s throats 24/7, then suddenly point at someone they can freely hate and you’ve got a lynch mob.

    • 56 continual years of ‘ Days of our Lives ‘ has turned Americans into brain dead Idiots !
      All part of the plan !
      Like ‘ Days of our lives ‘ – Americans THRIVE on Drama – Chaos and BS !

  • For those not able to access the Lee Camp YouTube clip, I’ve downloaded it to my Vimeo account, so you should be able to watch it here:

  • That’s great, same here, good on ya’, that is truly the wisest/smartest way to go.

  • In times of war you are either with us or against us, so pick a side. If you think its bad now, wait until the war goes hot with russia and china against the US and their allies. Then you wont be a dissident but a traitor to your people and we know what happens to traitors.

    • It is strange how after i started to speak up to end US wars, I was delivered a Russian war in Ukraine instead.
      Well, my silence did not help, speaking out did not work, looking for new approaches.

      • The world is about to catch fire. Figure out a way to survive it no matter where you find yourself.

        • Open up an HSBC account and hold your money in YUAN !

          The BRI is on a ROLL !

    • It won’t go HOT !
      Taliban retook KABUL in ONE week – bloodlessly and unopposed !
      The ZIO/US/NATO has NOTHING left !

  • As is often said, ‘If something appears to good to be true, it probably is.” That’s a big part of the philosophy to which I adhere. As for the remaining 99%, I’m also a proponent of, “If something appears to be totally and simply obvious, you had best respond by protecting your behind.’
    I read/watch/everything in the MSM (until it completely nauseates me). It’s the only way, by assuming the opposite, to determine what’s really true and factual.
    Rarely is what we see and hear anything less than the equivalent of a magician’s distraction technique, with the goal of hiding from our seeing how the trick is actually done.

  • This article nails it all to a T, as usual. Great job, Cait, keep telling it like it is. And for everyone reading all of this, no matter what, never allow anyone to silence your voice. If you get banned from ALL social networks, take it to the streets, start weekly or bi-weekly group meetings in your community, grow your numbers, & keep spreading the message. War, hatred, racism, fascism (& so many other things as well) are just WRONG, & WE the CITIZENS of the WORLD *WILL* *NOT* *BE* *SILENCED*. We *WILL* have our *SAY*. And any government in it’s right MIND *WILL* *COMPLY*, or *ELSE*. Enough said. Blessings to all.

  • Sorry I have lots to say, but I will keep it to the minimum: we are facing a fascist system.
    Trying to remember how fascism was defeated, but learned recently that it was not defeated but took on global scale.

  • Well, if someone think that all military officers are monsters you should listen to one US Colonel being censored on Fox News in a live transmission for having different approach to what is happening in Ukraine.
    https://youtu.be/HUnGxac1ZjE

    • My kid used to play timed chess online. One time he had to go to bathroom and won the match because of match time running out. After that he wanted to use this bathroom strategy every time to win his 10-min chess match.
      It seems this Fox News anchor tried the same “strategy” to win the argument with Col Macgregor.

      • Very true. But make no mistake that even generals in third world countries know what will be Ukraine’s fate. Politicians played games with Russia while enriching themselves opening room for NATO expansion towards Russian borders. The west may be expecting that at the end of this conflict official guarantees that Zelensky will remain president alongside all politicians before this war. This surreal move will make Ukraine geopolitical influence to be managed by US, UK, France, EU in one side and Russia in the other side. It’s a dumb idea to think that Russia will let at its door such thing happening for people worldwide to go there to have a selfie with the “devil” in the background. In my book NATO is over in the same as EU while both structures are intertwined in the bureaucratic process in order to a country to be considerate eligible for membership. Europe has only one move and it’s far away from what Europe is today – a hostage of NATO-UK-US.

    • Thanks for this link. Truly. I didn’t know something like this has existed. I’ve been in the rabbit hole mostly, on the other side, the place I’ve taken to calling Radio Free Russia, where this is very stale news.

      But in America, the fact that Col MacGregor was able to sum up the entire war in the three minutes allotted to him? Amazing job. And if this went viral, it will shock the system to its f*cking core. For a few a day anyway, until the aplogies for getting it wrong start rolling in.

      Too funny. That’s why ALL reality based voices must either suppressed, or absorbed. because the Official Narrative on this one is not only idiotic, implausible, or beyond absurd, it simply does not exist.

      Full Spectrum Dominace. What does it mean? Well, it’s US Military parlance for controlling a modern multi-demensional battlespace, via land, sea, … blah … blah … blah … but basically it means, to break it down for our main stream media into 3rd grade level concepts, your are the hawk, and everything below you is a mouse.

      The Russians achieved Full Spectrum Dominance in the first few hours of this “war.” Then they tip toed into Ukraine with incredible speed. No bombers, no shock and awe, no indiscrimate artillery or rocket barrages, no slaughtering of Ukraine columns caught in the open.
      Yes Beau of the 5th, you bloodthirsty young man, the Russians too know how shoot out the lead and rear vehicles in a column, but instead of spending the next 10 hours butchering everyone with their gunships, they let them go!
      And they’re willing to take extra casualties to do this! Because they are leaving a forensic trail behind, for people like you to study, of how not to kill helpless human beings just for the sport of it.
      But I’ll point out again, they are going kill Nazi’s by the thousands* in this upcoming caulron battle, because they do not pay lip service to not liking them, they hate Nazi’s in their DNA, for good reasons – 25 million of them.

      *Unless they surrender. But over on the side, where news is still relatively free and available, if you can bypass the blackout to get to it, there is a growing belief that the Ukraine SS units are going to fight to last man, woman or child, just like their heroes did in Berlin, not so long ago.

      • I just watched a Breaking Points segment on Urkaine, and then a Jimmy Dore segment on Ukraine, back to back. An intellectual excerise. Two parallel but distincly different universes; what would it be like to pass from one to the other without pause?
        I don’t recommend the experience to anyone, the exercise was a severe jolt to the intellect to say the least, because Crystal and Saagar made me sick to my stomach to be an American, while Jimmy and his guest Max Blumenthal reminded me there are still a few men and women of honor left in this very troubled land.

        What this “crisis” all about really, at this point, is state absorbed media outlets like Breaking Points are advocating for the use of Ukraine Nazi’s, or any else over there that’s not them, as human shields, without recognizing their sacrifice, while today the two honorable and independent jounalists on the Jimmy Dore Show, were providing mountains of evidence that Ukraine Nazi’s openly recognize they will be used as human shields by the Crystals and Saagars of the West, and welcome the opportunity.
        Because that’s how Nazi’s roll.
        I decided to visit this place for a spell, because I wanted sing with a chorus for a bit, for medicinal purposes perhaps, for my troubled soul, but mosty to pay homage to a woman of honor, while I still can.
        Or as Mr. Dore said once when he read one your tweets, “That Caitlin Johnstone, funny how she always gets these things right. You would think it would’nt be that hard, but apparently it is.”

        • Ever at your service. If you want to have another perspective try this link bellow with a former captain mariner and ex UN inspector Scott Ritter. It’s precious insight from a military and political perspective.
          https://youtu.be/l1fGvxT7NjA

          • Thanks, cold analysis from Maj. Ritter always welcome.
            Basically the same conclusions, from from yet another perspective.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQkmrZQIl3s
            There is even a shout out to Col. MacGregor, for his willingness, in the 3 minutes alotted to him, to state what is obvious.
            This is kindergarten for these men.

      • I will answer here your last comment. True, very true what you and the video is pointing out. One. lesson should not let go unnoticed just to keep out-of-the-box one important huge. fact – The US is backing up a nazi-terrorist government in Ukraine. They are not censoring in the MSM a nazi-terrorist government. A nazi-terrorist government has voice at the UN. America leased its remaining reputation to vouch a war in Europe between Ukraine and Russia hoping that one could cancel each other which is dumb to the core. MSM is trying to deflect all what should be blamed in America, France, UK, EU, Israel (Mossad), Saudi Arabia. America is long gone. as land of the brave. It’s a corporation being used to achieve other interests not even close to the interests of American people but the richest corporations worldwide. I have a lot of friends living in America and I know there is a lot of good Americans. But the true state of union is – American citizens are hostages of a corporation who sponsor both political parties. It’s sad and depressive.

  • Thank you for trying to keep it real Caitlin. I just want to add that it’s two “oligarchic “ nuclear superpowers duking it out on the world’s stage for all to see. The people are saying no more war and no more economies built on war making machines, but there’s no money in that for the oligarchic super powers, so we have to be silenced on the world’s stage. You’re right. We’re either going to evolve or go extinct, and the extinction forces are super powerful right now. Write on Caitlin…Write on!

    • Hi Deb, I’d beg to differ slightly, although I agree with the sentiment. Russia has perhaps the most nukes in the world, which were made prior to their oligarchs. Soviet tanks rolled into Prague prior to oligarchs. That said, the MIC of the USA is a going concern supplying bases and conflicts worldwide. Russia, on the other hand, was invaded by Germany and lost 20 million souls. It would seem that Russia’s behavior is based on fear and self-preservation, and not necessarily enriching oligarchs.

      • Russia’s is in survival mode thanks to constant alienation by the US and NATO, and this new fascist sanctions targeting all Russian people. We must realize that they will do anything to survive at this point.
        Megalomaniac US and UK oligarchs should depart this planet in their space ships already.
        I have propose to oppose the US and UK oligarchs: let’s stop shopping and reduce our spending to bare minimum, like in Russia. See how long their f*ing empire will last.
        We are currently supporting fascist oligarchs by our consumption habits.

        • Got an email update this morning from Yahoo Finance, says don’t bet that dollar will fall. Perhaps the thinking here is that USD is guaranteed by the US nuclear superiority.

          • LOL – the ZIO/US/NATO missiles won’t even leave the silos thanks to Russia’s electronic weaponry SUPERIORITY !!
            If you think the Taliban retook KABUL in ONE week ‘organically\’ – well – I have a bridge to sell you !

        • I would strong recommend to go shopping food for the long run to not be caught by surprise. These US-UK-EU economic sanctions and Russia not delivering LNG neither wheat, crude oil are like that meteor who erased the dinosaurs. The wave comes sometime after the impact. The MSM is not focused in the Ukrainian war but what will become later.

          • I would strongly recommend growing your OWN food (like we are), especially stuff like beans & corn, which can both be dried & ground to make crackers/breads/waybreads of all kinds (beans/grains staple food w/balanced pH), in addition to leafy greens when possible. Stock up on/HOARDE any & all seeds from your crops. Word to the wise, best be thinking of these things, & all who can should be doing these things whenever/wherever possible.

            • I have a lot of hunting available and vegetables. I do my survival in my own terms.

    • The “extinction forces” are paper tigers. I have a lot of optimism for the future.
      Perhaps the perfect storm of outrage against the Ukraine incursion was an expression of outrage by the countries of the world that they will no longer tolerate bullying. It’s not America’s leading the rest of the world, like the narrative insists. Maybe it’s the world finally having the strength to extinguish imperialism. I hope so. Most countries of the world are sick of this shit, and will perform a beat-down on ALL foreign aggression. Stop the colonial bullshit.
      Trump was the Naked Emperor who finally got the world to understand this threat. Power corrupts, always.

  • CIA and NSA know they cannot encircle the whole MSM narrative efficiently while there are some relevant voices out of the equation with enough credibility to ignite a spark which can lead to gigantic flames if this worldwide scenario of economic sanctions turn back to Washington-London-allies. They need to be certain to put all the blame in Russia for any outcome. Which is a strange thing considering that the actual CIA director wrote a remarkable piece back in 2008 as US ambassador about the legitimacy of the same Russian demands about the dangers involved in a NATO. expansion which started in 1997 towards Russian borders. All 5 US presidents still alive to prove about the veracity about the Russian warnings and attempts to solve all of this through diplomacy since the beginning. This whole actual European war scenario could be easily avoided in the last 23 years.

  • how many missile bombings have fallen on Yemen in the last 24hrs

  • We are all in favour of freedom of speech – as long as our speech goes along the Western lines of propaganda. But I am also interested in hearing the Russian line of propaganda…Let ME be the one to chose whose lies I want to believe.

  • Does anyone believe someone who isn’t a rogue? Taking hits (rather than trophies) is where credibility starts, although absolutes are for small children or old women, and truth, like science and democracy, is a collaborative process.

    Another day in the spin, the waitress with credit card bolt-ons is telling me I have to use a new plate for my next trip through the brain food buffet, and I’m the guy using the soup ladle for the salad dressing.

  • So if RT, say, airs a clip of Joe Biden, say, will Biden get censored and shut down for being a puppet of Putin?

    • definitely worth a try.

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