censorship

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The World’s Deadliest Terrorist Group: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 10:01pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/b4e7b0ebfaab1c46a51add64fd54844e/href

The CIA just casually discussed sinking a boat full of Cuban refugees and planting bombs in Miami and blaming Castro, but you’re bat shit crazy if you suspect such agencies may have had similar discussions about other geostrategic situations and decided to go through with it.

There’s more public criticism of ordinary people taking ivermectin than there is of planet-dominating power structures driving humanity to armageddon.

Nobody who supports internet censorship does so because they’re worried they themselves might consume dangerous words and believe them, it’s always to protect other people from dangerous words. It’s about the most megalomaniacal, emotionally stunted desire anyone could possibly have.

They see themselves as responsible adults who can be trusted to independently sort out truth from falsehood, but see other people as infants who cannot be trusted to do this. This is nothing other than garden variety narcissism.

Internet censorship via monopolistic government-tied tech corporations isn’t just a problem because of free speech issues, it’s a problem because the way it’s applied is completely uneven and power-serving: politicians and the mass media circulate disinformation constantly without ever being censored. It’s not just silencing people, it’s actually shifting power upwards.

There is no path forward for humanity on this planet without complete female reproductive sovereignty.

Imagine if the world’s deadliest terrorist group got their hands on drones and cruise missiles and nuclear warheads and aircraft carriers and circled the planet with hundreds of military bases and began waging wars and destroying any country which disobeyed their dictates.

No, Texas conservatives aren’t like the Taliban. No, US government authoritarianism isn’t like China or North Korea. You know what it’s like? It’s like America. It says so much that the most corrupt and destructive nation on earth keeps comparing its homegrown depravity to foreign nations.

It’s crazy how there are guys whose whole entire job is trying to get large number of people killed by mass military violence and we just let that be a thing like it’s a perfectly legitimate way for someone to be.

“Hey why does that mustache guy keep trying to get large numbers of people violently killed?”

“Oh he’s just one of those war starty guys.”

“What?? Why are there war starty guys??”

“I dunno. Isn’t that normal? I just assumed it was normal to have war starty guys.”

Every single soldier who died in Afghanistan died in vain. Don’t make up sugary fairy tales about it, just stop letting it happen.

Are soldiers working under the US empire the worst people in the world? No. But in terms of moral standing you’d have to rank someone who murders foreigners on behalf of imperialists and war profiteers below most of the people in your average prison.

“If it wasn’t us waging all these wars and killing all those people it’d be someone else” sounds very much like the sort of thing an abusive tyrant would say.

There’s no good reason to respect the analysis of anyone who thinks China’s behavior on the world stage is worse than or equally as bad as America’s.

Australia is the only so-called democracy in the world which has no bill of rights of any kind. Most people are unaware of this, including most Australians. What you’re seeing in Australia is simply what happens when you add a pandemic response on top of a nation with no foundational legal protection from government overreach. That’s why our Covid measures are so notoriously harsh relative to other western countries.

Modern gods are corporations and banks, faceless inhuman entities whose agendas of growth and conquest supercede even the wishes of their own executives. Our gods are insatiable devourers controlled by no one. Our gods have no heads.

At a time when our species is hurtling toward its own demise we ought to be coming together and working in unison to avert disaster, and it says so much about the power of propaganda that we are instead doing the exact opposite.

All of humanity’s problems are ultimately due to a misperception of the way things are.

Propaganda causes us to misperceive reality in a way that benefits establishment power structures, so we don’t rise up and use the power of our numbers to put an end to the ecocidal, omnicidal status quo which oppresses and exploits us.

Advertising causes us to misperceive our own bodies and the source of real contentment, leading to the obsessive consumption habits necessary for turning the gears of capitalism.

Ego causes us to misperceive our own experience of consciousness and the information which enters our minds through the senses, leading to the suffering and dysfunction which ultimately underlies all abuses in our world.

What we need, then, is clear seeing, both outwardly and inwardly. An end to government secrecy and the mass-scale manipulations which distort our perception of reality. An end to restrictions on psychedelic tools which help people behold their inner processes with lucidity. A greatly elevated prioritization of self-honesty and self-reflection to help us see through the ego’s illusions.

We can’t move toward health until we can see where we’re going.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Keith Olbermann Wants Jimmy Dore Banned From All Platforms

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 31/07/2021 - 10:29pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/db9e7ca13625f57d95dfa949fe437d13/href

Proving once again he doesn’t care who he has to step on to claw his way to rock bottom, fallen liberal media hero Keith Olbermann has called for the complete removal of left wing comedian and podcaster Jimmy Dore from all internet platforms.

“Time to ban this feral succubus Jimmy Dore from Twitter and other platforms,” Olbermann told his one million Twitter followers on Friday.

Olbermann’s wrath was incurred by a short video clip bizarrely described as “misogynistic” in which Dore portrayed out of touch liberal elitist Emma Vigeland as an out of touch liberal elitist, saying that if people like her ever tried to bring their esoteric university Marxist wankery around actual working class people they’d get punched in the face and told to go back to their cul-de-sac. It probably also didn’t help that Dore has done multiple segments on Olbermann’s slide into flag-draped gibbering lunacy following the election of Donald Trump, including his public apology to war criminals George W Bush and John McCain, his demented Russia hysteria, and his support for NSA surveillance of US media figures.

“Someone got their feels feels hurt and now they wanna censor their critics like a regular authoritarian fascist,” Dore responded to Olbermann’s post.

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You can always count on the less reality-anchored pundits to say out loud what the rest are thinking in private. Support for internet censorship is now a mainstream position among the so-called “moderates” of the warmongering corporatist Democratic Party, not just for people to their right but for people to their left as well. If it were up to these freaks the entire internet would just be a bunch of Wall Street liberals agreeing with each other that Trump is bad and Jen Psaki is a strong yet sensual warrior princess.

The Emma Vigeland tweet that Dore was riffing on in the clip was more hand-wringing about a “red-brown alliance” that all grown adults should realize by now was never anything other than a narrative management campaign to keep leftists from moving too far from the establishment-authorized Overton window of acceptable opinion. For years a strain of western leftist thought has been shrieking hysterically about an impending alliance between socialists and fascists, and yet the only evidence they’ve been able to produce in all that time that this is happening are things like Glenn Greenwald going on Tucker Carlson, Dore interviewing an antiwar Boogaloo Boy one time, and me making some mistakes early on in my writing career. Only by the most determined mental gymnastics is this anywhere remotely close to the same universe as the Night of the Long Knives Strasserism fantasy that “red-brown alliance” fearmongers have been masturbating to, and it’s time for everyone to admit that they were wrong about this imaginary threat.

And while everyone was freaking out about the idea of imaginary fascism sneaking in through the back window, actual fascism strolled through the front door. More and more excuses are being invented to censor, deplatform and marginalize everyone outside the Overton window of war, oligarchy, ecocide and oppression, and more and more people within that window are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea. Internet censorship, jailing journalists for telling the truth about the powerful, mind-warping mass propaganda campaigns and rapidly escalating authoritarianism are all becoming normalized throughout our society, and it can’t lead anywhere good.

___________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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“We’ve Got To Fight Disinformation,” Says Empire Made Entirely Of Disinformation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 1:37am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/1c99077128b13ad24e8eaa0681cf08cf/href

The weirdest thing about the Biden administration tasking itself with the censorship of “disinformation” on social media is that the United States is the hub of a globe-spanning empire that is built upon a foundation of disinformation, maintained by disinformation, and facilitated by disinformation.

If the propaganda engine of the US-centralized empire ceased actively deceiving the public about the world, it would collapse immediately. There would be mass unrest at home and abroad, status quo politics would be abandoned, alliances and coalitions would crumble, leaders official and unofficial would be ousted, and US unipolar hegemony would end.

The only thing keeping this from happening is the vast amounts of wealth and energy which are poured into continuously deceiving the people of America and its allies about what’s really going on in their nations and political systems, and in the world as a whole.

Getting people believing they live in separate, sovereign nations which function independently from one another, instead of member states within a single undeclared empire which moves as one unit on the international stage.

Getting people believing they control the fate of their nation via the democratic process, when in reality all large-scale politics are scripted puppet shows controlled by a plutocratic class who owns both the politicians and the media outlets which report on them.

Getting people believing they are part of a virtuous rules-based international order which opposes totalitarian regimes to spread freedom and democracy, instead of a tyrannical empire that works to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates.

And above all, manufacturing the illusion that the oppressive, exploitative imperialist status quo is normal.

It’s not the big, famous lies like those which preceded the invasion of Iraq that make up the bulk of the adhesive holding the empire together, it’s the small, mundane lies we’re fed every single day by the plutocratic media. The ones which distort our worldview by half-truths, spins and omissions designed to normalize a status quo of murder, theft and ecocide.

This normalization happens in the way pundits and politicians treat any attempt to end wars or redress income inequality as freakish extremism and unrealistic fantasy, when in reality it’s the most sane and normal thing in the world and the only thing unrealistic about it is the fact that attempts to advance those agendas are always sabotaged by those same pundits and politicians.

The normalization also happens in the way endless wars, starvation deaths by US sanctions, the looming threat of total extinction via climate collapse or nuclear war, rapidly exacerbating income inequality and increasing tyranny at home and abroad are not treated as newsworthy stories, while celebrity gossip and partisan bickering between AOC and Marjorie Taylor Greene makes headline news. Every day the news media fail to report on the greatest horrors that the empire has unleashed on our world while focusing on vapid trivialities, they help normalize the horrors.

If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the US-backed genocide in Yemen would be front-page news every day instead of something which gets a marginal mention once every few weeks. Every day it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.

If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the fact that Americans are getting poorer and poorer while billionaires multiply their wealth during the pandemic would be brought front and center to everyone’s attention. Every day it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.

If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the fact that the US military just spent trillions of dollars on a decades-long occupation of Afghanistan that accomplished nothing besides making horrible people rich would have been a national scandal. Every day it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.

But the mass media do not exist to share important information about the world. They exist to share important disinformation about the world. If they did not do this, the same US empire which is decrying the spread of disinformation today would collapse into its own footprint.

The US empire is without exception the single most corrupt and destructive force on this planet, and it’s not even close. It is the very last institution on earth that should be in charge of deciding what online content is true and what is “disinformation”. Absolute dead last, without exaggeration.

Depraved institutions which lie constantly and have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century should not be the Ministry of Truth for the world’s online communication systems. This should be extremely obvious to everyone.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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You’re Not SUPPOSED To Trust The Government: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/07/2021 - 10:11pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/1d03c94f4987afc37667b6c7356e32ee/href

I still can’t get over how brazen the Biden administration is being in just announcing that it’s their place to determine who should be banned from social media platforms and how little backlash there is against this.

Just imagine the outrage if Trump had done this. Seriously, imagine it. The Biden administration instructing the world’s largest social media platform who to censor is the biggest “Imagine if Trump had done that” moment so far.

They said we need internet censorship because of Russia.

They said we need internet censorship because of Covid.

They said we need internet censorship because of election security.

They said we need internet censorship because of the Capitol riot.

They said we need internet censorship because of domestic extremism.

Pretty sure they just want internet censorship.

The US government is without exception the single most corrupt and destructive force on this planet. It is the very last institution on earth who should be in charge of deciding what online content is true or false. Absolute dead last.

I trust the wisdom of the collective to sort out what’s true infinitely more than I trust the wisdom of the US government and Silicon Valley plutocrats to do it for us.

If people think their government is lying to them and trying to hurt them it is entirely the fault of the government and no one else.

You’re not supposed to trust the government, and governments aren’t supposed to act in a way that requires your trust. If you find yourself ruled by a secretive power structure which demands your blind faith in its righteousness, something has gone horribly wrong.

Perhaps the US could end domestic extremism by switching to governmental policies that don’t make everyone want to light the country on fire.

Funny how we all grew up watching movies about evil villains trying to take over the world and kill millions of people and those movies were all made in the nation that is that exact villain except the villain succeeded.

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It’s fine to think all governments are bad, as long as you’re also aware that one of those governments is far, far more powerful and destructive than any of the others and that the behavior of other governments is often a defensive response to the aggressions of the worst one.

If your anti-state commentary doesn’t reflect this reality, then it can only ever benefit the agendas of the most powerful and murderous state on the planet. Just firing indiscriminate scattergun criticisms at all states equally only advances US imperialist propaganda agendas.

It seriously seems like half the time a black flag anarchy account shows up in my Twitter notifications it’s to promote US imperialist propaganda narratives against Syria, China, Russia etc, and it’s like yeah nice anarchy dude, being a pro bono propagandist for the worst government on earth.

Whenever the US empire rolls out a propaganda campaign against a disobedient government, it’s impossible to circulate narratives opposing that government without facilitating the US propaganda campaign, and therefore all the deadly agendas that campaign is designed to advance.

Before they launch missiles, they launch propaganda campaigns. Before they wage siege warfare, they wage narrative warfare. You are responsible for the narratives you choose to circulate in the world. You are responsible for choosing to participate in imperialist aggressions.

The US government is waging wars around the world, circling the planet with hundreds of military bases, ramping up nuclear standoffs and working to destroy any nation which disobeys it, so naturally the news media are urgently warning us about the horrible tyrannical government of Cuba.

The correct answer to “What should be done about Cuba’s problems?” is for the US to end the blockade. After that happens the correct answer to “What should be done about Cuba’s problems?” is “None of your fucking business.”

“I oppose the embargo, but the Cuban regime-”

But-but-but-shhhh. You shush your beautiful mouth. The US government has all the billionaire media outlets in the western world conducting propaganda for it. It doesn’t need your help. Just oppose the embargo.

“The embargo isn’t why Cuba is poor! It’s poor because of communism!”

Okay well if it makes no difference can you please end the embargo?

“No.”

“Cuba claims it can care for all its people using socialism, yet it experiences poverty when we deliberately impoverish it. Checkmate, commies.”

“You think communism is so great? Then why are people fleeing communist countries to live in imperialist nations that became wealthy by generations of mass-scale theft and murder, huh?”

Saying your economic model is superior to a socialist nation’s because you were able to use economic warfare to impoverish that nation is like saying your moral philosophy is better than your neighbor’s because you beat the shit out of him.

There’s no good reason to let the push for a US military intervention in Cuba turn into an ideological debate about socialism versus capitalism when the far stronger argument to be made is that US interventionism is literally always disastrous and literally never helpful.

Imagine how pants-on-head fucking stupid you’d have to be to look at the history of US regime change invasions and then think that would be a wonderful thing for the people of Cuba.

The answer is never, ever, ever, ever US military intervention. Ever. It’s ALWAYS the wrong tool for solving ANY problem. You’re never going to make things better using something that literally always makes things worse. Amazing this even needs to be said.

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The empire’s goal is to fracture and neuter the left and carve away class analysis and anti-imperialism from whatever remains until we’re nothing but tiny groups of irrelevant assholes arguing about how hard you should punch a TERF.

The ultimate factor in determining what will happen in our world is not control of capital, nor control of government, nor control of resources, nor control of weapons, but control of narrative. See this and you see why governments, plutocrats and media behave the way they do.

And, in the end, it turned out that killing the ecosystem was easier than taking away rich people’s rocket money.

Political discussion forums are like a couple bickering about dishes in the sink while trapped in the bedroom of a burning house. Everything is headed for collapse — the ecosystem, capitalism, the US empire — assuming we don’t all wipe ourselves out in a nuclear war first.

It’s so easy to get lost in the bickering and bullshit. I know I do from time to time. But it just looks so insane when you take a step back and look at the minute nature of the arguments we’re having compared to the multiple massive existential crises looming on our horizon.

You’d think this would bring us all together, but instead we’re being driven further apart than ever before. Truly, if ever there was an adapt-or-die moment for a species, this is it. We are being asked if we want to wake up and become conscious, or go extinct. That is the issue we should all be looking at, and we should be looking at it together.

____________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The US Government Threatens Tech Companies To Push Censorship Agendas

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/07/2021 - 12:00am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/91086c14040e77978fcd1b45b7454754/href

The elephant in the room with the ongoing controversy about the Biden administration’s push for more internet censorship is the fact that both the US government and the Silicon Valley tech companies who are being pushed to censor are acutely aware that those companies can be brought to their knees by antitrust cases and other regulation if they don’t censor people’s voices in accordance with the government’s wishes.

After Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted on Thursday that the administration has given Facebook a list of accounts to ban for spreading “misinformation” about the Covid vaccine, she has now doubled down saying that people who circulate such materials online should be banned from not just one but all social media platforms.

“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others for providing misinformation out there,” Psaki told the press on Friday.

When asked by the press for his thoughts on companies like Facebook, President Biden said the failure of those platforms to adequately censor posts about the vaccine makes them guilty of “killing people”.

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When confronted about the extremely serious implications of a US presidential administration telling social media platforms who to censor, Psaki said the administration wasn’t censoring people but merely raising the issue with the tech companies.

“We don’t take anything down,” said Psaki. “We don’t block anything. Facebook and any private-sector company makes decisions about what information should be on their platform. Our point is that there is information that is leading to people not taking the vaccine, and people are dying as a result. And we have a responsibility, as a public health matter, to raise that issue.”

Psaki is not technically lying, but she isn’t telling the truth either. While it’s true that the Biden administration is not directly blocking or taking down social media posts, it is also making social media companies a Godfather-style offer they can’t refuse.

For years the US government has been making it abundantly clear to the giants of Silicon Valley that if they do not greatly escalate censorship of undesirable content per Washington’s instructions, there will be consequences.

In 2017 Senator Dianne Feinstein threatened social media platforms that, because of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, they need to start utilizing more censorship or else face consequences, saying, “You created these platforms, and they are being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it — or we will.”

In 2019 Louisiana Representative Cedric Richmond issued a similar threat, saying social media platforms had “better” start regulating what he considers harmful content on their own, or the government will take matters into its own hands.

“They better go do it because what they don’t want is for us to do it, because we’re not going to get it right,” Richmond said. “We’re going to make it swift, we’re going to make it strong and we’re going to hold them very accountable.”

“We have the First Amendment, and we’re very reluctant to pass speech laws,” House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler told The Washington Post in 2019. “But there’s a problem, and we have to deal with it.”

“Let’s see what happens by just pressuring them first,” Nadler added. “I’m reluctant to have regulation of speech. It usually goes too far. I don’t know we have to get there yet.”

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As Glenn Greenwald noted on Twitter following the latest admissions from the Biden administration, executives from these tech companies are being regularly hauled before congress and “threatened with legislative and regulatory retaliation” if they don’t conduct censorship in alignment with the will of the US government. We saw this in 2017 when representatives from top internet platforms were brought before congress and told they needed to adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment “to prevent the fomenting of discord,” and we continue to see it through 2021.

The reasons change, but the agenda remains the same. Sometimes it’s foreign election meddling, sometimes it’s the Capitol riot, sometimes it’s domestic extremism and white supremacy, sometimes it’s misinformation about a virus and vaccines, but for every reason given the instruction is the same: censor online communications in accordance with the wishes of the US government. Or else.

These threats have been explicitly made, but really they did not need to be. Everyone involved in this dance is acutely aware that the US government has the ability to make things much harder and far less lucrative for these Silicon Valley tech companies. This could mean actions ranging from fines and minor regulations all the way up to the revocation of Section 230 protections or full-scale antitrust cases which can go as far as breaking up online platforms in the same way the government broke up AT&T and Standard Oil.

The stage is already set for massive antitrust measures to be implemented, with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust finding last year that corporations like Facebook and Google are guilty of monopolistic practices, and some less severe antitrust cases are already underway.

So now we’ve got worldwide online speech being herded onto a few monopolistic platforms, and the government forcing those platforms with increasing brazenness to censor that speech in alignment with its dictates under threat of total destruction. The effect being, of course, US government control of a vast swathe of public speech, not just within the US but around the world. Which means an ungodly amount of narrative control, the ultimate prize for anyone who understands real power.

https://medium.com/media/a76f033a65bcf292307e0a72ed4259ed/href

The primary factor in determining what will happen in our world is not control of capital, nor control of government, nor control of resources, nor control of weapons, but control of narrative. All the others follow from narrative control. Control the narrative and you control where the weapons will go, where the capital will go, where the resources will go, what the government will do. Real power begins with narrative control. Understand this and you’ll understand why governments, plutocrats and media behave the way they do.

So while antitrust laws ostensibly exist to protect the citizenry from corporate power, here they are being leveraged to ensure the union of corporate power and state power. The carrot is billions of dollars, and the stick is the threat of painful government intervention.

Obviously the US government would prefer to simply have monopolistic corporations voluntarily censoring content in accordance with government interests, but for them the only thing worse than having no monopolistic companies serving the empire would be having monopolistic companies which refuse to serve the empire. So the threat being issued here is, “Censor the way we tell you to censor, or your company will be broken down and replaced with one that will.”

And that’s exactly what could easily happen. Facebook, Google/Youtube or Twitter could easily be regulated into dysfunction or broken up into smaller companies, and then some other more government-aligned corporation could be allowed to take their place. Silicon Valley billionaires are hardly known for being the most principled people in existence to begin with, so that threat is all it would take to ensure they conduct themselves in alignment with the will of the empire.

This is just one of the many, many types of glue that keeps power structures aligned with one another’s interests within the US-centralized empire. If you want to be a billionaire and control massive amounts of wealth, you have to collaborate with existing power structures. Otherwise you won’t be allowed in, and if you are in you’ll be kicked right out.

It’s always easier to move with power than against it. That’s why ambitious journalists promote the imperial narrative, it’s why new money plutocrats always wind up aligning with establishment interests, and it’s why so many other nations align with the US.

In theory, markets and government checks and balances are supposed to keep the big players competing against each other to our benefit. In practice, the big players always wind up collaborating against us for their own benefit.

__________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Biden Administration Completely Kills The “It’s A Private Company So It’s Not Censorship” Argument

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 12:41pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/ca35940cb6bb740c9b97b8d3c31b375d/href

In what’s surely the biggest “Imagine the outrage if Trump had done that” moment to date, the Biden administration has admitted that it is giving Facebook a list of accounts to censor for spreading “disinformation” about the Covid-19 response.

“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the press on Thursday. “Within the Surgeon General’s Office, we’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical professionals to connect medical experts with people, who are popular with their audiences with accurate information and boost trusted content. So, we’re helping get trusted content out there.”

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Psaki told the White House press corps that the administration has a list of accounts who produce most of the anti-vaccine information on Facebook, which civil libertarians are decrying as an obviously authoritarian government overreach.

“The Biden administration is telling Facebook which posts it regards as ‘problematic’ so that Facebook can remove them,” Glenn Greenwald said on Twitter in response to the news. “This is the union of corporate and state power — one of the classic hallmarks of fascism — that the people who spent five years babbling about fascism support.”

“If you don’t find it deeply disturbing that the White House is ‘flagging’ internet content that they deem ‘problematic’ to their Facebook allies for removal, then you are definitionally an authoritarian,” Greenwald said. “No other information is needed about you to know that. There is no circumstance — none — in which it’s acceptable for the White House or any other agency of the government to be providing lists to Facebook of ‘problematic’ content it wants removed, yet that’s exactly what Psaki says they’re doing. The White House is admitting that they’re compiling lists of people who they claim are posting content they regard as ‘problematic’ and that constitute ‘misinformation’ and are demanding Facebook remove them. This is authoritarianism.”

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The most common argument you’ll hear from those who support monopolistic social media giants controlling speech on their platforms is that these are private corporations, not the government, so it doesn’t count as censorship. Whenever you object to Silicon Valley oligarchs exerting total control over the political speech of billions of people, mainstream liberals instantly transform into an army of Ayn Rands defending the private property rights of those companies. The fact that these platforms are inseparably interwoven with the highest branches of the US federal government kills such arguments stone dead.

And if you were paying attention, that argument was already dead. All of these online platforms use censorship and algorithm manipulation to hide undesirable political speech from the mainstream public in direct collaboration with government and government-tied institutions.

In 2017 Senator Dianne Feinstein threatened social media platforms that alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election means they need to start utilizing more censorship or else face consequences, saying, “You created these platforms, and they are being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it — or we will.”

That same year representatives from top internet platforms were brought before congress and told they needed to adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment “to prevent the fomenting of discord,” because “Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words.”

In the lead-up to the 2020 election online platforms were openly coordinating with US government agencies to censor speech believed to compromise election integrity.

Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world where a third of Americans regularly get their news, openly enlists the government-and-plutocrat-funded imperialist narrative management firm The Atlantic Council to help it determine what content to censor and what to boost. Facebook has stated that if its “fact checkers” like The Atlantic Council deem a page or domain guilty of spreading false information, it will “dramatically reduce the distribution of all of their Page-level or domain-level content on Facebook.”

Google, which owns YouTube, has been financially intertwined with US intelligence agencies since its very inception when it received research grants from the CIA and NSA. It pours massive amounts of money into federal lobbying and DC think tanks, has a cozy relationship with the NSA, and has been a military-intelligence contractor from the beginning.

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“Americans deserve to know to what extent the federal government works with social media companies,” former congressman Justin Amash said on Twitter in response to Psaki’s incendiary admission. “Is there any quid pro quo? The First Amendment exists to keep the government from controlling what Americans hear. Free societies counter misinformation with information, not bans.”

“Democrats have summoned tech executives to the Congress at least four times in the last year,” Greenwald replied to Amash. “The last time, they repeatedly and explicitly threatened regulatory and other legal punishment if they don’t start censoring more: the content Dems regard as disinformation or ‘hate speech.’”

In a corporatist system of government, where there is no separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. The actual government as it actually exists is censoring the speech not just of its own people, but people around the world. If US law had placed as much emphasis on the separation of corporation and state as it had on the separation of church and state, the country would be unrecognizably different from what we see today.

Only infantile narcissists and power-worshipping bootlickers want the most powerful government on earth controlling what people are allowed to say to each other about a virus response which affects everybody, and only those with no sense of self-preservation entrust worldwide human speech to an alliance of government agencies and powerful tech plutocrats.

We cannot keep heading in this direction.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The Approaching Storm

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/07/2021 - 2:55am in

So, it looks like GloboCap isn’t going to be happy until they have fomented the widespread social unrest — or de facto global civil war — that they need as a pretext to lock in the new pathologized totalitarianism and remake whatever remains of society into a global pseudo-medicalized police state, or that appears to where we’re headed currently. We appear to be heading there at breakneck speed. I don’t have a crystal ball or anything, but I’m expecting things to get rather ugly this Autumn, and probably even uglier in the foreseeable future.

Yes, friends, a storm is coming. It has been coming for the last 16 months. And GloboCap is steering right into it. I, and many others like me, have been tracking its relentless advance like a self-appointed International Pathologized-Totalitarian Hurricane Center (you know, like the one in Miami, except all the meteorologists are “conspiracy theorists”). We have documented all the propaganda, the lies, the manipulation of statistics, the abrogation of constitutional rights, the New Normal goon squads, the corporate censorship, and all the rest of the roll-out of the new official ideology and the totalitarian measures deployed to enforce it.

Our efforts have not been in vain, but they have not been successful enough to change the course events are now taking … a course of events that has always been clear, a course that every totalitarian movement needs to take to get where it’s going. You can’t remake entire societies into quasi-totalitarian systems without civil unrest, chaos, rioting, war, or some other form of cataclysm. Brainwashing the masses is all fine and good, but, at some point, you need to goad the people who are resisting your new totalitarian “reality” into getting unruly, so you can crack down on them, and transform them into official enemies, which appears to be what is happening currently.

GloboCap is dialing up the totalitarianism, and they are rubbing it in our faces. Here in New Normal Germany, prominent health officials are openly barking out Goebbelsian slogans like “NO FREEDOM FOR THE UNVACCINATED!” and “THE UNVACCINATED ARE A DANGER TO SOCIETY!” All over Europe, including the UK, where “Freedom Day” is fast approaching, pseudo-medical social-segregation systems are being implemented. In France, Greece, and many other countries, people who refuse to be “vaccinated” are being stripped of their jobs and otherwise punished. In the USA, where the Unvaccinated are also being segregated, New Normal goon squads are going door-to-door, bullying “vaccine hesitant” families into conforming to the new official ideology.

And so on … I’m tired of citing the facts. They do not make the slightest difference to the vast majority of New Normals, anyway. As I’ve noted in several previous columns, these people have surrendered their rationality, and have been subsumed into a totalitarian movement, which has become their perceptual and social “reality,” which their “sanity” now depends upon defending, so the facts mean absolutely nothing to them.

And you already know the facts.

Yes, you. Us. The others. The Unvaccinated. The “Covid deniers.” You don’t really think any hardcore New Normals have made it this far into this column, do you? They haven’t. If they stumbled into it on the Internet and accidentally started to read it, their brains switched off in the opening paragraph … literally, neurologically, switched off. They recognized it as a threat to their “reality” and instantly erased it from their consciousness, or they reported it to the proper authorities, perhaps the FBI, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or Facebook, or some other global corporation.

This is what it has come to, folks … people are reporting other people’s “thoughtcrimes” to global corporations and the law enforcement agencies of “democratic” governments in the hopes of destroying or damaging their lives, or, at the very least, getting them censored, or otherwise erased from public view.

As I noted in my previous column, our societies have been torn apart. We’re living in two mutually hostile “realities,” a state which cannot continue indefinitely. The problem for us (i.e., the Unvaccinated) is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, so we are massively outnumbered by New Normals. The problem for the New Normals is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, which is way too many people to imprison or otherwise remove from society.

Thus, their plan is to make our lives as miserable as possible, to segregate us, stigmatize us, demonize us, bully, and harass us, and pressure us to conform at every turn. They are not going to put us on the trains to the camps. GloboCap is not the Nazis. They need to maintain the simulation of democracy. So they need to transform us into an underclass of “anti-social conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxer disinformationists,” “white-supremacist election-result deniers,” “potentially violent domestic extremists,” and whatever other epithets they come up with, so that we can be painted as dangerously unhinged freaks and cast out of society in a way that makes it appear that we have cast out ourselves.

This process is already well underway, and it’s only going to get more intense, which will inevitably lead to social unrest. The hardcore “Unvaccinated” are not going to go quietly. Again, this isn’t Nazi Germany. There are too many of us who are already resisting. They can segregate us, ban us from travelling, blackout our protests, censor us, deplatform us, cancel our bank accounts, and otherwise harass us, but they cannot forcibly disappear us. So, they are going to keep goading us until we lose it. We have demonstrated incredible discipline so far, but eventually, we’re going to run out patience. It’s going to get messy. People will get hurt.

Which, of course, is exactly what GloboCap wants. Nothing will make them happier than if we turn ourselves into the “violent extremists” they have been conjuring into existence for the last five years. They desperately need us to become those “extremists” before we “embolden” too many others with our “disinformation,” “vaccine hesitancy,” “election result denial,” and general distaste for the whole global-capitalist ideological program.

Unfortunately, they are probably going to get their wish.

What we need is an organized, global campaign of classic, non-violent civil disobedience, but they are not going to give us time to organize that. They are going to keep the pressure on, and crank up the pace, and the official propaganda, and the absurdity, and the confusion, and the ever-changing rules, and the mass hysteria, and the blatant lies, until we start flipping out in restaurants, and in pubs, and schools, and on public transportation, and segregated New Normal establishments start getting nocturnally vandalized, or worse, and other forms of “direct action” are taken.

At which point, game over, because they will have won. We will be the “extremists” they warned themselves about, and they’ll be able to do whatever they want with us, and our former (now New Normal) friends will applaud, or just look away in silence.

Or … I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe some New Normals are still reading this essay, and can still, at this late stage, regain their senses. Maybe we can still avoid the storm, and the full implementation of “New Normal Reality.” I know, I’m probably a hopeless idealist, but let me tell you a quick anecdote before I let you go.

I’ve been kind of nudging, or politely badgering, Glenn Greenwald, who I respect, and have always respected, to grow a pair and at least speak out against the totalitarian features of the New Normal movement. Glenn is totally on board with the official Covid narrative, and has made it clear that he has no interest in using his investigative-journalism skills to investigate that official narrative. Despite that, I have continued to nudge him, and politely prod him, and otherwise urge him, to maybe post a few critical words, or raise a few investigative-journalist questions, about the most flagrant official propaganda campaign in the history of official propaganda campaigns and the blatantly totalitarian actions of governments all over the world.

For example, I posted this on Twitter recently.

Shortly thereafter — and I’m sure this was just a coincidence, because Glenn doesn’t follow the Consent Factory — he tweeted this bit of New Normal blasphemy:

So, apparently, it is, in fact, still possible for people who believe the official Covid narrative as if it were the Word of God to speak out against some aspect of it, or just politely question the logic of it, or otherwise stop behaving like a bunch of mindlessly obedient “Good Germans” as a new iteration of totalitarianism is rolled out right in front of their eyes.

Yes, I know. I’m clutching at straws, but I have this crazy faith in people. On top of which, I’m getting old, so I am not looking forward to the street-fighting part of this as much as I would have 30 or 40 years ago.

Oh, and, I almost forgot, to all my friends in the New Normal UK … have a lovely Freedom Day!

#

CJ Hopkins
July 14, 2021
Photo: Weather Underground

DISCLAIMER: DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Substack page, or his Patreon page, or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian sci-fi novel, Zone 23, or Volume I and II of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

Panel Discussion: Israeli Intelligence Colludes with Facebook, Google to Censor Palestinian Voices

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/05/2021 - 4:00am in



The ongoing assault on Palestine has captured the world’s attention. The latest violence was sparked by an attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Israeli security forces, resulting in over 300 casualties, as Muslims had gathered to celebrate Ramadan in the region’s holiest place of worship. Outside, far-right groups cheered as the mosque was damaged, and launched pogroms against non-Jews inside Israel.

In response, Hamas began firing rockets into Israel, which, in turn, spurred a massive Israeli retaliation that has seen hundreds killed, thousands injured, and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Images of worshippers suffocating due to Israeli tear gas, Gazan buildings being leveled in airstrikes, and mortally wounded children have gone viral, reaching millions. But perhaps not as viral as they should have been if we had an open and uncontrolled social media ecosystem.

Palestinians the world over have reported having their content being taken down and their social media accounts blocked on a host of platforms — including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok — for spurious reasons, including anti-hate speech violations. When pressed for comment by MintPress, Facebook told us that their widespread suppression of Palestinian content at a time of such tensions was merely a technical error, stating:

We know there have been several issues that have impacted people’s ability to share on our apps, including a technical bug that affected Stories around the world, and an error which temporarily restricted content from being viewed on the Al Aqsa mosque hashtag page. While both issues have been fixed, they never should have happened in the first place. We’re so sorry to everyone who felt they couldn’t bring attention to important events, or who felt this was a deliberate suppression of their voice. This was never our intention.

Yet, even as they insisted nothing suspicious was afoot, MintPress CEO and Palestinian rights activist Mnar Muhawesh Adley had both her professional and private Facebook accounts restricted, just as thousands were turning to her for information and views. Other American outlets suffered similar consequences. The Grayzone reported that their interview with Palestinian journalists in Gaza was removed without explanation by YouTube.

This is, unfortunately, all too common a story for activists the world over. During U.S.-backed coup attempts in Venezuela and Bolivia, progressive and antiwar voices in those countries found themselves locked out of their suspended social media accounts at precisely the time it was most crucial for their voices to be heard, suggesting some sort of collusion.

In recent years, social media monopolies like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit have developed increasingly close links to the U.S. national security state. In November, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and IBM signed a contract with the CIA worth tens of billions of dollars to provide the agency with tech solutions and intelligence support, instantly making the firms among the largest military contractors in the world.

Silicon Valley is well aware of this, and is even leading the charge to turn social media into a weapon for the West. “What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first,” boasted Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. All of this results in a situation where it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between big tech and big government.

Facebook has long worked alongside the NATO-cutout organization The Atlantic Council in order to determine what content is appropriate and what isn’t, effectively giving the national security state control over the world’s news feeds — the most influential source of information and news globally. And in 2019, a senior Twitter executive was unmasked as an active-duty officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade — a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations. Mainstream media almost completely ignored the revelation, and Gordon MacMillan is still head of editorial for the Middle East and North Africa on Twitter.

The Israeli state, too, has many deep connections with the social media giants. Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked boasted that she worked closely with Facebook to censor Palestinian voices, with the Silicon Valley corporation agreeing to take down around 95% of the content she asked them to. Today, former Director General of the Ministry of Justice Emi Palmor sits on Facebook’s advisory council, the board ultimately responsible for content moderation on the world’s largest news and social media platform. In her previous role in the Israeli government, Palmor directly oversaw the systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the stripping of the Palestinians’ legal rights.

Discussing the big-tech censorship of Palestinian voices and the collusion between Israel and Silicon Valley are Mickey Huff, Suhair Nafal and Jessica Buxbaum.

Mickey Huff is Professor of Social Science and History at Diablo Valley College, California and is director of the media freedom foundation Project Censored. He hosts the Project Censored Radio Show. His latest book is “Project Censored 2021: State of the Free Press.”

Suhair Nafal is a Palestinian-American activist living in California. Earlier this year, she was taken to court by an IDF soldier who sought $6 million in damages after Nafal called her “evil” in a Facebook post. Bizarrely, the prosecution attempted to get the California judge to apply Israeli law to the post.

Jessica Buxbaum is an Israeli-American journalist based in Jerusalem and a contributor to MintPress News. Her latest article is “Facebook, Social Media Giants Admit to Silencing Palestinian Voices Online.”

Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera

MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud.

Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube.

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups.

The post Panel Discussion: Israeli Intelligence Colludes with Facebook, Google to Censor Palestinian Voices appeared first on MintPress News.

Facebook, Social Media Giants Admit to Silencing Palestinian Voices Online

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 15/05/2021 - 12:35am in

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — In a video posted on activist organization Jewish Voice for Peace’s Twitter account, Muna El-Kurd explained why social media is so vital for the Palestinian cause.

“We rely on the honorable people standing in solidarity with us, people who tweet #SaveSheikhJarrah everyday,” Muna El-Kurd said. “Even a short tweet or post is a treasure.”

El-Kurd and her family are under threat of forcible displacement by Israel settlers and Israeli government forces from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in Occupied East Jerusalem. Over the past week, Palestinians on the ground have documented both Israeli police brutality and settler violence.

In response, the world rallied behind Palestinian home defenders online by sharing information related to Sheikh Jarrah, al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine. However, activists claim their content was met with censorship from the very platforms with which they’re engaging.

Instagram disabled Muna El-Kurd’s account last week and her brother, Mohammed El-Kurd, had several of his Instagram stories removed and was threatened with account deletion.

 

A flurry of content removal and banning

Activists reported that social media companies have been removing their content, stating it violated community guidelines or deeming it “hate speech.” Reports also included suspended and deactivated accounts and text-only content labeled “sensitive,” a designation usually reserved for photos and videos containing violence, gore or derogatory images. The “Save Sheikh Jarrah” Facebook group was also deactivated, according to Mohammed El-Kurd.

Reports were largely centered on Instagram and Twitter, with some restrictive behaviors conducted by Facebook and even TikTok.

https://twitter.com/safaatiya/status/1390865739209494532

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Over the weekend, hashtags related to al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem could not be found on Instagram.

According to internal employee communications provided to Buzzfeed, al-Aqsa — the third holiest site in Islam — was flagged by Instagram as associated with “violence or dangerous organizations.” The label is typically reserved for terrorist groups.

During the last days of Ramadan, worshippers at al-Aqsa were attacked with stun grenades and rubber bullets by Israeli police in riot gear. More than 170 Palestinians were injured. Social media users hoping to publicize the state violence instead found their content removed from search results.

Twenty-four rights organizations signed a statement demanding that Facebook and Twitter reinstate affected accounts and explain their actions:

The removed content and suspended accounts on both Instagram and Twitter are involved in documenting and reporting what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah, as well as denouncing Israel’s policies of ethnic cleansing, apartheid and persecution. These violations are not limited to Palestinian users, but also affect activists around the world who are using social media to raise awareness about the grave situation in Sheikh Jarrah.

Nadim Nashif, founder and CEO of 7amleh, one of the letter’s signatories, said the digital rights organization had received approximately 200 cases of social media censorship related to the recent events in Palestine. However, he believes the actual number could be well into the thousands, as many users experiencing censorship may not report it.

“Actually, 99 percent of our [content removal] appeals to social media companies were put back, with no questions asked. And this is clearly because these posts did not really violate their community standards,” Nashif told MintPress News. “What’s basically happening is the Israeli Cyber Unit is abusing the system of so-called voluntary takedown.”

When reached for comment, a Twitter spokesperson said “Our automated systems took enforcement action on a small number of accounts in error by an automated spam filter.”

“We are expeditiously reversing this action to reinstate access to the affected accounts, some of which have already been reinstated,” Twitter said.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, responded to requests for comment from MintPress by issuing a statement that reads in part:

We know there have been several issues that have impacted people’s ability to share on our apps, including a technical bug that affected Stories around the world, and an error which temporarily restricted content from being viewed on the Al Aqsa mosque hashtag page. While both issues have been fixed, they never should have happened in the first place. We’re so sorry to everyone who felt they couldn’t bring attention to important events, or who felt this was a deliberate suppression of their voice. This was never our intention.

 

Corporate and government collaborative censorship

As previously reported by MintPress, social media suppression of Palestinian media is not a new phenomenon. 7amleh’s research unveiled significant cooperation between social media behemoths and Israel in targeting Palestinian content: According to a 2020 7amleh report on the systematic erasure of Palestinian content, the Israeli Ministry of Justice’s Cyber Unit is responsible for submitting removal requests to tech companies based on purported violations of domestic law and the companies’ community guidelines.

7amleh wrote in their report:

The Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, stated that ‘Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israel’s requests to delete content that the Israeli government says incites Palestinian violence.’ This shows a significant focus on Palestinian content and efforts to label Palestinian political speech as incitement to violence.

The Israeli government and non-governmental organizations also encourage citizens to participate in these censorship efforts by making their own content removal requests with regard to Palestinian information.

“The big issue of the voluntary takedowns is that there aren’t any legal or bureaucratic procedures to clarify them,” Nashif said.

In 2019, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a joint petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice against the Cyber Unit on the grounds its mechanisms violate the constitutional rights of freedom of expression and due process. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected that petition.

“As usual, the Supreme Court supported and validated the actions of the Cyber Unit,” Nashif said. “And now they’re trying to suppress the Palestinian voice by intensifying these requests for takedowns.”

Nashif could not confirm that Israel’s Cyber Unit is behind the latest alleged censorship. But through Adalah and ACRI’s use of the Freedom of Information Law, 7amleh knows the government entity made more than 15,000 requests last year to social media platforms. Nashif explained:

We don’t have evidence about what’s happened in the last week because neither the Cyber Unit nor Facebook is transparent about the takedowns. But it’s clear from following them, researching their policies, speaking with people working in Facebook and from the different appeals in the court against the Cyber Unit, we know that this is obviously happening.”

 

Escalating violence, growing grassroots action

Tensions in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine have intensified in recent days. At the time of writing, Israeli airstrikes have killed 87 Gazan Palestinians, including 18 children, and rocket fire from Hamas, the resistance movement governing Gaza, has killed six Israelis and one Indian national. More than 530 Palestinians have been injured and 28 Israelis wounded.

Israeli forces have fired skunk water and stun grenades at crowds demonstrating against the expulsions of Sheikh Jarrah residents. Armed groups of Israelis are currently storming Palestine’s streets—chanting “Death to Arabs,” destroying Palestinian properties, and attacking Palestinians.

Palestinians Gaza

Palestinians carry the body of a child found in the rubble home destroyed by a precision Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, May 13, 2021. Abdel Kareem Hana | AP

Palestinians Gaza

A relative mourns over the bodies of four young brothers from the Tanani family killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, May 14, 2021. Khalil Hamra | AP

Palestinians Gaza

A wounded boy lies on a stretcher following an Israeli attack in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, May 10, 2021. Mohammed Ali | AP


An paramedic checks the blood pressure of a young Israeli girl after her building was hit by a rocket in Ashkelon, May 12, 2021. Tsafrir Abayov | AP

Israeli soldier

The body of Israeli soldier Omer Tabib,21, killed by an anti-tank missile near Gaza, is carried during his funeral. Sebastian Scheiner | AP

The Israeli Supreme Court postponed a court hearing on the possible dispossession facing Sheikh Jarrah families, including the El-Kurds. The court is expected to set a new date in 30 days.

While the Israeli authorities continue crushing Palestinian dissent on the ground, Nashif said Palestinian voices remain silenced online as well.

“Our feeling is that it’s less now because we are getting fewer requests to appeal. But it is still happening,” Nashif said, referring to how the Israeli Cyber Unit, artificial intelligence, and pro-Israel internet communities like Act.IL are all part of the campaign to diminish the Palestinian perspective on social media.

“You have to understand that this is a fight on narrative,” Nashif said. “There is a strong attempt to suppress the Palestinian narrative.”

Feature photo | Relatives of 11-year-old Hussain Hamad, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike mourn during his funeral in the family home in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, May 11, 2021. Khalil Hamra | AP

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist for MintPress News covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Gulf News.

The post Facebook, Social Media Giants Admit to Silencing Palestinian Voices Online appeared first on MintPress News.

If You Believed Something Else, You Wouldn’t Be Sitting Here: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/05/2021 - 10:07pm in

If You Believed Something Else, You Wouldn’t Be Sitting Here: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to this article:

https://medium.com/media/0d5e648a3d3d829f3f39c04487a642aa/href

It sure is interesting how stuff keeps happening that makes free speech on the internet something dangerous which must be curtailed. Covid, the Capitol riot, Russian propaganda, all of which just happen to require tightening restrictions on our single best tool against the powerful.

Had online platforms not agreed to curtail speech in alignment with the US empire, they would with 100 percent certainty have been broken up by antitrust cases and been replaced by other monopolistic companies that would censor in alignment with imperial interests.

You’re not permitted to ascend to power within the system unless you cooperate with existing power structures. If you don’t, you’ll be stopped in your tracks and replaced with someone who will.

A rookie journalist who doesn’t advance narratives favorable to US imperialism will keep getting called to the editor’s desk until they get the message. When rookie social media sites first showed up it was the same thing, except instead of the editor’s desk, it was US congressional hearings.

Western journalists learn very quickly that they can only get published by mainstream outlets by promoting narratives that are favorable to US imperialism. Example:

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This is how propaganda occurs in the west. It’s not that Jeff Bezos emails Washington Post reporters saying “Promote US wars!”, it’s that only reporters who support imperialism see their articles published and their careers rise. As Noam Chomsky famously said in an interview with Andrew Marr, “If you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”

https://medium.com/media/14e8603d3bbf1355e9b9f6bd1ec9a154/href

It’s always easier to flow with power than to flow against it. Entire societal infrastructures have been built to ensure that this is the case. Any effort which helps the powerful will be elevated and amplified, while any effort which inconveniences them falls into an empty void.

The mass media’s garbage coverage of police violence toward protesters in Colombia and Jerusalem is nothing new; as FAIR’s Alan MacLeod documented back in 2019, mainstream news consistently mitigates its reporting on such brutality when it is committed by member states of the US empire. And it is very revealing that the mass media’s policy of ignoring/justifying human rights abuses by US allies while amplifying those committed in unabsorbed nations just so happens to be identical to the US government’s own standing human rights policy.

An IDF soldier could punch a Palestinian baby in the face on video and centrists would be sharing it on Twitter with “Very concerned about this violent clash, both sides should have de-escalated.”

It’s just too hard to pick a side. On one hand the Palestinians want to stay in their homes that they live in, but on the other hand the Israelis don’t want to live near Palestinians and an invisible deity said some stuff in a religious text authored thousands of years ago.

Criticism of both Israeli apartheid and Saudi war crimes are the most mainstream they’ve been in my lifetime. That’s either a sign that things are becoming more conscious or a sign that the imperial crosshairs really are pivoting from the Middle East to Asia. Or maybe the empire is just that confident that it’ll be able to retain enough control over the narrative.

One major challenge to escaping an abusive relationship is recognizing that you’re in one; it can be hard to connect your experience with the abusive relationships you’ve seen depicted in TV and movies. This is also the case with realizing you’re living under a tyrannical regime.

People just have a hard time making that connection, that their own government is the Evil Empire they see depicted in movies, that it is the tyrannical regime they see condemned by mass media pundits every day. Just as in an abusive relationship, the evidence is all around them, but they don’t see it.

“Socially liberal and fiscally conservative” means “Conservative but I want to feel good about it.”

Q: What is a tankie?

A: A tankie is anyone who chooses to focuses most of their foreign policy criticisms on the most powerful and destructive government in the world.

It says so much about the power of modern propaganda that such a massive percentage of internet users think “I oppose waging hot or cold war against that government” means the exact same thing as “I think that government is perfect and I wish it was my government.”

Saying “Caitlin I like your anti-war stuff but your anti-capitalist stuff is bad” is just saying “Caitlin I agree with you sometimes but other times I disagree with you.” That’s normal. That’s supposed to happen. Congratulations on not living in an airtight echo chamber.

_____________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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