"Propaganda, Facts and Fake News" - Page 29 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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QatzelOk wrote:No. Chuck E Cheese is more like it.

Unlike Arby's, Chuck E Cheese has a secret agenda that has nothing to do with food.

I take your point but what secret agenda is Chuck E Cheese working?
Sivad wrote:

I take your point but what secret agenda is Chuck E Cheese working?

Secret agenda. Elephant in the room. Is it ok to have mice running around inside the kitchen. If there is a giant mouse in the house should you avoid ordering the food. When you can finally get used to having rodents around you and it seems like fun and games. Arby's Beef and Cheddar with horsey sauce is good but without the arcade it just isn't an accurate comparison.......Happy Talk...... America's citizens can have fun with Chucky Cheese but Chucky Schumer is more like Ricky The Rat. Having Pelosi in the House is way worse than a mouse in the Kitchen....even one with hantavirus. Imagine how much pork the Piglosi Pigs have added to everything over the last 30 years. With that kind of money even Oprah could buy everyone a pizza. Seems like someone would expose all of the past corruption of both parties and start tarring and feathering the traitors or make them take turns in the mouse costume. God Bless America. God Bless President Trump. Good Propaganda leads America's taxpaying legal citizens away from Communism. Bad Propaganda will always lead to a failed socialist economy that favors the equal treatment of unequal people. With the current Democrats everyone in America will be treated as poorly as the people will accept. The Homeless that actually accept failure as an option and those that support sanctuary cities for illegals will praise Fentanyl kings and queens as they defund the police. Antifa and BLM are terrorists that destroy everything they touch and promote communism in a nutty shell. All Communism must be eliminated from all of America's political arenas.
Matthew Hoh looks at what America's pentagon-sponsored brainwashing has done,
converting most viewers into Manichean simpletons, on the lookout for bad-guys to kill:

Matthew Hoh wrote:There’s a sickness that comes with the certainty of those who view the world in so black and white, so good and bad, so us versus them terms, that killing is often a morally defensible act.

Right away, at the movie industry’s founding, the US military was heavily involved in the business of Hollywood and in ensuring Americans had an understanding of American history and society, and the world, as befitted the American military and government.

Pentagon and Hollywood storytelling, again focusing on the myth of redemptive violence, begins as soon as children watch cartoons, which often use excessive violence to achieve order and justice


Sivad wrote:I take your point but what secret agenda is Chuck E Cheese working?

Cheap electronic entertainment.
In an article on "the Center for Countering Digital Hate," Off-Guardian author Iain Davis notices that this institution (and many others) is primarily trying to create the impression that people who question any type of vaccine program are motivated by "hate."

He notes the power of money in shaping a very profitable media environment for pro-drug propaganda:

Iain Davis wrote:The pharmaceutical industry’s U.S. social media ad-spend is projected to exceed $4 Bn in 2020. In the U.S. alone, they invest more than $30 Bn annually on MSM advertising and devote more resources to political lobbying than any other industry.


And in a second follow-up article, Iain Davis notes the connections between "defenders of Internet integrity and truth" and various corporate sponsors, many of which are in Big Pharma or the tax-deduction racket:

The DCMS recommended Newsguard is another truth-teller and fact checker which sells itself as a great bastion of epistemological certainty. Touting themselves as the Internet trust tool, they have created a handy browser extension that will automatically censor the Internet for you.

There is no attempt to encourage critical thinking, any independent research or intellectual autonomy, but rather a colour coded warning system, perfect for infants, that will do your thinking for you. Selected websites will receive Newsguard’s trust rating. This is based entirely upon a set of meaningless criteria, which sound great, but absolutely boil down to Newsguard’s bought and paid for opinion.

Newsguard’s founder and leading investor is Steven Brill. He is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) whose European branch (the ECFR) Kirsty McNeill graces. As a leading U.S. foreign policy think tank the CFR is arguably one of the most influential policy organisations on Earth.
Below, an interesting quote from Thomas Stephen's recente article "Can Language Help Us Heal?," in which the author describes commercial media as "normalized lying."

Thomas Stephens wrote:The half dozen media billionaire corporations that control information spent the past 5 years milking Trump for revenue, gifting him billions in free publicity.

They lack sufficient self-awareness to turn their objective journalistic attention to critical contradictions, like the effects of corporate media ownership consolidation on their “news” product; to tell essential historic and systemic truths behind the con-that’s-weaker-than-all-the-other-cons called Russiagate; indeed, as big powerful corporations they trade for profit in their own power. That’s what they do.

They don’t usually really tell the truth about much of anything. That’s considered “normal”.

Remember this as you're reading the New York Times, or watching CNN. That they are normalizing lying - making the manipulation of facts NORMAL as a means of ripping off normal people.

Billionaires want your freedom, and they have your eyeballs glued to their psychologically manipulative products.
Last edited by QatzelOk on 26 Aug 2020 16:02, edited 1 time in total.
What media moguls don’t want you to know: Youtube and Google attack Cuba and Venezuela
On Aug. 20, just ahead of programming about the start of clinical trials for Cuba’s COVID-19 vaccine, Soberana-01, YouTube management disabled Mesa Redonda’s channel. Mesa Redonda (Roundtable) airs Monday through Friday evenings on Cuban national television. Its international audience included more than 19,000 YouTube channel subscribers. Mesa Redonda is still streamed through Facebook and the Aug. 20 program can be viewed there.

The Aug. 20 program features details about the investigative process and clinical trials. Addressing the world were the Cuban scientists who developed the vaccine that is big news for the pandemic-shocked world: the Director General of the Finlay Institute of Vaccines, the two women scientists who developed the vaccine and the director of Cuba’s medical regulator agency CECMED. It is the first vaccine trial submitted from Latin America and the Caribbean. Its name, Soberana, means sovereign.

According to a report from Cubainformacion.tv the number of subscribers to Mesa Redonda’s channel had doubled in 2020. Social media like YouTube provide Cuba’s voice unfiltered and unslanted by the imperialist-minded corporate media.

Since it was established in 2009, the Mesa Redonda YouTube channel had accumulated archives of the programs, interviews and documentaries, creating an international resource that is now unavailable.

Cubainformacion.tv also reported the cancellation of three YouTube accounts for the Venezuelan state television channel VTV and access to its Gmail emails. The three accounts were Complete VTV Programs, Multimedios VTV and the dedicated account for live transmission.

The development of digital media and communication platforms opens new avenues to information, views and ideas, challenging the white-supremacist, neoliberal capitalist lens. These tools combat the U.S. propaganda war of lies about Cuba and Venezuela penetrating the media monopoly.

A current example is the scurrilous U.S. slander campaign waged against Cuban internationalist medical solidarity. The Pan American Health Organization awarded the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade the prestigious 2017 Prize for Public Health. Cuba’s 250 specialized “health workers constituted the single largest medical operation on the ground in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia,” during the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak. And now a global movement supports awarding the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve Brigade for the fight to curb the coronavirus pandemic and save lives. (CubaNobel.org)

In the late 1960s, the direct voice of Cuba was only available via shortwave Radio Havana Cuba broadcasts or hand-to-hand sharing of dated print editions of the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma. Now, many Cuban publications can be found on the web, on Facebook, through Whatsapp or Telegram subscriptions, YouTube, Twitter and more. TeleSUR, the collaborative media initiated by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America is a powerful source for news from the world, including Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.

Communication platforms taken for granted and more widely employed in the U.S. during the pandemic, like Zoom and WebEx, are blocked for use in Cuba. It is time for the economic, financial and commercial blockade to end.

AUG. 21 UPDATE: YouTube restored Mesa Redonda’s account today affirming the account did not infringe on the Conditions of Service. No explanation was given.

But as President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted, “Those who don’t want the world to know about our vaccine blocked Cuban digital channels. Anyway, no one has been vaccinated and the needle prick is already hurting.

As of 10 pm EDT, VTV’s account has not been restored. The blockade is real.
https://www.struggle-la-lucha.org/2020/ ... venezuela/
An interesting video interview (featuring Chris Hedges as the interviewer) where Professor James W. Loewen explains some of the reasons why our History books are boring and fake.

This is a very good introduction to how oligarchies create and teach "Fake History" by using ghost-writers, and group vetting to remove negative content that explains motivations and consequences.

Great discussion on those Anonymous hacked documents from the British Foreign Office that everyone is ignoring, where we learned amongst other things that 1600+ "journalists" colluded in writing in various MSM outlets in support of that disgusting (and ongoing) war on Syria.

This is important because the exact same thing is happening today re: other states under imperialist attack...and this shit will continue to happen, since the warmonger states have to always manufacture consent for their psychopathic wars.
Skinster, I really like how you showcase specific examples of fake news (propaganda).

I prefer to look at the way and the reasons it's produced, so I stumbled upon an interesting article today that talks about how soulless Hollywood money-people have been altering the narratives of our "entertainment" ever since Hollywood existed.

"...the entertainment world is designed for a very specific purpose: To steal the energies of talented people and exploit those energies to achieve the most meaningless or manipulative endeavors."
But, production creatures (money people) want more than money, they also want to micromanage the message of every film, TV show, video game and product that is released. They want to inject their own ideologies into every release...

These two quotes help explain how virtually every "entertainment" product produced by capitalism is "edited" to produce more capitalism by turning viewers into self-harming dummies.


(Full article: Hollywood is Dying)
Caitlin Johnson explains how commercial media applies "standards of proof" in an unequal way (demanding proof only when a story doesn't benifit the oligarchy who owns mass media) in order to construct a fake narrative to support powerful actors (the oligarchy themselves).

By doing this, she reveals a very important mechanism for ensuring that mass media is lying for the 1%.

...there are virtually no evidentiary standards when the plutocratic media want to sell the world on a narrative which benefits the establishment upon which the media-owning class has built its kingdom. News reports will be waved through on a vague assertion by some anonymous government operative if they are damaging to Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, Syria or any other US-targeted nation, and they are on a pretty much daily basis to greater or lesser degrees.

If a news report facilitates the national security state, all journalistic protocol goes out the window and nobody knows the meaning of the word evidence. As soon as a report becomes inconvenient for a friend of the national security state like Joe Biden, suddenly strict evidentiary standards and warnings against potential disinformation are of paramount importance. This is the same as lying all the time.

They lie because the mass media within the US-centralized empire are the propaganda engine for that empire. The drivers of empire understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world, so they ensure that all points of narrative influence are tightly controlled by them.

A world where all news stories are held to the same evidentiary standards as Hunter Biden’s emails are currently being held would be a world without empire. People would never consent to the insanity of imperialism and endless war if their consent wasn’t manufactured, and depriving them of the information that is inconvenient for that empire is essential in that manufacturing.

Glenn Greenwald wrote:Facebook and Twitter Cross a Line Far More Dangerous Than What They Censor
Just weeks before the election, the tech giants unite to block access to incriminating reporting about their preferred candidate.

The New York Post is one of the country’s oldest and largest newspapers. Founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, only three U.S. newspapers are more widely circulated. Ever since it was purchased in 1976 by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, it has been known — like most Murdoch-owned papers — for right-wing tabloid sensationalism, albeit one that has some real reporters and editors and is capable of reliable journalism.

On Wednesday morning, the paper published on its cover what it heralded as a “blockbuster” scoop: “smoking gun” evidence, in its words, in the form of emails purportedly showing that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, traded on his father’s position by securing favors from the then-vice president to benefit the Ukranian energy company Burisma, which paid the supremely unqualified Hunter $50,000 each month to sit on its Board. While the Biden campaign denies that any such meetings or favors ever occurred, neither the campaign nor Hunter, at least as of now, has denied the authenticity of the emails.

The Post’s hyping of the story as some cataclysmic bombshell was overblown. While these emails, if authenticated, provide some new details and corroboration, the broad outlines of this story have long been known: Hunter was paid a very large monthly sum by Burisma at the same time that his father was quite active in using the force of the U.S. Government to influence Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Along with emails relating to Burisma, the New York Post also gratuitously published several photographs of Hunter, who has spoken openly and commendably of his past struggles with substance abuse, in what appeared to various states of drug use. There was no conceivable public interest in publishing those, and every reason not to.

The Post’s explanation of how these documents were obtained is bizarre at best: They claim that Hunter Biden indefinitely left his laptop containing the emails at a repair store, and the store’s owner, alarmed by the corruption they revealed, gave the materials from the hard drive to the FBI and then to Rudy Giuliani.

While there is no proof that Biden followed through on any of Hunter’s promises to Burisma, there is no reason, at least thus far, to doubt that the emails are genuine. And if they are genuine, they at least add to what is undeniably a relevant and newsworthy story involving influence-peddling relating to Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine and his trading on the name and power of his father, now the front-runner in the 2020 presidential election.

But the Post, for all its longevity, power and influence, ran smack into two entities far more powerful than it: Facebook and Twitter. Almost immediately upon publication, pro-Biden journalists created a climate of extreme hostility and suppression toward the Post story, making clear that any journalist even mentioning it would be roundly attacked. For the crime of simply noting the story on Twitter (while pointing out its flaws), New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman was instantly vilified to the point where her name, along with the phrase “MAGA Haberman,” were trending on Twitter.

(That Haberman is a crypto-Trump supporter is preposterous for so many reasons, including the fact that she is responsible for countless front-page Times stories that reflect negatively on the president; moreover, the 2016 Clinton campaign considered Haberman one of their most favorable reporters).

The two Silicon Valley giants saw that hostile climate and reacted. Just two hours after the story was online, Facebook intervened. The company dispatched a life-long Democratic Party operative who now works for Facebook — Andy Stone, previously a communications operative for Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, among other D.C. Democratic jobs — to announce that Facebook was “reducing [the article’s] distribution on our platform”: in other words, tinkering with its own algorithms to suppress the ability of users to discuss or share the news article. The long-time Democratic Party official did not try to hide his contempt for the article, beginning his censorship announcement by snidely noting: “I will intentionally not link to the New York Post.”

Twitter’s suppression efforts went far beyond Facebook’s. They banned entirely all users’ ability to share the Post article — not just on their public timeline but even using the platform’s private Direct Messaging feature.

Early in the day, users who attempted to link to the New York Post story either publicly or privately received a cryptic message rejecting the attempt as an “error.” Later in the afternoon, Twitter changed the message, advising users that they could not post that link because the company judged its contents to be “potentially harmful.”

Even more astonishing still, Twitter locked the account of the New York Post, banning the paper from posting any content all day and, evidently, into Thursday morning. The last tweet from the paper was posted at roughly 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

And then, on Thursday morning, the Post published a follow-up article using the same archive of materials, this one purporting to detail efforts by the former vice president’s son to pursue lucrative deals with a Chinese energy company by using his father’s name. Twitter is now also banning the sharing or posting of links to that article as well.

In sum, the two Silicon Valley giants, with little explanation, united to prevent the sharing and dissemination of this article. As Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce put it, “Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn’t like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently.”

That the First Amendment right of free speech is inapplicable to these questions goes without saying. That constitutional guarantee restricts the actions of governments, not private corporations such as Facebook and Twitter.

But glibly pointing this out does not come close to resolving this controversy. That actions by gigantic corporations are constitutional does not mean that they are benign.

State censorship is not the only kind of censorship. Private-sector repression of speech and thought, particularly in the internet era, can be as dangerous and consequential. Imagine, for instance, if these two Silicon Valley giants united with Google to declare: henceforth we will ban all content that is critical of President Trump and/or the Republican Party, but will actively promote criticisms of Joe Biden and the Democrats.

Would anyone encounter difficultly understanding why such a decree would constitute dangerous corporate censorship? Would Democrats respond to such a policy by simply shrugging it off on the radical libertarian ground that private corporations have the right to do whatever they want? To ask that question is to answer it.

To begin with, Twitter and particularly Facebook are no ordinary companies. Facebook, as the owner not just of its massive social media platform but also other key communication services it has gobbled up such as Instagram and WhatsApp, is one of the most powerful companies ever to exist, if not the most powerful. In June, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law launched an investigation into the consolidated power of Facebook and three other companies — Google, Amazon and Apple — and just last week issued a sweeping report which, as Ars Technica explained, found:

Facebook outright “has monopoly power in the market for social networking,” and that power is “firmly entrenched and unlikely to be eroded by competitive pressure” from anyone at all due to “high entry barriers—including strong network effects, high switching costs, and Facebook’s significant data advantage—that discourage direct competition by other firms to offer new products and services.”

In his New York Times op-ed last October, the left-wing expert on monopoly power Matt Stoller described Facebook and Google as “global monopolies sitting astride public discourse,” and recounted how bipartisan policy and legal changes designed to whittle away antitrust protections have bestowed the two tech giants with “a radical centralization of power over the flow of information.” And he warns that this unprecedented consolidation of control over our discourse is close to triggering “the collapse of journalism and democracy.”

It has been astonishing to watch Democrats over the last twenty-four hours justify this censorship on the grounds that private corporations are entitled to do whatever they want. Not even radical free-market libertarians espouse such a pro-corporate view. Even the most ardent capitalist recognizes that companies that wield monopoly or quasi-monopoly power have an obligation to act in the public interest, and are answerable to the public regarding whether they are doing so.

That is why in both the EU and increasingly the U.S., there are calls from across the political spectrum to either break up Facebook on antitrust and monopoly grounds or regulate it as a public utility, the way electric and water companies and AT&T have been. Almost nobody in the democratic world believes that Facebook is just some ordinary company that should be permitted to exercise unfettered power and act without constraints of any kind. Indeed, Facebook’s monumental political and economic power — greater than most if not all the governments of nation-states — is the major impediment to such reforms.

Beyond that, both Facebook and Twitter receive substantial, unique legal benefits from federal law, further negating the claim that they are free to do whatever they want as private companies. Just as is true of Major League Baseball — which is subject to regulation by Congress as a result of the antitrust exemption they enjoy under the law — these social media companies receive a very valuable and particularized legal benefit in the form of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields them from any liability for content published on their platforms, including defamatory material or other legally proscribed communications.

No company can claim such massive, unique legal exemptions from the federal law and then simultaneously claim they owe no duties to the public interest and are not answerable to anyone. To advocate that is a form of authoritarian corporatism: simultaneously allowing tech giants to claim legally conferred privileges and exemptions while insisting that they can act without constraints of any kind.

Then there is the practical impact of Twitter and Facebook uniting to block content published by a major newspaper. It is true in theory that one can still read the suppressed article by visiting the New York Post website directly, but the stranglehold that these companies exert over our discourse is so dominant that their censorship amounts to effective suppression of the reporting.

In 2018, Pew Research found that “about two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) get news on social media sites. One-in-five get news there often.“ The combination of Facebook, Google and Twitter controls the information received by huge numbers of Americans, Pew found. “Facebook is still far and away the site Americans most commonly use for news. About four-in-ten Americans (43%) get news on Facebook. The next most commonly used site for news is YouTube [owned by Google], with 21% getting news there, followed by Twitter at 12%.”

While Twitter still falls short of Facebook in terms of number of users, a 2019 report found that “Twitter remains the leading social network among journalists at 83%.” Censoring a story from Twitter thus has disproportionate impact by hiding it from the people who determine and shape the news.

The grave dangers posed by the censorship actions of yesterday should be self-evident. Just over two weeks before a presidential election, Silicon Valley giants — whose industry leaders and workforce overwhelmingly favor the Democratic candidate — took extraordinary steps to block millions, perhaps tens of millions, of American voters from being exposed to what purports to be a major exposé by one of the country’s oldest and largest newspapers.

As the New York Times put it in an article in March about the political preferences of tech leaders: “Silicon Valley has long leaned blue.” Large numbers of tech executives, including Facebook’s second-in-command Sheryl Sandberg, were also vocally supportive of Hillary Clinton in 2016. At the very least, the perception, if not the reality, has been created that these tech giants are using their unprecedented power over political and election-related information to prevent the dissemination of negative reporting about the presidential candidate they favor. Whatever that is, it is not democratic or something to cheer.

The rationale offered by both Twitter and Facebook to justify this censorship makes it more alarming, not less. Twitter claimed that the Post article violates its so-called “Hacked Materials Policy,” which it says permits “commentary on or discussion about hacked materials, such as articles that cover them but do not include or link to the materials themselves”; in other words, Twitter allows links to articles about hacked materials but bans “links to or images of hacked material themselves.”

The company added that their policy “prohibits the use of our service to distribute content obtained without authorization” because, they said, they “don’t want to incentivize hacking by allowing Twitter to be used as distribution for possibly illegally obtained materials.”

But that standard, if taken seriously and applied consistently, would result in the banning from the platform of huge amounts of the most important and consequential journalism. After all, a large bulk of journalism is enabled by sources providing “content obtained without authorization” to journalists, who then publish it.

Indeed, many of the most celebrated and significant stories of the last several decades — the Pentagon Papers, the WikiLeaks’ Collateral Murder video and war logs, the Snowden reporting, the Panama Papers, the exposés from the Brazil Archive we reported over the last year — relied upon publication of various forms of “hacked materials” provided by sources. The same is true of the DNC and Podesta emails that exposed corruption and forced the 2016 resignation of the top five officials of the Democratic National Committee.

Does anyone think it would be justifiable or politically healthy for tech giants to bar access to those documents of historic importance in journalism and politics? That is what the Twitter policy, taken on its face, would require.

For that matter, why is Twitter not blocking access to the ongoing New York Times articles that disclose the contents of President Trump’s tax returns, the unauthorized disclosure of which is a crime? Why did those platforms not block links to the now-notorious Rachel Maddow segment where she revealed details about one of Trump’s old tax returns on the ground that it was “content obtained without authorization”? Or what about the virtually daily articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News and others that explicitly state they are publishing information that the source is unauthorized to disclose: how does that not fall squarely within the banning policy as Twitter defined it yesterday?

Worse still, why does Twitter’s “hacking” policy apply to the New York Post story at all? While the Post’s claims about how these emails were obtained are dubious at best, there is no evidence — unlike the award-winning journalism scoops referenced above — that they were obtained by virtue of “hacking” by a source.

Facebook’s rationale for suppression — that it needs to have its “fact checking” partners verify the story before allowing it to be spread — poses different but equally alarming dangers. What makes Mark Zuckerberg’s social media company competent to “fact check” the work of other journalists? Why did Facebook block none of the endless orgy of Russiagate conspiracy theories from major media outlets that were completely unproven if not outright false?

Do we really want Facebook serving as some sort of uber-editor for U.S. media and journalism, deciding what information is suitable for the American public to read and which should be hidden from it after teams of journalists and editors at real media outlets have approved its publication? And can anyone claim that Facebook’s alleged “fact-checking” process is applied with any remote consistency given how often they failed to suppress sketchily sourced or facially unreliable stories — such as, say, the Steele Dossier and endless articles based on it? Can you even envision the day when an unproven conspiracy theory — leaked by the CIA or FBI to the Washington Post or NBC News — is suppressed pending “fact-checking” by Facebook?

Twitter is not opposed to hacked materials and Facebook is not opposed to dubiously sourced stories. They are opposed to such things only when such stories anger powerful factions. When those power centers are the ones disseminating such stories, they will continue to have free rein to do so.

The glaring fallacy that always lies at the heart of pro-censorship sentiments is the gullible, delusional belief that censorship powers will be deployed only to suppress views one dislikes, but never one’s own views. The most cursory review of history, and the most minimal understanding of how these tech giants function, instantly reveals the folly of that pipe dream.

Facebook is not some benevolent, kind, compassionate parent or a subversive, radical actor who is going to police our discourse in order to protect the weak and marginalized or serve as a noble check on mischief by the powerful. They are almost always going to do exactly the opposite: protect the powerful from those who seek to undermine elite institutions and reject their orthodoxies.

Tech giants, like all corporations, are required by law to have one overriding objective: maximizing shareholder value. They are always going to use their power to appease those they perceive wield the greatest political and economic power.

That is why Facebook accepts virtually every request from the Israeli Government to remove the pages of Palestinian journalists and activists on the grounds of “incitement,” but almost never accepts Palestinians’ requests to remove Israeli content. It is the same reason Facebook blocks and censors governments adverse to the U.S., but not the other way around. They are going to heed the interests of the powerful at the expense of those who lack it. It is utter madness to want to augment their censorship powers or to expect they will use it for any other ends.

Facebook and Twitter have in the past censored the content or removed the accounts of far-right voices. They have done the same to left-wing voices. That is always how it will work: it is exclusively the voices on the fringes and the margins, the dissidents, those who reside outside of the factions of power who will be subjected to this silencing. Mainstream political and media voices, and the U.S. Government and its allies, will be fully free to spread conspiracy theories and disinformation without ever being subjected to these illusory “rules.”

Censorship power, like the tech giants who now wield it, is an instrument of status quo preservation. The promise of the internet from the start was that it would be a tool of liberation, of egalitarianism, by permitting those without money and power to compete on fair terms in the information war with the most powerful governments and corporations.

But just as is true of allowing the internet to be converted into a tool of coercion and mass surveillance, nothing guts that promise, that potential, like empowering corporate overlords and unaccountable monopolists to regulate and suppress what can be heard.

To observe that those who are cheering for this today because they happen to like this particular outcome are being short-sighted and myopic is to woefully understate the case. The only people who should want to live in a world where Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai and Jeff Bezos have a stranglehold on what can be said and heard are those whose actions are devoted to the perpetuation of their power and who benefit from their hegemony.

Everyone else will eventually be faced with the choice of conformity or censorship, of refraining from expressing prohibited views as the cost for maintaining access to crucial social media platforms. The only thing more authoritarian than the acts of Facebook and Twitter yesterday is the mentality that causes ordinary people to cheer it, to be grateful for the power and control they have long wielded and yesterday finally unleashed.
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/15/fac ... ey-censor/
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