The oligarchs who rule the West are growing increasingly intolerant of free speech on the internet. Critical discussions of “sensitive” topics—meaning those topics that pose a threat to the ruling oligarchy—are being purged from YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon. The rising tide of censorship will, if it continues, force dissidents to abandon the arena of speech, discussion, and debate, and consider embracing revolutionary violence.
Advertiser-Driven Censorship on YouTube Hits 9/11 Truth Doc
In 2007, unable to ignore the 9/11 lies any longer, I went to New York for the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attack to talk to people in the 9/11 truth movement face-to-face. I wanted to hear firsthand what they knew that I did not. The result was a 30 minute documentary called The Truth Movement. In this no-budget doc, I wove together the words of these people and images from the major 9/11 truth docs to summarize key evidence that the US government was lying about the 9/11 attacks.
I wrote about making this doc in the book Days of Shock, Days of Wonder (2016):
As the anniversary got closer, truth activists began to mass at ground zero. After the attack George W. Bush had warned us not to listen to people with “outrageous conspiracy theories” about what really happened. Now here they were. In the flesh. Men and women. Young and old. From hundreds of cities and walks of life.
These people included an air traffic controller, who explained why fighter jets weren’t sent to intercept the airplanes, and a pipefitter, who laughed at the idea that fire had melted the steel in the towers. I talked to a group of students who told me to “Trust Physics, Not Bush!” I saw a man with a sign that said, “The New World Order Murdered My Nephew.” And I talked to a guy whose grandmother had told him that if the president was a murderer, she would have to leave the country. And since she was too old to do that, she couldn’t accept it.
This doc was originally published on YouTube in eight parts in 2008. After a decade online, it had tens of thousands of views. Some of the parts had over 100,000 hits, generating an online conversation about the 9/11 lies that comprised an archive of our society’s response to 9/11 and the stories told about it.
Then early in 2018 this doc abruptly disappeared from YouTube. I made this discovery by chance while accessing my account page on YouTube, where I had included links to the eight parts of the doc. Instead of the doc, the pages for these links now displayed a message that the videos had been removed by the user. Today, the links display only an encircled exclamation mark.
What had happened to my doc? Why had the company that had hosted it for me taken it offline after almost a decade? I was travelling at the time and knew that I would be passing through the city where the hosting company has its offices, so I decided to go and ask for an answer in person. When I did, I was surprised at what the company’s CEO revealed to me.
He said that he had been told by YouTube that its “advertisers” had flagged a number of videos hosted by his company that they did not want to be associated with. Either he could lose revenue from these advertisers, forcing him to downsize his company, or he could remove the videos as asked. He wrestled with the decision but finally gave in and deleted several videos, including some about the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War 2.
I was amazed. Really, that’s all it took to get “offensive” content off of YouTube? Apparently, yes. This advertising-driven censorship is the norm. And what about the videos rejected by YouTube’s collective of “advertisers”? What does 9/11 have in common with Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Most obviously, they are all instances of the mass murder of innocent civilians by the US government. With its advertising policy, YouTube has made it clear that accounts of these historical events can be erased from its media-scape, helping to push such crimes into the background of our awareness. It is best not to remind the populace that mass murder of the innocents by the government is not beyond the pale if political gain is to be had. After all, the government might need to use this tactic again in the future – maybe against its own citizens in another false flag attack or maybe against Iran.
So I put my documentary The Truth Movement back on YouTube myself. It is at the following URL: https://youtu.be/OI–Rim4VmQ. This doc concisely pulls together the most important threads in the argument for a real 9/11 investigation, while giving a voice and a face to the people who are the truth movement – common folk who don’t like being lied to and who aren’t afraid to confront the cognitive dissonance of the 9/11 age.
The archive of the online conversation between viewers, however, is lost.
Rafiq is the author of Gaj: The End of Religion (2004) and the memoir Days of Shock, Days of Wonder (2016). His documentaries Be Smile: The Stories of Two Urban Inuit (2006) and Khanqah: A Sufi Place (2011) are online at Vimeo.