It’s not a ‘defense’ of Alex Jones to argue that we’re on a slippery slope of internet censorship
…from Danielle Ryan, via Russia Today, Moscow
It was a no brainer that the Intel agencies were having wet dreams over the constant monitoring opportunities that would be available via “free” social media platforms that would only use their customers’ communication for “advertising” purposes. It was a simple con, too simple.
VT was surprised it took this long for most to figure it out. Everybody in the Intel world knew, and many in the military, but not the numbskulls down the line that were being monitored by their own. Not much hope for humanity there.
But the social media monitoring scam is just the tip of the iceberg. Guess who led the way on influencing elections all over the planet? Yep…the Intel agencies. Why? Because they view it as their job; but they avoid explaining to us whom they are really working for.
The con of “defending the people” is pretty threadbare. There should be a thousand whistleblowers from inside the machine by now, but there are just a handful. For those pretending to defend us while subverting us, admitting the act is the last thing they will do.
So now we see them do the expected “pulling a 180 on them” tactic by counter-accusing those who accuse them of fake news, and to ban those from public access. Watch how few, if any, free-speech proponents or well-funded organizations jump into the fight.
You know who they are. Have we heard from them lately? No. They are keeping their heads down. They want whatever funding they are getting to continue. The internet bannings going on now are a high tech version of an ISIS public beheading, an act of terror.
Yes, I said it first. The intent is the same, to scare people into being submissive servants. And what we are seeing is that most are meekly accepting the role. Danielle Ryan is not among them.
As for Alex Jones, we got into his shorts tracing back where his real money came from, which was certainly not the phony cancer cures, but the Bronfman family in Canada, very close to that little country in the Mideast. In the old-time Intel biz, we used to call this “hiding in plain sight”, like the Congresscritters who have sold out do.… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … August 08, 2018 –
It’s important to note at the outset that I have no love for Jones whatsoever — lest this be read as some kind of endorsement or defense of InfoWars. It is not.
When you hound the parents of dead children and promote the theory that inter-dimensional “lizard people” are secretly running the world, you relinquish the right to be taken seriously by a lot of people.
But this is not about Alex Jones or what he believes. It is about the fact that the Left has willfully decided that massive corporations, working hand-in-glove with government agencies, as we know they do, should be the arbiters of truth and should hold the power to decide what we see, hear, read and believe.
Aside from the utterly obnoxious & disingenuous equating of censorship opposition with “defending Alex Jones,” this faith that Mark Zuckerberg, Google execs & their friends will faithfully and benevolently decide what is “hate speech” is just laughable https://theintercept.com/2017/08/29/in-europe-hate-speech-laws-are-often-used-to-suppress-and-punish-left-wing-viewpoints/ …David Doel@daviddoel
Lefties defending Alex Jones right now: I hear you, on the surface it appears to set bad precedent to give massive corporations control over who’s silenced. But if you aren’t performing hate speech, libel or slander on a regular basis, then I don’t know what you’re worried about.
Just a few days before the Jones ban, journalist Matt Taibbi wrote a piece in Rolling Stone about the slippery slope of Facebook censorship. These corporations, he said, have their hands on what is “essentially a direct lever” over nationwide news distribution. “It’s hard to understate the potential mischief that lurks behind this union of Internet platforms and would-be government censors,” he wrote.
Make no mistake: The US government has the power to exert massive, indirect control over speech and political discourse through social networks — and anyone who argues that Alex Jones is some kind of special case, obviously has not been paying attention. Jones is simply an easy target — a good, high-profile test case, so to speak.
But the rush to stamp out or ridicule dissenting voices goes far beyond extremists like Jones. To understand how ingrained the distaste for any kind of dissent has become in American political discourse, consider the fact that, this week, actress Alyssa Milano suggested that people who voted for the Green Party in a special election in Ohio were actually part of a Russian meddling campaign.
There was no other legitimate reason to vote Green, she said. Remember, conspiracy theories are just fine if the targets are deemed acceptable by the establishment.
This neo-McCarthyism has been steadily creeping back into the mainstream for years, but gathered steam with the election of Donald Trump and the onset of Russiagate, which has gripped American political discourse now for the better part of two years. Once-skeptical “liberals” are suddenly in thrall to the benevolent “intelligence community” and are more than happy to brand as a traitor to America anyone who questions its power and innate goodness.
Slowly but surely this kind of toxic and Orwellian political climate numbs people. Suddenly, calling Green voters Russian agents becomes normal. Daring to question the conclusions of the CIA becomes anti-American. Calling for the wholesale banning of figures you don’t like from internet platforms inexplicably becomes a defense of Democracy and free speech — rather than an attack on it.
This is the beginning of the normalization of internet censorship.
It is no conspiracy theory to say there are plans afoot for further censorship of the platforms from where two-thirds of Americans get their news on a daily basis.
After news broke of the Jones ban, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy tweeted that InfoWars was “the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies” using sites like Facebook to “tear our nation apart” and called on tech companies to “do more” than take down one website. It was so important, he said, that Democracy’s very “survival” depended on it.
That tweet should be terrifying to the left, but somehow, it isn’t. Somehow, we’re at a place where normal, reasonable people arguing against censorship are the ones being branded as fascists and lunatics.
Responding to Murphy’s tweet, journalist Abby Martin issued a reminder that a 2017 report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said her show on RT had sowed “radical discontent” for covering issues like fracking, police brutality and social inequality. This gets to the crux of the issue. It’s not a case of ‘if’ the government might start branding perfectly reasonable dissent and debate as radical and dangerous — it has already happened.
Considering the DNI report said my show sowed “radical discontent” for covering issues like inequality, fracking & police brutality, I’m excited to see what these politicians & tech billionaires conclude is dangerous information tearing apart the fabric of our very stable society
Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.
But it wasn’t just Murphy waxing lyrical on Twitter about saving American democracy. There are reportedly actual plans being circulated in Congress for further censorship and regulation of the internet.
A leaked memo drafted by Democratic Senator Mark Warner lists a number of proposals for government intervention online, including forcing platforms to verify identities and locations of accounts, to do more to determine which accounts are “inauthentic” and to “label” bot accounts in some way. Perhaps most hilariously, it also suggests a government-funded initiative for teaching “media literacy” to children from an early age.
Those cheering Jones’ collective banning at the hands of all-powerful digital overlords should ask themselves a few questions.
Do you really want tech giants, working with governments, to be the ones deciding what constitutes “fake” news? Who gets to decide what a conspiracy theory is? Who gets to decide when something is“real” journalism or when it sows “radical discontent” and “division”and should be banned or labelled as dangerous and divisive hate speech?
To suggest that the “slippery slope” argument doesn’t hold water and that Alex Jones is a unique case is to be blind to reality.
After the Jones ban, journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote on Twitter that anyone “gullible, obsequious and subservient enough to trust Facebook” to determine what constitutes “hate speech” should travel to the West Bank and Gaza.
Last year, after Israel threatened Facebook, representatives from the social media giant met with the Israeli government to decide which Palestinian accounts it should shut down — and since then, as Greenwald reported in the Intercept, Facebook has gone on a “censorship rampage” against Palestinian activists.
Twitter has gotten in on the censorship action, too. The platform has recently been taken to task by Vice News for “shadowbanning” conservative lawmakers on Facebook — not deleting their accounts, but making them harder to find and their tweets less prominent in their followers’ timelines.
Some on the progressive left have opposed this creeping censorship, cognizant of the fact that it leads to nowhere healthy, but others have cheered along, perhaps under the naive and totally false assumption that only the right-wing will feel the sting.
Well, they shouldn’t feel so comfortable. Google has already been accused of censoring left-wing and socialist websites. Sites like Alternet, Democracy Now and Counterpunch all experienced huge drops in traffic since Google changed its algorithms to combat “fake news” online.
The most ironic part is that all of this is framed as some kind of noble effort to protect Democracy and truth – and, disturbingly, people are buying into the idea that the government (and the corporations they wield massive control over) are best placed to determine which websites are peddling propaganda, which pundits are manipulating us and what information counts as disinformation.
Regardless of anyone’s views on Alex Jones, we should all be concerned about the precedent his banning sets for online censorship. There’s already more than enough evidence to suggest that he wasn’t the first and won’t be the last casualty.