- Date published:
2:07 pm, August 23rd, 2018 - 13 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, censorship, democracy under attack, facebook, International, internet, interweb, Left, news, Politics, Propaganda, spin, tech industry, telecommunications - Tags: censorship, democracy, fake news, freedom of speech, left
FireEye is headed up by a guy called Kevin Mendia (that’s him in the picture) whose former roles include being a computer security officer in the 7th Communications Group at the Pentagon, and a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) .
It seems Kevin and his cronies didn’t like people being supportive of the Iran nuclear deal, or of being sympathetic or supportive of Palestinians, or being critical of Israel or Saudi Arabia.
Now I don’t have a problem with Kevin not liking any given political perspective or understanding. But I do have a problem with facebook gifting the influence to determine what I can and cannot read on the internet.
Matt Taibbi has a very good piece published in Rolling Stone on that front, and it’s well worth the read. If you can’t be bothered reading and want to view an entertaining riff ‘n rant on the piece instead, then here’s Jimmy Dore who makes a couple of salient points.
Assuming you’re reading this before viewing, Jimmy points out that Google and Facebook and Youtube are monopolies. And one tactic a monopoly may use to prevent it from being broken up, is simply to play ball, where “playing ball” means working hand in glove with government and running a regime of censorship in line with government thinking.
I agree with Jimmy when he suggests that monopolistic platforms should be brought into the realm of public utilities and then regulated so that our access to them is protected. As he puts it (paraphrased) “AT&T don’t remove your phone line just because they don’t like the conversations you’re having”
Meanwhile, the list of sites being knocked by the likes of google and facebook is growing. And sure, some of them are smash. And some of them are run by loons. Some – the only ones that I can see there being a justification for shutting down – harbour invasive software. But a growing number of targeted sites represent a solid left analysis of the world and seem to be “up for grabs” simply because they aren’t in step with current western government policies and perspectives.
And the rationale used to kill a site (facebook, youtube etc), or cripple its accessibility (google algorithms) is based on such nebulous and subjective criteria as – does the site or page “glorify violence”, “sow division”, indulge in “hateful conduct”, or display “inauthentic behaviour”, or of a “low quality”.
So given all that, I think it would be a fine idea for concerned people of a leftist or progressive persuasion to constantly and lazily hammer on about “fake news”, because giving credibility to the notion that intelligent dialogue or discussion ought to be instantly shut down off the back of that charge being made is sure to end well.