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Censorship

Written By: - 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: , , , ,

Over 600 facebook pages have been removed at the behest of some self appointed gatekeepers going by the name of FireEye.

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.

13 comments on “Censorship”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Christ on a bike… we brought this on ourselves. Great article Bill.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      How interesting. Never seen him playing it straight before. Some of the folks here who complained about the Canadians & Brash ought to watch his authoritative advocacy. An impressive speech, thanks for posting it.

    • Pat 1.2

      He only improves with time…good find

  2. One Two 2

    Such eventualities were predicted long ago…

    FireEye is simply a product which has expanded its capabilities, and functions as a constituent part of layered and integrated systems…

    Those who call for the censoring of what they do not like (see Southern, A Jones et al) are the manufactured consent for the censorship propagation…

    So for those who bray for censorship…you are as responsible as those who keep the rotten carcass alive, by voting for it…

    As a side note: Alex Jones was one who predicted censorship outcomes…and other ‘security’ measures currently in deployment (see California subway body scanners)…

    • RedLogix 2.1

      One of my long time favourite authors is a relatively low-key sci-fi author Vernor Vinge.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernor_Vinge

      Way back in the early 80’s this guy published a novella True Names that was likely the first book to use the term cyberspace, and predicted with uncanny accuracy many of the issues we live with now:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Names

      There is even a sub-plot about a revolution in Venezuela for good measure. 🙂

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Oh c..p. Four letter word. Better make sure I put the p on the end of it in case some sharpie finds an excuse to take umbrage (that’s a word to be found in the dictionary).

      That bloke looking directly at the camera with jaw out and back ram rod straight will straighten us all out. Because he has no concept of nuanced arguments, or irony, or sarcasm, or when any more is too much, very like you One Two.

      And everyone takes time out from wondering how we can prevent disaster befalling all the people who don’t have any power to argue about anything, and we get the standards of discussion and free speech all worked out and set in place to be reviewed by the year 2100, by which most of us could be dead and it will be a moot point. And the people that knew what ‘a moot point’ meant will be dead too. Ug to you.

  3. bruce 3

    I have been geo blocked on facebook from seeing shared posts on Andrew MacGregor Marshall’s page about royalty at the behest of an unelected military dictator.. I hope its for my own good.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Bill: “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.”

    Not sure why, but for some reason that triggered my sarcasm detector. Bill’s report on the latest trend in internet censorship points to website owners action like newspaper tycoons: “Occupy London just became the latest pro-Palestine page to disappear from Facebook”. Zuckerberg happening to be jewish just a random coincidence??

    Obviously not. As Greenwald documented, the platform is conforming to the US/Israeli agenda, instead of providing fair representation for the Palestinians onsite. False identification of news or opinions making the news as `fake’ could indeed become a rationale for deleting such, and the practice could easily degenerate into an agenda of active discrimination against people or groups opposed to the owners and whichever corporates or governments the owners are friends with. Bill’s right. This trend reminds us that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  5. McFlock 5

    Every act has positives and negatives.

    To me, the core question is whether it is a net-negative or net-positive act.

    I suspect that overall it’s still a positive.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Taibbi: “Now the line is gone. Depending on the platform, one can be banned for “glorifying violence,” “sowing division,” “hateful conduct” or even “low quality,” with those terms defined by nameless, unaccountable executives, working with God Knows Whom.”

    Okay, I’ve seen the positive side. Using the “low quality” criterion it will become possible for governments to ban Facebook & Twitter in their countries. Using the “hateful conduct” criterion, it will become possible for governments to ban people protesting against free-speech advocates. Using the “sowing division” criterion, it will become possible for governments to ban politicians. Cool eh? An entire Brave New World in the pipeline…

  7. greywarshark 7

    Who was Marty McFly’s boss in Back to the Future. This guy’s image looks like a BP just like in the film.

    • corodale 7.1

      Yeah, and Mr Burns from the Simpsons is just a total giveaway, as that Lord, Pres of that Joo Council. He put up that sun blocking devise… it cost taxes. Moooooo.

  8. corodale 8

    How will it follow for trailing these guys, back to the rat warren?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-23/swiss-bank-begins-probe-after-former-employee-laundered-12-billion-venezuela

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/egypt-diplomat-detained-call-referendum-sisi-180824060720752.html

    Egypt offering to lead the way with Maus, wooo0ooo.

    A good satellite does what it is told,
    https://www.rt.com/usa/436713-s400-turkey-allies-warning/

    Iran in Syria to stay. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/24/572063/Russia-Syria-Iran-presence-US-discussion

    Europe call for SwifT to be replaced. {The China investmnt Bank could set-up to wipe-off on the back of the BRICS pre-tested transfer system, or any serious block-web platform.} https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/08/21/571860/Heiko-Maas-Germany-JCPOA-Handelsblatt

    Oh, I didn’t post any link about the debt right-off.

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