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Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment

Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment

In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it.

CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey (R) and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (L) are sworn in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 5, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”

The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”

House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Facebook & Zuckerberg’s New World Order – Tyranny

When will these people stop with the censorship that is designed to push an agenda and why is it so important? In a free society, you debate the issues. We have turned into a tyrannical society where we are to be denied the right to think for ourselves or consider that whatever they are pushing is not compatible with our personal desires. There is just something wrong with what is going on. If someone says these are cloned aliens, they have a right to say that and the majority of people will listen and laugh. Sure, there are always a few who will believe such things. But this is what humanity is all about. We even have two primary political parties because people will have different views. This censorship is trying to impose ONE PARTY RULE and that is tyranny.

 

Facebook Goes Nuclear On Australia – Blocks All News Sharing Across Continent

Facebook Goes Nuclear On Australia – Blocks All News Sharing Across Continent

After Australia’s government this week announced its intent to issue legislative changes known as the “News Media Bargaining Code” by the end of this month, Facebook in retaliation has said it will begin restricting news sharing on its platform in Australia.

It comes a day after the current session of parliament vowed to implement the law by the session’s close, which ends on Feb. 25. The code seeks to force major US-based internet companies to fairly pay local Australian publishers for use of their content. Last month Google threatened to remove its search engine from Australia altogether over the legislation, with Facebook backing Google’s pressure campaign.

“The panel would usually accept either the platform’s or the publisher’s best offer, and only rarely set a price in between,” the report describes.

Facebook issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

In response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content. 

The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.

Essentially Aussies will now be barred from posting, sharing or event viewing news content on Facebook whatsoever in a move which Google may soon replicate.

Facebook HQ in Sydney, via Facebook

The US Ministry of Woke Propaganda Wants to Cancel You, Me, Fox, and Anyone Else Who Disagrees

The US Ministry of Woke Propaganda Wants to Cancel You, Me, Fox, and Anyone Else Who Disagrees

There’s a saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

But I think that there are people who learned from history and want to repeat it.

Don’t get me wrong. If you walked up and asked someone like the little short guy from Facebook who sat on some books at his congressional hearing so he could see over the table or that dude with the dirty looking beard from Twitter or all those so-called journalists frothing at the mouth on CNN whether they wanted to turn our nation into a carbon copy of Hitler’s Germany, they’d be positively aghast at the very notion.

Yet every day on social media, people like me try to share innocuous things, like an article about taco seasoning, I kid you not, and we’re told we aren’t following “community standards.”

For the record, I had waited 15 minutes between posting that article on my personal timeline and was then trying to share it on my frugal living Facebook page. If I’m in trouble for taco seasoning, it probably won’t be long until they kick me off entirely, so if you found this post on social media and want to make sure you see all of our articles, please go here and subscribe  – you’ll get a free, full-length copy of The Prepper’s Workbook when you do. You can also find me on GabMeWe, and Twitter (for the moment).

If you think this is only happening to conservatives, you’re wrong. I’m an anti-politician, anti-war, lower-case L libertarian who believes that gay married couples should be able protect their legally grown weed with guns.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Cassandra is Dead. Long Live Cassandra!

Cassandra is Dead. Long Live Cassandra!

After the fall of Troy, Cassandra was taken as Agamemnon’s “pallake” (concubine) and taken to Mycenae where she was killed by Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife. The destiny of prophetesses is never so bright, especially when they turn out to have been right. Something similar, although fortunately much less tragic, is happening to the Cassandra blog, censored on Facebook by the powers that be. So, I guess it is time to call it quits. But Cassandra is not dead! She will return in some form.

On March 2, 2011, I started the blog that I titled “Cassandra’s Legacy.” 10 years later, the blog had accumulated 974 posts, 332 followers, and more than 5 million visualizations (5289.929). Recently, the blog had stabilized at around 2,000-3,000 views per day.

A small blog, by all means, but I always had the sensation that it was not without an impact on the nebulous constellation of the people, high up, whom we call “the powers that be.” It is a story that reminds me the legend that George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq in 2003 after he had learned about peak oil. Reasonably, it can’t be but a legend, but are we sure? After all, the people who take decision are not smarter than us, just way richer. And they can misunderstand things just like we all do. Of course, their blunders make much more noise.  

And so, it may well be that many things that we are seeing around us have a logic. For sure, a certain kind of message cannot be eliminated simply by ignoring it anymore. It has to be actively suppressed. And that seems to be what’s happening, with censorship rampant in the social media…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Censorship: How the West is becoming more and more like the old Soviet Union

Censorship: How the West is becoming more and more like the old Soviet Union

A message I received from Facebook on Jan 29, 2021. Five of my posts were deemed “spam” and erased. Some were somewhat “political” although non-partisan, but two were purely technical. That these posts were erased is an indication that censorship is by now applied to all forms of dissent, not just political ones. It was not unexpected, but it was still somewhat shocking after decades of propaganda that had convinced most of us that the Western world was a place where you could enjoy “freedom of expression.” But we are quickly moving toward a Soviet-style management of public information, as Dmitry Orlov noted already in 2013. It had to happen and it did.

Last year, a Spanish climatologist, a friend of mine, had one of his posts censored by Facebook. Apparently, it was because it was deemed as too “catastrophistic” (or for whatever reason had caused the opaque fact-checkers of Facebook to erase it). He protested and he also tried to convince other climatologists to start a boycott of Facebook.

The answer was a little disappointing, to say the least. It may be best described as a resounding worldwide “meh.” Those climatologists who bothered to reply to him expressed the concept that, yes, censorship is bad, but, you know, you can’t allow deniers to diffuse their fake science around.

It was on this occasion that I discovered that most people like censorship. It is just that it should be applied to those they disagree with. In that case, they actually love it and protest because Facebook doesn’t censor enough (you can read that, for instance, here).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The clickbait future of news and our crisis of consensus

The clickbait future of news and our crisis of consensus

It’s often hard to distinguish between what has come to be known as “clickbait”—which according to Dictionary.com is “a sensationalized headline or piece of text on the internet designed to entice people to follow a link to an article on another web page”—and simply a clever headline.

What irks me about true clickbait headlines is that the story often contradicts or fails to mention the claim made in the headline. Of course, if the entire story is merely fabricated or exaggerated in ways that obscure what is actually going on, that is a problem, too.

News organizations are no strangers to sensationalized headlines. In fact, the newspaper business invented an entire category for what is called clickbait, namely, tabloids. The often repeated adage that “if it bleeds, it leads” is reaffirmed on a daily basis.

(Tabloids are, of course, named after the tabloid format that many sensationalizing newspapers adopt. The most recognizable newspaper format is called broadsheet which is used by major daily papers around the world. For a very short explanation of newspaper sizes, you can click here.)

Now, adult readers should generally be left to sort things out for themselves. They can learn to trust and mistrust news sources from experience and weigh the headlines and information provided accordingly. I know many people are very concerned about the kind of fantasies offered on the Internet that lead otherwise sane people to disconnect from any shared reality and even resort to violence. That is certainly a problem, and it requires an entire book to explain and respond to. I don’t plan to deal with it here.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Market Weekly: Game Stop Revolution or the Matrix Reloaded?

Market Weekly: Game Stop Revolution or the Matrix Reloaded?

I have to say as revolutions go, this one is hilarious.

Game Stop opened this morning above $330 per share, a sentence I never thought in a million years I’d ever write.

This open nearly ensures that all the attempts yesterday to push the price back down to bail out the hedge funds desperately short have failed spectacularly.

There’s options expiration today which will fundamentally change the way we look at markets if Game Stop closes in this range.

Because it shows that when people act in the aggregate they can overwhelm the attempts by a few central planners to control you.

Your best proof that this is at least a part of what’s going on is the way Wall St. and the regulators in D.C. are reacting. Because they are screaming that this is outrageous, that we need stronger enforcement tools to ‘ensure the integrity of our markets.’

That’s just code for ‘only we’re allowed to game the markets not the little people.’

And with options expiring on Game Stop nearly every week in February and March this game isn’t over by any stretch of the imagination.

Populist is a Four-Letter Work

In fact, It’s the beginning of a new form of populist revolt.

We’ve seen what they think of populist revolts. They have utter disdain for them. They squash them and hope to ignore the consequences.

Vote for Trump? Can’t have that happen again.

Speak out against any facet of the Great Reset? Get censored.

Try to build a new platform not controlled by them? Get deplatformed.

Show up at the Capitol to peacefully assemble? Get caught up in a false flag to justify arresting you and shaming you into submission.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

GameStop: Why the elites hate peer-to-peer power

GameStop: Why the elites hate peer-to-peer power

During Great Britain’s golden age of gambling, a Scot named William Cunninghame Graham—losing at cards, out of money, but not yet ready to quit for the evening—secured a loan of 1,000 pounds from a Colonel Archibald Campbell. Graham pledged as security the use of his estate to Campbell for the rest of Campbell’s lifetime should Graham be unable to repay the loan. Graham lost all the money. And thus, for a 1,000-pound loan did Graham gamble away his entire estate in one evening.

Today, a group of Wall Street hedge funds are acting like Graham on steroids in the face of a growing group of small investors who have awakened to the power of peer-to-peer communications made possible by social media. (More on peer-to-peer communications below.) In this particular case these small investors seem to be winning hand after hand by pledging much of their savings—in some cases their total life savings—to another risky but decidedly much more political proposition: Beating Wall Street hedge funds at their own game by forcing losses on them for bets the hedge funds have made against a down-on-its-luck retail chain called GameStop and other companies. The focus, however, has been on GameStop which specializes in video games and equipment which increasingly can be purchased online. Another blow to GameStop has been the ongoing pandemic which has kept people out of its retail stores.

The small investors, emboldened by an online Reddit group called WallStreetBets, have so far inflicted nearly $20 billion in losses on their arch short-selling foes as the stock price of GameStop has rocketed from about $17 a share on January 4 to $325 a share on Friday. The stock sold for under $4 a share as recently as July 31. On January 25 the stock closed at $76.79 a share. Two days later it closed at $347.51.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Be Your Own Revolution

Be Your Own Revolution

I made the mistake of involving myself in a sectarian Twitter spat when I was halfway through my morning coffee today and I instantly felt like an idiot.

People from the Left Twitter faction I’d offended rushed in to push back against the offense I’d caused them, and within minutes I felt it: the all-too familiar sensation of inspiration and creativity draining away from my body. Tension, coldness and defensiveness where previously there was playfulness and the crackling sensation of an exciting new day in which anything was possible.

If you’re active online, you’ve probably experienced this too. The days when you’re involved in sectarian bickering are the days when you are at your least creative, your least inspired, and your least effective at fighting against the machine. At best the drama gives your ego a tickle (as social media platforms are designed to do), after which you feel a bit yuck. The longer you engage in it, the lower the probability that you will produce something creative and inspired that day.

As a general rule, you may find that it works best to reject cliques and factions altogether. When you “belong” to any group you feel compelled to defend it, and to move with it wherever it goes even if that’s not where you feel like the energy is. You get invested in wanting the collective to move in a certain direction, and you get frustrated when it just wants to focus on silly nonsense and sectarian feuds.

So my advice to you here, which you of course can take or leave, is to just blast off on your own and fight your own revolution in your own way.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Five ways to loosen Big Tech’s grip on your life

I imagine there are countless people right now who feel a wide range of emotions when it comes to Big Tech companies. Anger. Disgust. Confusion. Fear.

We’ve watched with exasperation as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. have systematically squashed intellectual dissent; their actions have been so commonplace that there’s even a name for it: “De-platforming”.

We all know there’s a ton of garbage on the Internet, including from mainstream sources.

But de-platforming has proven to be wholeheartedly biased, totally arbitrary, and often comically ridiculous.

This isn’t just about the election or the Capitol. For example, if you dare utter a word on social media that goes against the infinite and infallible wisdom of the Chinese-controlled World Health Organization, then you might find yourself banned.

YouTube even suspended a renowned epidemiologist– a bona fide pandemic expert– because he opposed lockdowns and was hence ‘dangerous’.

Facebook censored more than 22 million posts in Q2 of 2020 for ‘hate speech’. Naturally, its entirely up to Facebook to define hate speech and judge whether or not you’re using it.

#killallmen, for example, is NOT considered hate speech. And even by the company’s own admission, hate speech against men, or white people, is a low priority.

It’s clear these companies have an enormous amount of unchecked power. They have the ability to erase you from the Internet, destroy your reputation, and, if you’re someone who makes money online, terminate your livelihood.

But the only reason they have this power is because we’ve given it to them. Hundreds of millions of people have intertwined their entire lives into the Big Tech ecosystem, to the point that they know absolutely everything about us.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

You Counter Trumpism By Ending The Conditions Which Created It, Not With Authoritarian Policies

You Counter Trumpism By Ending The Conditions Which Created It, Not With Authoritarian Policies

The US political/media class have been pushing hard for more authoritarian policies to stave off the threat of “domestic terrorism” in the wake of the Capitol riot. President Biden, who was already working on rolling out new domestic terror policies well before January sixth, confirmed after the riot that he is making these new measures a priority. Political internet censorship is becoming increasingly normalized, anti-protest bills are being passed, and now we’re seeing liberals encouraged to form “digital armies” to spy on Trump supporters to report them to the authorities.

And an amazingly large percentage of the US population seems to have no problem with any of this, even in sectors of the political spectrum that should really know better by now.

“What else can we do?” they reason. “What other solution could there possibly be to the threat of dangerous fascists and conspiracy theorists continuing to gain power and influence?”

Well there’s a whole lot that can be done, and none of it includes consenting to sweeping new Patriot Act-like authoritarian measures or encouraging monopolistic Silicon Valley plutocrats to censor worldwide political speech. There’s just a whole lot of mass-scale narrative manipulation going on to keep it from being obvious to everyone.

The way to stem the tide of Trumpism (or fascism, or white supremacism, or Trump cultism, or whatever term you use for what you’re worried about here) is to eliminate the conditions which created it.

Trump was only able to launch his successful faux-populist campaign in the first place by exploiting the widespread pre-existing opinion that there was a swamp that needed draining, a corrupt political system whose leadership does not promote the interests of the people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Masks Are Coming Off

Orwell

I had intended to start the New Year with a heart-warming piece entitled, “2021: The Year of Censorship of Dissent”. It would have been a somewhat prophetical piece, shocking some readers with predictions of a coming crackdown on dissent, and causing others to hoot with laughter because they haven’t quite caught up with the times we are in. You know, the types who say things like “Oh perrrlease! Social Media companies are private companies and they have the right to decide who they allow on their platform” and “Stop making out it’s the gulag” etc.

Unfortunately, my plans were scuppered by the fact that media and social media companies — let’s call them Global Pravda — have come out of the blocks even earlier than even I anticipated, and have been censoring left right and centre. As a result, my intended “prophetical” utterance seems like yesterday’s news.

We’ve had the censoring of Talk Radio on YouTube. Although this was then restored after intervention at the highest level, I understand some of the wonderful conversations between Mike Graham and Peter Hitchens are still banned. YouTube have also banned videos from extremely qualified scientists around the world, including two lengthy interviews given in English by one of the most qualified microbiologists on planet earth, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi.

We’ve then seen the President of the United States being banned from Facebook, Instagram and more recently Twitter. I am no fan of Donald Trump, but it is clear that he has never used these platforms to “incite violence” – the excuse given for his ban –, and it is obvious that there something else going on there. And we’ve also seen numerous conservatives and scientists who oppose or question the mass quarantining of healthy people literally losing hundreds of Twitter followers in the last few days…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Angela Merkel attacks Twitter over Trump ban

Angela Merkel attacks Twitter over Trump ban

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny echoes criticisms levelled by German chancellor’s spokesman

Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has sharply criticised Twitter’s decision to ban US president Donald Trump, calling it a “problematic” breach of the “fundamental right to free speech”.

Twitter suspended Mr Trump’s account last week in the aftermath of the riots at the Capitol Building, citing “repeated and severe” violations of its civic integrity policies. Facebook has taken similar action.

But Ms Merkel said through her spokesman that the US government should follow Germany’s lead in adopting laws that restrict online incitement, rather than leaving it up to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to make up their own rules.

The intervention highlights a key area of disagreement between the US and Europe on how to regulate social media platforms. The EU wants to give regulators more powers to force internet platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to remove illegal content.

In the US, technology companies have traditionally been left to themselves to police their own sites, though momentum is gathering behind political moves to curtail their regulatory freedoms. Several members of Congress are working on bills which would limit the legal protections social media companies have from being sued for third-party content posted on their sites. Others are pushing for a new federal data privacy bill that could mirror the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Twitter’s share price fell more than 7 per cent on Monday to about $48, as investors were spooked by the renewed debate into the prospect of tighter social media regulation.

Ms Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said free speech was a “fundamental right of vital importance” that could be restricted, “but only in accordance with the laws and within a framework defined by the legislator — not by the decision of the management of social media platforms”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Facebook Bans Ron Paul

After criticizing Facebook for censorship, they banned Ron Paul, who must in Zuckerberg’s mind be a Domestic Terrorist because he does not support his anti-Constitution movement. Facebook and Twitter and Google are running the risk that 50% of the population will seek alternatives and refuse to invest in any fund that invests in any of these three. I am getting a lot of emails with people calling in a boycott of all three. They are now in control of the Democrats and will support the suppression of all resistance. There is now no hope of ever getting a real investigation in their corruption.

Olduvai IV: Courage
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