The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The First Rule of Censorship Club

Posted on | July 18, 2021 | No Comments

“The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.”

Something very similar is at work in the operations of Big Tech, acting as a political arms of the Biden administration. Using the pretext of suppressing “misinformation,” Facebook and other platforms are identifying and silencing the administration’s opponents and, even though this is happening in full view of anyone paying attention, you’re not going to know anything about it if you get your news from CNN, MSNBC or one of the broadcast network troika of NBC/ABC/CBS.

In fact, the liberal media are engaged in “fact-checking” that labels reporting about this censorship as (you guessed it) “misinformation.”

Politico reported last week that the Democratic National Committee is going to “work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages.”

Repeat: “text messages.”

The DNC is going to censor your text messages?

A lot of people (among them our friends at Gateway Pundit) were startled by this news, but then the Thought Police “fact-checkers” at USA Today went to work to label this as “misinformation,” explaining that what they were actually talking about was mass-delivery text messages sent via software platforms (known as SMS APIs), the kind of messages you get from political campaigns when you sign up to get text alerts. So the White House is not monitoring your private text messages, but instead is trying to silence groups like Turning Point USA, which sends its members alerts like, “Biden is sending goons DOOR-TO-DOOR to make you take a Covid-19 vaccine. Sign the petition to: No medical raids in America.”

Let us stipulate that a certain amount of hyperbole is to be expected in the messages that political organizations deliver to their followers. How is what TPUSA does any different than what the DNC itself sends to its supporters? If you’re signed up for such text-message alerts from any political outfit, you have volunteered to receive this stuff, and why is it that the effort to suppress “misinformation” is only directed toward opponents of the Biden administration, not its supporters?

It’s the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 all over again.

No, wait — that’s hyperbole, and perhaps even “misinformation,” but my point is that the Biden administration’s behavior is comparable to what the Adams administration was attempting to do, to suppress the publication of material deemed “dangerous” to the public interest:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the White House is not only working with Facebook to flag disinformation on vaccines — it’s also asking Facebook to share data on the reach and engagement of posts deemed disinformation.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” the White House press secretary said.
Facebook, which did not respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, was one of several social media platforms that attempted to suppress discussion of the theory that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab. Evidence has since been uncovered suggesting the theory holds merit.
Senior Biden administration staff and members of the COVID-19 team are targeting misinformation, specifically on coronavirus vaccines and the pandemic, by keeping “in regular touch” with social media platforms, Psaki said Thursday.
The Biden administration has also proposed four key requests to social media platforms, Psaki said: the first, that social media platforms “measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform.”
“Facebook should provide, publicly and transparently, data on the reach of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, not just engagement, but the reach of the misinformation and the audience that it’s reaching,” Psaki said. “That will help us ensure we’re getting accurate information to people. This should be provided not just to researchers but to the public so that the public knows and understands what is accurate and inaccurate”
The Biden administration also wants platforms like Facebook to “create a robust enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules,” to take “faster action against harmful posts,” and to promote “quality information sources in their feed algorithm.”
“There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” Psaki said. “All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including Facebook, ones that Facebook owns.”

This raises so many questions, it’s hard to know where to begin, but try this: Why is it that “smart” people, like Jen Psaki, believe that they are capable of discerning the difference between facts and “misinformation,” yet they believe the rest of the country is full of people too stupid to tell the difference? Like, “We need to censor Facebook or otherwise your grandmother is going to die from drinking bleach.”

What is at the heart of the White House crusade to suppress “misinformation” about COVID-19 is not an issue of fact, as to the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but rather an issue of power — the Biden administration seeks the authority to control what people are allowed to publish on social media platforms, not just about COVID-19 vaccines, but about anything it might deem to be dangerous in some way. The issue is not about the specific content of any particular message on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., but instead whether these companies are going to be taking orders from the White House. Saagar Enjeti nailed it:

Exactly — censorship of social media has escalated drastically since 2016 because, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, Democrats decided that “misinformation” was to blame. Even while all the major media were lined up to support Hillary, your grandma’s Facebook feed was full of content that wasn’t aligned with the pro-Hillary message strategy, and therefore DONALD TRUMP IS HITLER! ZOMG! #RESISTANCE!

The Democratic reaction to their 2016 defeat has shaped everything that they’ve done ever since, and this reaction is apparent everywhere. One of the guys who gets this is Matt Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone reporter who I used to loath for his left-wing views — he was very much an advocate of the “Occupy” movement and “Anonymous” cyberterrorism, back during the Obama era. Much like Glenn Greenwald, however, Taibbi has become disillusioned with Democrats in the past few years, and is now concerned about the anti-“misinformation” censorship crusade.

Taibbi has a fascinating account about video producer Matt Orfalea’s recent experience with YouTube censorship. Orfalea says this:

You have all these people who’ve been complaining about fascism since Trump, and then this [the White House encouraging social-media censorship] is actual, by-definition, fascism. According to the classic definition, it includes the merging of corporate and state power.
Look, I’ve done a lot of videos that are very critical of Biden. So the thought does go through my head, “Is this why my channel was targeted?” Now that Jen Psaki admitted that the government does have this direct relationship with the social media companies, picking targets, telling them who needs to be [flagged], it’s hard not to think about it.

Are any left-wing or pro-Biden accounts being censored? Don’t be silly. This censorship goes in only one direction, and we know how it works.

What we must focus on is not the nature of the messages being censored, but rather the abuse of power involved. There are a million and one things on the Internet that, were it up to me, might be banished, but this is not a Third World banana republic, and I’m not the leader of a military junta with the autocratic power to make my enemies quake with terror. Oh, what the imaginary McCain Junta Regime might do, if ever I had such power to punish those on my personal Enemies List! But as it is, in the real world, I’m just a law-abiding citizen of a constitutional republic, and so I must tolerate the fact that people are free to publish all kinds of dangerous nonsense on the Internet. Actual murderers post videos brandishing pistols and boasting about their crimes — almost 30 million views for “Who I Smoke,” mocking the victims killed by ATK in Jacksonville — but that’s fine with YouTube, I guess.

The collusion between the Biden administration and Big Tech is more fascist than anything Donald “Orange Hitler” Trump ever did. And if you think this is just about COVID-19, you’re part of the problem. It’s time to wake up and smell the Orwellian dystopia, people.




 

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