When State & Capital conspire to censor

27 Aug

Two days ago I posted in full, with a short introduction, the Grayzone exposure of a BBC smear campaign aided by British Intelligence, and Trotskyist turned Left gatekeeper for imperialism, Paul Mason. The BBC’s target was Tim Hayward – Professor of Environmental Political Theory at the University of Edinburgh – and the attacks were evidently aimed at getting him dismissed while serving as a warning to other academics tempted to question the official line on matters – like Syria and Ukraine – of non negotiable importance to the elites who rule the West.

Professor Hayward, Justin Schlosberg at Birkbeck, and Greg Simons at Uppsala University in Sweden were painted as (at best) stooges for Putin, useful idiots for Russian state propaganda. That the BBC has itself sunk with ever greater transparency into the role of a state propaganda organ is a truth seemingly lost on the various individuals – self styled experts like “maven of persuasion” Emma Briant, “disinformation expert” Marianna Spring and even, at one short step removed, Joe Biden’s “Disinformation Czar” for three weeks, the now disgraced Nina Jancowicz – see her antics here – who share the aims of Paul Mason and his friends in high places to ruin these courageous academics.

Given the absence of hard information to underpin the smears and innuendo of the BBC piece, for which the State broadcaster had to issue two apologies, it’s worth taking a look at a more credible instance of State interference to suppress truths inconvenient to power. Here’s Caitlin Johnstone, yesterday, on the relatively minor matter of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the much larger one of how billionaires – some of us call them a ruling class, you know – conspired with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do just that.

When Billionaires And The Government Work Together To Control Information

Facebook restricted visibility of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the lead-up to the 2020 election after receiving counsel from the FBI, according to Facebook/Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“So we took a different path than Twitter,” Zuckerbersaid during a Thursday appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. “Basically the background here is the FBI, I think basically came to us — some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, um, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. There was the — we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of — that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”

Zuckerberg said a decision was made to restrict that information on Facebook’s multibillion-user platform. He said that unlike Twitter, which banned the sharing of the article entirely, Facebook opted for the somewhat subtler option of censorship by algorithm.

“The distribution on Facebook was decreased,” he said, adding when pressed by Rogan that the decreased visibility of the article happened to a “meaningful” extent.

As we’ve discussed previously, censorship by algorithm is becoming the preferred censorship method on large Silicon Valley platforms because it can be done to far more people with far less objection than outright de-platforming and bans.

In addition to being censored across social media platforms, the Hunter Biden laptop story was first ignored and dismissed by the mainstream news media, then spun as a Russian disinfo operation. Those media outlets eventually came around to admitting that the leaked emails were probably authentic, and Hunter Biden tacitly authenticated them himself when he acknowledged that the information “could” have come from his laptop. Nothing that came from that laptop was anywhere near as scandalous as the unified front presented by the news media and Silicon Valley in reducing the political impact of an October surprise before a presidential election.

And now we know that the reason the world’s largest social media platform censored that particular story was because they were cautioned by the FBI against allowing such information to circulate. How many of those other institutions suppressed that news story because they were told to by the FBI or other government agencies? How often are US government agencies involving themselves in the act of censorship? What other information is being suppressed in this or similar ways? What other information will be suppressed in the future?

Because of the veils of government and corporate secrecy which obscure our view of the behaviors of power, we don’t get to have answers to these questions. All we get to have is what oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg choose to tell us, in whatever way and to whatever extent they choose to tell us about them.

But even what we’ve been told is pretty ugly. A government agency and a social media platform of unprecedented influence teaming up together to silence impactful political speech is censorship by any sane definition. Mainstream liberals can come up with all kinds of arguments for why the continually expanding justifications for online censorship are fine and normal and not really censorship, but are they able to maintain those justifications when government agencies are actively involved? Is it really better when political speech is being censored by a collaboration of government operatives and billionaires than censored directly by the government alone?

https://twitter.com/AlanRMacLeod/status/1539364282520969218

Alan MacLeod has been putting out a number of reports with Mintpress News documenting the way many veterans from the FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies have been recruited to work for tech companies like Google/YouTube, Facebook/Meta, and Twitter. The intimacy with which these government and corporate entities are working together is growing closer and closer, and they’re making less and less effort to conceal it.

In a power structure without clear boundaries separating corporations from the government, corporate censorship is state censorship. The mightiest power structure on earth is growing more and more brazen and shameless about this reality.

You know you are living in an oligarchy when Mark Zuckerberg has more political influence over your country than any elected official. Democracy is an illusion. Those who live under the US empire are a propagandized and politically impotent population who only think they are free because they’ve been given the illusion of freedom, and less and less effort is being made to sustain that illusion.

We are ruled by unelected sociopaths who have no wisdom, no compassion, and no intention of ever relinquishing their rule. This will continue unless and until enough of us wake up to what’s going on to stop them.

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2 Replies to “When State & Capital conspire to censor

  1. I don’t know if you have seen this interview with Whitney Webb on The Convo Couch. Although she has a book to push the conversation did cover many other things, including those links between capital and the security state; quite often to carry out or cover up illegal activity by state, business and organised crime. One interesting aspect was the idea that the kleptocrats* of whatever country have no allegiances except to capital and their own power together with what this might mean in a multipolar world.

    I know you have referred to the idea of a multipolar world being better than what we have now with US global hegemony many times and I tend to agree that it might proved some balance similar to what occurred during the cold war but it could also be that we could end up with, effectively, several crime families duking it out whilst suppressing their own populations. Hope that makes some sort of sense and would be please to hear your thoughts. My eyes were opened to the state we are late in life so I am still learning. In this regard I have found your blog extremely helpful. Here is the link to the video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I_uWRfySXA&t=655s

    *By kleptocrats I include most large businesses because in order to get where they are they probably had to have been involved in some less than moral activities.

    • Thanks for the link to Whitney Webb, Gerald – long but well worth watching.

      … a multipolar world … might provide some balance … but … we could end up with, effectively, several crime families duking it out whilst suppressing their own populations

      There are no guarantees that China will not become an imperialist nation, though right now the greater danger by far is posed by the US Empire’s readiness to take insane risks to preserve its global dominance. in the meantime I welcome the rise of Eurasia for reasons I’ve set out frequently on this site.

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