Freedom of speech? Freedom of Expression? Forget about it! From the United States to China, from New Zealand to Nepal, Censorship is a megatrend.
For well over a year, social media giants and governments have been silencing voices that challenge establishment agendas.
For example, last September, the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS.org) accused Google of censoring left-wing, anti-war and socialist web sites, stating “Stop the censorship of the Internet! Stop the political blacklisting of the World Socialist Web Site!”
Earlier this year, the European Commission gave Google, Facebook and Twitter, three months to demonstrate that they were removing “extremist” content more rapidly, or face legislation forcing them to do so.
But the extent of the ongoing censorship megatrend of free speech and an assault on First Amendment rights barely made the headline news until media giants Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram unplugged the Alex Jones show and his INFOWARS media operation during the summer.
However, despite claims such censorship measures were targeting “extremists” and “conspiracy theorists,” as we have detailed, America, like many nations has been silencing voices that challenge establishment agendas. (See “Media Censorship Trend to Escalate,” Trends Journal, September 2018)
Helping to lead the censorship charge, Facebook, has undertaken a massive purge of watchdog, political, opinion-driven and alternative media accounts for “inauthentic behavior” content.
Just weeks before the November midterm elections in the United States, Facebook, without warning and with only scant, flimsy explanations, unplugged 800 accounts because, they alleged, these accounts were “working to mislead others about who they are, and what they are doing.”
But the vast majority of the pages were independent media platforms. Some advocated for legal marijuana, others promoted political candidates, still others were political or social commentary sites and others were watchdog sites, monitoring police violence or government overspending.
One characteristic of the Censorship 2019 trend is the immediacy in which platforms are unplugged and the lack of accountability for why these sites are wiped away, other than vague references to over generalized and highly objective policy rules.
Another characteristic of the trend is that the social media police state shows no particular political or content leanings in its ongoing purge. Lean left or right, if you express unconventional viewpoints or contradict, challenge or circumvent the establishment, the plug could be pulled.
In the United States, which promotes the free speech myth while stifling real free speech (as evidenced by the recent overt censorship trends by the tech giants), just five mega-corporations monopolize over 90 percent of the broadcast media. They control the message and champion their own messengers.
The monopolists that dominate the social media that the world uses and depends on, have made it clear – in both written statements and at government hearings – that they will decide what’s best for you. They determine what’s credible and what isn’t. They will tell you what content you can see, hear and share.
These tech giants have pledged their allegiance to governments to aggressively and relentlessly silence what they deem are the “bad actors” for violating their self-proclaimed, ever-changing policies.
What policies? Who makes these decisions? What about Freedom of Speech? Not in Amerika. The Federal Government has decided not to intervene and provide oversight of the censorship wave spreading across social media.
Federal Trade Commissioner (FTC) Noah Phillips has said he would not use the agency’s antitrust authority to address Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s censorship practices. TJ
Governments across the globe, regardless of what political doctrine they profess, in collusion with social media giants, will accelerate the Censorship 2019 trend.
While Google, Facebook and Twitter will dominate market share for the foreseeable future, market gaps will widen. They’re ready to be filled by nimble, trustworthy First Amendment-driven OnTrendpreneurs® having 2020 foresight to host sites to circumvent the government/media monopolies.
Beyond the issues of censorship, the Internet has and will serve as the launch pad for major populist revolutions against established political parties, multi-nationals and globalist interests. New web sites and hosting companies “of the people, by the people and for the people” will gain healthy market share.