featured, The web they want
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“The web we want”? No, don’t think so…

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The Guardian has a new section titled “The Web We Want.” It opened April 11 and currently has 11 articles running on it. Its face is festooned with images of gently smiling people from different ages, sexes and ethnic groups, making us think this is going to be a discussion about pluralism, inclusiveness – freedom.

And in a sense we’d be right. This is intended to be a discussion about all those things. Or rather about how to persuade people to give up the last named in some ill-defined “defence” of the other two.

It doesn’t say who the “we” referred to might be. The assumption is it means all of us. The readers. Members of the human race. But of course it doesn’t. There’s been no poll, no referendum to ascertain public opinion. The “we” in this sense is purely a gesture, or a rhetorical flourish toward democracy. The discussion that follows is neither democratic nor diverse. There are no shades of opinion on offer. No debates between those with different views on what the Web should be.

Oh sure, the different writers, persuaded or coerced into offering their variously begrudging support to this new campaign might notionally come from different backgrounds or ideologies, but their articles are – so far – diverse only in tone. They are all almost identical in message. All hit the same few, eerily repetitive, talking points:

1. Freedom of speech is actually elitist

2. An unregulated internet will discriminate against women and minorities

3. Free speech should maybe not include “abuse”.

Every article so far, from the “Guardian View” to the shrieking clickbait invective of Paris Rees, focuses at least one, usually all of these bullet points.

So, who is this “we” that wants us to start contemplating a regulated internet in the name of vaguely worded generalities and truisms about inclusiveness? Since the Guardian is a transatlantic outlet for the US/British intelligence community, and through that many of the major policy think tanks in Washington and London, we know this whisper of softly modulated concern over “absolutist interpretations of free speech” is the authentic voice of the one-time liberal Establishment, now all but entirely co-opted on to the neo-liberal ideology of oh-so gentle, touchy-feely backdoor fascism, lamenting its failure to get its message across.

Like all fascists – even the smiley pink and green ones – these people dislike things they can’t control and sources of contrary opinion that might derail their dreams of lockstep “consensus.” The internet is the embodiment of both these thing and so, unsurprisingly, they hate it, and want to see it dead, or tamed at least. Curtailing the free web has been on the back burner for these people for many years. The new section in the Graun tells us it’s probably about to be moved to the front of the stove and have the heat turned right up.

With this in mind, we’re going to be opening a new section here titled “The web they want” where we can monitor this new Guardian venture.

Look out for it soon.


  1. Alan says

    The writers whose work appears in the Guardian have every right to dream of a system they want, good for them, I hope they enjoy it. Rather perplexed as to why they are telling me?

  2. Fuck off you daft cunts. Absolute cretins with Chinese paper skin. Get offline if you can’t handle the craic, it’s been like this since well before you boring old twats came on.

  3. Paolo says

    “the neo-liberal ideology of oh-so gentle, touchy-feely backdoor fascism, lamenting its failure to get its message across”.
    That was so well put it even made me laugh.

  4. tezla valve says

    Looking forward to “The Web They Want.” Sorry for being impatient, but I feel the need to comment on the following article, while I’ve got spare time.
    Also, sorry for all the words, it’s a long article.

    “Swallowing the Red Pill: a journey to the heart of modern misogyny.”

    “Judging The Red Pill by the most extreme statements of it’s members is, if not unfair, then at least inaccurate.”
    Don’t let that stop you, though, and don’t shy from insinuating that Red Pill somehow represents all critics of gender politics.

    “… elaborate conspiracy theories formed out of pure misogyny and outright hatred of female independence.”
    I think a lot of conspiracy theorists probably avoid sites that promote Pick Up Artist techniques. Attempting to seduce women, using NLP and other underhand methods is all a bit ‘MKultra.’

    “I saw mostly feral boys wandering the digital ruins of exploded masculinity, howling their misery..”
    A reference to the poem “Howl?” I think he’s entered the office ‘Pseud’s Corner’ competition, here.

    “… on Twitter, any woman who says anything even moderately controversial will receive torrents of direct physical threats as a matter of course.”
    I wouldn’t know about that, as I don’t use social media. I don’t recall reading any rape/death threats in the Guardian, or much I would term ‘vile’, but then their moderators are busy little beavers.

    “Sites such as 4chan exist mainly to post thousands of revenge porn images…”

    “Gamers on Xbox Live will be sexually harassed, inevitably.”
    In my experience, it’s largely very quiet, as gamers concentrate on the virtual killing etc. Whole lobbies can be muted, with the press of a button.

    “Anonymity is sacred…”
    Too true. I hope nobody is suggesting we mess with that.

    “The Red Pill is ultimately little more than an online version of locker-room talk. It’s funny, because Jessica, my editor at the Guardian, had the same idea.”
    I imagine her sitting in a swivel chair, stroking a white cat.

    “But very quickly – mid-30’s, really – a new locker-room talk emerges… you gotta fight those cultural assumptions about girls and STEM.”

    “…I knew a man once who was the exact opposite of The Red Pill… He proudly called himself a feminist, and he was called a feminist proudly by others… That man was Jian Ghomeshi, who was on 25 March acquitted in three cases of sexual assault…”
    All men are bastards. Even feminists.

    I’m not sure if I’ve understood his next point. He seems to be suggesting, that Bill Clinton’s ‘Lewinsky’ affair was an expression of everyday human imperfection, and should be compared with Gomeshi’s accusers not making a strong enough case against him. Perhaps he means feminists shouldn’t bring up rape accusations against Bill, or his association with Jeffrey Epstein, because it might effect Hitlery’s chances? God knows.

    He then defends Kesha. Again, the Guardian’s interest in the Kesha trail, is in stark contrast to it’s interest in other women in the music industry. Mylie Cyrus crawling around ‘sexily’ in a nappy merely prompted an entry in the light-hearted ‘Lost in Showbiz’ section. We’ve also seen Katie Perry doing a ‘street-walker in a sweet shop’ video, complete with cream cake tits. Dodgy, no? I’m not expecting an article on the Monarch Programming conspiracy, but you’d think they’d have a few reservations about Disneydyne’s ‘good girls gone bad.’ Is the sexualisation and objectification of young women not a feminist issue? Is this really sticking it to ‘The Man’/Patriarchy? What gave Hannah Montana the sexual tastes of a 50-year old hooker in such a short space of time? Abuse?

    He then complains about the sexism of various Establishment pop musicians -Kanye West, ‘The Rolling Stones’, ‘Led Zeppelin’, ‘Mudshark’ and ‘David Bowie.’ I know nothing of ‘Mudshark’ (product placement?), but the rest of that list, coincidentally, have all been accused of ‘sympathy for the devil.’ Criticism of Bowie, makes a change. I’m guessing he never quite got over his ‘fascist chic’ phase. A ‘dark star’ is the Black Sun as any Thule kno’.

    “Bowie was Ghomeshi’s idol…”
    Why? Because he also faced rape allegations? Highly unlikely.

    “Ghomeshi blurbed the Guy’s Guide to Feminism… Jian appeared on the back of the book alongside Gloria Steinem…”
    Aah… a CIA gig.

    He reckons boys should read Dostoevsky (I’ve been coming across him a lot recently) and Freud (the Guardian love him for some reason, possibly because he’s full of shit.)

    “…everyone is barbaric way down deep inside.”
    See OffGuardian thread on this.

    I suspect the most significant line of this article is:

    “The only constant is the hiding.”
    I’ve come across this a few times looking into ‘The War on Trolls.’ They want to destroy online anonymity. Lazy spooks, just plain lazy.

  5. elenits says

    Bravo. Excellent analysis. I especially appreciated this:
    “the authentic voice of ……. the neo-liberal ideology of oh-so gentle, touchy-feely backdoor fascism, ”

    From a Greek standpoint I offer the NGO signs (in English!) dotting Athens this week : “Welcome Migrants!!”
    And secondly Varoufakis DiEM25 movement aimed at saving our wonderful EU – hah! – under the rallying cry “Support Democracy and Transparency in the EU!”

    Both set up a false dichotomy – essentially traps – for a good hearted majority…. who of course want to alleviate suffering and naturally support Democracy & Transparency…that aims to close down nuance, debate, historical memory and investigation.

    Note that according to Varoufakis DiEM25 is the only way to fight “fascism”, cited as the [oligarch funded] PEGIDA and Golden Dawn, and dangerous “demagogues” like Orban, Marine Le Pen and UKIP.

    As Greeks say among themselves, we are now under total occupation with a puppet government run by Troika and our armed forces stood down and replaced by NATO. A “soft” occupation without tanks on the street and the appearance of everyday life as usual.

    • dahoit says

      Why Europeans aren’t mad as hell at the US for destroying the infrastructure of almost the entire ME and creating this refugee crisis which is screwing Europeans amazes me.
      Are you all Merkels?

  6. Forthestate says

    I’m fed up with the Guardian’s breathtaking arrogance; I’m fed up with these fools assuming that freedom of speech is within their gift to me, or that I must either be grateful for, or denied the right to comment on my own PM’s financial probity. All comment on the revelations from the Panama papers has been barred; it is the single most important issue facing the majority of the world’s population: the increasing concentration of wealth into the hands of a tiny elite, and the rise of corporate fascism to replace what was always a thoroughly under-developed democracy. The Guardian won’t allow us to comment. The Guardian, of course, benefits from this offshore, tax dodging business. The Guardian is as much the problem as the people attending Davos. All semblance of ‘liberalism’ has finally been dropped. It has now adopted the homogenous, fascist straight jacket of the PC that is the establishment’s lip service to morality, designed to make you think they really give a shit. Time for the more discerning readership to abandon them, I hope, and teach them that those commenting below the line, whom they now feel they need to rein in, were actually their last chance.

  7. Seamus Padraig says

    “With this in mind, we’re going to be opening a new section here titled ‘The web they want’ where we can monitor this new Guardian venture.”

    Brilliant! Keep up the good work, Off-Graun.

  8. Bruce says

    To OG-

    Good eyes, you guys. I’m new here, but I’ll have to start dropping in regularly.

    BTW, I was kicked off CIF long ago. Officially it was for using a bad word, but I suspect in fact it was due to my consistent criticism of Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the “criticism of Israel = antisemitism” meme raise its head in this brave new web “we” want.

    • dahoit says

      Me too,years ago.I questioned the you know what that the serial liars proclaim as gospel,and that was that.
      The big H.
      The Graun is now Zionist occupied territory,and full in for the hell bitch.

      • dahoit says

        Today they rehabbed Monica Lewinski.oy.And Jill Abramson,the NYT screw up has a column.oy again.

    • ” I wouldn’t be surprised to see the “criticism of Israel = antisemitism” meme raise its head in this brave new web “we” want.”

      Yep, good call old chap.

  9. This would be a worthy subject for the Bilderberg meeting this year, which will be held in Dresden 9-12 June. Since the Guardian is a mouthpiece, this could be a warm-up for what will be discussed, and a feeler to see how well this approach goes down with the public.

  10. Elaine Jacobs says

    As I have mentioned on the Graun’s Comment Is Free, I would like the option of personally blocking someone as I can on Facebook. People I block on FB use terms like “moron” or “leftard” and specialise in ad hominen attacks or rants that reveal that the writer has not even bothered to read the article in question. Similar ad hominen attacks and rants can also spoil CIF. Such people do not further any kind of debate, nor do they add to the gaiety of nations; so I would prefer not to have to see their remarks.

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole