"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.

Filed under: featured, The web they want
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Alan
Reader
Alan

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?

Deckard (@GeneralissimoUK)
Reader

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.

Michael Davidson
Reader
Michael Davidson


Who the f do they mean by ‘ we ‘ ?

Paolo
Reader
Paolo

“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.

tezla valve
Reader
tezla valve

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… Read more »

elenits
Reader
elenits

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… Read more »

dahoit
Reader
dahoit

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?

Eurasia News Online
Reader

Reblogged this on Eurasia News Online.

Forthestate
Reader
Forthestate

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… Read more »

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

“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.

Bruce
Reader
Bruce

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.

Frank
Reader

” 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.

dahoit
Reader
dahoit

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
Reader
dahoit

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

Terje M
Reader

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.

joekano76
Reader

Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth and commented:
Your comments are currently being pre-moderated (why?)

joekano76
Reader

That’s what it says on my Comment is Free Guardian!

Eric_B
Reader
Eric_B

Mine too after pointing out most comments removed by The Guardian did not break the official rules.

Theodorakis
Reader
Theodorakis

I tried to find in the Guardian something about the 400 people arrested for protesting in front of the US Capitol in D.C. on April 11. I do not want to be unfair, please tell me if they have. The Huffpost has slithered around the news (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democracy-spring-arrests_us_570d08cae4b01422324a1ebd?), eschewing what could easily be the picture of the year: https://twitter.com/aletweetsnews/status/719624830933270528

Elaine Jacobs
Reader
Elaine Jacobs

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.

Meriem Kheira Peillet
Reader

Good! I am waiting for it.