A quick Google search of “social media fake news” brought up thousands of hits, and, as I expected, they seemed to be dated from 2016 to today. I recalled that the propaganda blitz started around the 2016 election, and my search confirmed that recollection.
Ironically, a Google search with those words will likely not be censored by Google, since the ruling Establishment is solidly behind the project to convince people that they should distrust and abandon social media, and return to the comforting fold of the legacy media, now self-proclaimed the “legitimate media”.
More aptly named the imperial media, it beams the message of the ruling elites vertically, top down, into each house or car. The citizens receive the message passively, and have no way to catch errors, or share their skepticism or opinions with others.
90% of the “legitimate media”, TV, radio, magazines, web news and newspapers are owned by 5 mega-corporations, so you know they must be trustworthy, right?
Starting in 2016, the alarm bells of “too much Wild West freedom” have been rung in almost every one of those 90% outlets, as well as by major politicians, including Congress, President Obama and would-be president, Hilary Clinton, (who spends a great deal of time bitterly making lists of those who she believes caused her failure).
In the spring of 2017, many alternative news websites began noticing that their reader numbers were falling precipitously. Google had agreed to set up protocols to steer people away from those websites, in the name of countering “fake news”. A list drawn up by a sketchy group called PropOrNot was relied upon, although many of the best news sites on the internet were included, some founded by ex-journalists, including prize winning journalists, who had been fired from the “legitimate media” for failing to follow the imperial script.
In the following spring, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg was hauled in front of Congress for two days of grilling and lecturing, while the Congress members extorted a promise from him that censorship on Facebook would be ramped up.
And that is what happened to me. I have been on Facebook since 2009. I only joined to keep tabs on my son, who never wrote and never called. As it turned out, he never posted either, but I quickly learned that Facebook was a great place to make friends all over the country and the world, and was very good for learning news and events that would never make it onto our self-proclaimed legit media.
It was also good for sharing skepticism of said media with other people, and countless times my friends would point out discrepancies, inconsistencies and laughable lapses of logic in the Official Stories of many events. And yes, the laughing was important. Hilarious memes were spread to highlight the utter ridiculousness of our leaders and their media stories and narratives. (This widespread ridicule might be why our rulers are so fixated on stopping memes from being shared).
So, after 9 years on Facebook, I suddenly was targeted by the censors. Starting last winter, I would be scrolling along on Facebook, as I had been for years, and suddenly, there would appear an announcement that I had violated “community standards”. My first jail sentence was for 24 hours, the next was for 3 days, and I am now doing a fifth 30-day stretch in the hole since last December.
What “community” was this, that was so offended by my posts and comments? Apparently, it is the “international community” our rulers tell us are so important.
I got two sentences for pointing out that the US had backed a coup in Ukraine in 2014 that has open Nazis involved, and posting a picture of some of them, posing with NATO and SS flags.
Yes, the US spent $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukrainian government, according to Victoria Nuland, who should know, since she was there, passing out cookies and picking the next dictator.
“Yats! Yats is the guy”.
Now Ukraine has open Nazis in the government, glorifying their Nazi ancestors, killing over 10,000 civilians in eastern Ukraine, and attacking gays, Russians, Roma and political opponents in the rest of Ukraine.
But we’re supposed to send those brutal Nazis more weapons?
On what planet is that a good idea?
“The community” was quite offended by that statement.
The first 30-day sentence was then extended another 30 days for a crime of posting I had somehow managed to commit even though I hadn’t been able to log in to Facebook at all those first 30 days.
This sentence was served with access to my Facebook page, i.e. I could see my page, but was unable to post, comment, “like” or message. The ensuing jail sentences have all been like this. I can see my page, but I cannot engage with anyone.
My next crime was posting about a couple in England who had been arrested, imprisoned and lost their baby for the crime of naming him Adolf and being Nazi sympathizers. They had committed no actual crimes. How is it possible that pointing out that there are NATO-backed Nazis in Ukraine is verboten, but also that calling for freedom of speech and ideas, even for Nazis, is also verboten?
Does the community support armed Nazis in the Ukrainian government, but oppose unarmed parents in the UK who name their baby Adolf? Where is the logic in that? (I need a meme for this).
My next two sentences were for comments, not posts. They were on different friends’ posts, 40 days apart, but both were for the crime of pointing out that it was easy to tell who listens to the imperial media, because they repeat the dominant narrative verbatim, as if it were their very own thoughts, carefully considered and crafted.
Because I can see my page, I have noted that many of my Facebook friends assume that my bans are because one of my friends has turned me in to the authorities. The advice of many people is to distrust my friends, preemptively block people for my safety and to only post to a limited audience.
I am inclined to dismiss this theory. The fact that we went through 2 ½ years of anti-social media propaganda, the fact that Facebook openly vowed to censor, the fact that thousands of censors were added and the Atlantic Council was hired to help, seems to be a more reliable guide to my constant bans than the belief that my friends suddenly turned treacherous after 9 years.
Recall that our overlords are skilled at disrupting movements. We know that part of the 1960s CointelPro program was a campaign to sow mistrust and paranoia between comrades, and the FBI would send letters accusing people of sabotage and infidelity, to rupture long standing friendships and alliances.
I see no reason to doubt that this strategy of sudden bannings, with no reason given, no complainer named, or recourse allowed, is deliberate. They want us to withdraw from social media, or at least, to limit the number of people with whom we interact.
The uncertainty about what constitutes community standards, the randomness of the targeting, the inability to appeal, all contribute to a climate of fear among Facebook users which make people hesitant to post on certain subjects and share certain stories, even if the sites on not on Facebook’s official banned list of sites. This, combined with the actual removal of thousands of people for 30 day sentences, shuts down free and open discourse.
The destruction of the horizontal communication between the people of the world made possible by the flowering of social media is to be resisted. We need to hold clear the principle that we have the right to share information, news and opinions without censorship or discrimination.
Social media platforms are privately owned, but they have a natural monopoly that cannot be replicated, and they are a common carrier of the kind that should be recognized as subject to laws forbidding discrimination or censoring. They are the new town square, and everyone needs to have equal access to the soap boxes.