It’s never a very enjoyable experience, facing the fact that you’ve been bamboozled. Realizing that you’ve fallen prey to an elaborate con, or PYSOP, is painful. It’s embarrassing. People feel ashamed. No one likes to see themselves as a sucker. It’s humiliating. It makes people angry. It makes them want to lash out at someone.
The funny thing is, it usually isn’t the person who conned them that they want to lash out at. Doing that would only make them feel more ashamed. No, typically, who people want to lash out at, when they finally realize that they’ve been bamboozled, are the people who didn’t get bamboozled along with them, and who tried to warn them that they were being bamboozled.
This phenomenon is occurring right now. I know this, because a certain sector of my readers are angrily unsubscribing from my Substack, and unfollowing me on Twitter, and so on. This happens more or less every time that people start to realize I was right about some PSYOP or con that I warned them about … Russiagate, Covid, and now “free-speech Twitter,” or “X,” or whatever we’re calling it today.
Yes, that’s right, the jig is up. The bloom is off the rose. The cat is out of the bag. The party is over. The thrill is gone. Folks are finally starting to realize that “free-speech Twitter” was an elaborate con (or a PSYOP, depending on how paranoid you are), and they’re none too happy about this realization.
So, they’re taking it out on blasphemers like me who tried to warn them about The Emperor Elonicus, and how the Twitter Files was a textbook limited hangout, and who pointed out how Musk shut it down as soon as it had served its purpose, and who referred to some of them as “Musk cultists,” and “suckers,” and who tweeted sarcastic Tweets like this…
But I’m not writing this column to whine about that. It’s part of human nature. I get it.
I’m writing this column because, maybe, now that folks are starting to face the fact that the whole “free-speech Twitter” thing was an elaborate con, or a trap, or a PSYOP, maybe, now, they can knock off the “Elon is our savior!” crap and try to pay attention to what is actually happening.
Here’s an example of what is actually happening…
Here’s a link to that Tweet with a recording of the Spaces thing. It’s Linda Yaccarino, X CEO, explaining how the new censorship system works. And here’s my favorite Yaccarino quote:
“Since acquisition, we have built brand-safety and content-moderation tools that have never before existed at this company. And we’ve introduced a new policy to [address?] your specific point about hate speech, called “Freedom of speech, not reach.”
What she’s talking about is the future of Internet censorship. Not the ham-fisted government-initiated censorship that people tend to think of when they think about censorship. Corporate censorship. “Free-market” censorship. What she’s talking about is the virtually imperceptible moment-by-moment manipulation of social-media content, search engine results, “reference” platforms like Wikipedia, everything most people see on the Internet. The corp-speak term is “visibility filtering.”
From now on, instead of being suspended or deplatformed — which is bad PR, and only draws more attention to the deplatformed party — dissident voices will be “deamplified.” We will be “free” to post whatever we like, but we will be talking to no one, in a digital void, which most people won’t even know exists. “Red/blue” culture-war mud-slinging content, and other such harmless entertainment that keeps the masses infuriated and at each other’s throats, will of course be allowed, and will be “amplified” and “monetized.” But any serious form of political dissent or deviation from official narratives will be labelled “hate speech,” “disinformation,” “malinformation,” or simply “unhealthy.” Corporations like X, Meta, Alphabet, and Tencent will decide what is “healthy.” They will do so with algorithms, but not only with algorithms.
Here’s Linda Yaccarino again, talking to CNBC this time …
“… X is committed to encouraging healthy behavior … 99.9% of all impressions are healthy … and we have an extraordinary team of people who are overseeing, hands on keyboards, monitoring, all day, every day, to make sure that that 99.9% of impressions remain at that number.”
I don’t know how much clearer she could make it. A team. Of people. Monitoring everything. Moment by moment. Every day. Not some badly-written algorithm. Not some secret cabal of mutinous Wokesters sabotaging Elon’s vision. Not the FBI. Not the CIA. Not the WEF. Not the Rothschilds. Just Twitter. Just X.
Here’s one of the interstitial labels that Twitter might put on your “unhealthy” Tweet before they “deamplify” it into oblivion.
See! Twitter is, like, totally committed to transparency!
Of course, you have nothing to worry about if you are tweeting (or Xing?) “healthy” content. That “extraordinary Twitter-Safety team” that is monitoring everything “all day, every day,” would never “deamplify,” or “visibility-filter,” or otherwise censor political speech that isn’t “hate speech,” or … you know, use one of those interstitial labels to maliciously defame some troublesome author by deceiving people into thinking he was tweeting child pornography or graphic violent content, like bestiality, or necrophilia, or some other type of “age-restricted adult content,” as Twitter was doing to me until May of this year.
I’m just joking, of course. They’re going to keep doing that. Not to me anymore, not that way. (After I embarrassed Ella Irwin publicly, they removed the fake labels and just deamplified me.) But they are going to keep doing it to other people. And not just X. All the corporations. They are going to keep “visibility filtering,” and “deamplifying,” and vaporizing dissent, and there is currently nothing we can do about it.
Meanwhile, we (i.e., the “Free Speech Movement”) will be celebrating our “victory” over the bad apples in government who were forcing the poor, helpless global corporations to censor everyone until we took them to court and made them stop with our democratic rights! Then we’ll all live happily ever after!
I don’t mean to shit on my friends and colleagues who are fighting hard against government censorship. At least they’re actually achieving something, while I’m just sitting here running my mouth. And the fight against government censorship is important. It is vitally important. And it has to be fought. I support it wholeheartedly, and I applaud them for fighting it. But it isn’t going to change what’s happening.
What’s happening is, GloboCap, or Corporatism, or whatever you want to call the network of global corporations, governments, media, non-governmental governing entities, investment banks, global health authorities, academia, the culture industry, and other such entities that together comprise the decentralized system of power and ideology that is currently running the entire planet … whatever you want to call that, it’s going totalitarian.
It has been going totalitarian, more or less openly, for the better part of the last three years. I’ve been covering this transition for quite a while now, and I have reiterated my analysis in many of my essays, and I published a book about it, which is possibly going to get me sent to prison here in Germany, so I’m not going to rehash it all again here (which should come as a relief to my regular readers). If you’re new to my work, you can read the book, or my essays, which are all on my blog and my Substack.
For now, trust me, we are going totalitarian. That’s what all the “visibility filtering” is about. That’s what the “cancel culture” is about. That’s what all the mindless mass hysteria and the demonization and criminalization of dissent is about.
It’s what the “Free-Speech Twitter” PSYOP is about. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether Elon Musk even knows what he is doing. The system that he is an integral part of is evolving. Musk will help it evolve or he will be replaced by someone who will help it evolve. Musk, Yaccarino, Zuckerberg, Pichai, Gates, Klaus Schwab, Wang Zhonglin, or pick your evil mastermind! These people, notwithstanding their very real power, are just components of a system, a global system, a system that is evolving toward totalitarianism, because it doesn’t really have anything else to do.
I do not know how to stop this from happening, this evolution of global capitalism into a new form of totalitarianism, but one thing that occurs to me is, it might help matters if we slowed down a bit and tried to actually understand what is happening, like in the broader, historical, systemic sense, and maybe didn’t chomp down on every little piece of red-meat bait that gets dangled in our faces, and then whipped up into a frenzy over whatever the visibility-filtering team at Twitter, or X, or Meta, or Alphabet, or some other corporation, wants us whipped up over.
Oh, and, maybe, next time some self-aggrandizing global-capitalist military contractor comes riding into town like Billionaire Jesus to save us from his buddies in the proverbial Big Club — you know, the one that you ain’t in — maybe folks could take a moment and at least hear me out before they start prostrating themselves at his feet.
I’m not right about everything, of course, but I seem to be doing OK with this PSYOP stuff.
CJ Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volumes I and II of his Consent Factory Essays are published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.
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