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Thread: Ron Paul Speaks: The Internet Censorship Scandal & Possible Solutions

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Ron Paul Speaks: The Internet Censorship Scandal & Possible Solutions


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZk3QCaGgdI


    In the wake of the Censorship Scandals against Alex Jones, Peter Van Buren, Scott Horton & Daniel McAdams, the master himself, Dr. Ron Paul, gives his view on what is going on and some of the things which maybe should happen. Here's to hoping Kim Dotcom gets his social media network off the ground soon!
    Last edited by jct74; 08-08-2018 at 12:50 PM.



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  3. #2

    Senate Moves To Seize The Internet - Do We Need More Government Censorship?

    Senate Moves To Seize The Internet - Do We Need More Government Censorship?



    A leaked memo from Sen. Mark Warner's office details a plan for the US government to massively interfere in the Internet. They want to "protect" us from "fake news" and from foreign influence. Will the US government acting more like the Chinese or Iranian governments really protect us from "bad guys"?
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  4. #3

    Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet


    Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet:


    A leaked memo circulating among Senate Democrats contains a host of bonkers authoritarian proposals for regulating digital platforms, purportedly as a way to get tough on Russian bots and fake news. To save American trust in "our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets," it suggests, we need unprecedented and undemocratic government intervention into online press and markets, including "comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation" of the sort enacted in the E.U.

    Titled "Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms," the draft policy paper—penned by Sen. Mark Warner and leaked by an unknown source to Axios—the paper starts out by noting that Russians have long spread disinformation, including when "the Soviets tried to spread 'fake news' denigrating Martin Luther King" (here he fails to mention that the Americans in charge at the time did the same). But NOW IT'S DIFFERENT, because technology.

    "Today's tools seem almost built for Russian disinformation techniques," Warner opines. And the ones to come, he assures us, will be even worse.

    Here's how Warner is suggesting we deal:

    • Mandatory location verification: The paper suggests forcing social media platforms to authenticate and disclose the geographic origin of all user accounts or posts.

    • Mandatory identity verification: The paper suggests forcing social media and tech platforms to authenticate user identities and only allow "authentic" accounts ("inauthentic accounts not only pose threats to our democratic process...but undermine the integrity of digital markets"), with "failure to appropriately address inauthentic account activity" punishable as "a violation of both SEC disclosure rules and/or Section 5 of the [Federal Trade Commission] Act."

    • Bot labeling: Warner's paper suggests forcing companies to somehow label bots or be penalized (no word from Warner on how this is remotely feasible).

    • Define popular tech as "essential facilities": These would be subject to all sorts of heightened rules and controls, says the paper, offering Google Maps as an example of the kinds of apps or platforms that might count. "The law would not mandate that a dominant provider offer the service for free," writes Warner. "Rather, it would be required to offer it on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms" provided by the government.


    Other proposals include more disclosure requirements for online political speech, more spending to counter supposed cybersecurity threats, more funding for the Federal Trade Commission, a requirement that companies' algorithms can be audited by the feds (and this data shared with universities and others), and a requirement of "interoperability between dominant platforms."

    The paper also suggests making it a rule that tech platforms above a certain size must turn over internal data and processes to "independent public interest researchers" so they can identify potential "public health/addiction effects, anticompetitive behavior, radicalization," scams, "user propagated misinformation," and harassment—data that could be used to "inform actions by regulators or Congress."

    And—of course— these include further revisions to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, recently amended by Congress to exclude protections for prostitution-related content. A revision to Section 230 could provide the ability for users to demand takedowns of certain sorts of content and hold platforms liable if they don't abide, it says, while admitting that "attempting to distinguish between true disinformation and legitimate satire could prove difficult."

    "The proposals in the paper are wide ranging and in some cases even politically impossible, and raise almost as many questions as they try to answer," suggested Mathew Ingram, putting it very mildly at the Columbia Journalism Review.

    https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/31/d...y-plans-leaked

  5. #4
    This is discussed in the video.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.

  6. #5
    Can't watch the video now, but I think a great solution would be for the ISP's to stand up and either throttle the speed of any site that selectively censors or to just charge them more.

    Free market meet free market.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  7. #6
    Ron said "the internets" I love that man.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    This is discussed in the video.
    Thanks Suzanimal; yes that is the article Daniel McAdams was referring to.
    Last edited by charrob; 08-08-2018 at 07:07 PM.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    Can't watch the video now, but I think a great solution would be for the ISP's to stand up and either throttle the speed of any site that selectively censors or to just charge them more.

    Free market meet free market.
    I don't have the same amount of trust in the ISP's as you do; after all, it is ISP's and telecoms that handed over our personal information to the government without search warrants and without probable cause.

    The ISP monopolies are pretty much as in bed with the government as the social media sites that use their platforms.



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  11. #9
    Free exchange of information and idea's is a dangerous thing to those who's goal is power and control.
    "The Patriarch"

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post

    Not going to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    The man did not think clearly. It was almost as if he had brain cancer of something.
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    I missed out on the dick pills , they any good ?

  12. #10
    Warner's term ends in 2020 and Freitas almost won the primary. Maybe there's a shot we can pick him off in 2020 but it seems unlikely.

    THIS is the stuff that's scary and Emperor Trump has expressed many similar thoughts. Of course the Trump-loving RPF authoritarian crew is going to ignore this and focus on defending their wannabe dictator.
    Authoritarianism and neoconservatism cannot be made great again.
    Trump was an enemy of Ron Paul, before he was an enemy of Rand Paul, before he was an enemy of the Freedom Caucus.
    One thing that he has remained consistent in is his hate of liberty and those who promote it.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by charrob View Post
    I don't have the same amount of trust in the ISP's as you do; after all, it is ISP's and telecoms that handed over our personal information to the government without search warrants and without probable cause.

    The ISP monopolies are pretty much as in bed with the government as the social media sites that use their platforms.
    Oh no, I don't have any trust in the ISP's... It's just that their goals are in conflict with the social media websites. (I really think this whole "political speech game" is just a salvo in the net neutrality debate.) Both of those industries spent millions of dollars on opposite sides of the debate. They have opposing interests. That happens all the time in the free market and I'm suggesting that we use those opposing interests to keep the other in check.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  14. #12
    Microsoft has threatened to cease hosting services for the alt-right social network Gab over two anti-Semitic posts, according to an email published by Gab founder Andrew Torba. The email claims the posts violate Microsoft policy and requests that Gab “promptly take appropriate action to resolve the complaint…within two business days” or hosting service will be suspended. If Gab is forced off Azure, Torba says service “will go down for weeks/months” as the company secures a new provider.
    ...
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/9/17...ban-deplatform
    Never heard of Gab until today, but what a coincidence this timing is. Just as people were looking for alternatives to Twitter, Microsoft moves to shut down the (apparently alt-right friendly) competition.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by charrob View Post
    I don't have the same amount of trust in the ISP's as you do; after all, it is ISP's and telecoms that handed over our personal information to the government without search warrants and without probable cause.

    The ISP monopolies are pretty much as in bed with the government as the social media sites that use their platforms.
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    Oh no, I don't have any trust in the ISP's... It's just that their goals are in conflict with the social media websites. (I really think this whole "political speech game" is just a salvo in the net neutrality debate.) Both of those industries spent millions of dollars on opposite sides of the debate. They have opposing interests. That happens all the time in the free market and I'm suggesting that we use those opposing interests to keep the other in check.
    It appears that ISPs, hosting services, any variety of necessary infrastructures can and will be shut down at any time.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    It appears that ISPs, hosting services, any variety of necessary infrastructures can and will be shut down at any time.
    Just because Chris Christie said so?

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Never heard of Gab until today, but what a coincidence this timing is. Just as people were looking for alternatives to Twitter, Microsoft moves to shut down the (apparently alt-right friendly) competition.
    If Trump had moved to GAB they wouldn't dare.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by nikcers View Post
    Just because Chris Christie said so?
    I was referring to service providers that can pull the plug, like Microsoft has threatened the Twitter competition.

    But if government did take down a site with a politically correct excuse, it would probably stand.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    Ron said "the internets" I love that man.

  21. #18

    A Four Person NATO-Funded Team Advises Facebook On Flagging 'Propaganda'


    A Four Person NATO-Funded Team Advises Facebook On Flagging 'Propaganda':


    This is not at all comforting: during a week that's witnessed Alex Jones' social media accounts taken down by Facebook, Apple, Spotify and Google, and what appears to be a growing crackdown against alternative media figures including several prominent Libertarians, notably the Ron Paul Institute director, and the Scott Horton Show, who found their Twitter accounts suspended — we learn that the Atlantic Council is directly advising Facebook on identifying and removing "foreign interference" on the popular platform.

    While the initiative was initially revealed last May through an official Facebook media release, more details of the controversial think tank's role have been revealed.

    Supposedly the whole partnership is aimed at bringing more objectivity and neutrality to the process of rooting out fake accounts that pose the threat of being operated by nefarious foreign states.

    And yet as a new Reuters report confirms, Facebook is now itself a top donor to the Atlantic Council, alongside Western governments, Gulf autocratic regimes, NATO, various branches of the US military, and a number of major defense contractors and corporations.

    What's more is that the team of four total individuals running the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFR Lab) is headed by a former National Security Council advisor for the last four years of the Obama administration, Graham Brookie, who is also its founder.

    Apparently the group's work has already been instrumental in Facebook taking action against over two dozen "suspicious pages" flagged potential foreign actors such as Russia. According to Reuters:

    Facebook is using the group to enhance its investigations of foreign interference. Last week, the company said it took down 32 suspicious pages and accounts that purported to be run by leftists and minority activists. While some US officials said they were likely the work of Russian agents, Facebook said it did not know for sure.

    This is indeed the shocking key phrase included in the report:"Facebook said it did not know for sure." And yet the accounts were removed anyway.

    The Facebook-Atlantic Council alliance reportedly springs from the social media giant's finding itself desperate for outside "neutral" help after a swell of public criticism, mostly issuing from congressional leaders and prominent media pundits, for supposedly allowing Russian propaganda accounts to operate ahead of the 2016 elections.




    And in perhaps the most chilling line of the entire report, Reuters says, "But the lab and Atlantic Council bring geopolitical expertise and allow Facebook to distance itself from sensitive pronouncements." This is ostensibly to defuse any potential conflict of interest arising as Facebook seems a bigger presence in emerging foreign markets.

    Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos recently told reporters, “Companies like ours don’t have the necessary information to evaluate the relationship between political motivations that we infer about an adversary and the political goals of a nation-state.” He explained further that Facebook would collect suspicious digital evidence and submit it to "researchers and authorities".

    Since at least May when the relationship was first announced, the DFR Lab has been key to this process of verifying what constitutes foreign interference or nefarious state propaganda.

    But here's the kicker. Reuters writes of the DFR Lab's funding in the following:

    Facebook donated an undisclosed amount to the lab in May that was enough, said Graham Brookie, who runs the lab, to vault the company to the top of the Atlantic Council’s donor list, alongside the British government.

    Facebook employees said privately over the past several months that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wants to outsource many of the most sensitive political decisions, leaving fact-checking to media groups and geopolitics to think tanks.

    Facebook has defended the process as part of ensuring that it remains politically neutral, yet clearly the Atlantic Council itself is hardly neutral, as a quick perusal of its top donors indicates:


    Among the DFR Labs partners include UK-based Bellingcat, which has in the past claimed "proof" that Assad gassed civilians based on analyzing YouTube videos and Google Earth. And top donors include various branches of the US military, Gulf states like the UAE, and notably, NATO.

    The Atlantic Council has frequently called for things like increased military engagement in Syria, militarily confronting the "Russian threat" in Eastern Europe, and now is advocating for Ukraine and Georgia to be allowed entry into NATO while calling for general territorial expansion of the Western military alliance.

    Further it has advocated on behalf of one of its previous funders, Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and gave a “Distinguished International Leadership” award to George W. Bush, to name but a few actions of the think tank that has been given authorization to flag citizens' Facebook pages for possible foreign influence and propaganda
    .

    Quite disturbingly, this is Mark Zuckerberg's outside "geopolitical expertise" he's been seeking.
    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives...ng-propaganda/

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    Oh no, I don't have any trust in the ISP's... It's just that their goals are in conflict with the social media websites. (I really think this whole "political speech game" is just a salvo in the net neutrality debate.) Both of those industries spent millions of dollars on opposite sides of the debate. They have opposing interests. That happens all the time in the free market and I'm suggesting that we use those opposing interests to keep the other in check.
    Just trying to understand what you are saying: so you are saying that:

    • Twitter and Facebook spent millions of dollars for net neutrality so that the ISPs could not decrease their speed relative to other sites. ie. So that their sites work at the same speed as everyone else on the internet, which is what they have now.
    • The ISPs spent millions of dollars to end net neutrality so that they could profit on allowing monied sites to pay more if they wanted faster throughput than other sites.


    So the ISPs would welcome a chance to throttle Twitter and Facebook because Twitter and Facebook have fought against having to pay more so their speed is not reduced? Is that right?

    The last i heard is that there is some appeal in the Courts to stop the ending of Net Neutrality. But say that doesn't go anywhere and the ending of Net Neutrality comes to fruition for good. At this point, Twitter and Facebook can choose to pay more for faster throughput or allow their sites to become much slower by paying what they are now. At this point, i don't understand why an ISP would slow them down even further since they have already achieved the ending of net neutrality. And i would think an ISP could expect a lawsuit if it was found that they deliberately slowed down certain sites.

    If the Courts decide Net Neutrality should stay, I still don't follow why the ISP's would slow down Twitter and Facebook? i guess revenge since the court decision would not allow them to soak people for more money than these corporate monopolies already soak us for, but they are in the business of providing a service and in addition to a lawsuit, they would be tarnishing their reputation.

    I would think one solution would be for Peter Van Buren to sue Twitter. Appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary: let SCOTUS decide if these quasi government/corporate entities should have to respect the same Bill of Rights our Government has to. This becomes particularly true if Government funded NGO's such as the Atlantic Council get to decide which Twitter and Facebook accounts and posts should be censored.
    Last edited by charrob; 08-10-2018 at 05:46 PM.

  23. #20

    I Was Banned for Life From Twitter



    I Was Banned for Life From Twitter:


    By Peter Van Buren • August 9, 2018

    I became persona non grata after a heated exchange over the media's complicity with the government. The mob won.

    When I was in Iran, the government there blocked Twitter, effectively deciding for an entire nation what they cannot read. In America, Twitter itself purges users, effectively deciding for an entire nation what they cannot read. It matters little whose hand is on the switch: government or corporate, the end result is the same. This is the America I always feared I’d see.

    Speech in America is an inalienable right, and runs as deep into our free society as any idea can. Thomas Jefferson wrote that it flowed directly from his idea of a Creator, which we understand today as less that free speech is heaven-sent so much as that it is something that exists above government. And so the argument that the First Amendment applies only to the government and not to private platforms like Twitter is both true and irrelevant—and the latter is more important.

    The government remains a real threat to free speech. But there is another menace now: corporate censorship, often dressed up in NewSpeak terms like “deplatforming,” restricting “hate speech” and “fake news,” and “terms of service.” This isn’t entirely new: corporations have always done as they please with speech. Our protection against corporate overreach used to rely on an idea Americans once held dear, best expressed as “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” This ethos was core to our democracy: everyone supports the right of others to throw their ideas into the marketplace, where an informed people push bad ideas away with good ones. That system more or less worked for 240 years.

    For lack of a more precise starting point, the election of Donald Trump did away with our near-universal agreement over the right to speak, driven by a false belief that too much free speech helped Trump get elected. Large numbers of Americans began not just to tolerate, but to demand censorship. They wanted universities to deplatform speakers they did not agree with, giggling over the old-timey First Amendment and taunting “conservatives” for not being able to do anything about it. But the most startling change came within the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which once embodied “defend the right, not the content” when it stood up for the free speech rights of Nazis in the 1970s.

    Not anymore. The ACLU now applies a test to the speech cases it will defend, weighing their impact on other issues (for example, the right to say the N-word versus the feelings of people of color). The ACLU in 2018 is siding with those who believe speech should be secondary to other political goals. Censorship has a place, says the ACLU, when it serves what they determine is a greater good.

    So in 2018, whenever old tweets clash with modern-day definitions of racism and sexism, companies fire employees. Under public pressure, Amazon recently removed “Nazi paraphernalia and other far-right junk” from its store. This was just some nasty Halloween gear and Confederate flag merchandise, but the issue is not the value of the products—that’s part of any free speech debate—it’s corporate censorship being used to stifle debate by, in this case, literally pulling items out of the marketplace. Alex Jones’ InfoWars was deplatformed from networks where it had been available for years, including Apple, YouTube (owned by Google), Spotify, and Amazon. The Huffington Post wondered why even more platforms haven’t done away with Jones.

    “Hate speech,” clearly not prohibited according to the Supreme Court, is an umbrella term used by censorship advocates to describe anything they don’t want others to be able to listen to or watch. It is very flexible and thus very dangerous. As during the McCarthy-era in the 1950s when one needed only to label something “communist” to have it banned, so it is today with the new mark of “hate speech.”

    Twitter is perhaps the most infamous example of a platform censoring its content. The site bans advertising from Russian media outlets. It suspends those who promote (what it defines as) hatred and violence, “shadow bans” others to limit the size of their audience, and tweaks its trending topics to push certain political ideas and downplay others. It purges users and bans “hateful symbols.” There are near-daily demands by increasingly organized groups to censor specific users, with Trump at the top of that list. Users can report other users so that Twitter can evaluate whether they should be suspended. The motivation is always the same: to limit the ideas people can choose to be exposed to.

    The problem here is the trust people place in “good companies” like Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. Anthropomorphizing them as Jeff, Zuck, and @jack is popular, as is extolling their “values.” It seems to make sense, especially now when many of the people making decisions on corporate censorship are the same age and hold the same political views as those demanding that they do it.

    Of course, values shift, and what seems good to block today might change tomorrow. But the biggest issue is that companies exist to make money. You can’t count on them past that. Handing over free speech rights to an entity whose core purpose has nothing to do with free speech means it will inevitably quash ideas when they conflict with profits. Those who gleefully celebrate the fact that @jack who runs Twitter is not held back by the First Amendment and can censor at will seem to believe he will always yield his power in the way they want him to.

    Google (until May) had a slogan commanding its employees: “don’t be evil.” Yet in China, Google is deploying Dragonfly, a version of its search engine that will meet Beijing’s demands for censorship by blocking websites on command. Of course, in China they don’t call it hate speech; they call it anti-societal speech, and the propaganda Google will block isn’t from Russian bots but from respected global media. Meanwhile, Apple removes apps from its store at the command of the Chinese government in return for market access. Amazon, which agreed to pull hateful merchandise from its store in the U.S., the same week confirmed that it is “unwaveringly committed to the U.S. government and the governments we work with around the world” in using its AI and facial recognition technology to spy on their own people. Faced with a future loss of billions of dollars, as was the case for Google and Apple in China, what will corporations do in America?

    Once upon a time an easy solution to corporate censorship was to take one’s business elsewhere. In 2018, the platforms in question are near-global monopolies. Pretending Amazon, which owns the Washington Post and can influence elections, is just another company that sells things, is to pretend the role of unfettered debate in a free society is outdated. Censored on Twitter? Try Myspace, and maybe Bing will notice you. Technology and market dominance have changed the nature of censorship so that free speech is as much about finding an audience as it is about finding a place to speak. Corporate censorship is at the cutting edge of a reality targeting both speakers (Twitter suspends someone) and listeners (Apple won’t post that person’s videos made off-platform). Ideas need to be discoverable to enter the debate. In 1776, you went to the town square; in 2018, it’s Twitter.

    Senator Chris Murphy, in a recent and ironic tweet, demanded that social media networks censor more aggressively for the “survival of our democracy,” implying that companies can act as proxies for those still held back by the First Amendment. Murphy already knows that companies can censor. The debate for us is over what happens when they do.

    Let me end on a personal note. I was this week permanently suspended from my Twitter account, @wemeantwell. This followed an exchange I had with mainstream journalists over their unwillingness to challenge government lies in which I made a flippant remark no hotter than what you see on Twitter every day. Twitter sent an auto-response to me saying that what I wrote “harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence someone else’s voice.” I don’t think I did any of that, and I wish you didn’t have to accept my word for it. I wish instead you could have read my words and decided for yourself. But Twitter won’t allow it. They have eliminated everything I wrote there over the past seven years, all down the Memory Hole. That’s why censorship is wrong: it takes the power to decide what is right and wrong away from you and gives it to someone else.
    https://www.theamericanconservative....-from-twitter/

  24. #21

    In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship


    In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship:


    In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship, argues Caitlin Johnstone in this commentary.

    By Caitlin Johnstone

    Last year, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed on the US Senate floor that it is their responsibility to “quell information rebellions” and adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment to “prevent the fomenting of discord.”

    “Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words,” the representatives were told. “America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”

    Yes, this really happened.

    Today Twitter has silenced three important anti-war voices on its platform: it has suspended Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, suspended Scott Horton of the Scott Horton Show, and completely removed the account of prominent Antiwar.com writer Peter Van Buren.

    I’m about to talk about the censorship of Alex Jones and Infowars now, so let me get the “blah blah I don’t like Alex Jones” thing out of the way so that my social media notifications aren’t inundated with people saying “Caitlin didn’t say the ‘blah blah I don’t like Alex Jones’ thing!” I shouldn’t have to, because this isn’t actually about Alex Jones, but here it is:

    I don’t like Alex Jones. He’s made millions saying the things disgruntled right-wingers want to hear instead of telling the truth; he throws in disinfo with his info, which is the same as lying all the time. He’s made countless false predictions and his sudden sycophantic support for a US president has helped lull the populist right into complacency when they should be holding Trump to his non-interventionist campaign pledges, making him even more worthless than he was prior to 2016.

    But this isn’t about defending Alex Jones. He just happens to be the thinnest edge of the wedge.

    Infowars has been censored from Facebook, Youtube (which is part of Google), Apple, Spotify, and now even Pinterest, all within hours of each other. This happens to have occurred at the same time Infowars was circulating a petition with tens of thousands of signatures calling on President Trump to pardon WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who poses a much greater threat to establishment narratives than Alex Jones ever has. Assange’s mother also reports that this mass removal of Infowars’ audience occurred less than 48 hours after she was approached to do an interview by an Infowars producer.

    In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Because legalized bribery in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations has given wealthy Americans the ability to control the U.S. government’s policy and behavior while ordinary Americans have no effective influence whatsoever, the U.S. unquestionably has a corporatist system of government. Large, influential corporations are inseparable from the state, so their use of censorship is inseparable from state censorship.

    This is especially true of the vast mega-corporations of Silicon Valley, whose extensive ties to U.S. intelligence agencies are well-documented. Once you’re assisting with the construction of the US military’s drone program, receiving grants from the CIA and NSA for mass surveillance, or having your site’s content regulated by NATO’s propaganda arm, you don’t get to pretend you’re a private, independent corporation that is separate from government power. It is possible in the current system to have a normal business worth a few million dollars, but if you want to get to billions of dollars in wealth control in a system where money translates directly to political power, you need to work with existing power structures like the CIA and the Pentagon, or else they’ll work with your competitors instead of you

    Censorship Through Private Proxy

    And yet every time I point to the dangers of a few Silicon Valley plutocrats controlling all new media political discourse with an iron fist, Democratic Party loyalists all turn into a bunch of hardline free market Ayn Rands. “It’s not censorship!” they exclaim. “It’s a private company and can do whatever it wants with its property!”

    They do this because they know their mainstream, plutocrat-friendly “centrist” views will never be censored. Everyone else is on the chopping block, however. Leftist sites have already had their views slashed by a manipulation of Google’s algorithms, and it won’t be long before movements like BDS and Antifa and skeptics of the establishment Syria and Russia narratives can be made to face mass de-platforming on the same exact pretext as Infowars.

    This is a setup. Hit the soft target so your oligarch-friendly censorship doesn’t look like what it is, then once you’ve manufactured consent, go on to shut down the rest of dissenting media bit by bit.

    Don’t believe that’s the plan? Let’s ask sitting US Senator Chris Murphy: “Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart,” Murphy tweeted in response to the news. “These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.”


    That sure sounds an awful lot like the warnings issued to the Silicon Valley representatives on the Senate floor at the beginning of this article, no? This is headed somewhere dark.

    We’re going to have to find a way to keep the oligarchs from having their cake and eating it too. Either (A) corporations are indeed private organizations separate from the government, in which case the people need to get money out of politics and government agencies out of Silicon Valley so they can start acting like it, and insist that their owners can’t be dragged out on to the Senate floor and instructed on what they can and can’t do with their business, or (B) these new media platforms get treated like the government agencies they function as, and the people get all the First Amendment protection that comes with it. Right now the social engineers are double-dipping in a way that will eventually give the alliance of corporate plutocrats and secretive government agencies the ability to fully control the public’s access to ideas and information.

    If they accomplish that, it’s game over for humanity. Any hope of the public empowering itself over the will of a few sociopathic, ecocidal, omnicidal oligarchs will have been successfully quashed. We are playing for all the chips right now. We have to fight this. We have no choice.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2018/08/1...te-censorship/

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by charrob View Post
    the Atlantic Council is directly advising Facebook on identifying and removing "foreign interference" on the popular platform.

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives...ng-propaganda/
    This is also a method to smoke out anonymous users. It already happened with some of the accounts banned. “Hey, we are real people, not bots or Russians! Our names are this, and we live here.” Thank you very much for that info.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  26. #23
    Supporting Member
    Colorado



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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    Ron said "the internets" I love that man.
    LOL - RP is da' bes' . . . http:// https:// ftp:// (file transfer protocol)

    In a general perspective . . .
    maybe we jus' all thought the internets and the Al Gore "information superhighway" would "free" us and be a good thing for liberty.

    But I think the Founders were not all that far off from seeing jus' how a .gov would do this . . .
    most/many/some(?) of the originalists may see it too, but maybe not Kavanaugh yet.




    Rand is gonna be great at the Kavanaugh confirm hearings. $#@! Sen DiFi. Carry on.
    Last edited by Jan2017; 08-11-2018 at 04:01 PM. Reason: correction

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan2017 View Post
    LOL - RP is da' bes' . . . http:// https:// fttp://

    In a general perspective . . .
    maybe we jus' all thought the internets and the Al Gore "information superhighway" would "free" us and be a good thing for liberty.

    But I think the Founders were not all that far off from seeing jus' how a .gov would do this . . .
    most/many/some(?) of the originalists may see it too, but maybe not Kavanaugh yet.




    Rand is gonna be great at the Kavanaugh confirm hearings. $#@! Sen DiFi. Carry on.
    IMO, it has been good for liberty. I'm grateful for all the information at my fingertips and for most of the people here. Y'all make me feel sane, lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This intellectually stimulating conversation is the reason I keep coming here.



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