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The US Military’s Vision for State Censorship
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In March, the United States Special Operations Command, the section of the Defense Department supervising the US Special Forces, held a conference on the theme of “Sovereignty in the Information Age.” The conference brought together Special Forces officers with domestic police forces, including officials from the New York Police Department, and representatives from technology companies such as Microsoft.

This meeting of top military, police and corporate representatives went unreported and unpublicized at the time. However, the Atlantic Council recently published a 21-page document summarizing the orientation of the proceedings. It is authored by John T. Watts, a former Australian Army officer and consultant to the US Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

The Atlantic Council report
The Atlantic Council report

The Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to the highest levels of the state, has been a key partner in the social media companies’ censorship of left-wing views. Most notably, Facebook acted on a tip from the Atlantic Council when it shut down the official event page for an anti-fascist demonstration in Washington on the anniversary of last year’s neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville.

Confident that none of the thousands of journalists in Washington will question, or even report, what he writes, Watts lays out, from the standpoint of the repressive apparatus of the state and the financial oligarchy it defends, why censorship is necessary.

The central theme of the report is “sovereignty,” or the state’s ability to impose its will upon the population. This “sovereignty,” Watts writes, faces “greater challenges now than it ever has in the past,” due to the confluence between growing political opposition to the state and the internet’s ability to quickly spread political dissent.

Watts cites the precedent of the invention of the printing press, which helped overthrow the feudal world order. In the Atlantic Council’s estimation, however, this was an overwhelmingly negative development, ushering in “decades, and arguably centuries, of conflict and disruption” and undermining the “sovereignty” of absolutist states. The “invention of the internet is similarly creating conflict and disruption,” Watts writes.

“Trust in Western society,” he warns, “is experiencing a crisis. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer has tracked this erosion, showing a 30 percent drop in trust in government over the last year in the United States.”

Watts notes that this collapse in support for the government cannot be explained merely by the rise of social media. This process began in the early 2000s, “at the dawn of the social media age but before it had become mainstream.” Left out are the major reasons for the collapse of popular support for government institutions: the stolen election of 2000, the Bush administration’s lies about weapons of mass destruction, unending war and the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

However, while it is “hard to argue that the current loss of trust results solely from the emergence of social media,” Watts writes, there “can be little doubt that it acted as a critical amplifier of broader trends.”

He continues: “Technology has democratized the ability for sub-state groups and individuals to broadcast a narrative with limited resources and virtually unlimited scope.” By contrast, “In the past, the general public had limited sources of information, which were managed by professional gatekeepers.”

In other words, the rise of uncensored social media allowed small groups with ideas that correspond to those of the broader population to challenge the political narrative of vested interests on an equal footing, without the “professional gatekeepers” of the mainstream print and broadcast media, which publicizes only a pro-government narrative.

When “radical and extremist views” and “incorrect ideas” are “broadcast over social media, they can even influence the views of people who would not otherwise be sympathetic to that perspective,” Watts warns. “When forwarded by a close friend or relation, false information carries additional legitimacy; once accepted by an individual, this false information can be difficult to correct.”

People must be isolated, in other words, from the “incorrect” ideas of their friends and family, because such ideas are “difficult to correct” by the state once disseminated.

But how is this to be done? The growth of oppositional sentiment cannot be combatted with “facts” or the “truth,” because “facts themselves are not sufficient to combat disinformation.” The “truth” is “too complex, less interesting, and less meaningful to individuals.”

Nor can the growth of political opposition, for the time being, simply be solved by “eliminating” (i.e., killing or jailing) political dissidents, because this only lends legitimacy to the ideas of the victims. “Eliminating those individuals and organizations will not be sufficient to combat the narrative and may in fact help amplify it.” He adds, “This is also the case for censorship as those behind the narrative can use the attempt to repress the message as proof of its truth, importance, or authenticity.”

Enter the social media companies. The best mechanism for suppressing oppositional viewpoints and promoting pro-government narratives is the private sector, in particular “technology giants, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter,” which can “determine what people see and do not see.”

Watts adds, “Fortunately, shifts in the policies of social media platforms such as Facebook have had significant impact on the type and quality of the content that is broadcast.”

The private sector, therefore, must do the dirty work of the government, because government propaganda is viewed with suspicion by the population. “Business and the private sector may not naturally understand the role they play in combating disinformation, but theirs is one of the most important…. In the West at least, they have been thrust into a central role due to the general public’s increased trust in them as institutions.”

But this is only the beginning. Online newspapers should “consider disabling commentary systems—the function of allowing the general public to leave comments beneath a particular media item,” while social media companies should “use a grading system akin to that used to rate the cleanliness of restaurants” to rate their users’ political statements.

Strong-arm tactics still have a role, of course. Citing the example of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, Watts declares that “governments need to create consequences” for spreading “disinformation” similar to those meted out for “state espionage” – which can carry the death penalty.

What Watts outlines in his document is a vision of a totalitarian social order, where the government, the media, and technology companies are united in suppressing oppositional viewpoints.

The most striking element of the document, however, is that it is not describing the future, but contemporary reality. Everything is in the present tense. The machinery of mass censorship has already been built.

The Atlantic Council report, based on high-level discussions within the military and state, is a confirmation of everything the World Socialist Web Site has said about the purpose of changes in the algorithms of internet and social media companies over the past year-and-a-half.

On August 25, 2017, the WSWS published an open letter to Google alleging that the company is “manipulating its Internet searches to restrict public awareness of and access to socialist, anti-war and left-wing websites.” It added, “Censorship on this scale is political blacklisting.”

Over the subsequent year, key details of the open letter have been indisputably confirmed. At congressional hearings and in other public statements, leading US technology companies have explained that they reduced the propagation of political views and statements targeted by US intelligence agencies, and did so in secret because they feared a public outcry. At the same time, they have explained the technical means by which they promoted pro-government, pro-war news outlets, such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

But the Atlantic Council document presents the most clear, direct and unvarnished explanation of the regime of state censorship.

The struggle against censorship is the spearhead of the defense of all democratic rights. The most urgent task is to unify the working class, which is engaged in a wave of social struggles all over the world, behind the struggle against censorship as a component of the fight for socialism.

(Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. This type of oppression would be unnecessary in a healthy Democracy. Sovereignty there is associated with the people and not the state. An empire, on the other hand, is ultimately held together by force and that includes suppressing domestic critics.

    In any case, John T. Watts, formerly of the Australian Army, has my vote for Wanker of the Year.

    • Replies: @Anon
  2. WHAT says:

    Muh neonatsee riot in Charlottesville kek.

  3. Alfred says:

    It does not surprise me at all that an Australian “wanker” is involved in this scheme. There are only 2 newspaper groups in the country – and they both kowtow to Israel, the USA and the UK (in that order). The media is a direct copy of what the NYT, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post have to say. A country of 24 million cannot afford to employ journalists abroad.

    Australia Turning Really Authoritative? Is this How a Dark Age Begins? (Martin Armstrong)

  4. The EU does exactly the same.
    In March 2019 there are Dutch elections, (still) leading politicians such as Sybrand Buma now already call for the suppression of fake news with related to these elections.
    The spectre of ‘populist’ parties gaining support, a horror.
    But indeed, trust in government, politicians, banks, media, seems to have disappeared.
    Even more and more criticism of the latest holy cow: CO2 emission.
    Do not know how much attention the Bayeren elections of last Sunday got, but the ruling party since decades, a sister party of Merkel’s CDU, lost its absolute majority, it was some 52%, now 35.
    More and more EU member states are becoming ungovernable, the Dutch ruling coalition now for a long time rules with one vote majority.
    I expect this to be over after March 2019.

  5. How does it feel huh?

    How does it feel when you leftwing criminals get your own oppression machine and censorship turned on yourself?

    No one wants to see hordes of unwashed fat feminists and middle to upper class unemployed communist parasites tear through DC burning cars, stealing smartphones and beating up the elderly, handicapped and defenseless just as you do where ever you go.

    You anti facists are the monsters, the very people that belong in a grave.

    • Agree: WHAT
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Herald
    , @TimeTraveller
  6. Biff says:

    One of most ‘telling’ essays for our time.

    Online newspapers should “consider disabling commentary systems

    I’ve been noticing a big trend in this the past 5 – 6 years. “Controlling the message” is the ever more urgent function rather than just simple propaganda that used to work in years past.

    • Agree: Johnny Walker Read
  7. Anon[503] • Disclaimer says:

    Cudos to UNZ for the courage to publish this. UNZ is not typically associated with socialism, but the WSWS publishes some of the best anti Oligarchy, anti war stuff out there.
    I would like to remind readers that the Atlantic Council was also behind the PeopOrNot campaign that saw whe who’s whobof the alt media blacklisted. I’m pretty sure they were behind Alex Jones being silenced. Jones has a bigger audience than CNN and was key to getting Trump elected. What’s at issue here is that the goons and thugs over at the Atlantic Council think that it’s their paymasters over in the banks and arms companies who get to decide who is leader and who gets bombed. The Atlantic Council is a sinister organization, locked in an echo chamber and guided by groupthink. The global financial Oligarchy wants to see you enslaved or dead. They cannot tolerate anything that questions their wealth and power.

    • Replies: @anon
  8. I regret to inform you that the election of 2000 was not “stolen”. Take off the black armband, already.
    All kidding aside, this mind-control report does make for interesting reading.

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/whose-truth-sovereignty-disinformation-and-winning-the-battle-of-trust

  9. iseeit says:

    The doctrine is known as ‘Full spectrum dominance’ and is applied against ALL dissent against the state.

    This is what totalitarianism looks like….

    And we are it’s subjects.

    • Replies: @Anon
  10. “What Watts outlines in his document is a vision of a totalitarian social order, where the government, the media, and technology companies are united in suppressing oppositional viewpoints.”

    Let me translate that:

    What Watts outlines in his document is a vision of a totalitarian social order, where the (((government))), the (((media))), and (((technology companies))) are united in suppressing oppositional viewpoints.

    This is not “a vision”, it is already reality.

  11. Anon[116] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally Streeter

    Don’t worry. The Aussies lost the Emu war. Dissidents are far more pesky than Emus.

  12. Orwell’s 1984 is now pulling into the station. It is just a little behind schedule. Please remember, “War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength”, and you will be fine.

  13. Orwell was right, perpetual wars and censorship and a police state, thanks to the Zionist Bolsheviks who control every aspect of the U.S. gov, America has become Oceania.

  14. wraith67 says:

    Antifa is anti-fascist like the Klan is anti-racist. George should buy them a bunch of brown shirts.

    • Replies: @Wally
  15. I used to take a sadistic, insecticidal delight in incinerating ants on my grandmother’s flagstone patio with her 6-inch diameter magnifying glass in those Halcion days before Uncle Al invented the Internet. These days, it’s not just who holds the whip, it’s whose all-seeing eye guides that dot of incendiary light on the subjugated that counts. Grovel ye knaves!

  16. Let’s censor Watts, the Aussie with the criminal DNA!

  17. “The Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to the highest levels of the state, has been a key partner in the social media companies’ censorship of left-wing views. ”

    Thanks for the laugh.

  18. Herald says:
    @Big fat dane.

    So basically you are strongly in favour of Big Brother censorship. Out of interest can you tell just who are these “left wing criminals” that have been doing all the censoring of the alternative media and exactly how have they been doing it?

  19. nickels says:

    Great information, thanks.
    So I guess Trump’s push against the tech giants is kind of dead on arrival.

  20. Don Bacon says:

    The censorship of ideas and opinions is already happening in social media, and getting worse. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been affected. Facebook banned me when I suggested that females should not be in the infantry. (SecDef Mattis recently said “the jury is still out” on that issue.) That opinion of mine didn’t satisfy “community standards” according to FB. Of course I and others have also been banned by various blog-masters for displeasing them with different views.

    The censorship of ideas and opinions is also highly regulated in the mainstream media. One must write what the publication expects one to write, or lose one’s employment. An excellent book on the subject is “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” by Norman Solomon. Another tactic the MSM uses is to have the ruling headline-writer use descriptions not backed by the narrative, knowing that most people don’t go beyond the headlines. This happened recently with a headline on Korea, that President Moon said he was “rewarding” Chairman Kim when the article had no substantiation of that claim.

    Regarding commentary in online newspapers, that has already been disabled in a large scale. Reuters publishes their financial-house garbage and doesn’t allow comments, for example. So “The US Military’s Vision for State Censorship” is a day late and a dollar short.

  21. Whitewolf says:

    When are these clowns going to realize it’s way too late for their censorship campaigns? You’d think that these think tanks would have people in them capable of thinking. Obviously that isn’t the case.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  22. “At the same time, they have explained the technical means by which they promoted pro-government, pro-war news outlets, such as the New York Times and Washington Post.”

    If the author of this piece seriously believes this, he needs to be in a rubber room to keep from hurting himself. The NYT and WaPo both hate the current government and hate the wars we are involved in. They were quite alright with it under Obama, however.

    The only people trying to censor anyone is the hard left. They want anyone that will say anything approaching the truth shut down and deplatformed. Google is helping a hard left regime in China with a search engine that will cut access to anything the regime doesn’t like. The people running China are the of same sort as the author of the article above.

    Put simply, the author is just another leftist hypocrite.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @peterAUS
  23. @Don Bacon

    “The censorship of ideas and opinions is also highly regulated in the mainstream media. One must write what the publication expects one to write, or lose one’s employment.”

    This phenomena is not isolated to the MSM; it also occurs in the sciences quite frequently. Typically when grant monies are at stake. It’s known as “publish or perish”.

  24. Agent76 says:

    History is clear as day for those who seek it.

    APRIL 12, 2017 WORLD WAR I AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS

    Historians talked about American motivations for entering World War I, how the country mobilized for war, and government restrictions on free speech and the press in response to protests.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?426840-1

  25. peterAUS says:
    @Quartermaster

    Put simply, the author is just another leftist hypocrite.

    Of course.
    He/they don’t complain about censorship, really.They complain because they don’t control it. Or, better, they don’t control it as much as they’d like.

    Personally, I feel that ship has sailed.
    The beauties of TCP/IP protocol.

  26. Agent76 says:

    October 17, 2018 American Friendly : Not So Friendly Anymore

    “It is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Hermann Goering, head of the Nazi army’s equivalent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Head of the Luftwaffe (April 18, 1946).

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/american-friendly-fascism-not-so-friendly-anymore/5657213

  27. Wally says:
    @wraith67

    Actually the real ‘brown shirts’ were fighting back against communism.
    Ditch your propaganda.

  28. Wally says:
    @Don Bacon

    Yet your cited Norman Solomon says nothing of this:

    http://www.codoh.com

    • Replies: @Don Bacon
  29. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    (Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)

    Right, because the PC Left has been on the side of Free Speech since the 80s.

  30. peterAUS says:

    The author agenda is clear. “Socialist”.
    The conference mentioned in the article had clear agenda too, obviously. TPTBs desire to control the information.

    There is no way in Hell it can be done. One caveat: a person wishing to get information. You know, spending some time and effort.
    Who cares if/when 60 % of Western populace can’t find proper information.

    The rest, which actually matters, will be able to do it.

    Internet can not be shut down without affecting “them” worse than people seeking information.
    And, as long as Internet is up and running any information will be available on it.

    I mean…..FFS…how did people get their information before the Internet? You know, in era when people actually were doing something about TPTBs and such.
    There wasn’t any (public) Internet when The Wall came down. When Communist regimes were being brought down, even in nuclear superpower.

    Bottom line, censorship wouldn’t be a big deal even if it were to work.

    True, it would make sheeple unhappy. I mean….no Facebook ? Oh my God..!!!

  31. Dave S says:

    The fight for socialism, ugh, why are we still having this argument? Do you want everyone to be equally poor and miserable?
    The articles stance on the mixture of state and corporate power is a good one, but what’s the authors solution, give more authority to government??? Sometimes the lack of self awareness of one’s writing is astonishing to me. I get why people think socialism is some cure all, it removes the need to try hard,
    to bother making any of your own decisions, or have any ambitions. Let some “official” elected presumably, decide for you, 51% of people said I should shovel shit they can’t be wrong can they… Monstrous, that with the murderous track record of socialist regimes we are having this discussion. America is half socialized now, and is drowning in debt, and the solutions are more government, unreal. It’s time the people learn to separate capitalism, from government, if the department of defense is showing up at Facebook how much choice do you think they have? The threat of more government interference in their affairs I’m sure is all the convincing they need to agree.
    Socialism needs to be rooted out like the weed it is, we need radical decentralization, let’s cities and towns decide what they want for themselves, not this giant world wide death trap that is socialism/communism.

    Good riddance to it.

  32. Don Bacon says:
    @Wally

    Yet your cited Norman Solomon says nothing of [holocaust denial]:

    Apparently you missed it. Solomon’s book was titled “War Made Easy,” nothing to do with holocaust denial. It was the type of MSM chatter that got the US into the largest mistake in US history, some people claim, the war on Iraq. It was about writers being forced to toe the establishment line on war.

    IOW peddle your OT propaganda and your glaring visuals elsewhere, Wally.

  33. anon[135] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Martin Luther is on his way to the church door to update and repost the notice he nailed there in 1492.

    I predict the day will come when 400,000,000 Americans exercise their political power and refuse to use digital and electronics for anything. They will, I predict, not bank electronically, no do business with businesses, governments or corporations electronically, not buy anything from a store that does not have human employees, making change from a shoe box. I think when that day comes, they will refuse to use their telephone or cell phones for anything, even for talking to each other. When that happens the private corporations will sue for peace and Democracy convict and punish the traitor sovereignty.

  34. @Big fat dane.

    No one wants to see hordes of unwashed fat feminists and middle to upper class unemployed communist parasites tear through DC burning cars, stealing smartphones and beating up the elderly, handicapped and defenseless just as you do where ever you go

    .

    Violence is the answer. I’d expect to see more of it, from all “sides”, instead of less.

    I appreciate all of the violent people.

    Also, smartphones are overrated.

  35. These idiots running our country into the ground really believe their own bullshit don’t they. They truly live in a bubble. They should get out in the real world every now and then if they want to understand why Americans are turning against them. Censorship will never work, it will just make it worse on them.

    People living in the real world see what is going on around them. Our lives are being turned upside down by these psychopaths, everything is getting more expensive, wages are going nowhere, all the stress from the (((MSM))) and puppet politicians keeping shit stirred up 24/7. Not doing anything to address the real issues in the country, only talking about bullshit like porn stars or E Warren being an Indian or not, football players protesting, WTF CARES???

    I guess these privileged assholes are lucky enough not to have to go to the grocery store, buy gas, pay rent, pay a car note, buy insurance, maintain an old shitty car, buy new clothes for family, buy their kids school supplies, pay for a doctor or hospital visit, you know, things people in the real world have to do. With less and less money.

    I guess they also don’t have to look around their communities and see life getting worse everyday, I live in rural Ga. we never had any homeless people before the 2008 Wall St rape. Now we have a homeless camp out in the woods behind a local restaurant, just like you see in Atlanta or LA. We never had this before 08, and its getting worse. Drugs, you now see needles thrown around parking lots and prostitutes. You would have NEVER seen this in my town before 08. Its really coming apart, I have several family members who have lost jobs, lost their homes and got into heavy drugs, meth, oxycontin, heroin, drinking. Its like this everywhere here now. Things are not getting better, only worse.

    This is not a problem created by trolls or truthtellers, its a problem created by a 100% corrupted puppet government, who serve the rich, the corporations, Wall st banks, the MIC, Israel, Saudis, everybody but the middle class and poor, who worked their asses off only to be thrown under the bus again and again, no matter who is elected in our bullshit excuse of a democratic govt.

    People have had enough of their bullshit. The lies and partisan finger pointing no longer works, we’ve been through it enough times now to know we’re being played. Most people in this country don’t have $1000 in savings, don’t have any kind of healthcare or can’t afford it, and are 1 step from going over the edge. Ending up homeless or blowing their brains out. There are many many Vets in the same position.

    So these fucking corrupt traitors can choose to try and censor people talking on the internet all they want, but until they do something to change the reality of the real world that they themselves are creating, they can expect things to get much much worse, and eventually it will get to them too, if things continue on the current path there will be a revolt in this country within a few more years or the next time they decide to rape the people of this country again like they did in 08.

    This is not a democrat or republican issue, its the whole rotten capitalist system. This is usury on a global scale. This is not normal folks. We can’t keep running all over the world murdering people and stealing their shit and not expect it to come back on us one day.

    Pentagon report points to US preparations for total war

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/11/tota-o11.html

    https://media.defense.gov/2018/Oct/05/2002048904/-1/-1/1/ASSESSING-AND-STRENGTHENING-THE-MANUFACTURING-AND%20DEFENSE-INDUSTRIAL-BASE-AND-SUPPLY-CHAIN-RESILIENCY.PDF

    Not good!

  36. denk says:

    This guy said fukus is the most dangerous country in the world, [well, thats a no brainer]….except for some saving grace, like its ‘vibrant free speech’.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20050616000008/http://www.richardneville.com.au/Journal/2004/journal200405.html

    FFW 2018, they’r scrubbing the net fast and furious, brace for the day you wake up in the morning and is greeted with a 404 at your fav
    hang out.

    Even that little bit of saving grace is gone,
    fukus is kaput, unsalvageable, RIP

  37. @peterAUS

    I’m 70% on your side here but I think you want to look at China as the tech incubator for information and thought control. Think of them as the state of the art, the ever rising standard to aspire to or exceed. One trick in China is 50% government subsidy. Want to open a Chinese site western tech company? Great! Beijing will double your office or factory space and even pay salaries for half the workers. Good deal right? Well, except the wires in the building you pay for run through the one China’s government pays for and about from here you probably know how it goes.

    Oh too, as for the socialism thing, folks on the right have a harm time seeing it but there’s a region of the left that doesn’t get the easy treatment that’s expected of MSM. When MSM isn’t ignoring articulate anti-war outfits and government critics like Matt Mountain and Abby Martin, it’s ignoring how they are shut down, or shut off.

    Want to damn Kavanaugh and the GOP Senate that voted for him? Rage, rage, we will feature you coast to coast.
    Oh, you’re lamenting the bombing in Yemen or noticing on broadcast media that during the Kavanaugh hearings every single Democrat voted for Trump’s military budget? hmmm, I notice you have a little antiwar Facebook site. Sure would be terrible if something were to happen to it.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  38. annamaria says:

    Twitter has been airing the personal information of 37 ICE agents and their spouses: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-17/portland-cracks-down-violent-protests-seattle-antifa-dox-ice-agents-over-twitter

    “Anitfa cell used their Twitter account to distribute the names and home addresses of 37 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and even included the personal contact information for their spouses. This violates multiple Twitter Terms of Service. Despite being reported multiple times, the account is still active and the tweet that targets and endangers ICE agents and their families is still live.”

    — Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey and his staff did not bother to respond or remove the personal information.

    One of the commenters has a rational suggestion: “doxing Twitter executives, board members, lawyers, spokesmen, and technicians needs to be a priority. Are there advertisers on Twitter? If so, dox their executives and board members. Dox their spouses and their employers too.”

  39. In a democracy, government is afraid of the people. In an autocracy, the people are afraid of the government.

  40. @Don Bacon

    This has been happening in the UK sites, the Guardian and the Independent in two different ways; the Guardian went first, gradually removing letters which it did not like more and more quickly until eventually they did not appear at all. It was followed by the Independent, which had been relatively interesting, “reorganizing” its comment section (and failing to allow comments on more and more articles) in a manner that meant at first one had to spend more and more time “logging in” and more and more often, one would find, having done so, that “logging in” did not in fact, allow you to either vote on or comment on anything.

    They have also instituted a sort of “Club of Like Minds” called “Independent Minds” that one can join for only (!) £5.99/month, which, presumably, gives one some sort of privilege in commenting. So far, (this has been running a couple of weeks) they seem to have got a small handful of “Independent Minds” to join up. This is a guess, I have seen two. Most of the previous posters have gone away or perhaps, been excluded.

  41. denk says:

    fukus reckons it has any business lecturing anybody on ‘human rights’

    hhhhhhhhh

  42. peterAUS says:
    @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    …I think you want to look at China as the tech incubator for information and thought control.

    They are definitely leading the way. (Eur)Asia I mean. Oceania if closely following.

    ..except the wires in the building you pay for run through the one China’s government pays for and about from here you probably know how it goes.

    True and crude.
    Still…hehe…where do “wires” go from you home/business as we speak? Sooner or later it all converges into big fibre optics cabling with control/management points.

    …as for the socialism thing..

    Well, that’s loaded word, especially within (alt)-RIGHT spectrum.

    As everything else it’s about balance. Shades of gray. Something is good, something is bad.
    Too hard to even think about that, of course. Headaches and such.People need simple issues. Including here.

    As for this:

    …hmmm, I notice you have a little antiwar Facebook site. Sure would be terrible if something were to happen to it.

    haha…oh yes.

  43. “Trust in Western society,” he warns, “is experiencing a crisis. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer has tracked this erosion, showing a 30 percent drop in trust in government over the last year in the United States.”

    To this guy, “Western Society” is whatever he wants it to be and in his definition, the epitome of it is a US Army recruiting poster.

    There’s a job waiting for him in North Korea where he could use his “skills” to define what are anti-North Korean thoughts. This type of person makes a good bureaucrat, they don’t question authority, and are loyal to their master to a T. The only problem is that these types are the first ones that go to the firing squad when the regime changes.

  44. Cops who passed their Wonderlic exam with a sub-104 IQ get together with military cannon fodder for a big meeting. What are they going to do? Find threats, of course. That’s how they’re trained. Sit, beg, stay, heel, paw, except they are only smart enough to learn one trick. Threat, Fido, threat!

    Only difference is, for the past few years these dumbshits have been getting their ass kicked by people who are not chickenshit timmie bureaucrats like them: by Taliban, Hezbollah, Shia militias, Russian military, blacks stopping traffic. So naturally they eschew further humiliation and sniff out a threat that lets them sit on their flabby ass behind a computer. What did they find? That portion of the domestic civilian population that lets you herd them into social-media terrariums like Facebook and Twitter to be watched and controlled. The most passive, powerless, and inert stratum of the population. Facebook is for Grammas and Grampas, Gmail is for consumer cattle. Staying off those neoAOLs is a good way to cull your organization. If a person doesn’t know enough to get a Protonmail or Riseup or Natural News or tutanota account, they are useless for any civil society role. Leapchat, Diaspora, i2p are inherently decentralized. You can roll your own social medium for the competent people you need.

    Remember, these same ‘Atlantic’ ASVAB waivers censored Myspace when users reported their war experiences to their friends back home. (Officers used Facebook, enlisted used Myspace so the Myspace correspondence was free of propaganda.) What did they accomplish? They destroyed Myspace. Now they’re going to destroy Facebook and Google. That will be great. The two captive CIA corporations will persist in exploiting a dwindling portion of apolitical lumpenproles who will never participate in anything you need to do. Nobody needs them. You can do anything you want with the most sophisticated few percent. You can effect forcible overthrow of the United States government and these poor sad bastards will never know it.

  45. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:

    “I mean…..FFS…how did people get their information before the Internet? You know, in era when people actually were doing something about TPTBs and such. There wasn’t any (public) Internet when The Wall came down. When Communist regimes were being brought down, even in nuclear superpower.”

    Unfortunately, the same internet that can be used to disseminate information can also be used to control it quite effectively. That’s something very much more potent than anything we saw in the past. The US regime, for example, regularly uses YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to shout down its enemies; hence, the plethora of “Barbecue Becky” type public shaming videos (an attempt to stop white solidarity while simultaneously providing examples of what could happen to other types of dissenters if they cross the state). Social media is a great way to summon outrage mobs at your political opponents. That probably explained why China never fell to the anti-communist uprisings: by the time there was a chance for that, the internet came into being and the state was able to use it to smoke out dissenters and crush them while also mass brainwashing the general public. In this sense, censoring the primary medium people use to gather information would be particularly devastating – enemies of the state have access to essentially nothing while the Ruling Class can quickly disseminate the “right” views en masse. I don’t see how there was ever an equivalent situation in the past, so I’m not entirely sure censorship won’t prove effective here…at least for several decades, at which time dissent won’t really matter because there won’t be anywhere to go. It certainly works in China.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  46. peterAUS says:
    @Anon

    Disagree.

    My point: what masses think and feel is irrelevant. What a certain percentage of middle class think and feel is.

    Unfortunately, the same internet that can be used to disseminate information can also be used to control it quite effectively. That’s something very much more potent than anything we saw in the past. The US regime, for example, regularly uses YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to shout down its enemies…

    I haven’t got Twitter and Facebook account. Neither of several guys I keep a contact with too.
    I watch carefully selected Youtube videos, sometimes.
    The bulk of my (non-professional) information I get, from Internet, via plain text. Even re my former and current professions, all the material of any value is in the plain text, simple pictures, schematics etc.

    Social media is a great way to summon outrage mobs at your political opponents.

    Social media is for masses, or better, mindless mob. Relying on them for any meaningful social change is ….well…free will. I wouldn’t spend a microsecond on it.

    That probably explained why China never fell to the anti-communist uprisings: by the time there was a chance for that, the internet came into being and the state was able to use it to smoke out dissenters and crush them while also mass brainwashing the general public. In this sense, censoring the primary medium people use to gather information would be particularly devastating – enemies of the state have access to essentially nothing while the Ruling Class can quickly disseminate the “right” views en masse. I don’t see how there was ever an equivalent situation in the past, so I’m not entirely sure censorship won’t prove effective here…at least for several decades, at which time dissent won’t really matter because there won’t be anywhere to go. It certainly works in China.

    We are talking about different culture there. Different people.
    Bottom line, I am not much interested in what works and what doesn’t in China and related cultures/races.

    What works in West is middle class which feels left out and wants to change that game.

    In practical terms, for this topic: any intelligent man with secondary school can, in 6 months tops, learn all that is to know about rendering censorship (for masses) useless. The catch is just: he has to be willing.
    At the moment he isn’t. Still enough breads and circuses with promise for more.
    We’ll see.

    And, seriously:
    The strategy of “informing masses” is waste of time and energy. Inefficient feel-good exercise. See this site; it does that. No prob.

    Now, imagine this: the owner here and his team decide to select a working group to create a blueprint for a real change in US with all the details there. One of them HOW to do that. Say, outside of Dem/Rep circus. A proper working plan, say, 1000 pages, tables, flowcharts, the works. Similar in format (if not context) to those documents made by TPTBs before “changing regimes” abroad.
    The work is done on this site, just in part accessible to those people, only.
    A question: you think that this site would keep going? No real consequences for the owner, his team and people in that working group? Yeah…….

    Analogy, from examples from real world:
    A PUB where people do, well, what they do in pub. As long as they do that, no prob.
    Now, imagine the owner gives a side room to a couple of very smart guys to discuss how to change the regime? Hehe…..police raid, say, tomorrow? With related consequences.

    Bottom line, talking about censorship on Internet isn’t quite the best use of time and energy related to thinking about any meaningful social change. But, it’s a good therapy. So, all good.

  47. niceland says:

    Interesting article.

    It seems to me one only has to change this small part of the article, then the rest of it could have been written by someone from the right wing.

    The Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to the highest levels of the state, has been a key partner in the social media companies’ censorship of left-wing views. Most notably, Facebook acted on a tip from the Atlantic Council when it shut down the official event page for an anti-fascist demonstration in Washington on the anniversary of last year’s neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville.

    Come to think of it, without specific examples, this article could appeal to people across the political spectrum. Still I see the tendency from both left and right to consider what is happening on social media as their own specific problem.

    In my circles I see how incredibly strong few social media platforms are. Facebook, Twitter and possibly few others to lesser extent. It seems to me few of these platforms + the MSM make up the entire “Internet” for some people, even sizable portion of the population.

    I am not in the least surprised the powers that be want to gain some control over them as outlined in the article and is already well on it’s way. If social media can be “aligned” with the MSM the big narrative is saved. On the big narrative everything else is built to sway public opinions and outcome of elections. This is what matters.

    For the U.S this is very important for foreign policy:
    Alfred said:

    It does not surprise me at all that an Australian “wanker” is involved in this scheme. There are only 2 newspaper groups in the country – and they both kowtow to Israel, the USA and the UK (in that order). The media is a direct copy of what the NYT, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post have to say. A country of 24 million cannot afford to employ journalists abroad.

    The situation is very similar in my own tiny country. Our main TV station interviewed our Foreign Minister tonight about the alleged Saudi killing of the journalist in Turkey. His views on the subject could have been lifted off the pages of Washington Post and probably were – like always!

    Few weeks ago there was a report published in Norway about their participation in NATO bombing on Libya. Something they are not so proud of, given the current situation and humanitarian crisis in Libya. In short one of the lesson was they had to admit they didn’t understand the situation on the ground before and during the attacks, because they got the information from the U.S and the MSM.

    I suspect this is the situation in many countries, try to imagine a local politician or party trying to go against everything the population has ever read in their local media in their own language. If the web destroys the official narrative pushed by the MSM, NATO would probably fall apart within few years. Much at stake here.

  48. Anon[381] • Disclaimer says:

    Throughout, this article deals in entirely too much shadow language and other forms of indirect suggestion to be very useful. At least until the last short paragraph in which the author has finally mustered enough courage to stop wasting the reader’s time and be direct.

    Today, and especially on this website, there is no excuse for indirect meandering political monologues.

    One spends their time trying to read in-between the lines and trying to discern who the article is actually referring to and sympathizing with.

    The article seemingly tries to signal sympathy with issues of both the Left and the Right, again indirectly, but in doing so severely mischaracterizes the reality. To give just on example, overwhelmingly the Left is not short on microphones due to suppression of speech on any platform. The Right is.

    Dismantling all of the author’s miscalculated statements and implications would take another essay. The lengthy response that an intentional lack of clarity always begs is one of the large community disadvantages of an indirect tack. Political pundits should be striving to reduce the noise in the signal by accounting for reality how it actually is, rather than increasing it in the vain hope that a small measure of political influence makes it through the fog. This is our nation, not a game.

    There are enough concrete clues that hint at the author’s faction and his real ultimate political influence goal.

    Sympathizing with and calling antifa antifascists instead of pro-communists that they admittedly and historically are for one, while sneakily attaching a supposed censorship issue for them that is overwhelmingly an issue for the Right and not the Left.

    The final paragraph mercifully summarizes the author’s political agenda:

    The struggle against censorship is the spearhead of the defense of all democratic rights. The most urgent task is to unify the working class, which is engaged in a wave of social struggles all over the world, behind the struggle against censorship as a component of the fight for socialism.

    To which I reply:

    We reject that socioeconomic classifications have an truly effective political function. In other words we reject the Marxist-communist view of the world.

    We affirm that real political power and politics is only created in the realm of ethnic unification and cooperation.

    We affirm that the communist tactic of reframing the ethnic reality of modern politics only serves to assist those who will continue to advance their group interests on an ethnic basis, against the peoples who have mistakenly disarmed themselves through the adoption of the politically neutered and thus false class politics of Marx.

    Those same people created communism, promote communism, and yet continue to be the most powerful ethnic group in the West today. That obvious behavioral conflict supports my claims as to the reality of modern politics, and supports my rejection of the author’s political frame and goals.

    Simply, a communist Jew is still an ethnonationalist. Therefore, Jewish-Marxism is predicated on false claims of how world politics works and will continue to work.

    Class politics fractures effective political groups. It does not create them.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  49. peterAUS says:
    @Anon

    Agree with up and including:

    To which I reply:

    Not with the rest I am afraid.

    Like:

    Class politics fractures effective political groups.

    is an interesting point.

    Any chance of describing how that ideal society of yours would look like?

    Let me guess:
    All white. So far so good.Well, apart of defining what exactly that means, who will measure and enforce it. Pesky details.

    And then the clincher: a thin layer of super-rich and powerful on top and mass of proles beneath? Ah, yes, and a management layer in between (related to proper dishing of violence first and foremost; downwards, naturally).

    Or I am wrong?

    Now, if I am wrong then, there IS a class issue still to think about even in that ethnic paradise?

    On practical level, unless you guys address BOTH ethnic and class elements that thing of yours ain’t gonna work save some…don’t know…miracle.
    They do happen. We just need to wait for them. And wait…………….
    While waiting we can still post on Internet. Works for some for a couple of reasons we won’t get into here.

  50. JLK says:

    As the article states, the mechanisms of Internet censorship already exist.

    Most of the censorship is by private companies in the form of de-platforming and search results suppression, but make no mistake, the state has the ability to quickly and completely disappear information from the Internet. I’ve seen it happen. Of course there are legitimate security purposes for having such capabilities. We can’t have H-bomb plans circulating on websites, obscure or not, or our deep cover agents abroad outed.

    One wonders if a publication like Russia Today would be disappeared in short order if it chose to elaborate on the symbolism of the 9/11 “teardrop memorial” sitting in Bayonne as a gift from Putin, which Bill Clinton was reportedly giggling about at its dedication. I’m sure there are national firewalls in place just in case of such an event.

    The worst part of our information environment, of course, is the state of the mainstream media, which is so bad that increasing numbers of Americans are voting with their feet trying to get information from blogs and other websites of mixed quality that are of course also seeded with misinformation.

    If a single mainstream newspaper in the US was permitted to deviate from lock step and print news more credible, it would become dominant on the Internet in short order. It speaks volumes about the situation that this hasn’t happened.

    There was a law passed in 1947 that prohibited the CIA from printing disinformation in the US media. It was repealed in 2010. The Church committee in the 1970s established that the government had paid agents on the staff of large US media organizations. The situation has obviously worsened considerably since then.

    Obviously the tail is wagging the dog if the government is permitted to manipulate the people who supposedly elect it.

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