Locked-Away In ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ Camps: The Orwellian Dystopia Of The “Censorship-Industrial-Complex”

I think something is seriously wrong with my brain. Yesterday, I hallucinated that Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives about the Censorship Industrial Complex, i.e., the US arm of the global official propaganda and disinformation apparatus that has been waging an all-out war on dissent for the better part of the last six years.

I know this couldn’t have actually happened, and was just an extended hallucination (probably the result of the copious amount of drugs I consumed in my misspent youth, or the effects of a Commie bio-weapon with a fatality rate of less than one percent, because I’ve been writing about The War on Dissent (2018), and The Criminalization of Dissent (2021), and the global Corporate COINTELPRO op (2017), and The War on Reality (2021), and The Manufacturing of Reality (2021), and Manufacturing Truth (2018), and Manufacturing Normality (2016), and The Road to Totalitarianism (2022), and The Gaslighting of the Masses (2022) … well, for quite some time. So, I’m sure it was just an hallucination, because there’s no way Matt and Shellenberger were actually sitting there talking about how …

“We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation ‘requests’ from every corner of government: the FBI, DHS, HHS, DOD, the Global Engagement Center at State, even the CIA. For every government agency scanning Twitter, there were perhaps 20 quasi-private entities doing the same, including Stanford’s Election Integrity Project, Newsguard, the Global Disinformation Index, and others, many taxpayer-funded.”

(Matt Taibbi’s Statement to Congress)

… and documenting the coordinated censorship of sources that interfered with certain official narratives, like “Russiagate” and “The Apocalpytic Virus” …

Keep reading

The Censorship Complex Isn’t A ‘Tinfoil Hat’ Conspiracy, And The ‘Twitter Files’ Just Dropped More Proof

“It may be possible — if we can take off the tinfoil hat — that there is not a vast conspiracy,” Democrat Colin Allred of Texas scoffed at independent journalist Matt Taibbi during Thursday’s House Judiciary subcommittee hearing. But while Allred was busy deriding Taibbi and fellow witness, journalist Michael Shellenberger, the public was digesting the latest installment of the “Twitter Files” — which contained yet further proof that the government funds and leads a sprawling Censorship Complex.

Taibbi dropped the Twitter thread about an hour before the House Judiciary’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing began. And notwithstanding the breadth and depth of the players revealed in the 17-or-so earlier installments of the “Twitter Files,” Thursday’s reporting exposed even more government-funded organizations pushing Twitter to censor speech. 

But yesterday’s thread, titled “The Censorship-Industrial Complex,” did more than merely expand the knowledge base of the various actors: It revealed that government-funded organizations sought the censorship of truthful speech by ordinary Americans. 

In his prepared testimony for the subcommittee, Shellenberger spoke of the censorship slide he saw in reviewing the internal Twitter communications. “The bar for bringing in military-grade government monitoring and speech-countering techniques has moved from ‘countering terrorism’ to ‘countering extremism’ to ‘countering simple misinformation.’ Otherwise known as being wrong on the internet,” Shellenberger testified

“The government no longer needs the predicate of calling you a terrorist or an extremist to deploy government resources to counter your political activity,” Shellenberger continued. “The only predicate it needs is the assertion that the opinion you expressed on social media is wrong.”

Being “wrong” isn’t even a prerequisite for censorship requests, however, with the Virality Project headed out of the Stanford Internet Observatory reportedly pushing “multiple platforms” to censor “true content which might promote vaccine hesitancy.” 

Keep reading

Homeland Security Department Caught Hiding Evidence of ‘Domestic Censorship Activities’

By now, it should not surprise you to learn that a federal intelligence agency is trying to cover up evidence showing that they are working to censor free speech. The past decade has shown us that the federal government has no qualms with trying to use its power to shape public opinion – especially through censorship.

This time, it is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that was reportedly caught trying to conceal its role in squashing certain political views on Big Tech platforms. Fox News reported:

A federal agency in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that’s been scrutinized for what critics argue is suppression of dissenting political views under the guise of combating disinformation now appears to be “burying” evidence of its alleged censorship, experts and watchdog groups say.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, has come under fire for working with Big Tech companies to flag and take down social media posts related to elections, COVID vaccines, and a range of other issues that were deemed mis-, dis-, and malinformation (MDM).

Mike Benz, executive director of the Foundation for Freedom Online, told Fox News his research found that CISA has attempted to hide its involvement in suppressing opinions posted on social media by Americans. The agency’s MDM webpage discusses “foreign influence operations and disinformation … targeting election infrastructure.” It says nothing of focusing on domestic activity.

But this particular page is new and “has a short web archive history” according to the Fox News report, which also noted that it only existed “since late last month.”

However, the old CISA page related to MDM addresses both “foreign and domestic threat actors [using] MDM campaigns to cause chaos, confusion, and division.” It also gives a much wider definition of CISA’s mission as working “in close coordination with interagency and private sector partners, social media companies, academia, and international partners on a variety of projects to build resilience against malicious information activities.”

Keep reading

Is The Left Harnessing Fake Antisemitic Attacks To Silence Americans’ Speech?

“Speech, expression and assembly” represent the triumvirate for truth.  Short of breaking existing laws around physical violence and incitement to physical violence, the more we have of all three, the closer we come to that more perfect union, offering the most freedom for the most people with the least government interference.  But in an age of internet technology with deep fakes, bots, hacks, and myriad pathways to craft and deliver mis- and dis-information, radical left-wingers can abuse and use those liberties to tarnish conservatives, desensitize our communities to certain phenomena, and squelch our freedoms.  It behooves individuals, our government, and even watchdog organizations to pause before reacting to information from somewhere on the internet.  

As an example, did you know that, on February 25, America’s neo-Nazi and White Supremacist groups sponsored a national “Day of Hate”? You probably didn’t hear anything about it unless you are Jewish and your inbox was inundated with emails from various Jewish organizations, synagogues, and even local condo boards, warning of “an online campaign by domestic violence extremists, calling for an anti-Semitic “Day of Hate.”

As it turned out, despite the terror this announcement caused in Jewish households and houses of worship across the country and as far away as Israel, the “Day of Hate” passed without incident, as reported in The Forward, a progressive Jewish publication.

It’s good that nothing happened. The last thing anyone wants, including this skeptic, is more violence. But anti-Semitism is on the march, and we must monitor and be aware of it no matter the source—white supremacists, non-white supremacists, Antifa, or Islamic extremists. The problem for Jews and non-Jews alike, as evidenced by the “Day of Hate” that never happened, is that America’s politicians, journalists, and activists are only concerned with anti-Semitism coming from white people.

Keep reading

US State Department entity flagged thousands of accounts to Twitter for censorship

A United States (US) government department and a government-funded think tank collectively flagged tens of thousands of tweets to Twitter for censorship.

This secret censorship was exposed in the latest batch of “Twitter Files” (internal communications from the previous Twitter regime that reveal numerous examples of clandestine censorship) which was published by journalist Matt Taibbi.

One of the entities that compiled lists of accounts for Twitter to censor was the Global Engagement Center (GEC) — a State Department entity that was established through a President Barack Obama Executive Order in March 2016.

Taibbi said that the GEC flagged 5,500 accounts to Twitter because it believed they were Chinese accounts engaging in “state-backed coordinated manipulation and 499 accounts to Twitter because they had been branded as “foreign disinformation.” Yet many of the accounts on the Chinese list were non-Chinese. Some were Western government accounts and three accounts were those of CNN employees based abroad.

Twitter also deduced that many of the accounts were not Chinese with then-Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth describing the list as “a total crock.”

Keep reading

6 Ways The Censorship Complex Silences Speech It Doesn’t Want You To Say Or Hear

Since Trump entered the political arena and proved the efficacy of sidestepping the legacy media and speaking directly to the people, a cabal of government agencies, politicians, academia, nonprofits, the corrupt press, and Big Tech have joined forces to erect a Censorship Complex. Collaboration, funding, and groupthink connect these players, and an analysis of their functioning reveals six ways they operate to censor speech in America.

Keep reading

James Bond books rewritten to remove ‘offensive’ references

Racial references have been removed from Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels following a sensitivity review.

Terms such as the n-word, which featured in his writing from the 1950s and 1960s, have been edited out of new editions of the 007 books, which are set for reissue in April.

Some depictions of Black people have also been reworked or removed, but references to other ethnicities, including the use of a term for east Asian people and Bond’s mocking views of Oddjob, Goldfinger’s Korean henchman, remain.

Revised lines include Bond’s assessment in Live and Let Die that African would-be criminals are “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought, except when they’ve drunk too much”, which has been changed to “pretty law-abiding chaps I should have thought”.

However, references to the “sweet tang of rape”, “blithering women”, doing a “man’s work”, and homosexuality being described as a “stubborn disability” have been kept in, reported The Daily Telegraph.

A disclaimer accompanying the new editions is expected to read: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.

Keep reading

New Law Sought by Brazil’s Lula to Ban and Punish “Fake News and Disinformation” Threatens the Free Internet Everywhere

A major escalation in official online censorship regimes is progressing rapidly in Brazil, with implications for everyone in the democratic world. Under Brazil’s new government headed by President Lula da Silva, the country is poised to become the first in the democratic world to implement a law censoring and banning, and punishing not only “fake news” and “disinformation” online, but also punishing those deemed guilty of spreading it. Such laws already exist throughout the non-democratic world, adopted years ago by the planet’s most tyrannical regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. 

If one wishes to be generous with the phrase “the democratic world” and include Malaysia and Singapore – at best hybrid “democracies” – then one could argue that a couple other “democratic” governments have already seized the power to decree Absolute Truth and then ban any deviation from it. But absent unexpected opposition, Brazil will soon become the first country unambiguously included in the democratic world to outlaw “fake news” and vest government officials with the power to banish it and punish its authors. 

Last May, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was forced to retreat from its attempt to appoint a “disinformation czar” to oversee what would effectively be its Ministry of Truth. That new DHS agency, at least nominally, was to be only advisory: it would declare truth and falsity and then pressure online platforms to comply by banning that which was deemed false. The backlash was so great that DHS finally claimed to cancel it, though secret documents emerged in October describing the agency’s plans to continue to shape online censorship decisions of Big Tech. 

Brazil’s law would be anything but advisory. Though the details are still yet to be released, it would empower law enforcement officials to take action against citizens deemed to be publishing statements that the government classifies as “false,” and to solicit courts to impose punishment on those who do so.

Keep reading

Roald Dahl’s publisher to offer books ‘uncensored’ after backlash

On Friday, Puffin, the publisher of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, announced they were releasing uncensored “classic texts” of Dahl’s body of work through their parent company, Penguin, following backlash. That backlash, from PEN America, readers, and lovers of literature was against the publishing house for making hundreds of changes to the works after “sensitivity readers” deemed some of Dahl’s original language offensive to modern readers.

According to the publisher’s website, “Puffin announces today the release of The Roald Dahl Classic Collection, to keep the author’s classic texts in print. These seventeen titles will be published under the Penguin logo, as individual titles in paperback, and will be available later this year. The books will include archive material relevant to each of the stories.”

The Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children’s division, Francesca Dow, said, “We’ve listened to the debate over the past week which has reaffirmed the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books and the very real questions around how stories from another era can be kept relevant for each new generation.”

“As a children’s publisher, our role is to share the magic of stories with children with the greatest thought and care. Roald Dahl’s fantastic books are often the first stories young children will read independently, and taking care for the imaginations and fast-developing minds of young readers is both a privilege and a responsibility,” Dow said. “We also recognise the importance of keeping Dahl’s classic texts in print.  By making both Puffin and Penguin versions available, we are offering readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s magical, marvellous stories.”

The change comes after the Telegraph published details last week on how Puffin consulted with Inclusive Minds, a “collective for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature,” and subsequently made changes in the author’s language regarding mental health, violence, gender, weight, and race that ranged from full portions being rewritten or cut. 

Keep reading

Censors Use AI to Target Podcasts

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter may have capped the opening chapter in the Information Wars, where free speech won a small but crucial battle. Full spectrum combat across the digital landscape, however, will only intensify, as a new report from the Brookings Institution, a key player in the censorship industrial complex, demonstrates. 

First, a review.

Reams of internal documents, known as the Twitter Files, show that social media censorship in recent years was far broader and more systematic than even we critics suspected. Worse, the files exposed deep cooperation – even operational integration – among Twitter and dozens of government agencies, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, DOD, CIA, Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, and, of course, the White House. 

Government agencies also enlisted a host of academic and non-profit organizations to do their dirty work. The Global Engagement Center, housed in the State Department, for example, was originally launched to combat international terrorism but has now been repurposed to target Americans.

The US State Department also funded a UK outfit called the Global Disinformation Index, which blacklists American individuals and groups and convinces advertisers and potential vendors to avoid them. Homeland Security created the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) – including the Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab – which flagged for social suppression tens of millions of messages posted by American citizens.

Even former high government US officials got in on the act – appealing directly (and successfully) to Twitter to ban mischief-making truth-tellers. 

With the total credibility collapse of legacy media over the last 15 years, people around the world turned to social media for news and discussion. When social media then began censoring the most pressing topics, such as Covid-19, people increasingly turned to podcasts. Physicians and analysts who’d been suppressed on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and who were of course nowhere to be found in legacy media, delivered via podcasts much of the very best analysis on the broad array of pandemic science and policy. 

Which brings us to the new report from Brookings, which concludes that one of the most prolific sources of ‘misinformation’ is now – you guessed it – podcasts. And further, that the underregulation of podcasts is a grave danger.

Keep reading