February 2018 stands as the moment internet censorship and heavy suppression of alternative voices questioning the mainstream narrative kicked into gear. The catalyst for the social media clampdown coincided with the Florida Parkland school shooting which tragically occurred on 14th February 2018. Shortly after certain individuals, alternative organisations questioned the mainstream narrative of the incident. Many youtube channels were swiftly met with a ban for alleged hate speech and bullying.
Censorship has happened on a range of topics which mainstream voices would label as Conspiracy. A good example would include the Qanon phenomenon which is considered to be an output of continuing US military intelligence in the ongoing fight against the Deep State. It can be argued, a forceful operation has been rolled out to curtail independent media voices.
For the majority, the censorship has centered around the Google-owned video platform YouTube. But the crackdown has affected similar platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. With users being given a ban of 2 weeks, 30 days and even lifetime bans. The wide-scale censorship event has been loosely dubbed The YouTube Purge.
On the subject of freedom of expression. New York YouTuber Casey Neistat released an interview with the Chief Business Officer of YouTube Robert Kyncl filmed at the beginning of February 2018. This was a couple weeks before the censorship reached its peak. In the interview, Kyncl very clearly defined YouTubes Policy concerning Free Speech…
YouTube operates on a strike system for copyright infringement and community guidelines. If a channel exceeds 4 strikes in either category, the channel is taken offline. Some individuals with no violations were given 4 strikes over a short period of time. YouTube even factored in old videos uploaded retrospectively.
A very useful Reddit Thread noting the censorship violations has documented over 70 channel takedowns. Some channels that were affected include The Health Ranger, Alex Jones, David Seaman, Richie Allen, Destroying the illusion to name a few.
A highly popular sub-Reddit thread for the Qanon disclosures and other intelligence surrounding the alleged Storm named CBTS_Stream was been banned. On 16th March Reddit has alleged the thread encourages or incites violence. Directly violating their content policy.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel away from this draconian suppression of free speech? Jordan Sather’s Destroying the Illusion YouTube channel was reinstated Friday 16th March. Jerome Corsi’s deleted channel was also reactivated but minus his archive of previous recorded material. This reversal was after alleged pressure from the White House. The unusual governmental intervention could be in connection with Corsi’s work involving the Qanon disclosures. The RichieFromBoston channel ban was also overturned after he solicited his Lawyer to contact YouTube to prove the reasons behind the ban
So why has this happened?
In respect to YouTube. It was reported by Bloomberg on 28th February Google admitted a freshly hired team of 10,000 new video moderators had mistakingly taken down some videos and channels offline. Although they officially stated they wouldn’t be drawn on discussing individual cases.
TheQuartering channel alleges to have some inside knowledge over why this intense period of censorship occurred. A video posted 1st March explored how Google targeted conservative-leaning channels, along with what he calls ‘tinfoil’ content. He realised the G word relating to firearms was specifically targeted by Google’s listening technology. He alleges new algorithm search technology has been switched on. They allegedly call it ‘YouTube Approved Science’. Structured to operate as an automated flagging system. If content is flagged, videos are purposefully buried in the search results, and so is more likely to be given a community or copyright strike.
This anecdotal explanation maybe tallies with a story compiled by Exopolitics specialist Dr. Michael Salla called ‘Hate Speech Initiative a Trojan Horse for AI Takeover of Humanity‘. In the article, he highlights comments made by Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking who consider AI to be one of humanities largest threats.
We could very easily end up in a dystopian future where different forms of AI are used to monitor and regulate human behaviour in egregious ways, and any humans protesting or warning what the AI system is doing would be censored for hate speech.
Censorship over the last couple of years has been steadily increasing, the precursor to this suppression was the practice of shadow banning.
The technique was employed effectively to hide content from followers, subscribers, and other users. Originally the technology was created to halt the spread of spam. Hindering professional spammers from continually creating new profiles. But this technology has now unfortunately morphed into a tool of suppression. This practice was heavily investigated by Project Veritas. They were covertly able to capture a Twitter software Engineer Abhinav Vadrevu to admit to the practice whilst being filmed by a hidden camera.
The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned because they keep posting but no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content when in reality, no one is seeing it.
The growth and development of Social media and its importance in modern society has always been influenced by the intelligence community. An article featured on Medium.com dated 22nd January 2015 documents a crowd-funded investigative journalism project called ‘Insurge Intelligence’. The investigation explored how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the worlds online social interactions and flow of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA. Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’
A highly recommended video produced by The Corbett Report titled ‘The Weaponization of Social Media’ explores a brief history of the intelligence communities meddling in Social Media. He highlights the recent public statements made by former Facebook President Sean Parker, former executive Chamath Palihapitiya, and others have warned against the negative effects of social media us.
The US Government, Department of Defence, and Darpa have all published papers explaining how social platforms should be used as an arena to subvert and manipulate public opinion. In the video, Corbett exposes how The Pentagon contracted an organisation called Ntrepid to develop software for military operators to create and control fake social network personas. Officially they weren’t allowed to use the software on US citizens. Its implementation was directed towards Arabic, Persian and Urdu speaking countries.
The UK’s GCHQ the equivalent of the NAS has published its own investigations on the subject, with a document called The Art Of Deception – Training For A New Generation Of Online Covert Operations. Within the paper, they discuss building cyber magicians. Trained specifically to deceive, manipulate and prime internet communities.
So are there any alternatives to the usual dominant social networks. In the spirit of free speech other networks have been seeded into the online world. New platforms recently launched include BitChute, Dtube, Steemit, and Gab. David Seaman has been banned for life from many of the major media platforms. These new networks allow him and his organisation Fulcrum News to carry on.
But the loss of alternative voices from mainstream platforms means there will be inevitably fewer people exposed to alternative ways of seeing the world. The majority of the internet using population could view these new products as being too niche or alternative for them. It may be hard for them to deviate away from the already well established social networks.
The late President JFK elegantly summaries the importance of freedom to express and challenge the status quo.
If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.
By Simon Hannabuss