Introduction: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, so I apologize if you’ve come across me saying it already. Today we have what seems to be a digital authoritarian Orwellian “fact-checker” patrolling the internet telling people what is and what isn’t. This does not imply that there isn’t a wealth of “fake news” and information out there, but should people not have the right to look at information openly and transparently and decide for themselves what is and what isn’t? Are people really that “dumb” to the point where we need Big Tech to step in and tell us what is true and what isn’t? This is a problem, especially given the fact that many issues are not so black and white. It also brings in the issue of corruption, and the ability of Big Tech to control the perception of the masses on various issues, be it political or something else. A big concern being raised is the idea that these companies who have been granted the ability to tell us ‘what is’ have strong political ties.
Today, those who support censorship do so under the guise of protection, relaying their opinion that it’s necessary to “protect our democracy.” It reminds me of the term “national security”, today it’s a term used to justify the concealment of information that exposes immoral and unethical actions of various governments and multinational corporations. Is this why Julian Assange is in jail?
How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy. – Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of Int Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Prof of Int Law at the University of Glasgow, UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
I agree with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, that the censorship we are seeing today is “not really about protecting people from harm.” He pointed out in a recent interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald that “the internet has become the de facto means of mass communication. That represents influence which represents power, and what we see is we see a whole number of different tribes basically squabbling to try and gain control over this instrument of power.” This instrument of power allows these platforms to control the way people think, behave, and tells what to believe.
What Happened: The New York Times recently published an essay on detailing a range of recommendations for the Biden administration to adopt to fix the “reality crisis” and “de-radicalize” citizens, including setting up a “reality czar” and “truth commission.” Again, this has sort of happened already in various indirect ways. Politicians, doctors and scientists have now been subjected to extreme censorship measures, especially when it comes to COVID-19. Any information, evidence or opinion that opposes or calls into question government health regulatory agencies, their recommendations or actions seems to be completely ignored, ridiculed and censored. Debate and/or conversation is not even encouraged. This has many people questioning what’s really happening in our world? Why is it that someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci can receive massive mainstream media attention when so many other experts in the field never see the light of day?
Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – source)(
The essay was written by technology columnist Kevin Roose, and it explains how “conspiracy theories” have been embraced by millions of Americans and that so many people have succumb to “hoaxes, lies and collective delusions” that has these people creating “their own version of reality.” But is this true? Are all these “hoaxes and lies” actually hoaxes and lies? I don’t know, but what I do know is that mainstream media fails to have appropriate conversations about them.
Joan Donovan, the research director of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, suggested that the Biden administration could set up a “truth commission.”…Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar.” – NTY essay.
Roose then states that these experts warned that much more is needed to “bring back the millions of already radicalized Americans” who the essay claims are drawn to “extremist groups like the Proud Boys and conspiracy theories like QAnon not because they’re convinced by the facts, but because the beliefs give them a sense of community or purpose, or fills a void in their lives.”
Expert Micah Clark, a program director at London counter extremism firm Moonshot CVE, suggests “a kind of ‘social stimulus’ — a series of federal programs to encourage people to get off their screens and into community-based activities that could keep them engaged and occupied” as an effective means to curb radicalization.
To me, it’s reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984 is a classic book depicting a populace ruled by a political regime that persecutes individualism and independent critical thinking as “thoughtcrimes” that must be enforced by the “thought police.” This party seeks power above all, and, through the propagandist Ministry of Truth, presents the people with their version of truth.
When it comes to QAnnon, I believe this movement has made it much easier for powerful people to justify censorship and the deplatforming of various people on social media outlets. By that I mean you don’t need QAnon to create awareness about elite level pedophilia, for example. There are more than enough extremely credible sources to create awareness about that topic, so why use someone posting as QAnon that doesn’t really provide any link to credible information? Why not use the Franklin Scandal or more examples from big poltics for example, or information regarding Jeffrey Epstein, or survivor testimony? Why not use examples from the Pentagon? Or others from Hollywood and more? Why not use concrete solid examples? By not using proper sources, it simply ridicules the topic and doesn’t bode well for its credibility. It makes it look more ridiculous and more like a “conspiracy theory” in the minds of the masses. When you use something like QAnon, it really does make it look like a conspiracy theory, when in fact the type of elite level child sex trafficking is a very real one that deserves serious attention.
It’s also important to mention, again, that this censorship is not just happening to “extremists” and other such groups, it’s happening to renowned scientists, journalists and doctors. Why is it that the New York Times, for example, use ridicule and hatred to belittle a belief but never acknowledge the reasons as to why people believe what they do? Why do they simply label something as a “conspiracy theory” without any evidence that it actually is a conspiracy theory?
That being said, I don’t think anything needs to be censored. I think what we need here is less ridicule and more of an understanding of why someone feels the way they do, especially if they disagree with your view-point. More empathy is needed, the type of censorship happening today seems to be done, in my opinion, not to protect people or the truth, but keep a stranglehold over the perception of people for political, financial, and other gains. Perception manipulation has long been a tool used by mainstream media, this is made evident from declassified documents showing the relationship mainstream media outlets have the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for example. We are at the point today where mainstream media networks can say one thing, while other big networks can be saying something completely different. People do not know who to trust anymore and have been drawn towards independent media outlets. These media outlets, like Collective Evolution, as a result have been subjected to extreme amounts of censorship.
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. – Edward Bernays (Propaganda, 1928)
The Takeaway: At the end of the day, regardless of what is true and what isn’t, the mainstream and traditional media seem to be failing to have important conversations that are controversial. Things are so divided right now, on one end you have people convinced of something, and on another end you have mainstream articles denouncing something as a crazy conspiracy theory. What we are lacking right now is rigor and critical thinking.
Given we are deeply feeling the need to make sense of our world, is it time we begin to look at developing the inner faculties necessary to move beyond ideology, limited thinking patterns and truly begin looking at what evidence around us says?
What’s happening right now might seem chaotic, but it’s truly been a catalyst for more people to question what’s happening on our world, to question actions by our governments, and to question why we really live the way we do.
Related CE Article: Conspireality: Is It Time For A Serious Conversation?
The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society, and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it… And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it’s in my control, and no official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know….But we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding it’s fear of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It’s preparations are concealed, not published. It’s mistakes are buried, not headlined. It’s dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned. No rumor is printed. No secret is revealed. – JFK
Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.
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