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Big Tech Censorship Goes Well Beyond Twitter

Big Tech media is not, in itself, an answer to current legacy mainstream media if we would like to know information that our betters would prefer that we didn't

The big news (if it is even news) is that most Big Tech media are involved in censorship of opinions disapproved by the governing elite. Elon Musk has certainly shone a light by buying Twitter and releasing the house files to independent journalists. Legacy media entities still refuse to cover the story seriously (probably because they cannot take inevitable further blows to their relevance, numbers, or prestige)

First, some updates on the Twitter Files via indie journalist Matt Taibbi:

Twitter files 11 deals with — among other things — the way Twitter was pressured in 2016 by political friends, then out of power, to discover that there was Russian involvement in the outcome of the U.S. 2016 election. Twitter was not able to demonstrate that. But it could agree to just co-operate and it did:

Taibbi’s Twitter files 12 tells readers how much the FBI had to do with managing the news Twitter users see:

Twitter, in sum, went along with government advice on how to control the news. Here are capsule summaries of all the Twitter files to date.

Incidentally, legacy media types — enraged by Musk’s revelations — are currently whining about instances of temporary censorship of their activities — when it’s apparent that they would approve of permanent censorship for anyone who threatens their dominance. That sort of thing contributes to plummeting trust in legacy media.

Similarly, from NPR we learn, “Elon Musk is using the Twitter Files to discredit foes and push conspiracy theories.” Oh, really? The problem the rest of us face sounds more like this:

But that’s just Twitter. Look at some of the others.

What about TikTok?

So popular among teens:

Rather than ban TikTok from the U.S., the U.S. Security State is now doing exactly that which China does to U.S. tech companies: namely, requiring that, as a condition to maintaining access to the American market, TikTok must now censor content that undermines what these agencies view as American national security interests. TikTok, desperate not to lose access to hundreds of millions of Americans, has been making a series of significant concessions to appease the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, the agencies most opposed to deals to allow TikTok to stay in the U.S.

Among those concessions is that TikTok is now outsourcing what the U.S. Government calls “content moderation” — a pleasant-sounding euphemism for political censorship — to groups controlled by the U.S. Government.

Glenn Greenwald, “Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok’s Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted” at Glenn Greenwald/Substack (December 28, 2022)

Does this matter? Well, Glenn Greenwald tells us that Tik Tok recently deleted a video critical of Ukraine president Zelensky for violating its standards. The video offered nothing more than information and opinion about corruption and Nazi influence in Ukraine that was once conventional information and opinion: “To be sure, the excerpt was critical of Zelensky, but there is absolutely nothing even factually contestable, let alone untrue, given that the whole point of the clip is to show how the media had spoken of Ukraine and Zelensky prior to the invasion as opposed to the fundamentally different tone that now drives their coverage” (Greenwald).

No surprise. Governments that gain control of media generally want an absolute rewrite of history so that it re-emerges as a PR machine for their governance.

And Facebook?

Since 2016, Facebook has been operating a scheme to “Remove, Reduce, Inform” to address “problematic” content:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as demanded by the Biden administration, Facebook employed the scheme to suppress and counter content violative of the Anthony Fauci party line.

Aaron Berman, Facebook’s misinformation policy chief, described how the company relied on purportedly independent but reliably progressive fact-checkers to flag COVID “misinformation” during an August 2021 Stanford University-convened conference on America’s “INFODEMIC.” Facebook would remove such content, limit its reach into users’ feeds algorithmically and/or slap warning labels on it featuring links to “authoritative information” in a bid, for example, to combat “vaccine hesitancy” — which would also trigger its algorithm to reduce distribution…

As with many Twitter officials involved in content moderation decisions, Berman had been a 17-plus-year employee of the CIA, where among other things he wrote and edited the President’s Daily Brief. Ex-intelligence officials from the CIA, FBI, DHS and beyond fill Facebook’s trust and safety team ranks.

Benjamin Weingarten, “It’s not just Twitter — how Facebook, Google and other Big Tech companies censor us” at New York Post (December 25, 2022)

‘Nuff said.

And YouTube? We are told that it “terminated thousands of channels covering content of which it disapproved during the 2020 election.” Story for another day.

Summary: Big Tech media is not, in itself, an answer to current legacy mainstream media if we would like to know information that our betters would prefer that we didn’t.

You may also wish to read: Trend: Steeper decline in TV, Hollywood — and comic books. It’s as if the public has simply lost the sense that the media represent the average watcher or reader — and that’s probably true in many cases. Woke politics and themes may be as much an effect here as a cause. Already losing capital and influence, media may try Woke rather than simply manage a decline.

Denyse O'Leary

Denyse O'Leary is a freelance journalist based in Victoria, Canada. Specializing in faith and science issues, she is co-author, with neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul; and with neurosurgeon Michael Egnor of the forthcoming The Immortal Mind: A Neurosurgeon’s Case for the Existence of the Soul (Worthy, 2025). She received her degree in honors English language and literature.

Big Tech Censorship Goes Well Beyond Twitter