Beneath the noise of America’s Capitol Hill protests lurks the silent rise of Silicon Valley.
Tens of thousands of social media users have vanished from the online discussion – snuffed out in the last twenty-four hours without acknowledgement by the platforms involved. It is the erasure of political opposition to create the illusion of consensus. What was once a playground of ideas has become a digital ‘yes-man’ for those with delusions of power.
Purging is customary at the beginning of a cultural revolution. When emotionally insecure political movements take power, their first course of action is to expunge criticism. Historically, this was achieved through murder and expulsion of populations from a region. In 2020, civilisation’s ideological landscape is digital and the eviction is via an account suspension.
Twitter’s only comment about the disturbing tide of mass censorship was made yesterday in a series of posts related to President Donald Trump’s account:
Our public interest policy – which has guided our enforcement action in this area for years – ends where we believe the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe. In regard to the ongoing situation in Washington, D.C., we are working proactively to protect the health of the public conversation occurring on the service and will take action on any content that violates the Twitter Rules. Threats of and calls to violence are against Twitter Rules, and we are enforcing our policies accordingly. In addition, we have been significantly restricting engagement with Tweets labelled under our Civic Integrity Policy due to the risk of violence. This means these labelled Tweets will not be able to be replied to, retweeted, or liked. We are also exploring other escalated enforcement actions and will keep the public updated with any significant developments. We will continue to evaluate the situation in real time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter. We will keep the public informed, including if further escalation in our enforcement approach is necessary.’
Which was later followed by the following statement:
As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three Donald Trump tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy. Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the Donald Trump account.’
In the interests of transparency and fairness, these are the two Tweets from Donald Trump which were removed by Twitter:
Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!’
These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!’
If you are thinking to yourselves, ‘Gee, that’s pretty tame compared to Antifa and Black Lives Matter spending four years organising violent riots, threatening to kill ‘white people’, destroying public and private property, calling police officers ‘pigs’ and inciting their followers to murder them while demanding the complete destruction of democracy via revolution’ – you’d be right. Twitter refuses to suspend or ban accounts from these organisations, even when they send death threats or post advertisements for Molotov Cocktail riots.
This double-standard does not come as a surprise considering Twitter’s ex-CEO, Dick Costolo, posted this Tweet without comment or consequence:
Me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from businesses are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution. I’ll happily provide video commentary.’
Or even this hilarious gem from the official (blue tick!) Chinese Embassy:
Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines. They are more confident and independent.
There is no point looking for a ‘The claim of female emancipation inside Chinese concentration camps is disputed!’ warning attached to the Tweet. China makes its own facts and Twitter verifies them.
Who gave Twitter the authority to label someone a ‘hate speaker’?
No one – and here is the crucial point that is being missed by so many in the media. It is not the place of social media giants to control the political conversation within a democracy.
The social media business model involves getting unimaginably rich from user-generated content which they are allowed to host without legal liability provided they adhere to a piece of legislation called Section 230 Immunity. Internet platforms were granted protection regarding content on the strict understanding that they act in good faith and do not execute editorial control beyond the limited conditions set out in the Good Samaritan clause (which deals with the removal of trolls, targeted harassment, and otherwise illegal content).
By declaring themselves to be an editor of the public conversation, Twitter has confessed to using the editorial privileges reserved for publishers. If nothing else, these statements constitute an admission that Twitter has abandoned their façade as a genuine platform and embraced its position as a lawless media empire.
If Twitter (and Facebook, who has behaved in a similar fashion) were ordinary companies, they would be dragged before the courts to face the removal of their Section 230 immunity and be swiftly re-classified as publishers, destroying their business model. What has become obvious to everyone is that these are not normal companies. In addition to their immense wealth, Twitter has ingratiated itself as a political weapon for politicians, individuals, and corporate entities. They are protected by a network of friends so powerful that it looks likely that they will escape a pending antitrust review and accusations of election interference, which occurred when executives donated to the Biden campaign whilst their companies censored unflattering stories.
While my favourite absurdity of 2020 remains die-hard Communists rushing to Twitter’s defence screaming, ‘Private companies can do what they like!’ – the failure of politicians and the courts to enforce the proper boundaries of Section 230 Immunity on these Social Media entities has left them untouchable. Twitter and its in-bred cousins consider themselves to be editors in chief of the public conversation, the moderators of thought, and guardians of the Truth®.
The internet – originally envisioned as a shrine to Western liberty – is now a four-by-four cell monitored by a corporate authoritarian regime with a CEO who looks like Osama Bin Laden’s homeless brother.
Then along came our politicians who toddled onto the scene and saw social media as a way to promote their own interests. Instead of recognising this vital piece of intellectual infrastructure, their greed murdered an invention that had revolutionised the world for the better. What’s left is nothing more than a mechanism of social control. In this, conservative and left-wing politicians share equal blame.
This is the third significant online purge since the 2020 US elections.
The first was in the days leading up to the election where conservative accounts were put on temporary suspensions, presumably to stop them from using Twitter as a campaign platform. This created a cosy echo chamber for the Democrats and their followers for the duration of the vote. The second removal of users was during the Hunter Biden laptop saga when the anonymous fact-checkers of Twitter went into a frenzy, banishing anyone who dared to talk about the scandal involving Biden’s son. On that occasion, Twitter blocked official media publications, including The New York Post, and was eventually dragged in front of a Senate hearing to explain their actions. The third event started yesterday, and despite how things may look, it was not triggered by protests at Capitol Hill, but rather something far more troubling…
Yesterday Twitter realised that there is no one in power to hold them to the law. Where once they had to hide their political censorship, it has become overt. They have begun publicising their role as the social moderators of our age. As is always the case, censorship is never happy. Those who cheer today for the removal of conservatives will wake up one morning to find themselves deleted with no one willing ask where they went.
It should be noted that while Twitter is actively suspending conservative accounts for its own reasons, pro-democracy Hong Kong accounts are hidden among the culling. Those who fight for freedom at the edge of Communist China, are being lost without comment. While not the focus of this article, it is a symptom of the same problem.
What happened on Capitol Hill was inevitable.
The groundwork for civil unrest has been laid by every social media shadowban, every act of censorship, every unfair application of the law, every political endorsement of rampaging mobs, every failure of the courts to punish domestic terrorists, every celebrity who bailed out violent thugs, every Black Lives Matter and Antifa activist who preyed upon the innocent, every lecturer who preached critical race theory, every workplace that divided their staff by colour and told half of them that they were born racist, every Democrat mayor who knelt before the criminals who assaulted their communities, every journalist that excused rioters as ‘mostly peaceful’ while people’s lives burned in the background, and every media outlet that spent four years cooking up fictitious stories against conservatives while refusing to print the criminal actions of the left.
‘Public trust’ is the only thing that maintains peace inside civilisation, and that trust is built on equality under the law. The most basic right in this system is the liberty to speak. It is the responsibility of politicians to maintain the open forum where the people of a nation can engage in the battle of ideas. The upholding of this environment, no matter how noisy it gets, is imperative to the continuation of a peaceful democracy. When censorship is brought in as a tool of political suppression, the result is always the same.
Both social media and mainstream media have been fighting to suppress the open forum for years because it out-competes them commercially and devours their political vanity projects. Carefully worded stories designed to protect a favoured individual are torn to pieces in seconds by a billion users. Operating like a super-computer running infinite permutations, the power of the crowd has ruined dogmatic attempts to hide the failures of Globalist policy in the West. Information cannot be hidden, so it has to be controlled.
Now that the public forum is dead, these remaining Goliaths will fight for the privilege of re-writing our past, editing the present, and controlling the future. The winner will not only be a media empire, but a political activist.
In the months to follow, the Capitol Riots will be used as an excuse to purge politicians and the independent press across the world. Anyone who has ever ventured a warm word to Trump will be removed. It is already happening in Australia with ex-failed prime minister Kevin Rudd ramping up his #MurdochFreeAustralia campaign, while Labor and Greens MPs trend conservative MPs like Craig Kelly demanding their resignations (something the Liberal wets will no doubt consider).
This opportunistic slaughter is a sign of worse to come.
I have always warned that the natural end of politics is violence. Capitol Hill was written by a dirty election and published by the disinterest of government bureaucracy. If democracy is to survive the next hundred years, people must feel that their voices are heard and their votes are counted.
If you remain in doubt about media bias, remember this: When the left riot against the government – it’s activism. When the right riot against the government – it’s sedition.
Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at Ko-Fi.
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