Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Banned Alternative Media Speaks Out after Mass Facebook Purge - Article and Commentary

Source: RT

Published: October 13, 2018

By: Mario Hommes

Some 800 anti-establishment accounts and pages have been yanked from Facebook in a sweeping crackdown the social media giant framed as a fight against spammers. RT talked to those who were targeted in the cleansing.

Among the hundreds of pages and accounts Facebook and Twitter took down were those both on the political left and right, ranging from conspiracy theorists and police brutality watchers, to news outlets with non-mainstream angles. While their content could be at times described as controversial, the bulk of the banished pages boasted large followings and outreach.

RT spoke to some of the voices silenced by the Facebook move. Here is what they had to say.

Jason Bassler, The Free Thought Project, 3.1mn followers

The Free Thought Project bills itself as a "hub for free thinking conversations." Both its Facebook and Twitter accounts were shut down in the pre-midterms purge. Jason Bassler, who co-founded the project in 2013, told RT that what Facebook did is an act of political censorship and has nothing to do with its stated goal to clean up its platform from spam.

"If that was just spam, if that was just irrelevant garbage they wouldn't be so threatening, they would not ban us, they would not care, we would not have been on their radar."

By spinning the story as a fight against unworthy news trash, Facebook itself is misleading users with its own version of fake news, he said: "This is nothing more than political censorship and trying to eradicate certain political ideologies."

Nicholas Bernabe, founder of The Anti-Media, 2.1mn followers

Nicholas Bernabe, blogger and entrepreneur behind the independent news aggregator The Anti-Media, believes that "the most troubling" thing in Facebook's treatment of media pages is that tech giants are now trying to police cultural dialogue by posing as politically neutral.

"That could actually be perceived as Facebook itself meddling in elections, because we are only a few weeks away from the midterms and they go and target 800 politically-oriented media pages for deletion."

He added that the majority of the banned pages held "very anti-establishment, very anti-authoritarian views," that appealed to those whose take on election is very different from what mainstream media has to offer.

Matt Savoy, The Free Thought Project, 3.1mn followers

It is hard to overestimate the implications for those that were swept up in the purge, Matt Savoy of The Free Thought Project said. Many of the affected websites will be out of business and "thousands of people will be out of work."

"This is like a death blow. Facebook was a source of how we were able to get our links out and drive traffic to the website, and we no longer have it. The few remaining employees that we have, they are going to be gone."

Journalists did not have any time to prepare for the looming crackdown, Savoy said, and at first the staff thought it was a mere glitch.

Matt Bergman, Punk Rock Libertarians, 190,000 followers

Matt Bergman, who founded the Punk Rock Libertarians in 2010, told RT that his 'The Daily Liberator' podcast was taken down from Facebook without any explanation. Bergman's own account was also briefly suspended, as well as those of other page admins.

The purge is the result of the pressure Congress put on Mark Zuckerberg, and its first targets were independent outlets "right of the dial," since it's easier to get away with banning relatively small outlets than major channels like RT, he argued.

"Their terms of service agreement is probably a million words long. Nobody has ever read it all the way through and I would think that if they wanted to they can ban CNN, they can ban you guys, if they wanted to, they can ban anybody."

Bergman said he is filing an appeal in a bid to restore the account.

Dan Dicks, Investigative Journalist, 350,000 followers

Vancouver-based investigative journalist Dan Dicks, who writes for The Press for Truth, said the Facebook crackdown was "clearly political" as it saw tech companies assuming the role of "the gatekeepers of political thought."

"What we are dealing with here today is the silencing of anybody who goes against the status quo right now, does not matter right or left side of the political spectrum."

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, expunged from Facebook and Twitter, might have been "the first domino to fall," but now the crackdown has widened to affect smaller outlets that vie for minds of the people on par with mainstream media, he said.

The crackdown on anti-establishment voices will come back to bite Facebook, UK Labour Party activist and political theorist Dr. Richard Barbrook argued.

Read more at: RT.com

* * * * *

It is very strange to see Facebook—a formerly lucrative and successful business endeavor—stray so far away from any possibility of significant profit. By all appearances, this platform has divorced itself from fair business practice and ethical behavior all but entirely. The recent kamikaze efforts of the platform to ban nearly all alternative media pages without any legitimate reasoning flies in the face of everything which the constitutional statute of free speech was supposed to stand for.

Judging from these recent and seemingly self-destructive actions of Facebook, it does not appear that the executives of this company intend to profit off of the platform for very much longer. These acts may seem counterproductive to those who do not have the full story of what is actually taking place behind the scenes. However, upon further research, we may find that these actions are not entirely out of the ordinary.

See also - Facebook Loses $70 Billion in Market Value over Last 10 Days

We may be familiar with the hundreds of resignations and firings of CEOs and government officials over the past year. The reasons behind this mass exodus away from positions of authority have been rather mysterious up until this point. However, considering the wealth and influence which all of these people are simultaneously walking away from, it appears as though they are interested in something that they believe is more important than greed—such as avoiding prosecution for possibly criminal actions. Either way, it does not seem that profit is the main goal of these individuals any longer.

This list includes resignations from September to December of last year (2017)
and represents only a small portion of the total resignations thus far. (image source)

The recent acts of censorship by Facebook will most likely result in further investigations into the true business behind the social media giant. The initial congressional hearings on the subject of Facebook's spying practices were excessively lenient, according to reports. However, it is very doubtful that a second investigation—especially one which may focus on the possibility of election meddling—would be so light-handed. This means that Mark Zuckerberg may be required to testify under oath, and may not be sitting in front of a panel of his pals, as he reportedly did during his previous hearing.

These recent acts of censorship appear to be more reckless than those of any other social media company we have seen so far. Though there have been many clandestine efforts to silence users that disagree with mainstream narratives, such efforts have never been this flagrant. In this case, there is no way to hide the actions of censorship. It is almost as though the powers behind Facebook are desperate and do not care what happens to the staff of the company following these unethical and possibly illegal actions.

In general, the recent behavior of various social media companies suggests that these companies are operating under different standards than the laws of the United States. These draconian standards seem more likened to those of Communist China or the Stalinist Soviet Union in the early to mid-1900s. Yet, if companies such as Facebook are linked with Deep State interest, this would make sense.

See also - The 'Storm' Has Arrived - Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption - Commentary, Video, and Links Included

It has recently been revealed that a number of Democratic officials have been busily selling American secrets to China in exchange for returned favors. These allegedly treasonous activities ran parallel with those which involved the Uranium 1 scandal, during which the same interests in the Democratic party sold American uranium to Russian interests under the table. These actions combined with the connections which Facebook has been revealed to have with these parties suggest that certain interests behind Facebook may actually be participating in similar foul dealings. By censoring their ideological competition, these interests may hope to save their political allies from certain legal prosecution.

If these offenses are true, this could mean that some very dire consequences await companies that continue to betray the American Constitution for flimsy explanations and politically bias "fact checking" algorithms.

Some sources claim that a number of companies in Silicon Valley have a very difficult future ahead of them. They claim that the companies found to be linked with high criminal activity (extortion, money laundering, human trafficking, etc.) and that deny the right of the people to free speech will be given what is referred to as the Godfather deal. In this case, these companies will be raided by Special Forces or some other military branch.

Those in charge of these companies will be given the choice to cease and desist their anti-American efforts. If they accept, it will be ensured that these companies keep their word. If they refuse, the companies will be cleared of personnel and all of the servers housed there will be physically destroyed.

This may seem extreme to some. However, the level of opposition these media platforms have exhibited toward basic freedoms in the U.S., and their apparent lack of concern for the rule of law have built to the point where more direct action by authorities is warranted. Combined with the fact that the U.S. is currently in a state of war, and that many of these companies are in partnership with interests who could easily be considered enemy combatants, such actions against these companies would be perfectly lawful, according to legal testimony.

If this intel is accurate, this would definitely put a swift end to the abusive actions of social media giants that have treated their users with contempt.
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