Censorship Wars Using Jargon

Censorship Wars Using Jargon

Censorship Wars Using Jargon

Does anyone remember the appearance of poor little rich alien, Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress in two marathon sessions almost a year ago? One did not envy him. It was a pile on from both the left and the right, and at one point Zuckerberg actually asked Congress to regulate him, especially when it came to politics.

The attitude he displayed when asking for regulation was almost crawling and strikingly similar to Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s appearance on the Joe Rogan show on March 5th of this year. For three hours, Dorsey was attacked by leftie journalist Tim Pool principally on the censoring of conservatives, compared to the almost-no-censoring of liberals.

Dorsey apologized over and over again, repeatedly throwing the accusations over to Vijaya Gadde, his global lead for Legal, Policy, Trust, and Safety (an Orwellian title if there ever was one). Gadde brought data with her, but not enough for Pool, and ended by promising over and over again to ‘reach out’ and discuss specific cases with Pool and Rogan. Perhaps, she floated, permanent suspensions could be made temporary. And so on. “Algorithmic deep learning is happening as we speak,” added Jack. Shiver.

They were, however, prepared to discuss the banning of Alex Jones, uncomfortably. Also Milo. Uncomfortably. Also the banning of the phrase ‘Learn to code’, which was leveled at the many fired journalists after the Covington Boys fiasco. But Pool asked, “Why were the Proud Boys banned and not Antifa?” They wobbled, but Pool did not give up. He roasted them. Again, a self-identified progressive took the side of banned conservatives.

Both Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde apologized many times over the course of the three-hour discussion, made many statements about trying harder, claimed they worried ceaselessly about this and that. That banning people sent them to the dank underground of the human psyche and who knows what would come out of that? The jargon was killing: ‘Cost-benefit analysis’, ‘deep learning’, ‘evolution in prioritization’, ‘massive velocity’, and preventing ‘harm’. “We have to work with the technologies, tools, and conditions we have today and evolve over time where we can see examples,” said Jack. “We are working on opening up the aperture even more. We understand that binary on or off is not scalable. A permanent ban is not desirable”. “Nuances are coming”. “Sunlight is the best disinfection,” said Gadde. “We worry about driving people away from the platform and affecting their real lives.” And so endlessly on.

Wired Magazine points out that these guys have been apologizing for 14 years. Senator John Thune called Zuckerberg on it last Wednesday. “After more than a decade of promises to do better, how is today’s apology different…?”

It’s different because opinion is turning against the digital giants and, at the same time, against the left-wing which has turned social discourse into shrieking hysteria. On Friday NBC/WSJ published a poll declaring that 60% don’t trust Facebook. Big majorities say social media divides us, spreads falsehoods and unfair attacks. And 82% say social media sites waste people’s time. The negative opinions run across the political spectrum.

Lawsuits are mounting from both sides of the aisle. Devin Nunes filed a $250,000,000 suit against Twitter last month and Twitter isn’t broke but their insurance rates will skyrocket if he succeeds. The New Yorker published a take-down of the corrupt Southern Poverty Law Centre on March 21, which all the digital giants used to determine whether you were a good guy or a stinking racist. The lawsuits based on that censorship could be impressive.There were about half a dozen suits lodged against Facebook in the last week alone.

Next week, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are appearing in Congress to specifically answer alleged censorship of conservative voices. Google has been accused of skewing millions of votes for Democrats in the 2018 election

Facebook has promised a dog and pony show. “Facebook said public policy director Nil Potts will provide testimony at a Wednesday hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

No doubt they will weasel out using some of the newspeak listed above. But maybe not. Something shifted around the time of the Covington Boys. You could feel it on Facebook as evidence mounted that the story being sold was not only wrong but cruel to the point of criminality. On Dave Rubin’s podcast this week, the lawyer for the Covington Boys, Robert Barnes, discussed the case and free speech. Barnes has sued CNN and the Washington Post for $275,000,000 and $250,000,000 respectively and he doesn’t plan to lose. Barnes is considered one of the leading figures in the free speech wars.

These are scary numbers for media struggling with ratings. Even one win will embolden other conservatives to stop taking the endless slander and bullying lying down. The behavior of the mainstream media (of which I was a member for 15 years) has been egregious beyond belief for the past two years. 90% of Trump stories are negative and 95% of reporters are left-wing. The security of conservatives on staff is tenuous at best. This is not open and free discourse. This is very close to Fahrenheit 451.

In Canada, it’s even worse. We have one right-of-center tabloid chain which is under ceaseless attack as racist Nazis, all the rest of our broadsheets are staffed by socialists or scaredy-cats. Our national broadcaster is bought and paid for by the current Liberal government to the tune of $1.5 billion annually, and just last month, the same Liberal government invested $600,000,000 in print media, conveniently ahead of the fall election. This, fyi, is how bad it can get.

Equally, people are becoming increasingly aware of the left’s use of lawfare against people who can’t afford to defend themselves. They perfected this in rural regions all over the world, but especially in rural America. Environmentalists backed by massive foundation money lodged suit after suit against foresters, ranchers, miners, farmers and any manufacturing concern that used raw materials drawn from natural resources. They broke county after county, township after township. Despite Trump’s deregulation and his new people in Interior and the EPA. Rural America is still operating at less than 50% of capacity. Up in Canada, we have allowed left-wing American foundations to spend $300 Million with the goal of decommissioning our oil sands. Alberta’s oil sands infrastructure is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the most advanced environmentally-sound infrastructure project in the oil business. It is operating at half speed if that and all new routes to export have been mothballed, leaving the resource virtually landlocked. Two researchers working on their own, without pay for 15 years uncovered this scam, and still, no one will stand up and take these people down in court. Nevertheless, people are angry. We have a couple of important elections coming up and they are looking to landslide right. Even Canadians can fight back.

Are we seeing a tipping point in the culture? I am sensing the screeching and crunching of a forced widening of discourse, somewhat like the tomb door opening in a Lara Croft Tomb Raider film. In five years, if we win this battle, we will be living in a far healthier world. If not, we all better get used to muzzling our speech.

Featured image: Mark Zuckerberg cariacture by DonkeyHotey, Creative Commons License 2.0 (CC BY 2.0)

Written by

Elizabeth Nickson is a weathered journalist who started at the top and found it alienating. Coming home after 20 years in New York, London and Bermuda, she started writing about politics for Canada’s national newspapers, found herself roundly hated in this most liberal of countries, and fairly notorious among those few conservatives in Canada still allowed to live. She’s written for Time, Life, Harpers Magazine, etc published two books, one with Bloomsbury and Knopf and one with Harper Collins in New York. This latter, Eco-Fascists was a round-up of evidence demonstrating the cruelty and desolation that environmentalists have visited on rural communities from Washington State to Texas, from Colorado and Wyoming to northern New York. She drove 20,000 through the back roads of America interviewing and sitting with hundreds of farmers, ranchers, oil workers, foresters and town councillors and mayors while they told her how their towns and counties are dying, courtesy of the elites who fund some of the most vicious activists in the world. The book was commissioned and edited by Adam Bellow, Saul Bellow’s son, generally considered the best conservative editor today.

9 Comments
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  • GWB says:

    preventing ‘harm’
    There’s the truly pernicious concept. What is ‘harm’? It’s evidently NOT sending tweets advocating actual terror attacks, but IS tweets saying “Learn to code.” These people live in a very secure, insulated, “Year 0” bubble. They don’t live in NYC, and – despite several seasons of 24 targeting LA – don’t feel threatened by things like Islamic terrorism.

    The only thing that can hurt them is someone taking away their power to shape mankind in the 21st century.

    I’ve read way too many science fiction stories to not know how this turns out. To quote one of the prophets:
    Yeah. ‘Ooh, ah,’ that’s how it always starts. But then later there’s running and screaming.

    • Skeptic says:

      Excellent article. I would like to hear more– lot more–from Elizabeth Nickson.

      I too think there’s something in the air, that a major shift is occurring in skepticism of the media. Too many things have happened in quick succession: Mueller report, fall of the SPLC, Jussie Smollet. Even people not paying much attention may be getting a feel of the mass deceptions that have been generated for so long.

  • Oysteria says:

    To Tim on telling them about harassment: ”That’s a mistake. We can fix that for you.”

    Tim has you on a widely viewed video. Of course you’re going to “fix it”. Personally! Now do that for just a fraction of the other users being harassed, threatened, doxxed and otherwise made to be afraid. Everyone else who has a legitimate complaint is relegated to employees who make horible decisions on who gets banned and who gets lauded. You’re all full of crap. You have an agenda. It’s so painfully obvious that every word coming out of your mouths is taken with a grain of salt by millions of people. Millions. Still, to this day, after who knows how many people reported Leslie Jones for instructing her followers to “Get her!” While having a beef with another user, that tweet still stands even though it so obviously breaks your “standards”.

    No one believes you anymore.

  • Donald Campbell says:

    I think the “Covington Boys” resonated with American’s own remembrance to their own High-School trips to D.C.
    I remember the band-trip to the zoo and the Geography class to the Smithstonian. Pleasant memories of Childhood. No anxiety. Now, we see videos of a ‘field-trip’ to D.C. by young students at the Lincoln Memorial of all places. First, we are shocked by the violence, that *anyone* would be attacking young students… over a Souvenir Hat. This isn’t the D.C. of childhood memories; it is something darker and deeper. It is an example of the ‘for the children’ crowd doing it *TO* the children. The Left’s/Media’s/Social Media’s using children as a political tool, and endangering their lives. This isn’t the ‘field-trip’ we signed up for.

  • geewhiz says:

    Elizabeth, can you give some examples of the lawfare in the rural regions?

  • Ala says:

    “Even Canadians can fight back.” — quite well, too, judging by the record of Canadian forces in combat. It appears to require only a sufficient understanding that basic values have been violated, and “fighting back” is the only choice.

  • Elmo says:

    Wow, that caricature of The Zuck makes him look better than any of his photos!

  • […] by Elizabeth Nickson in media8 Comments […]

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