Currently, the global political climate is very much on edge. Amongst all the numerous ongoing issues like “climate change”, the everlasting chess game that is the United States versus Russia and the migrant crisis, there are more sinister forces at work. Forces that affect all of us and how we react to this political climate.
The past week has seen an escalation in the political crisis in America which also affects large swathes of the rest of the world both due to the fact that a) private entities servicing Americans also serve global citizens and b) the soft power of the American global empire means that Western civilisation is basically one homogeneous entity.
Not to discount the clashes between groups in Charlottesville, the internet titan Google (also controlling YouTube) has begun even more egregious censorship and manipulation of their platforms. (Just try performing a Google image search for “european people history” to gather some sense of the enormity of how Google is manipulating search results.) Google has hired the Anti-Defamation League, notorious for considering Pepe the cartoon frog a hate symbol, as their censors for their platform. Mass demonetizations and soft bannings (“shadowbannings”) have begun to affect the platform, far more than ever before.
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Facebook, of course, has also been going down the dark road of manipulation of both content and of users’ emotions for quite some time. Twitter is no friend to free speech and regularly bans anyone at its whim that might be considered to the right of Lenin.
We’ve covered a lot of this before on The Whole Story. What we haven’t covered is how this affects us as responders to all this – myself most definitely included.
I’ll use a personal example for this, and I’m most definitely not alone with this experience. By today’s standards I would be considered “alt-right” – the ongoing divide between the self-hating Marxists and the remnants of the sane, proud Western civilisation ever growing is forcing us to pick sides and define what we believe in. The daily grind is an extremely demotivating experience for those of us who are politically minded and believe in the scientific method, facts coming before any “feels” about how many genders there are or how bad the white man is. Coming home from work, after having to hear about “diversity” and “female empowering”-programs in the workplace, to turn on the television and hear some cooked, slanted fake news about the issue de jure is bad enough. After angrily shutting the thing off and scolding myself for even considering using the television to watch actual television content as though this were the 90s or something, I head to my computer desk and go to social media and/or YouTube. Of course, today I would find the exact same slanted rubbish as that on the television, twisted opinions and falsehoods, any dissenting opinions being silenced long before I could ever see them appear in my subscriptions box or news feed.
The internet used to be a place of freedom, a new electronic frontier. Attempts to silence it were, in the past, met with unified and solid opposition. Consider how we all banded together to stop SOPA, or how places like Reddit used to celebrate free speech. That’s all gone now. So many popular websites are under the thumb of some incredibly censorious moderation.
This is incredibly demotivating as a part-time blogger. Cask has been attempting to get me to write as much as I did when the site first opened, but truthfully, I find it incredibly stressful to cope with the amount of disinformation and the various deplatforming tactics being used to ever so gradually remove free thought online. Even DNS servers and domain name registration services are beginning to take a political stance.
And yet, new websites are being created to fill the void. Most importantly, I am currently looking for a new alternative to YouTube. There are a few different candidates for a successor to the giant platform, but whether any of them will take off remains to be seen. The example of MySpace proves that giants can indeed die. I would also heartily recommend Minds.com and Gab.ai as alternative social media sites. In future it would be my hope that these become more widely used for general purpose reasons, instead of existing solely to host content which would be removed by the other mainstream ones; but we will see. I will certainly be using them for all kinds of content, and hopefully The Whole Story will have a presence on these new sites soon.