Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg made the media rounds to give a rather shady explanation of why Facebook suddenly closed hundreds of incredibly popular pages in what’s being called The Alternative Media Purge. Zuckerberg accused the closed pages, many of which had millions of fans, of spreading “political spam.”
Ironically, many of the pages that were shut down had absolutely nothing to do with politics or elections, unless you include the fact that they recommended skipping the entire circus. None of these pages were accused of being “the Russians,” who were the scapegoat of the last surprise presidential election results. A couple of the things that many of the pages did have in common, incidentally, were an anti-war outlook and a police watchdog mentality.
But as far as making the election more resistant to interference, the result of the Alternative Media Purge is the diametric opposite. People will now only get one side of the story.
The alternative media changed everything during the last presidential election.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, much of the world snickered. Who was this reality television star to take on part of the Clinton Empire? There was no way, people scoffed, that Trump could possibly win.
It’s a proven fact that Hillary Clinton was in cahoots with the mainstream media throughout her candidacy. And the reason it’s proven is that organizations like Wikileaks released the evidence of it in a series of emails with her campaign manager and people like Donna Brazile of CNN. Brazile finally publically admitted that she’d done so and that it was her “job to make all our Democratic candidates look good.”
The alternative media jumped on this story, as well as many other questionable emails that were divulged by Wikileaks, while the mainstream pretended that none of this was happening. And the mainstream did very little to cover the Democratic National Convention, during which the nomination was stolen from Bernie Sanders, who – if we’re being honest – probably would have had a much better chance of beating Trump than the notoriously unlikable Clinton. Here’s my coverage of it at the time.
The alternative media, never a fan of the goings-on in Clintonland, from the Haiti scandal all the way back to the “suicide” of Vince Foster in Arkansas, jumped on these stories as well as stories about her debatable health.
The fact that we had a robust alternative media at the time meant that these stories were heard. At the same time, the mainstream media was busy painting Donald Trump as a neo-Nazi fascist who hated minorities and would nuke somebody the day he got into office.
Now, imagine there had been no alternative media during that election.
If we hadn’t have had an alternative media telling other stories – enough stories that people were able to get a fuller picture of who both of these candidates really were – things might have turned out entirely differently. And while that would be all right with any number of people who loathe Donald Trump, would it have been a “fair” election?
Let’s look back even further at the candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul back in 2012. Dr. Paul was an incredible candidate with a glowing political resume, but he didn’t get the time of day. There was a media blackout on his candidacy and finally, he was forced to withdraw from the race. Many of us were budding alternative journalists at that time learned a valuable lesson during that election – what we were doing was important. There needed to be an option instead of letting the mainstream media present the only options and information to people.
By the time the 2016 election rolled around, those disappointed in how Dr. Paul was treated were determined that it would not happen again. That a candidate with a background full of sordid scandals would not get through an election cycle unscathed, painted as a glowing Madonna who would save us all.
So…during the fierce battle between Clinton and Trump, both sides of the story were told and told loudly.
Alternative journalists engaged the power of social media to connect with people who wanted to know more and they did it to such a degree that everything changed. Clinton, originally the front-runner, was suddenly in the fight of her life against a candidate that most people had considered a joke.
And that’s when everyone started blaming the Russians.
In a shocking article, the Washington Post printed a long list of websites that they claimed were run by “the Russians.” Many of these sites were run by folks I know personally who are decidedly not Russians, but simply bloggers who wanted to share the truth as they identified it. (This article was removed from WaPo – I’m guessing due to threats about legal action by many of the site owners accused of working for Russia.)
Although investigation after investigation has been undertaken, there’s still no proof that Russia tampered with the election, nor that they colluded with Donald Trump.
Years later, the Washington Post sticks to their story with headlines like “Without the Russians, Trump Wouldn’t Have Won.” In the piece, they admitted that there isn’t any official proof and they cited Buzzfeed.
While the intelligence agencies are silent on the impact of Russia’s attack, outside experts who have examined the Kremlin campaign — which included stealing and sharing Democratic Party emails, spreading propaganda online and hacking state voter rolls — have concluded that it did affect an extremely close election decided by fewer than 80,000 votes in three states. Clint Watts, a former FBI agent, writes in his recent book, “Messing with the Enemy,” that “Russia absolutely influenced the U.S. presidential election,” especially in Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump’s winning margin was less than 1 percent in each state.
We still don’t know the full extent of the Russian interference, but we know its propaganda reached 126 million people via Facebook alone. A BuzzFeed analysis found that fake news stories on Facebook generated more social engagement in the last three months of the campaign than did legitimate articles: The “20 top-performing false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated 8,711,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.” Almost all of this “fake news” was either started or spread by Russian bots, including claims that the pope had endorsed Trump and that Hillary Clinton had sold weapons to the Islamic State. (source)
Buzzfeed? Isn’t that where you go to take a quiz to find out what kind of potato you are?
That leads us to Facebook’s potential election interference
Last week, as I mentioned, hundreds of Facebook pages were shut down without warning. Many of these sites also lost their Twitter accounts on the same day. This is reminiscent of last month’s attack on Alex Jones.
Anyone who disagrees with the establishment is being abruptly silenced.
Zuckerberg and friends are saying that this is so that we can be sure we don’t have election interference in the midterms…but what they’re really doing is interfering in the elections themselves.
They’ve gloated about everything from “featuring Facebook pages that spread disinformation less prominently so that fewer people potentially see them” to “559 politically oriented pages and 251 accounts, all of American origin, for consistently breaking its rules against “spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior”.
The pages which have been removed or shadowbanned have run the gamut of political philosophies, but the fact is, people like Mark Zuckerberg, the folks at Google, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter are deciding which information gets to be seen. They’re deciding whether something is “disinformation” or truth. They’re deciding if people who have spent years building a following get to still reach the people who opted to follow them.
Because Facebook reaches more than 2 billion people each day, this is a problem of epic proportions.
I believe that it is Facebook itself that is tampering with the election by manipulating what they want people to see. If the alternative media changed everything in the 2016 election due to the availability of more information, Facebook will change future elections due to their manipulation of the information users are allowed to see.
If you are conservative or antiwar or anti-overreaching-government or libertarian, you’re now persona non grata. Even if you aren’t in the minority, you’ll be made to feel like you are in the giant echo chamber of “approved media.” If you support a different candidate than Big Tech, prepare to be marginalized, silenced, and ignored. That holds true whether you opt for anyone other than their “choice.” They WILL control the outcome of the presidential election the next time around.
If you really want to see what election interference looks like, you’re getting a live demonstration right now.
I do not think these action to silent alt media is about the elections, it is bigger. I real think that something big is going to happen and the government and the MSM wants to control the narrative. Remember just days after Sept 11, 2001, the alt media was all over telling different stories about the WTC, the aircraft and a lot of the public were asking a lot of questions and the government and the MSM were doing damage control big time.
Let’s put thing into prospective.None of the alternative media has been censored. All the websites that saw their Facebook and Twitter account closed have been banned by those platforms not from the internet. Any of their follower can still get on the websites, read the information, discuss the events, watch their videos.
An alternative explanation to the facts could be that these actions play into the old strategy of the divide and conquer. One side sees it as a defense of democracy, the other gets pissed off. The heat under this cauldron that the nation has become, is turned up another notch. Side effect: the alt media readers are so outraged about having their favorite outlet “censored” that they spend time and postings to talk about it and pay no attention to other, more important, events. The other side pats themselves on the back for defeating the hated enemy and does the same.
You are forgetting that many people, especially younger ones, get most of their news and opinions from facebook and other social media. If they only see one side, that is what they are likely to believe, whether it is true or not.
Exactly in the same way some folks are stuck on cable news or big corp news/MSM. Some and many are trapped in the bubble… gobbling up orders for the mob-leaders. This is their worldview.. literally dictated by a one-sided agenda. That Fakebook and MSM are in lockstep one need to follow the money. That pendulum only seems to swing towards open society socialism because transnational corporations and globalists prefer borderless lowest common denominator populations they can control like a board game. Soverign democratic nation states are prickly thorns in the side of the wannabe global ruling class. Not that we liberty/Patriot folk are immune to narrative baitings but the alt media or Truth is on our side most of the time in contrast to the agenda driven lockstep marchers of the 24 hr news cycle and script writers.
My opinion is that since on social media you get just what you subscribe to or your “friends” feed you, it is an echo chamber anyway. No different than turning on the TV and tune just on CNN or FOX and expect to get independent information. People who do that are already brainwashed and can’t tell true from fake. If someone really wants to be informed, he goes out and look for it himself.
I totally agree with the core of the point you make…BUT…Facebook and Twitter have their thumbs on the scales. They censor under the guise of preventing the spread of fake news but are actually pushing a political agenda and taking sides…their algorithms manipulate what people see even among their social circles. I think most people know the partisan nature of CNN, Fox, huffpo etc,,.but a lot are probably still stuck with a false sense of neutrality on the internet and social media platforms. They don;t even know they are being presented with false consensus on issues… taking sides….this position of power was previously only available to broadcast journalism. Now social media is taking the reigns and following that same battle plan of information control. I can share a news story I feel is relevant but if Fakebook goes gatekeeper that post may never be seen by anyone else. I think those instances are obvious to someone sharing conservative or Trump-positive stories. it just goes out into the digital abyss while other stories that put negative coverage of Trump are pushed to the top of the news feeds creating viral exposure…when other stories are never given that opportunity.. even if there is organic appeal and sharing happening. You can’t look for what you don’t even know exists… Facebook controls the valves of what gets to be seen and shared and at what level. They are in a very powerful position to influence elections.. they are influencing elections by influencing and censuring public opinion. Their platform allowed a pretty free flow of information prior to 2016… now they are really cracking down to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.
I understand your point and I agree with it. What’s puzzling me is why there is no strong reaction from the liberty front, if such front actually exists. While I, in principle, think that TB, Twitter, Google should be allowed to close their platform to anyone, when they accuse people or organizations of spreading false news they are, if their accusation is false, defaming those people/organization. Why no one is moving against the social media?
I have not seen any call for boycotting Facebook and Twitter (twitter in chief do you hear me?) Facebook income is based on eyes viewing their content; if a good chunk leave so goes their money. Also boycotting any investment means that funnel money into them would be effective to respond to their actions. Even on this front there is silence.
I read an article on the Anti-Media yesterday titled “This Might Be the End for Anti-Media”; the first point call for action was “send us money.” I put on my tin foil hat now but what if a good number of those alternative news are just controlled opposition and so they just bark but don’t bite?
I can tell you for sure the guys at The AntiMedia and at The Free Thought Project are not controlled opposition because I’ve known them personally for years.
The reason they’re asking for money is because they are being cut off from all the ways websites monetize. If they no longer have access to other means of making money, they’ll end up closing. It costs a lot of money to run sites like these. I am sure they get more traffic than I do and my operating costs are several thousand dollars per month. This money goes to the hosting company, the email provider, different plugins that make our sites work better and faster, and to pay writers. I hope this helps to set your mind at ease somewhat. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!
can you explain to me why no one is taking down the links to Facebook and Twitter? They are still there on your website, Anti-Media and others. If someone kicks me, I do not send him a thank you card.
Sending traffic to Facebook just makes Zuckenberg richer, do not bring money in. I have been in the internet/website development business for a while and my principle has always been to keep the traffic on my client’s website or on friendly websites that return the favor.
To be really independent, you have to be self reliant. It is true in SHTF situations as in everyday business. When you rely on the “enemy” for your livelihood you pretty much put the noose around your neck and live hoping no one pulls the rope.
This is a great point. I’m guessing they just forgot or haven’t gotten to it yet. A lot of website owners aren’t techy, also, so they may not know where to find the buttons on the backend. I started my site when I was dirt poor so I had to learn a little bit about it. Lots of things are over my head, but I can manage the basics.
You’re 100% right on being self-reliant – up to a point. There are many tools you can use to build your business that involve other people and platforms and they work incredibly well…when they work. When they don’t it can destroy you unless you’ve put into place some fallbacks, a business philosophy that I call “Multiple Streams of Everything.” You need, at least in internetland, to have multiple streams of income, multiple streams of traffic, and multiple streams of support for the things you can’t/don’t have time to do. I’ve seen a lot of websites go under for this very reason. I use social media and get a great deal of traffic from there. But then, I endeavor to have people sign up for my email list by offering them a gift for doing so. Then, for those particular readers, I don’t have to rely on Twitter, for example, to send them back to me. It isn’t to say that losing my social media audiences wouldn’t really hurt – it would. But hopefully, I’d be able to hang on due to the fallbacks I’ve put into place.
Now, to find those social media buttons on my site… 😉
Here’s how you can tell if a candidate is engaged in voter fraud. If their a Dem–it’s fraud.
Elections are a scam. They are a marketing ploy to give the illusion of representation. You’re better off spending your time and energy working on your food garden than getting caught up in the insanity that is politics.
Facebook is a corporate sponsor of the Rockefeller CFR, and Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg is a CFR member, along with Dianne Feinstein, the Clintons and George Soros. Other sponsors include Time-Warner, Reuters, Bloomberg and Google. Several of their execs are also CFR members.
Facebook works with the Atlantic Council for “advice” on what to censor. The AC was founded by CFR members. AC president Frederick Kempe and most of directors are CFR members. See lists in the CFR annual report.
“The main man behind ‘Prop or Not’ is Michael Weiss…an author, senior editor for The Daily Beast, a columnist for Foreign Policy (owned by WashPost), and a national security contributor for CNN (owned by Time-Warner). He’s also editor-in-chief of The Interpreter and a nonresident *senior fellow at the Atlantic Council* .” — Steemit @fortified
Allen Dulles, who ran the CIA Operation Mockingbird, was a CFR director for 40 years. His fellow CFR members included Katherine Graham (WashPost), Arthur Sulzberger (NY Times) and William Paley (CBS). The names have changed but the propaganda continues.
Social media monopolies, (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) are converting their economic power into political power by eliminating conservative voices. The totalitarian face of the Progressives is being revealed. They are threatening our democracy.
It is the responsibility of the federal government to deal with monopolies. Forcing the social media monopolies to be content neutral, ie. making it illegal for them to discriminate against any content, would solve the problem and not impact the First Amendment.
Truly objectionable material should be handled as a criminal matter by the police within the bounds of the First Amendment. The liability should fall on the person making the post rather than on the platform. The social media platforms are like printing presses and the users are the publishers.
Is this news? This is classic Democrat strategy. Election tampering is “reform.” Or “clean elections.” Or “battling voter suppression.” Destruction of your right of self-defense is “common sense regulation.” Destruction of your right to free speech is “anti-bullying” or “fighting hate speech.” War is peace. Freedom is slavery. “Civility” is however they really treat you when they’re in power.