SILENCED: We Live in a Time When Our “Opinions Qualify as Crimes”

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course.

Currently, we’re living in an upside-down and backward world where the minority of people hold all the microphones, successfully shouting over a potential majority of people who don’t like the way things are going.

I truly believe that most Americans don’t hate their neighbors, don’t indulge in cruelty for the sake of cruelty, don’t indulge in cruel behavior toward those of other races than their own, and just want to live their lives with what happiness they can find. This is not to say that racism does not exist – it does and I’ve seen it in action. It also isn’t to say that there aren’t extremists who wallow in hatred – there are and on all fringes of the political spectrum.

The trouble happens when one of those fringes tries to silence everybody else. And it’s working.

UPDATE: Ironically, I wrote this article almost a year to the date before The Organic Prepper was defunded for being a “source of disinformation.” (Update noted on Sept. 24, 2021)

How big independent sites are being silenced

Take the recent threats against ten websites in the United States, all of whom a new website in the UK is trying to get “defunded.”

We call on brands advertising on Fake News sites to stop funding Fake News.  To be honest, I was very hesitant to write this article, because I, too, am dependent on ad platforms that go through Google. But too many people are silent while others are silenced so here goes.

Stop Funding Fake News was set up in 2019 by people who were concerned about the rapid rise in Fake News.

​Since we launched, we’ve seen one of our target fake news sites completely shut down, and the capacity of several others reduce significantly as a result of us damaging their ability to raise revenue.

​We are pro-truth, pro-balance and pro-responsible news. We invite brands and people to consider whether they want their adverts to appear next to hate and untruths. (source)

Here’s a list of the sites that SFFN considers “racist.” Whether they are or not isn’t the purview of this article.

You’ll note a common thread on the list of articles that SFFN deems offensive. It seems that only one point of view, as opposed to the balance they say they’re looking for, is acceptable in the eyes of SFFN and anything else must be piled on the pyre of all the virtual books being burned.

Demonetization or silence

Zero Hedge, probably the most popular and powerful alternative news site out there, was completely defunded by Google. Here’s what Zero Hedge had to say about the issue.

You see, the way it works is this. Ad networks bid on advertisements and based on statistics available through Google, these ads are placed on websites that contract with the ad networks. This is how my site and many other high-volume websites get the bulk of their advertising revenue. Keep in mind it’s pretty expensive to run a smaller site like mine, so I can only imagine the cost of running a far bigger site.

Advertisers are getting on board because their livelihoods, too, rely on being seen as holding the “correct” opinion. We’re all under mob rule.

The Federalist, another site on that list, was able to keep their site funded but only if they removed their comments section entirely. So not only do they have to change their reporting, but they also have to silence their readers. You may be thinking that it sounds like they caved – but you cannot run a large website without revenue unless you’re independently wealthy and you don’t mind just throwing money down a well never to be seen again. Most site owners are not in that position.

It’s a nerve-wracking time to be in this business. I debated for several days whether or not to write this article because my head could be on the chopping block next. My livelihood and that of the people who work with me are at risk.

But if we of the independent media don’t speak up, who will?

How can we do nothing while the entire conversation is being taken over by radical elements with which many Americans do not agree? The independent media is the last remaining bastion of alternative opinions. George Orwell wrote these chillingly prophetic words in his novel 1984.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” (source)

When we of the independent media are gone, Big Brother is totally in charge of all the information you receive. This will be the information on which you make your decisions, the information that influences your opinions and the opinions of others, the only “truth” there is, even if the information is inaccurate and biased.

Americans can only hold one opinion now.

Americans continue to be silenced or to be bullied out of their jobs based on who they voted for, forced to affiliate with groups that they may not actually support, or fall victim to a virtual mob during an internet witch hunt.

All because they dare, in America, alleged land of the free, to disagree with an opinion that is treated as fact.

You may recall after President Trump was elected how horribly anyone who voted for him was treated. Heaven forbid a person was to wear a red MAGA hat in public because to do so was risking a beating. Americans were suddenly cast into a world so extreme that our opinions could mean the difference between life and death in the workplace and on the streets.

If you don’t support groups like Antifa or the Occupy movement, you’re considered a “far-right extremist.” That’s the moniker used to describe Zero Hedge in most of the news coverage about their defunding.

For the record, I’m not even sort of “right” and I’m definitely not “far-right.” I don’t support or endorse either major political party or any extremist groups. I weigh my opinions based on my personal ethics. Some of them may fall in line with the left, some may fall in line with the right, but I do not align myself with any groups. My opinions are entirely my own.

Freedom of speech is one of our most sacred rights in this country.

That includes the freedom for those with differing opinions to speak, have platforms, and hold some of the microphones. Silencing these websites through insidiously getting them defunded is anti-American.

I think CNN, for example, has been proven to be exceptionally biased time and time again, even going so far as to try and swing the last election for Hillary Clinton. It’s an undisputed fact that one of their employees colluded with her before the presidential debate.

Regardless of that, I don’t think they should be defunded. I think that they should be able to continue to operate and so should their opposition. That’s how you have a balance in the media.

And balance in the media is how we have balance in our nation.

Here’s what Tucker Carlson had to say about the silencing of Americans.

A few days ago, Tucker Carlson of Fox News tackled this topic. And yes, Fox News, just like every other network, has a bias. We must all face the reality that days of unbiased journalism are over and every piece is an opinion piece. And even that wouldn’t be so bad if we were presented with the full range of opinions.


Did you catch the line that “our opinions qualify as crimes?”

And he’s also right when he talks about how our information is being controlled. It doesn’t matter if you personally use Google or not. What does matter is this:

Google receives over 63,000 searches per second…which translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. (source)

That’s a whole lot of people who are getting their opinions from one company. That’s a whole lot of power. And that power is being misused to silence opposing points of view and to make it seem like nearly all Americans support their point of view. In fact, this is untrue. But the media and the internet have taken control of reality and they’re presenting us with a reality of their own ideals.

We are at an incredibly dangerous turning point right now and everything we hold dear about America is at risk.

If you’re looking ahead and the future looks bright, that might be because you’re seeing the country on fire.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • The word of the day is “Racism,” and it has been for several years now. What’s so obvious is the whole “Anti-Racism” movement and it’s various acolyte groups, are themselves guilty of racism, by pushing this concept of “White Privilege,” they can’t see the forest for the trees.
    That the “I’m A Victim” mentality isn’t helped by the “You’re A Victim Party,” the Democrats, goes completely over their heads. The cities that are having problems have all been controlled by an endless election of Democrats that haven’t done a damn thing to really address issues.
    The problem with crying “Racism” at every turn, is that eventually the word fails to elicit the response they’re after, and we’re seeing the beginnings of that happening. You can only beat an animal so long before it turns to defend itself, often with violence worse than the beating. Cry Racism long enough and eventually no one hears or cares about your cry.

    • Several years ago, my wife and I adopted two boys, half brothers. The older is white, the younger is mixed black and white. When they joined our family, they were pitifully small, at the very bottom 1% of that height/weight chart you see in your doctor’s office. That’s because they were abused and neglected by members of ALL THREE of the families that helped produce them. When the time came, and NONE of those family members would take on those boys, that’s when my wife and I adopted them.

      Now let me ask some pointed questions, pointed because they’re aimed at every pasty faced self righteous libtard, as well as every hate filled bigot raising a “black power” fist:

      A) Did our oldest son’s “white privilege” keep him from feeling hungry when he and his baby brother hadn’t been fed in two full days? (This was apparently a common occurrence for them)

      B) Did his “white privilege” keep him from being absolutely terrified as he hid himself and his baby brother under their bed while some “Bad angry men” smashed up his biological mother’s apartment with baseball bats?

      C) Did his “white privilege” keep him from coming to us academically stunted from continuously missing school, never being read to, being kept awake at all hours from blaring loud music or TV sets?

      D) Did his “white privilege” keep him (and his baby brother) from having night terrors EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the first full year they part of our family?

      E) Did his “white privilege” keep him from being emotionally traumatized from being let down by his biological mother, THE ONE PERSON HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DEPEND UPON???

      “white privilege” is a fraud and lie cooked up by hate filled zealots who never want to build, but only dismantle and destroy. Neither the black communists at BLM nor the white communists at antifa give a rats ass about helping anyone. They don’t give a damn about my white son, and they don’t give a damn about his younger biracial brother. My youngest boy is black the same way Obama is black, the same way that big fellow Tyrus on Greg Gutfeld is black. Anyone who thinks I don’t worry about a racist bully with a badge hurting my youngest is flat out wrong; I’m sick with worry about that. Know what worries me a hundred times more? My youngest being hurt or murdered by someone who also has black skin, which is FAR MORE LIKELY. None of these posturing, virtue signaling asshats give a damn about that.

      OK, so I know I’ve been angry writing this, but, I think, not without cause. I would like to leave everyone with this: my sons are insanely devoted to each other. I have NEVER seen brothers closer than them, not ever. And this extends outward to everyone they meet: they will literally play with anyone. Yesterday, they shot BB guns with the two white girls who live down the street; right now, as I type, they’re playing video games with a black friend they haven’t seen in over a year.

      Maybe, just maybe, all the damned fools trying to “build a better world” by blocking highways, toppling statues, burning Wendys, attacking cops and beating the snot outta everyone who gets in their way, MAYBE they should sit their ass down, close their pie holes, and watch our sons. LEARN just how it is they manage to do what everyone claims to want for America

      • Well stated! Bless you for taking on this parenting challenge and recognizing the gifts of learning and teaching that come with it.

      • Very well said sir. I hope for the best for your son’s. And pray that common sense will prevail in these trying times.

      • That was a very powerful post, “sammy”. Should be required reading all over the damn internet. My heart breaks for what your young sons had to endure at the beginning of their lives. Thank you for rescuing them – the world needs more people like you.

      • Thank you, this is very true – having endured conditions as a child that are appalling and knowing that others have too, I think of this often. “victimhood” is often about caretakers and environment – and of course vulnerability – e.g. children.

  • Well said, Daisy. I wish that I could do more than just voice my support. I do not have the wherewithal to help financially, but I would if I could. This is one of the best prepper related websites in existence, and it needs to stay up and active. I am proud of you for doing this article, because it will put you in ‘their’ sights.

    Please hang tough and keep up the good work. But watch your back.

    Not just my opinion, but hard fact.

  • Read The Gladiator by Harry Turtledove. Yes it sci-fi but it’s many, many descriptions of living under a communist dictatorship and real and factual. You need to know what the left wants to impose on the US and the rest of the world.

    • No, that’s not “the obvious.” That’s the easy view from a person who doesn’t understand the cost involved in running a website. How do you expect websites to pay for their servers, site security, and other administrative costs? Just like any other part of the media, we rely on advertisements to be able to bring you news at no cost to you.

      • Maybe subscriptions is the answer. I support a couple of sites (Corbett Report and Eric Peters’ site). Maybe this is the way around them. Nothing in this world is really free.

        I read a lot of your posts at LRC, but maybe not often enough to support your site. There’s only so much time and money we all have. But devoted readers will support your site, if they see the value. That’s why I do what I do, and I’m always on the lookout for more sites to support. Maybe yours will be one of them.

        Just a thought.

  • Oh shut up, will ya woman! ( Joking )

    Seriously, they will never stop the truth, as God is Holy, Just, Loving, and Truthful, while Satan is the father of all lies. Communism, socialism, etc. is nothing but lies.

    This is why I call the Left Zombies, because only a brain dead Commbie could believe that a political system that has murdered 80-100 million, believes that babies can be killed even after birth, and it’s o.k. to steal from the Makers to give to the Takers, is better than what we have now.

  • Time for people to wake up and realize that this is a war.
    We are being assaulted one every side.
    If we don’t start standing up for ourselves now, then when will we do this.
    It is unfortunate that the world has come to this point.
    But these kinds of actions are really just bribery and extortion.
    An internet “protection racket”
    The old, “We won’t attack you if you just submit and do what we say.”
    Time to say that is enough and start fighting back.
    Contact the media and tell them not to fall for these terror tactics.

    • Ah Mic the MEDIA IS THE PROBLEM…. They are the gatekeepers of the public’s information along with their ally’s BIG TECH (aka GOOGLE Fakebook).

      As that old TV show used to start with “Nothing is wrong with your set, WE control the vertical, WE control the horizontal, YOU have entered the Twilight Zone…”

      Just a few families OWN or Control All the Mass Media in America (BTW that includes FOX) and THEY Choose what Joe 6 pack and his family hears about AND what slant THEY choose to put on it.

      The Media is the mouth piece for the Socialist-Democrats in case you missed some 4 YEARS of nasty coverage of President Trump? The Media is the folks that keep up the propaganda that those Burning, Looting, Beating up folks THUGS are REALLY “Peaceful Protesters” every time the Police try to stop them. The MEDIA has made a “Blessed Saint-Martyr” out of a career criminal who was on probation and high on illegal drugs when he died.

      Currently the above troublemakers to the Republic have the High Ground as far as most voters see it. Even the most conservative has at least some confusion as to the value of voting for anybody the Media Hates. So often I hear from otherwise conservative folks saying I cannot support Trump because he such a BAD GUY, and I ask where did you learn that? From who did you get that information?

      I pray that the Media and the Socialist-Democrats are brought to heel by the Russia Gate investigations BEFORE they burn everything down or get voted in by voters that simply want the craziness to STOP. We are under a Color Revolution right out of the CIA playbook.

  • Does anybody remember the famous line (from the TV version of Ray Bradbury’s famous Fahrenheit 451 book) that said “Mommy, Mommy, here comes a firetruck — there’s going to be a fire”? That was all about a society where the fire departments were the enforcers of government-directed book burnings. And the 451 temperature was said to be the point at which books would burn.

    Today as so much information is transmitted digitally, there’s no catchy descriptive equivalent to Fahrenheit 451 to describe the process that the late CIA director Casey said — “We’ll know when our disinformation campaign has been successful when everything the American public believes is a lie.” This is the agency that President Truman finally said was his terrible mistake to create. They invented and perfected the assassination by patsy method of destroying political opposition leaders in Latin America in the 1950s and devised the hit phrase “conspiracy theorist” to demonize anyone who threatened to expose them. It’s probably not a coincidence that Lee Harvey Oswald said in front of TV cameras just before he was shot “I’m just a patsy.”

    Fast forward to more recent history: in 2011 the Corbett Report did a story on the CIA’s venture capital firm “In-Q-Tel” that poured money into firms like Facebook and Google.

    And it’s a matter of record that Edward Snowden described Facebook as a mass surveillance system, rebranded as “social media.” At one time in history which seems lost today in government schoolbooks is the concept that was chiseled into the 1876 Texas Constitution which said roughly, “monopolies, being unfit for a free people, are herein expressly forbidden.” Whether the noises about anti-trust lawsuits being brought against Google, Facebook et al will amount to anything remains to be seen.

    It’s clear that Google (via its Gmail) has already demonstrated a grudge against Daisy. For the last couple of years if you subscribe to Daisy’s emails and receive them in a Gmail account, you cannot click on any article link directly from within your Gmail account without Gmail blanking out the entire left half of any such article you might try to read. You have to save that link and use it elsewhere. I use a totally different browser for such links that Gmail can’t bully into submission.

    It seems clear that such Big Tech firms are playing the same warped leftwing music on the same out-of-tune fiddle as the so-called Deep State in an increasingly successful end run around the Constitution’s prohibition on suppressing free speech. I’d hate to be the bookie giving odds on the outcome of that war.


    • I use Brave browser because it was created by the fellow who was kicked out of Firefox for not being sufficiently Politically correct. It was buggy when first created, but I have used it as my main browser for a couple of years now, and rarely have any trouble with it.

  • Thank you for publishing this, Daisy. I am astounded at the current rhetoric, which always translates into action. Carlson is right– we are now being charged with thought crimes. A difference of opinion, stated in a way that is respectful is what makes our country great. The silencing of people and a requirement to walk in lockstep is a trademark of fascism. Check out Merriam Webster’s definition of fascism vs. Wikipedia’s:

    MW: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

    Wikipedia: Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

    It seems those who call themselves anti-fascist are indeed fascists themselves.

    • Yes, Fina, I agree. A nasty form of fascism has birthed in many polarized movements where the victimized group in question weaponizes their anger and outrage (which in many cases is contextually warranted) to attack the perceived oppressor. To take power, the group labels the offenders “other” and in over-generalizing them they effectively dehumanize the labeled oppressors. In doing so they ironically become the new oppressor failing to see that they continue the cycle of victim-victimizer. This is and has been a very effective tool of the NWO to divide us all–women against men, black against white, poor against rich, liberal against conservative…etc. We mustn’t fall into these traps as they only work to keep us all dis-empowered and divided. We must be and remain alert and take responsibility.

      • I would add demoralized to your list: a state of confusion which is the inability to tell the difference between right and wrong and what end is up. Of all the many different ways we can be divided, when we cut loose the idea that there are absolutes, the moorings for discernment disintegrate.

    • If you look at the history of European Fascism, it is a branch of Marxist socialism. To this day, that is true. The Nazis were members of good standing of the Socialist International until World War II.

      How far left do you have to go, in order to call followers of Karl Marx “right wing” or even “far right”?

  • Thank you for addressing this important topic Daisy–you are spot on in your observations! Folks like you, those at Zero Hedge, and Tucker are critical in bringing balance in a time where things are so polarized and biased. I too choose to not identify with major political parties, but instead look to the issues. It’s seems like the two major parties are just different heads of the same hydra–thank you Rothschilds and Rockefellers et al. for that lesson. My partner and I have had long discussions on how the classic meaning of liberal has changed so dramatically in terms of what it meant back in the Bush era and what it means now. I agree that most people are more centered than MSM would have us believe, and the extremes of either side (while often the loudest) are the minority.

    I pulled from Google, Amazon, as much of Microsoft as I can, never used Twitter, and have been off Facebook for years. I am using my money and intention to instead supporting alternative and independent platforms ,local businesses, and folks that aren’t afraid to speak truth.

  • Google needs to be taken apart, brick by brick, server by server.

    Either that, or we will have “Guilt by association” in America, ALL of it directed at the decent, law abiding majority of citizens

  • Daisy, you are correct. Censorship will spell the death of our Republic–but then that’s what the Democrats want.

    I remember when freedom of speech was so sacrosanct the common saying was, “What you say may disgust me but I’ll fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”

    I’d like to thank the Democratic Party and the NEA for brainwashing our youth to such an extent that such regard for freedom of expression is no longer the case.

  • I agree that to silence one side is wrong. I also understand that being an African-American, when I hear groups like the White Nationalist or KKK or groups that are anti-immigrants even though this country was built by immigrants after it was stolen from the Native Americans.

    You are right. Freedom of Speech is a precious right we have in this county. Also I don’t belong to Black Lives Matter. I think we are at this point in our history because the death of George Floyd, even though he was one of many black men and women who have died by police force, the image of the police officer seeming as though he was just kneeling on the ground trying to get comfortable with his hands in his pocket, caused a worldwide mind snap for those who have been marginalized since the founding of our country and of course across the world.

    What one says and what one does demonstrates the person. When I look at an organization I try to see what is their message; Many of the organizations that Black Lives Matter want to defund have a very pointed message that in my view, I don’t support. I just don’t fund them or visit their website.

    I guess that can be called pacifist approach, but that is how I choose to be active. But that matter as to why we are at this point is that a line as been crossed by people who have authority that essentially show they can do anything they want even if they are on tape. I was just shocked that it went world wide and that like any movement, its gaining a life of its own. Why? Hundred of years of oppression even after civil rights. The heart has to change before anything changes even if laws are changed.

    In addition to this, I believe as a nation and maybe the world we has human have to look truthfully at our past and wonder why the position of power causes those in that position to abuse those that allow them or forcing those without power, to live under the abuse, such as during slavery. Also enforcement, as in corrupt police officers, and government abuse, such as when politicians use their office for personal gain. What we see now is not going away. It has happen over and over again in history. unfortunately it is the nature of mankind.

  • It isn’t just news sites being attacked. Many Christian ministries are being attacked by a group founded by a Councel of churches. False accusations are causing the credit card companies to hold donations or sales revenue. They are putting pressure on networks to stop carrying broadcasts. It is a night mare aiming to destroy all of our freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
    Political, religious, and personal ideas are something we’re guaranteed a right to express. That is being destroyed. Thanks for the honest article.

  • Sammy, these people won’t learn because they don’t want to learn.
    Daisy, thank you for this post. I am a conservative, Christian, African American woman. I was raised in the Jim Crow South dirt poor. Didn’t realize I was poor until about 7th grade because everyone I knew (both Caucasian and those of African descent were poor also). I watched the hypocrisy of some policy makers in the North as integration was forced on those of us in the South but whose Northern schools had not integrated. I was raised during a time when poverty was not an excuse for being dirty, disrespectful, or bitter. Having one degree in journalism, I grew up with Editorials being clearly identified as such, and the news being the news (actual events and the facts). With God’s help, I was blessed to overcome poverty (my parents refused to allow me to get “free” lunch at school back then because my mother’s philosophy was, if you take a wild animal out of the wild and then try to return it, it likely won’t survive, so as humans, if you get a lot of free stuff it will ruin you).

    Following graduate school and some odd jobs, I was commissioned into the U.S. Navy and spent almost 30 years in service to an America that no longer exists. I look back over my 65 years and when I hear the cup cakes, snow flakes, and cheese puffs whining and destroy everything in sight I shake my head and realize they could have never survived what most of us have gone through.

    As an African American(AM), I find that I get the double whammy. I am expected by some AM’s to be a part of the democratic plantation, think a certain way, and have a knee jerk reaction to anything that might be even remotely race related.

    In conclusion, common sense ain’t so common anymore, and unless one’s heart is changed, the PC bullies will only achieve lip service and not a true commitment to work towards any needed changes on the part of those they are currently bullying into submission.

    • I wish I lived next door to you and we could sit on the porch and talk.Because for an over 65 year old white woman who has come from poverty and worked my whole life–these are scary times.

    • @Marti,
      A very well written comment.
      Thank you for sharing your story, your point of view, and thank you for your service.

    • I guess there’s always checks, unless the banks refuse their services for check writing and clearing. I don’t know how they would do that, or get away with it. It’s your money.

      I can see them not allowing their card services to be used, but checks, I would think, would get around that limitation.

      Am I wrong?

  • It’s past time we correct the errors of section 230.
    There is a big difference between free internet access and whet big tech is doing, most likely at the behest of the democrats.

  • This may seem off-topic, but really it’s not. Go into the settings of your android phone, and click on Google. You’ll see that a Covid-19 tracking app has been installed behind your back. The same, I’m told has happened to Apple users, as well. Right now, my local “medical authority” has yet to develop the corresponding app, but I rest assured, it’s coming. The telephone will be able to identify the phones of individuals one comes into contact with, and by some unexplained magic, read the temperature of yourself and anyone you come near enough to. Of course, you’ll then find yourself subject to forced quarantines should anyone you encounter have a fever. Might be a good time to keep the smart phone at home, and use a pre-paid dumb phone when you go out.

  • Leonard,
    I am the laughing stock of my friends but doesn’t bother me. I am so glad I kept my little flip phone. It’s the only cell I use.

  • Google is an extremely scary company. Concerning the current topic of racism, I do have a suggestion for anyone who wants to understand more about how to help people (of all races) in the lower economic class. I am white, but I spent more than 17 years working in at-risk schools helping lower-income kids try to get a good education so they could get a better life. I have also observed racism first-hand (believe it or not, in a church) in East Texas, and it is definitely an ugly thing. However, there is more going on here than just racism or white privilege. There is class privilege, and that is driving the US today more than anything. If anyone really wants to help lower-income people (of any race), please read Understanding the Framework of Poverty by Ruby Payne. (Cheap on Amazon or get it at your local library). The author talks about the hidden rules of each class and how those rules evolved because it helped that class to survive. Howver, these same rules will keep you in whatever class you are in –middle class included, and they will prevent you from moving up. In addition, because people don’t understand the rules at work in another class, they will tend to judge that group and think “why can’t they just do so-and-so?” Also, we are in upheaval now in the country because the rules of both the lower class and middle class are no longer working due to globalization and the changes in our corporations and financial system. It may not as simplistic as what Dr. Payne says, but I think it is a pretty realistic framework and helpful to consider. My husband and I know of a white lady who grew up in the lower class and who came into some money. She wasted that money just the same as some of the African American students I had known–because her frame of reference did not include how to save and/or make money. After reading this book, I also saw how some of my middle class values kept me from taking advantage of opportunities that were directly in front of me–opportunities that someone in the upper class would have recognized. People in the lower class can change their parenting and change their values, but it is not easy to change the way you think. In the middle class, we are struggling to find the new rules to follow to help us succeed, but it is not clear anymore. Any discussion about racism also needs to consider class, because the two intersect. If you read Ruby Payne’s book, it will give you some insight into some very real differences at work and how these belief systems can be changed for the better. This is a very complex problem, and I am afraid the media (on both sides) is changing it into a story that they can simplify so that it fits a story that they can tell in five minutes and that incites passion–because that raises their ratings–like they do with everything. This trend of the media to direct the story and not just report on the story is one of the things I think will bring us down the most.

  • Defunded by whom? Private enterprise? Forcing them to be regulated by the government to be fair and honest would seem like an oxymoron. Find a place where you can use your voice without restraint. Draw your base to the platform. They will follow, your platform will grow and be profitable. There will never be an easy way for good to triumph over evil.

    • Generally, as a libertarian, I’d agree with you. However, this is different for a couple of reasons.

      When a giant corporation holds a monopoly on ad revenue, (more than 70% of all ad revenue in America goes through their platform) it’s not that simple. That’s why there are anti-trust charges pending against Google.

      Secondly, Google has protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because they claim to be “a neutral supplier of virtual space for people to speak with one another.” If this is the case, then they should not be allowed to exact economic punishment against those with different points of view. If we take away their protection under 230, then it’s a different matter. Then we can sue Google for what appears on their site and they retain full control.

      They can’t have it both ways. Either they’re providing neutral platforms in which case they’re protected, or they’re biased, in which case they’re not.

      • Daisy,

        Where do you draw the line then if you take away Google’s (aka, YouTube really) Section 230 protection? If you take away their 230 protection – and 230 protection is absolutely vital for all websites that host third party content (including the comments on your website) – where does it stop? Can you really just single out Google/YouTube and have it have no affect at all on other independent web publishers? I don’t think you can. Once you undermine 230 protection for one web publisher – whether you believe you have solid reasons or not – you essentially undermine 230 protection for every single web publisher in existence.

        Moreover, and most importantly, if Section 230 went away, THAT, more than anything else, would kill off the web as we know it today. Gone would be all comment sections, gone would be user-created video’s hosted by third parties like YouTube, and gone would even be external links to articles. No website publisher – big or small – would deal with the potential enormous liability risk of hosting third party content if Section 230 protection wasn’t available.

        I guess I view this through a different lens than you do (and yes, I’m a web publisher too). I view websites, whether it be mine, yours or a massive conglomerate like YouTube, as private property. It’s my website. This is your website. And YouTube is Google’s website. We can each do with our own websites what we want too.

        If you find a commenter on your site is abusive, you ban them. I got sick of dealing with stupid comments and spam comments ages ago and got rid of them entirely. And YouTube is within their own rights to deal with comments on their site in whatever form or fashion they want to.

        And I guess I view the revenue model of YouTube/Google in the same light. Each service is providing a way for it’s users to make some money. But…you have to play by their rules. Yet, is that so bad? What’s wrong with me having to follow Adsense’s rule to make money from them? If I don’t like it, I can find alternative methods of monetizing content. It isn’t easy, for sure, as you mention – but it absolutely can and is frequently done. And what’s wrong with user-created video’s on YouTube having to follow their rules? If they don’t like YouTube’s rules, they can just go over and put their video’s on Brightview and other video sharing websites.

        Similarly, if someone doesn’t like Twitter or Facebook posting a “fact check” graphic on their post, well….go put your content on another service! What’s so hard about that? The alternatives to YouTube and Twitter are just a mouse click away – hardly an inconvenience. Yes, YouTube and Twitter are the largest – and taking on the incumbents is never easy – but it’s still done online all the time. And it happens when visitors to “Site A”, for whatever reason, get sick of something about that site (such as “fact check”, “fake video”, etc…) and then look for alternatives and find “Site B.” Just look at what’s happened to countless web sites over time, as their user base simply vanished (remember MySpace?).

        Ultimately, I’m a libertarian at my core, I guess. I identify with no political party and likely never will again. And I see the assault on Section 230 – which to me seems to be primarily but not exclusively undertaken largely by right-wing elements unhappy about Twitter/YouTube/Facebook – as a massive threat to free speech online.

        Finally, one final thought. There’s alternatives to YouTube/Twitter/Facebook already. Yet…why haven’t these services taken off yet? Why are they so under-utilized? Why don’t more YouTube creators put their video’s on BrightView? Why haven’t users flocked to these alternatives but instead remain with the existing “big three?” Dare I say, it might be because the majority, perhaps the vast majority, of their users are happy or at least happy enough that they find no reason to look for something else?

        To me, this is the free market at work and it’s working as it should. Regardless of whether you, me or anyone else likes Twitter “fact checking” Trump, or placing “fact check” video’s on people’s Facebook posts, or YouTube hiding video’s in their listings – their customers (you and me and everyone else who watches videos or reads posts) seem to be happy enough with how it works that we aren’t changing our habits and flocking to alternatives.

        We aren’t watching BrightView video’s because we like YouTube more. We aren’t switching to the many Twitter alternatives. Or dumping Facebook in-masse in favor of something else. And it’s because people, at least for the moment, like the services as they are.

        For this reason – to the many people on both the RIGHT and LEFT – who keep advocating for the “breakup” of Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, start looking at the REAL REASONS why people remain with these services. Nobody is forcing users to use these sites. They are “shopping there” of their own free will. People who argue for shutting down these services are essentially having the government pick “one winner” or “another.”

        We already do to much of that (aka, see the Federal Reserve and recent PPP bailouts). We don’t need more of it.

        Sorry for the rambling rant, but as you can probably guess, I quite disagree with your assessment of Section 230.

        BTW – I fully get the Google Adsense thing. Adsense for me was once a huge revenue driver. Now I’m lucky to get $5 a day off them despite increasing traffic levels (on a fishing website). A combination of banner blindness among website visitors, vast overuse of ads on a single page by many web publishers (which only increased banner blindness and adblock usage) and ad blockers really has started to kill that advertising model. Indeed, I’ve basically started removing the ads entirely – as they aren’t worth slowing down my site or killing the look/design of the site for such meager income.

        But as they say, that’s advertising! It always changes. Revenue models come and revenue models go. It’s the publishers responsibility to change with the times, as they say.

  • Daisey , thank you from the bottom of my heart . I can always depend on you to tell the truth and what to do to make it thru it . Thank you !

  • Thanks for having the intestinal fortitude to stand up for our rights.
    My pockets are not deep, but I have made numerous donations to keep websites and podcasts going.
    I have also dumped my use of all major digital media. I never use goggle (I hate the company so much I even refuse to spell it correctly). If people really oppose this censorship and manipulation, then they should get off twitbook, crapchat, instascam, facebutt and all the rest.
    Try GAB for a social site and Dissenter or Duck, Duck, Go as browsers.

  • Some years back I knew a guy who traveled to China. As he was speaking to some Chinese, they were astounded that he didn’t have a TV.

    “What about TV shows?” they asked.
    He answered, “I find most of them aren’t worth watching.”
    “What about sports?”
    “I couldn’t play sports myself, so I lost interest.”
    “What about news?”
    “I found I can’t trust TV news.”
    Chuckle, chuckle, “We can’t either.”

    No more questions on not owning a TV.

    I remember the days of Walter Cronkite “That’s the way it is” when he was the most trusted person in America. He could do that because he was part of a monopoly. Today with more freedom of information, we have learned that much of what he reported was lies. The same is true of the TV reporters today. That guy still has no TV. The cancel crowd is trying to return us to the monopoly they had before.

    Big Tech needs to lose their section 230 immunity.

  • The Tucker Carlson piece was good, and he’s good on a lot of things, but he is wrong about Congress.

    They do not care about you. That’s one of the biggest reasons why the whole Federal government should be abolished. They don’t care about you, and they never have. They only say they do, in order to get your vote.

    He also says that the big tech platforms and companies are now the biggest threat to our Liberty. I disagree. The biggest threat is still the guy with the most guns, and who is probably the secret power behind all of the Internet censorship. I still have yet to decide if the Internet giants are that ideologically driven or if there is an implied threat from the Federal government that if they don’t shut down opposing opinions, the Federal government will come after them. I still lean toward the Fed Gov having the bigger stick, but I could be proven wrong.

    In any event, we need to stop using these platforms as much as possible, and building our own platforms while it is still legal and theoretically possible to do so.

  • This post, and by extension your thinking on the topic, is fundamentally flawed. The First Amendment prevents Congress from passing certain laws.

    It has nothing whatever to do with private companies like Google or Twitter or ad networks or anything you mention in your post.

    I’m not sure you’ve read the First Amendment. Many haven’t, they just hear what Tucker is going on about or hear sound bites of some political hit man and just take their word for it. So in the spirit of charity and assuming good intent here is the full text:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    It’s about Congress. You don’t have a right to a platform you didn’t build or a microphone you don’t own.

    So hopefully that clarifies why no company should be forced to give anyone and everyone a microphone or a platform. It’s a fact of the world now that our news sources are 100x more numerous than way back when there were 3 networks who all said the same thing. It’s also a fact of the market that ad revenues from digital platforms are saturated and don’t monetize well. So even the New York Times can’t survive on ad revenue alone. So content creators everywhere have to evolve to a paywall or other user pay model that is supplement by ad revenue.
    The easy money is dried up. If people really like your information (and I do when it’s about your area of expertise) consider Patreon or a subscription model. As you said in the post, running a website is expensive. More expensive is running the server farms.

  • Daisy, thanks for this article and I’m glad I read it. My main question – and not put to you in particular, but generally, and after looking at the website of SFFN is this: why is a UK based effort connected to the UK Commission for Countering Extremism, focused so heavily on defunding US based news sites with pro-American stance? Who exactly is Imran Ahmed (the founder of SFFN) and who is he connected to behind the scenes? This needs more investigation as we come closer to identifying the true ‘shadow government’ intent on destroying the US. Funding sources for SFFN aren’t disclosed, but what are the odds George Soros is somewhere in the background? And why is Google buckling to their demands, and what power do they have to demand anything from Google? The swamp is deep indeed.

  • I hear some of what you’re saying but to deny white people get different treatment in the courts, when they shop, when they come across or deal with police is simply ignorance, willful or otherwise. And while blacks can have racist attitudes, that doesn’t translate into the court system or law enforcement behavior. Have you seen footage of or heard tales of black police killing unarmed white people on their porches, subjecting them to chokeholds, or just beating them down because “they gave me attitude” and then gotten away with it? Like no jail but loss of paid vacation days? Please post this information if you have it.

    There’s a reason hundreds of thousands of brown skinned people are in jail for petty theft and marijuana possession at a higher percentage than whites. There is the bail issue which falls more heavily on blacks. I could go on and on but if you need more examples of institutional and everyday racism than there’s no point.

    I’m black with many white family members and I have seen blacks try to mess with my family and it’s wrong. But that behavior cannot be separated from hundreds of years of oppression – economic and physical.

  • Get off the freaking internet. You can have your opinions amongst your friends and family, typically, and not be censored by anyone.

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