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Here’s How We Are Silenced by Big Tech

Charles Hugh Smith
September 26th, 2019
Of Two Minds Blog
Comments (13)

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds. 

This is how they silence us: your content has been secretly flagged as being “unsafe,” i.e. “guilty of anti-Soviet thoughts;” poof, you’re gone.


Nice, but what do we call labeling legitimate websites “unsafe” and banning Twitter users from retweeting links to posts on those sites?
 This is what’s happening to oftwominds.com— Twitter has labeled this site “unsafe” due to unspecified violations of the Twitter User Agreement, which I have reviewed and can categorically state the oftwominds.com site and posts have never violated the terms of the Agreement or the Twitter Rules, except if posting several tweets that contain the URL of my current post somehow violates the Rules. (If bloggers can’t list the URL of their original content more than once a day, then the Twitter Rules are prejudicial and should be amended.)Big Tech claims it isn’t silencing skeptics, dissenters, and critics of the status quo, but it is silencing us. Here’s how it’s done. Let’s start with Twitter. Twitter claims it doesn’t shadow ban (Setting the record straight on shadow banning), which it defines as deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster.

Note that Twitter doesn’t identify or provide the user with evidence of the violation of its User Agreement that justifies the “unsafe/can’t retweet” shadow-banning. The process of contesting such arbitrary and opaque censorship is absurdly unsatisfactory. There is no form for content owners/Twitter users to contest being tossed in the “unsafe/can’t retweet” gulag; users must click through a bunch of “contact us” screens, none of which have an option for contesting being tossed in the “unsafe/can’t retweet” gulag.

When you give up and just send Twitter Support a “report on spam,” i.e. that your own site is wrongly being labeled spam, you get (of course) an automated response in which Twitter promises to do nothing and tell you nothing.

If original content that is obviously not violating the Terms of Service/User Agreement can be arbitrarily banned from being retweeted without any evidence or due process, how is this not censorship? This is straight out of Kafka: an unaccountable, all-powerful, completely opaque bureaucracy arbitrarily bans your Twitter followers from retweeting a link to your original, copyrighted content. How is that not flat-out censorship (by a privately owned and operated entity with extra-legal powers)?

This is exactly like the Soviet Union, where citizens were routinely tossed in the gulag for having “anti-Soviet thoughts.” Twitter, Facebook and Google routinely hold the equivalent of extra-legal administrative “trials” in which those accused of violating open-to-interpretation (“anti-Soviet thoughts”) Terms of Service are not presented with evidence of their “crimes” nor are they are given a chance in a transparent, fairly administered process to contest their “guilty” verdict.

As for Facebook: direct links from Facebook users to oftwominds.com dropped by 90% last year over the course of a few days. What could have caused this sudden collapse? The only possible cause is Facebook limiting the number of people who could see my posts on their feeds. If this isn’t shadow-banning, then what do we call it, other than censorship?

As for Google–who knows how your rankings in search are jiggered? We do know that having “anti-Soviet thoughts” will get you de-platformed from YouTube, which not only silences you but also demonetizes your content, so not only are you thrown into the censorship gulag, you’re stripped of your livelihood as well.

I have long suspected that the root of oftwominds.com being censored by the Big Tech platforms is my “false arrest for sedition” via the scurrilously fabricated PropOrNot list that was gleefully promoted by the odious propaganda organ Washington Post— promoted, we should note, without any journalistic investigation or even rudimentary fact-checking.

Having been put on a list of sites deemed “guilty of anti-Soviet thoughts” by propagandists purporting to reveal propaganda, I’ve been shadow-banned and censored without any recourse or opportunity to contest my sentence in the Big Tech gulag. This is how Big Tech silences us, quietly, without any evidence, without any hearing, without any recourse, in secret extra-legal proceedings where we are refused the opportunity to question our accuser and contest the “evidence,” if any.

Big Tech is a privately owned and operated gulag straight out of Kafka. As I have argued before, the only way to dismantle this privately owned and operated gulag, whose sole purpose is to maximize profits from adverts and selling user data, is to turn their services into public utilities that cannot collect any data and cannot target adverts.

This is how they silence us: your content has been secretly flagged as being “unsafe,” i.e. “guilty of anti-Soviet thoughts;” poof, you’re gone.

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Author: Charles Hugh Smith
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Date: September 26th, 2019
Website: https://www.oftwominds.com

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

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13 Comments...

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  1. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Big Tech, KISS MY WHITE ASS! I DON’T HAVE ANY OBLIGATIONS TO YOU! GO TAKE A FLYING LEAP! YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER ANYONE!

    • Big tech may have no “authority”, but the vast majority of people authorize them by continuing to use their products every single day.
      By using their platforms and buying their products, we enrich these people, and further their ability to dominate every conversation and censor every opinion that does not fall in line with their agenda.
      The only solution now is to go old school, which I grant is very hard to do when you’re used to our slick, easy, quick conveniences, BUT it can be done.
      The last link to be cut for our family is the internet, which will be going very soon.
      Stop participating in a rigged game!

  2. D379-6754 says:

    Never had any content, context, or BS to worry about. But I digress. Don’t have any ‘account’ on any of those BS ‘places’.

    If you can’t say what you want, how you want, when you want (and that includes typing it), then that infringes on the 1st Amendment.

    So go f¥¢|< 0ff. 😣

  3. Bert says:

    The DEM-SOCIALISTS have no problem being heard.

  4. Anonymous says:

    -my comments banned on this site-

  5. If I recall correctly, SHTFplan is also on the PropOrNot list. I wonder if this is a reason for the reduced traffic…although the “Views” total is now hidden, too, so none of us can tell how much traffic there really is.

  6. Montana Guy says:

    Yes Big Tech is privately owned. Suddenly maximizing profit from one’s labor is wrong? Private property owners must forfeit their rights of ownership and bake everyone’s cake? And the only solution is to Big Tech is expanding Big Government? Conservatives are suppose to embrace these beliefs? Is this a joke? How about disinformation?

    Apparently the assumption that conservatives are too lazy and too stupid to build their own competing services? Is this how far we have fallen?

  7. Clown World says:

    CHS said, “As I have argued before, the only way to dismantle this privately owned and operated gulag, whose sole purpose is to maximize profits from adverts and selling user data, is to turn their services into public utilities that cannot collect any data and cannot target adverts.’

    This page is covered in targeted advertising, and there are speech controls, here.

    The publisher will typically tell authors that no hit counters are allowed, because it violates privacy. I guess, you are trusting the publisher to tell you the correct number of visitors and participation level.

    I don’t believe that most blogs will be supported under free market conditions, say, as a private club. Most people will not pay to submit content, like what I am writing, here.

    But, having done business with the (insane, useless) general public, I like the idea of paywalls and tall hedges, to exclude the cantankerous and workshy.

    There seems to be an ethos of free speech and open participation. Most people have no sense of purpose, whatsoever, so create inertia. Won’t move, or all move as a panicked herd in your kiosk or storefront. When they are allowed free entry into your online turf, they act the same way.

  8. Clown World says:

    A private utility is the opposite of a Communist utility.

    Communism exists for the majority of useless eaters who literally need to be told where to go and what to do.

  9. Archivist says:

    The problem is that people are overly dependent on just a few outlets, rather than using multiple outlets or creating their own.

    It costs very little to create your very own website with your very own domain. You can download the free WordPress software and load it on your domain. It’s very easy to set up. If you can’t handle the 5 or 10 minutes it takes, get your local computer geek to set it up and get you started. I set up my church’s site and personal sites for the preachers.

    FB and Twitter can’t do a thing to you on your own site.

    I have a number of websites, and I post what I please. I’ve never heard a single complaint about my content. I’ve heard from a lot of people who like almost everything I post.

  10. Hi Archivist:

    Great post. I rarely see your posts anymore, some of my favorites.

    Do you mind revealing the name of your website or how to find it?

    I am barely able to use tech well enough to find shit, that is shtfplan, which is pretty much the only site I go to, and which I am fairly sure bans me, at least when my posts are politically correct.

    .

  11. Freeillinois says:

    Big tech is ran by Bolsheviks, hell bent on bring down the USA.

    I do not know how many people are reading these articles but i do know this if you are not stockpiling Food, medical supplies buying ammo and building a a 5-10 program you are doing yourself and your family a disservice.

    If you do not know what a 5-10 program is then please do a web search for 5-10 program, militia