Facebook Purge = Government Censorship

The World Socialist Web Site noticed something about the most recent Facebook/Twitter purge that no one else noticed - it was the PropOrNot wish list.

Media outlets removed by Facebook on Thursday, in a massive purge of 800 accounts and pages, had previously been targeted in a blacklist of oppositional sites promoted by the Washington Post in November 2016.

The organizations censored by Facebook include The Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, The Free Thought Project, with 3.1 million followers, and Counter Current News, with 500,000 followers. All three of these groups had been on the blacklist.

In November 2016, the Washington Post published a puff-piece on a shadowy and up to then largely unknown organization called PropOrNot, which had compiled a list of organizations it claimed were part of a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign.”

propornot.png

Who is PropOrNot?
It's the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex. Specifically, the Atlantic Council.

The Atlantic Council is a NATO-funded think tank that has more ties to Facebook than you might realize.

This is not at all comforting: during a week that’s witnessed Alex Jones’ social media accounts taken down by Facebook, Apple, Spotify and Google, and what appears to be a growing crackdown against alternative media figures including several prominent Libertarians, notably the Ron Paul Institute director, and the Scott Horton Show, who found their Twitter accounts suspended — we learn that the Atlantic Council is directly advising Facebook on identifying and removing “foreign interference” on the popular platform.
...
And yet as a new Reuters report confirms, Facebook is now itself a top donor to the Atlantic Council, alongside Western governments, Gulf autocratic regimes, NATO, various branches of the US military, and a number of major defense contractors and corporations.

Facebook hasn't just allowed NATO to censor it's content. Facebook funds NATO Along with the governments of the U.S., U.K. and the United Arab Emirates, as well as U.S. weapons giant Lockheed Martin, among other corporate sponsors.
How's that for corporate-government partnership?

In fact, the Atlantic Council recently published a report describing why government censorship conducted through private entities is preferable.

Enter the social media companies. The best mechanism for suppressing oppositional viewpoints and promoting pro-government narratives is the private sector, in particular “technology giants, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter,” which can “determine what people see and do not see.”

Watts adds, “Fortunately, shifts in the policies of social media platforms such as Facebook have had significant impact on the type and quality of the content that is broadcast.”

The private sector, therefore, must do the dirty work of the government, because government propaganda is viewed with suspicion by the population. “Business and the private sector may not naturally understand the role they play in combating disinformation, but theirs is one of the most important…. In the West at least, they have been thrust into a central role due to the general public’s increased trust in them as institutions.”

Twitter seems to be following Facebook's lead.

The Atlantic Council is the primary source of false, and eventually disproven hysterical accusations about Russia, that get picked up by the news media.
So the next time someone says, "They are private companies. They can do what they want."
Tell that person that these companies are quasi-government organizations.

Caitlin Johnstone said it best: "I have said it before and I will say it again: in a corporatist system, wherein there is no clear line between corporate power and government power, corporate censorship is government censorship."

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karl pearson's picture

Facebook has seen a diminished use of its platform by current users and younger people are abandoning the site in droves. People are creative and will find another means to communicate and agitate. That's just the nature of human beings, regardless of what the private corporations and government do. Mother Jones didn't have Facebook, but she accomplished a lot.

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@karl pearson as envisioned by Clara Jeffery...centrists don't appear to have any cognizance of shame.
As with so much going on in the world these days, it's a fucking shame that is...

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travelerxxx's picture

One of my favorite Caitlin Johnstone quotes:


In a corporatist system, wherein there is no clear line between corporate power and government power, corporate censorship is government censorship.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

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3 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

@The Aspie Corner

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and they were interviewing a woman from Facebook. I never got her name. She and some lawyer were explaining about how Facebook was legally a private corporation and thus not beholden to the Constitutional provision for free speech. I think it was on Joshua Johnson's A1 program. Anyway, it made sense on the face of it, but it left me with a bad feeling. Today I see lots of articles in the world of sub MSM sites writing about Facebook and it's connection to the Atlantic Council and am very glad to see it.
Thanks!

Does anyone know what happened to that secret group in the State Dept that Obama signed onto before he left office? The one that was supposed to identify "propaganda" and protect us from it????

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

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chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.

about once again. Back then, the working folks knew which side was which (admittedly easier when they are shooting strikers). Now the corporations and their ilk have used the narcissim of minor differences to divide us and encourage us to fight one another.
Trump supporters are called Nazis by Antifa marchers, violence ensues, and each side gets their panties in a bunch. Come on folks, it shouldn't be that hard to see the difference between the 99% and the 1% and to support change that really matters.

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chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.