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Censorship of alternate media: The West running scared of the truth

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

By Robert Inlakesh

With the banning of former US President Donald Trump having expanded the ongoing conversation on social media censorship, very little is yet to be done on the issue and even if you think you are safe now, you may not be tomorrow.

The most recent victims of the ongoing crackdown by the tech giants, on any information that challenges mainstream narratives, are Press TV and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. What is key to note here, is that within the same week, a President and TV channel bringing viewers a perspective from the ‘Global South’ have been silenced. 

Press TV, which boasted 4 million plus followers, delivered content which provided an alternative perspective on Middle-Eastern, African, Asian, Russian, South American politics that countered the one sided, often hateful, messages pushed by mainstream Western Media. As for the President of Venezuela, he was banned for 30 days for promoting a Venezuelan drug produced to help citizens with Covid-19.

Facebook has defended its banning of Maduro, claiming that he spread false information and claimed wrongly he had a cure for Covid-19, without of course stating any definition for cure. But in the world of “fact-checkers” and the internet thought police, there is no argument to be had, they are right and you are wrong no matter what.

When Donald Trump was deleted from all social media outlets, many voices in independent media were warning of a coming purge of left-wing and non-Western content. Especially those involved with spreading information on Israeli crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. Thousands of Pro-Palestinian activists, and thousands more Palestinians in Palestine have been banned from outlets like Twitter and Facebook. Palestinian News Outlets like Quds News are also constantly targeted and banned for simply covering stories in the occupied Palestinian territories.

If you are challenging Western mainstream narratives and  aren’t banned from social media altogether, then you will likely experience what is known as shadow-banning. A shadow ban is when the algorithms prevent your account from reaching your intended audience, which is what we are seeing across the board from Youtube to Facebook and Twitter.

On Youtube, popular Left-Wing political show host Kyle Kulinski has, for example, seen an 88.9% decrease in subscribers in the past month, while other left wing channels like ‘The Jimmy Dore Show’, ‘Soapbox’ and ‘Lee Camp’ have all dropped by roughly 50%.

In my personal experience, Facebook is nearly impossible for me as a journalist to use in order to reach a new audience. A few years ago, I could easily reach tens of thousands with my videos, breaking hundreds of thousands on many occasions, now I would be lucky to get one thousand views on a video. As for Twitter, after the Israeli Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) had attempted to justify a video I published of Israeli police forces taking away goods from Palestinian market stalls, I found that suddenly my reach was cut in four by the end of the month.

The End Of Free Speech In The West

The age of cancel culture and big tech censorship has created an environment in which in order to survive online, you have to tow the pro-war establishment line. Despite the fact that so many will claim to hate racists, they completely ignore and patronise anyone from outside of the West. 

The opinions of those who are not from the West or do not think like Westerners, is not tolerated and if you disagree with the concepts accepted as truth by the White majority West, you will be deleted. 

If you wish to have open discussions on controversial issues, you are to be suppressed and deleted. If you challenge the military industrial complex, government conspiracies, big Pharma or even wish to debate the governments techniques used during the Pandemic, you are to be shadow banned or deleted.

If half of those supporting censorship actually wished to see meaningful change, they would not be afraid of expressing their knowledge in an open debate. But instead, caught up in the manufactured meaningless “culture war” between right and left, people would rather scream at each other than challenge power.

Although it has become a common comparison, in George Orwell’s 1984 there was the Ministry of Truth and a world in which free thought was not tolerated by government nor the society manufactured by it. This is what the West has become. The West which loves to brag about its role in spreading “freedom” and “democracy”, which has the audacity to describe itself as the “free world”, is the biggest robotic, shopping center styled prison, which exists on earth. Now, you can’t even freely share political expression on the internet. Why? Because the dictators of the West are too scared that the public may actually demand an end to the tyranny caused by our major corporations and governments.

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

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