The US social media machine will never be ‘fixed’ because it is not broken. Those demanding we put the fake news genie back in the bottle are the ones who let it out to begin with.
Photo: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
01 November 2022 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News
One could argue that the most-recent free-fall in world ‘freedom’ began in earnest during the US much-hyped and generally highly exaggerated threats created during the US ‘war on terror.’ (If you think this is an exaggeration – rewatch an episode of the TV program The Bodyguard with its constant reports on ‘terror threats that vanished almost as quickly as 24/7 Covid updates.)
General ‘freedoms’ were of course thrown out the window, but the move was fashioned in such a way that many of the measures ‘only’ involved possibly evil ‘foreigners,’ both inside and outside the US.
Their phones could be hacked or their emails read and they could be monitored in any way, but come on – the US was a beacon of democracy and they would never, ever, dream of abrogating the rights of Americans.
It was a stroke of genius. It not only allowed ‘Americans’ to feel safe and secure over the next 20 years, but and it also pitted ‘real’ Americans against the bad people who were ‘jealous’ of the freedoms they were quite willingly giving away.
In a real and true democracy, people would have collectively protested against any such loss of freedom brought about in their name, but they didn’t. And haven’t. And never will.
It will never be ‘fixed’ because it is not broken. The people who are now claiming we need to put the ‘fake news’ genie back in the bottle are the ones who let it out to begin with.
The media we have now, both traditional and online, did not recover and never will. It is simply too late to suddenly demand that people have the right to ‘the truth’ about the wars in Afghanistan or Syria, or Ukraine, or ‘the truth’ about covid or the vaccine or ‘the truth’ about the price of oil or ‘the truth’ about climate change or ‘the truth’ about nuclear war.
And nor does anyone else in the world who might be connected to these news streams.
And who knows, perhaps they, like real Americans, are receiving ‘the truth’ about all of these things. But how on earth will anyone ever know for sure?
This insane, constant propaganda-propaganda was designed to deliver both truth and lies in tandem, the lines blurred to the point that it is literally impossible -for anyone in the world!- to say with any confidence that they ‘know’ the truth.
And that was the point all along.
And the anger and dissatisfaction will continue until people -around the world- can sign online with the at least some sense that they will not have to fight to tell the difference between ‘the truth’ and propaganda-propaganda.
That will never happen as long as the US government retains complete control over social media. And they will never allow that to happen. So-called social media is game and the rules are indeed etched in stone.
In short, the people complaining about media ‘sowing discontent’ in America are US government departments that not only started the sowing, but are the ones harvesting the rewards.
Is it any wonder that countries around the world have blocked US ‘social media?’ They are not afraid of freedom. They are afraid of US propaganda- propaganda.
Perhaps it is time for the rest of us to cut our connection to the propaganda propaganda machine.
James Porteous | Clipper Media News
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.
The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests.
While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.
Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.
“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.
In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.”
“We do not coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions, and we independently evaluate content in line with the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson for Twitter wrote in a statement to The Intercept.
There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use.
At the time of writing, the “content request system” at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login is still live. DHS and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, did not respond to a request for comment. The FBI declined to comment.