Friday, October 27, 2017

Twitter Rescues American Democracy By Banning Ads From RT And Sputnik

By Caitlin Johnstone - October 27, 2017 at 09:31AM

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Twitter has announced today that it will no longer be accepting advertisements from Russian outlets RT and Sputnik, thereby protecting Americans from consuming advertisements by propaganda outlets other than CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Daily BeastThe Hill, NPR, the LA Times,USA TodayNewsweek, AP, Reuters, the Guardian, and any corporate media outlet used to manufacture public support for a corporatist system of government.

“Early this year,” Twitter’s explanation reads, “the U.S. intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter. This decision is restricted to these two entities based our internal investigation of their behavior as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI report.”

The findings of the January DNI report are something every American should be aware of. I strongly encourage you to click here and take a look at the allegations leveled at these outlets in this report for yourself if you haven’t already. They are either unintentionally hilarious or profoundly disturbing, depending on the spirit in which you read them.

Here are the evil, heinous, unforgivable offenses that the DNI report says RT is guilty of in its report:

Airing two new shows that were critical of the US government.
Running reports on the vulnerabilities of US election machines.
Broadcasting, hosting and advertising debates between third-party candidates.
Covering the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Criticizing the US surveillance state and alleging widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use.
Criticizing “the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt” and comparing the United States to Imperial Rome.
Running anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health
Opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict and blaming the West for waging “information wars” against the Syrian Government.
Trying to expand RT America in the US.

In short, the two dozen hand-picked analysts who composed the DNI report claim that RT is a malignant propaganda outlet because, unlike the aforementioned corporate media outlets, RT gives a voice to popular leftist ideas. That’s how brazenly the US power structure is shoving the American public toward support for its corporatist plutocracy these days. Not coincidentally this story is running concurrent to a revelation that Twitter’s marketing team unsuccessfully tried to sell RT a deal on advertisements for its coverage of the 2016 election, which Twitter failed to report to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is catching flack for this from all across the political spectrum today, but in my opinion the public interest in this story misses the point entirely. It shouldn’t matter if Twitter tried to sell an advertisement package to RT any more than it should matter if RT and Sputnik promote leftist ideas in America. Ideas which conflict with the establishment narrative are not the problem. Americans do not need to be protected from unauthorized ideas.

In a corporatist system of government, which America most certainly has, corporate media is state media, and corporate censorship is state censorship. Powerful corporations like Time Warner and Twitter, Inc. are not separate from government in any meaningful way in America, since corporate power and elected power are not separated in any meaningful way. The plutocrats who own the media make alliances with the plutocrats who own the government, and the intelligence agencies which serve this establishment power structure actively infiltrate media outlets on all levels.

Which of course makes the current crusade against Russian state media ridiculous. Your true rulers do not oppose RT and Sputnik because they want to protect you from propaganda and psy-ops, they oppose RT and Sputnik because they gum up the gears of the propaganda and psy-ops you’re meant to be consuming. January’s DNI report essentially admits this.

The increasing amount of pro-oligarchy manipulations that powerful new media like Facebook, Google and Twitter have been exhibiting is corporate censorship. What I’d like to see in the coming months is a shift from concern about censorship by the elected government of Official Washington and an increasing amount of concern over corporate censorship, because, again, corporate censorship is state censorship. The power establishment doesn’t need to use government to censor the information Americans consume when they can use corporate censorship to accomplish the exact same thing without provoking an inconvenient revolution.

Libertarians and groups like the ACLU may say that since Twitter is a private corporation it is free to do whatever it wants, and this is not the same as state censorship, but this is an obsolete way of looking at things premised on an inaccurate understanding of existing power structures. Such a perspective only makes sense in a fictional, fairy tale world where massive corporations like Twitter are separate from the power structure that rules over Americans. They are not. Plutocratic influence suppressing dissenting ideas on social media platforms is every bit as oppressive as the Chinese government suppressing dissenting ideas. The US oligarchs are just less obvious about it.

The only thing holding the omnicidal power structure in place is its propaganda machine, and as AI gets more advanced the manipulations of corporate propaganda and corporate censorship are only going to get more difficult to deal with. All it will take to overthrow the ruling elites who are choking our species to death is for us to kill the establishment propaganda machine and/or become much more difficult to propagandize. We pro-human humans need to use our unprecedented ability to share information to find creative ways of bringing this about before the propaganda cage gets too advanced for us to ever escape.

Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with toward this end. Please use your human ingenuity to come up with more, and share your ideas with everyone you can before it’s too late.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com. Support Ms. Johnstone's work here.

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