How quickly does time fly. 2021 is almost here, yet it seems like just yesterday that we were arguing whether or not 2020 was the start of a new decade or the end of the last. In many ways it was both.
It was another age. Donald Trump was gearing up to face off against an impeachment trial, COVID-19 was barely even a blip on major news media sites, and the notion of widespread overt censorship by major technology platforms like Twitter and YouTube was laughed off as conspiracy theory.
Regardless, if the conspiracy was true or not in January, many platforms still took the time to act like it was false. Random deletions and throttlings were blamed on glitches or the results of algorithmic miscalibrations. It was still important to appear impartial for economic and PR reasons. Freedom of Speech and Equality of Ideas were still valued enough to pay lip service to.
There had always been Voices in the Desert that claimed that massive media platforms had a duty and responsibility to the public to platform only ideas which could advance the public good. That certain ideas where too dangerous, too evil, to allow to roam free unfettered and unchained; the individuals who subscribed to these ideas were walking viral vectors of misinformation and hatred and needed to quarantined for the health of public discourse.
While there had been major deplatforming and censoring of influential individuals before, they were limited to special cases. Targeted strikes to satisfy a vocal minority, while keeping the outrage of everybody else at a manageable level. As the years went on, however, the Voices grew louder and more numerous, and in time began coming into positions of major (middle management) power at the various Tech Conglomerates.
It undoubtedly frustrated them to no end that ideas and individuals who they held as fundamentally repugnant to everything they stood for used their work, their product, to actively make the world a more angry, dangerous, and hateful place. But ultimately, they were largely chained by public perception.
Everything changed when Coronavirus came.
Under the guise of public health, companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook eventually took almost unheard of actions regarding anything tangentially related to COVID-19. YouTube refused to monetize any videos made about COVID-19. Twitter added rules to the Community Guidelines declaring that anybody spreading “misinformation” regarding COVID-19 would banned. Facebook pushed websites and news articles from “official” sources into every feed. All of them had rolled out the now ubiquitous exclamation point disclaimer.
Inevitably, the President of the United States, prone as he is to firing off exaggerations, conjectured information, and one sided revisionism, was flagged by Twitter as well for censorship. There is little doubt that those moderating the censor organs across Silicon Valley that they would end up flagging the account of Donald Trump one way or another. There is even less doubt at the excitement which it generated within. It was clear there was excitement from without.
Here at last, was the golden bullet. An unmitigated public good which could be done that would simultaneously serve to discredit and silence an individual (and broader individuals) with whom the Vocal Minority sought to bring down. Once the door had been cracked, it was quickly blasted wide open.
Open flagging of President Donald Trump regarding Coronavirus quickly led to open flagging of Donald Trump regarding election security, which led to open flagging of Donald Trump regarding his own election contests, which has now, at long last, reached the open suppression and removal of all thoughts and ideas pertaining President Donald Trump and his election contest.
In the span of 6–9 months, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and almost everyone else, has gone from flagging certain individuals and ideas as misinformation to protect 5G cell towers from being burned down, to the total suppression and removal of a belief held by about half the US population.
No more a poignant example of the Slippery Slope exists than in the rapid evolution of censorship in 2020. Censorship will almost always beget censorship. Many still cheer and laugh at the censored. Their time too will eventually come. Censors, by their very nature, refuse to tolerate even the slightest dissent from orthodoxy.
Senator Sanders, this year, was the victim of irregularities wherein a phone app created by Shadow Inc. used to tabulate votes totally collapsed state wide causing a complete breakdown of the caucus system in the state causing delays in canvassing and recanvassing which took days to complete. Sanders won a plurality of the vote by 0.4%, but most interestingly, seeming dark horse candidate at the time Pete Buttigieg managed to eke out a victory in state equivalent delegates (the number that actually matters in the final tabulation) by 0.04% blasting his campaign into the stratosphere.
Anybody could be forgiven for assuming that anything from basic incompetence to malicious action, could have cost Senator Sanders total victory that night, which is why he initially challenged the final results before the Democratic Party. He of course found little reprieve from the hostile Party Apparatus. Many of his supporters naturally decried the caucus as being stolen from him, despite of course, ‘authoritative’ sources saying otherwise.
When progressives again (Alexandria Cortez?) try to mount a campaign inside the Democratic Party, there will be no question that irregularities will once again occur, there will be no question that they will all align against the progressive agenda, and there will be no question that the censorship of President Donald Trump which so many progressives cheer for will be weaponized against them.
Should US imperialists again seek a ground war to “further the national security interests of the United States,” make no mistake that Corporate Power will be used to quash dissent and smear all free thought as seditious misinformation. Claims disputing the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction will be flagged and auto link to ‘authoritive’ sources ‘proving’ their existence. Video evidence showing ‘moderate’ US supported rebels governing under strict Sharia Law will be banned for spreading misinformation. Independent Journalists demonstrating the US government continually spies on its own citizens without their consent will be deplatformed for repeating ‘unsubstantiated claims.’
To mold a people, a culture, to make them more liable to accept one set of ideas, competing ideas must be crushed. Today, many of the censors and their supporters cheer. They believe themselves to have won a great and mighty victory against evil. And in many ways they have. But while they have laid low the Laws of the Land to strike at the Devil, the Devil will eventually round to strike back. And to where will they flee to protection? The Laws have all been laid low.