Local broadcast journalism used to be some of the most honest news communities could rely on. The corporate consolidation and control of mass media is evident today more than ever, as such major media call out and condemn “fake news”–often citizen-generated news and information sharing.
The frantic efforts of am exploitive elite to eliminate dissent only accelerates the regime’s path to collapse.
Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds Blog (December 6, 2019)
Regimes that are losing public support always make the same mistake: rather than fix the source of the loss of public trust–the few enriching themselves at the expense of the many– the regime reckons the problem is dissent: if we suppress all dissent, then everyone will accept their diminishing lot in life and the elites can continue on their merry way.
What the regimes don’t understand is dissent is the immune system of society: suppressing dissent doesn’t just get rid of pesky political protesters and conspiracy theorists; it also gets rid of the innovations and solutions society needs to adapt to changing conditions. Suppressing dissent dooms the society to sclerosis, decline and collapse.
Dissent is the relief valve: shut it down and the pressure builds to the point that the system explodes. Regimes that no longer tolerate anything but the party line fall in one of two ways: 1) the pressure builds and the masses revolt, tearing the elite from power or 2) the masses opt-out and stop working to support the regime, so the regime slowly starves and then implodes.
Here in the U.S., the suppression of dissent is the work of the corporate media and the Big Tech monopolies: Facebook, Twitter and Google. As Mark St.Cyr and I discuss in a new no-holds-barred podcast (1:08 hours, 4 segments), Big Tech is effectively suppressing dissent via shadow banning, de-platforming and de-monetization:
— shadow banning: the audience who gets to see your content is throttled back to a fraction of your pre-shadow-banning audience. The mechanics are shrouded in secrecy, Stasi-style.
To grasp the phenomenal scale of YouTube: consider that people spend 1 billion hours watching videos on it, every day. It is the most used social network in the U.S. More queries are typed into the website’s search bar than anywhere online except Google, which owns YouTube.
But the site has come under increasing scrutiny, accused of propagating white supremacy, peddling conspiraciesand profiting from it all. They recently agreed to pay a record $170 million dollars to settle allegations that they targeted children with ads. YouTube is being forced to concentrate on cleansing the site.
We visited the company’s headquarters in San Bruno, California, to meet Susan Wojcicki, the 51-year-old CEO in charge of nurturing the site’s creativity, taming the hate and handling the chaos.
THE JOURNAL’S FINDINGS undercut one of Google’s core defenses against global regulators worried about how it wields its immense power—that the company doesn’t exert editorial control over what it shows users. Regulators’ areas of concern include anticompetitive practices, political bias and online misinformation.
Permit to me quote from the WSJ’s takedown at length – although I encourage readers, if possible, to read the entire (paywalled) version, for it contains a wealth of information, as well as lots of cool graphics:
Google’s evolving approach marks a shift from its founding philosophy of “organizing the world’s information,” to one that is far more active in deciding how that information should appear.
More than 100 interviews and the Journal’s own testing of Google’s search results reveal:
• Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBayInc., contrary to its public position that it never takes that type of action. The company also boosts some major websites, such as Amazon.com Inc.and Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
• Google engineers regularly make behind-the-scenes adjustments to other information the company is increasingly layering on top of its basic search results. These features include auto-complete suggestions, boxes called “knowledge panels” and “featured snippets,” and news results, which aren’t subject to the same company policies limiting what engineers can remove or change.
• Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results. These moves are separate from those that block sites as required by U.S. or foreign law, such as those featuring child abuse or with copyright infringement, and from changes designed to demote spam sites, which attempt to game the system to appear higher in results.