Friday, May 03, 2019

Facebook purges and digital gulag

Lots of people wait for Donald Trump to save the Western civilization or...

The progressive totalitarianism is getting tougher at an accelerating rate. Last night, Instagram (which is about 1/1,000 of a kilogram) and its parent company, Facebook, banned Paul Joseph Watson and 6 other mostly conservative people. Louis Farrakhan, a far left Islamic fan of Adolf Hitler, was probably included in order to make the purge look more balanced.

Well, it's not balanced at all. What Facebook is doing is a full-blown war against conservatives, classical liberals, and outspoken people with common sense and political wisdom in general – against all the important influencers who have helped Donald Trump to be elected, and more. Pages of the Muslim Brotherhood, Antifa, and others are just alive and fine according to Facebook. The investigative journalist Laura Loomer, one of the banned pundits, wrote:
What’s the point of life anymore? I live in a digital gulag. Yesterday I wrote an article about how I was living in a digital gulag on Holocaust Remembrance Day. And today, even though I am a Zionist and have dedicated my life to combatting Jew hatred, these Nazis in Silicon Valley banned me during Yom Hashoah with vile Jew haters like Louis Farrakhan and Paul Nehlen. It’s disgusting. But I don’t expect anything less from these people who want me dead. They want to kill me, but I’d rather kill myself than to let them take the victory lap.
There's quite some irony in the Holocaust Rememberance Day story. But it is not the only irony. Today on May 3rd, when we discuss these massive purges, we celebrate the World Press Freedom Day. Facebook has prepared nice fireworks to celebrate that day, indeed!

Looking at the quote above, some of you may have read similar quasi-suicidal hints from me, too. My feelings are very similar to those of this 25-year-old lady – because of another story that nevertheless fits into the general societal atmosphere. We're no snowflakes but we are litmus tests indicating what is happening to the Western society. Our worries and pessimism have very good reasons. When we're treated in this terrible way, our sufferings are just pilot projects before something similar will be done to huge portions of the society.

When something really bad happens to the host on this website, similar bad stories for the readers may be just months away.

The inclusion of Paul Joseph Watson (@prisonplanet) is particularly shocking. He is an extremely smart, entertaining, and articulate man. But otherwise he is a conventional classical liberal, a conventionally right wing free speech advocate. Facebook has included him – as a "dangerous person" (wow) – to a list along with terrorists and human traffickers. But everyone who has preserved at least some sanity knows that Watson is much closer to the contemporary counterpart of Voltaire. I personally consider Watson to be slightly on the left side from me politically.

Aside from the deletion of all these people's Facebook and Instagram content, Facebook has announced a policy that is arguably even more pernicious. Whoever mentions the content relevant to these people, at least to Infowars, and fails to "condemn" that server at the same moment, will also see the content deleted – and after some repetitions, the whole account will be deleted. This is a "derived guilt" that I have encountered when someone proposed a punishment for every scholar who dares to read this blog. Another analogy is the harassment of the people whose relatives were emigrants or dissidents during communism. My uncles on both sides were emigrants so I have quite some experience with the "punishment of people guilty of association".

This is a form of censorship that was plagiarized straight from the most despicable regimes. Not only the existential interests of the folks – often great and wise folks – are threatened and some of them have been sent straight to the suicide watch because these are mega-aggressions rather than micro-aggressions. Also, the remaining Facebook and Instagram users will be robbed of the wisdom of these people. Without reading contributions by the likes of Watson, the young users of the servers are likely to evolve into immoral and ignorant human beings who are inferior from the political perspective and numerous other perspectives.

Nevertheless, this terror is inseparable from the contemporary leftwingers. Stefan Molyneux wrote:

Right. The leftists realize that their claims are lies or discredited conspiracy theories, their candidates are no good, their experiments have universally led to disasters throughout the mankind's history, and almost everything else that is objectively measured about them is bad as well. What is on their side? Blackmailing, extortion, character assassination, insults, and terror. Those things always work!

Things are getting so bad that I am gradually stopping my comparisons of the current conditions to the communism in Czechoslovakia. Especially the 1980s as well as 1960s – but maybe even the 1970s – were much more liberal in Czechoslovakia than what we're experiencing today. The Nazi occupation epoch may be a more appropriate system that may be compared to what is happening today.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is the U.S. president, nominally the most powerful person on Earth. Does he care? Does he think that when most of these influencers are banned by most of the key social networks, he may still be reelected in 2020? I think it's almost impossible – although a guy I just called had a different, more optimistic opinion. And if and when a leftist candidate – especially when he or she is more leftist than Joe Biden – wins in 2020, the purges will be expanded massively. It will no longer be an academic discussion about a few famous enough people such as Paul Joseph Watson. "Politically incorrect" people will be existentially ruined in every company, every street, every family. Without a natural enemy, the progressive movement will be allowed to perform its Night of Broken Glass everywhere.

Companies such as Facebook are de facto blackmailing billions of users and forcing them to say politically correct lies – on Facebook and even outside Facebook (the company admitted that it has incorporated the off-site behavior of the banned people into its decisions on the bans!). And because Facebook has integrated itself into many people's lives and made some of them almost or literally existentially dependent on the network, it has the tools to manipulate billions of people.

From a moral viewpoint, it's just illegitimate and counterproductive for the society as a whole and something should be done about it. The Trump administration has the most promising tools to stop this process – and to avoid the potential cataclysmic deterioration after a possible Trump loss in 2020. Someone might say that these stories are just U.S. issues. But they're really global – due to the global power of the U.S. as a country and due to the global reach of the servers in particular.

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