Decentralization urgent as Big Tech condemns free speech
- In recent days and weeks, we’ve seen an unprecedented wave of censorship sweep across the internet. The only solution will be decentralized platforms that virtually eliminate censorship
- In what appears to be a coordinated attack, Google, Apple and Amazon destroyed Parler, a main competitor to Twitter and Facebook, literally overnight by yanking it from their app stores and web hosting service. All of Parler’s vendors, from text message services and email providers to lawyers, also canceled their contracts
- A social media purge began in earnest January 7 and 8, 2021, with the permanent ban of President Trump and a long list of other conservatives from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Twitter reportedly suspended more than 70,000 accounts during its weekend purge
- Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is calling for a racketeering investigation into Big Tech, saying Amazon, Apple and Google’s suspension of Parler is “clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act”
- According to an October 2020 report by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all have monopoly power and are using that power to rid themselves of competition
In recent days and weeks, we’ve seen an unprecedented wave of censorship sweep across the internet. As noted by Coindesk.com,1 that we need a decentralized web is more evident than ever, and now’s the time to advance such plans:
“Just as bitcoin redistributed power from the legacy financial system in favor of peer-to-peer electronic cash, the next-generation internet aims to redistribute power from corporate giants like Google and Facebook to sovereign individuals who own and control their own data.
To achieve this monumental goal, changes must be made to the internet’s underlying architecture. Thankfully, the pace of progress is dramatically accelerating in three foundational components: storage, naming and database …
Obviously 2020 will be remembered for the immense amount of pain and suffering endured by millions around the globe. However, throughout history, moments like these are often accompanied by great periods of innovation and creativity.
It is through this hopeful lens that we see a world where the decentralized web eventually becomes ‘the’ web with fairness, freedom and individual sovereignty at its core. And, as the past year has shown, many brilliant people are laboring tirelessly to make this dream a reality.”
Major Decentralization Advances Are in the Works
The Coindesk article points out that movement toward decentralized storage and databases has been fast and furious, and includes an extensive list of developments. Even changes to how the Domain Name System (DNS) functions are in the works. Why decentralize the DNS? As noted in the article:2
“Within the current system, the bottom line is you can be erased from the Internet at any moment, for any reason, by anyone with enough power. Decentralized DNS makes it virtually impossible for authorities to shut down access to the web and gives individuals real ownership over their digital identities, communication channels and means of commerce.”
One decentralized DNS service is UnstoppableDomains.com, which uses blockchain technology. I recognized this early last year, which is why we purchased the mercola.crypto domain that we hope to launch later this year.
Additionally, I am currently in the process of connecting with the founder of Signal, Moxie Marlinspike, probably the best encrypted private communications platform out there, to strategize about how to decentralize a social platform like Parler.
Affirming the validity of this approach, one of my favorite crypto analysts that I subscribe to is Anthony Pompliano. In a January 11, 2021, blog post,3 he points out that literally everything for the decentralized web must be rebuilt.
“You can’t simply rely on Amazon’s AWS. You have to leverage Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and self-hosting in combination with each other to drastically improve the resiliency of what you’re building,” he says.
“Private companies can do whatever they want. And they are reminding us of that. But in doing so, they are also reminding millions of people that there can be a better world. A world where no single person or organization gets to dictate what information we receive.
No single person or organization gets to choose who gets amplified and who gets silenced. The power of choice was stripped from the user and is now being monopolized by the platform creators … The beloved tech giants are becoming villains. This will lead to a rise in new challengers.
This is the circle of life in technology. If you can’t influence the status quo, just disrupt it. And I think that is exactly what we need at this point. We can leverage technology to take the power back from these monopolies and allow the user to choose who and what to consume.”
Parler Takedown Proves Necessity of Decentralization
Clearly, many others are in agreement that a decentralized web — one in which monopolies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube cannot rule with impunity — has become an urgent necessity.4 Alternatives cannot be created fast enough.
While tech giants have brushed off accusations of monopolizing services saying that they welcome competition, they have in recent days proven they will accept no such thing.
Case in point: In what appears to be a coordinated attack, Google, Apple and Amazon destroyed Parler, a main competitor to Twitter and Facebook, literally overnight by yanking it from their app stores and web hosting service.5,6,7,8
January 10, 2021, Parler CEO John Matze announced the company had been “dropped by virtually all of its business alliances after Amazon, Apple and Google ended their agreements … Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day.”9 As reported by the St. Louis Discussing the recent social media purge and the destruction of Parler, Glenn Greenwald writes:10
“So much of this liberal support for the attempted destruction of Parler is based in utter ignorance about that platform, and about basic principles of free speech … The platform’s design is intended to foster privacy and free speech, not a particular ideology.
They minimize the amount of data they collect on users to prevent advertiser monetization or algorithmic targeting. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, they do not assess a user’s preferences in order to decide what they should see …
Of course large numbers of Trump supporters ended up on Parler. That’s not because Parler is a pro-Trump outlet, but because those are among the people who were censored by the tech monopolies or who were angered enough by that censorship to seek refuge elsewhere.
It is true that one can find postings on Parler that explicitly advocate violence or are otherwise grotesque. But that is even more true of Facebook, Google-owned YouTube, and Twitter.”
Greenwald is one of my absolute favorite journalists. His brilliant and deep insights into the progressive tyrannical destruction that is occurring is an important perspective that will open your eyes to what is happening to our world.
Glenn actually quit the publishing company he founded, The Intercept, because they censored him.11 This is a man of integrity, committed to the highest ethical principles. He started a substack newsletter to help fund his efforts and you can subscribe to it for $5/month.
Standards Not Applied to Big Tech Apply to Competition
The justification given by Google, Apple and Amazon for their takedown was that Parler had “the potential of spreading violent content” and had refused to censor its users over and above taking down posts that violate its stated terms of service.
However, can anyone with a straight face claim that violent content cannot and has not been disseminated via any other social media platforms or telecommunications services?
All communications services have the ability to carry this kind of information. It’s inevitable, seeing how bad actors will use one service or another to communicate ill intent with others. They’re hardly using carrier pigeons or paper bulletin boards anymore.
As reported by Vision Times,12 Apple told Parler it is “responsible for all the user generated content present on your service and for ensuring that this content meets App Store requirements for the safety and protection of our users.” In response, Matze stated:13
“Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler. Therefor [sic] by the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones.
Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for,” adding that “Standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple themselves, apply to Parler.”
Indeed, crimes occur on big tech platforms every day. The April 5, 2018, ABC News article14 “Mayhem and Murder: 10 Most Shocking Facebook Live Moments Ever” detailed some of the most stunning ones.
In 2012, The Guardian reported15 that social media-related crime reports had risen 780% in four years. Data from the British police showed 4,908 crimes in 2012 had been committed in which Facebook or Twitter was a factor. According to a June 4, 2012, article16 in Mail Online, 12,300 crime cases had been linked to Facebook, with a crime happening on the platform every 40 minutes.
News reports from 201417 and 201518 noted the number of crime cases linked to Facebook and Twitter was continuing to climb precipitously, including sexual offenses, harassment and outright death threats.
Of course, when we start talking about intelligence agencies’ use of big tech services the stakes get even higher. The CIA, for example, which has a history of mind control abuses and secret assassination programs,19 uses Amazon web services, Microsoft, Google, Oracle and IBM.20
Are these companies taking responsibility for atrocities committed by the CIA, such as its “deadly double tap” drone strikes in Pakistan that caused outrage in 2012?21 Is Amazon taking responsibility for the actions of DARPA, since it’s hosting DARPA and provides them with cloud services?22
Parler Refuses to Censor Constitutional Rights
Matze also pointed out that the allegation that Parler can or should be held responsible for the January 6, 2021, violence in Washington, D.C., is false for a number of reasons. First of all, Parler does not have a group feature that will allow people to organize. In fact, Facebook groups were used to plan that and other protests that turned violent.
Secondly, peaceful protests are protected under the U.S. Constitution, and therefore blocking the planning of such events would be unconstitutional. “Bad actors” turned what was a peaceful protest into a riot. Incidentally, the same happened during many protests held during 2020.
In response to the Parler ban, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is calling for a racketeering investigation into Big Tech, saying Amazon, Apple and Google’s suspension of the Twitter competitor is “clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.”23
Indeed, according to an October 2020 report24 by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all have monopoly power and are using that power to rid themselves of competition.
The Great Social Media Purge
Then there’s the great social media purge, which began in earnest January 7 and 8, 2021, with the permanent ban of President Trump and a long list of other conservatives from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to some reports, Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts during its weekend purge.
Again, the primary excuse given was that these individuals may incite violence. Other justifications include posting “misleading information about the election outcome” or statements suggesting there was election fraud.25 Even signed witness affidavits and live testimony have been censored since election day.26 As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:27
“In the Trump tweets cited by Twitter, Trump stated that he will not be attending the inauguration and referred to his supporters as ‘American Patriots,’ saying they will have ‘a GIANT VOICE long into the future.’
Twitter said these statements ‘are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so’ …
In a lengthy monologue,28 Zuckerberg claims: ‘[Trump’s] decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the U.S. and around the world.
However, Zuckerberg’s statement seems to deviate from reality. In an increasingly hard-to-find video29 by Trump on the day of the Electoral College count, the outgoing president asked both his supporters and the rioters to be peaceful:
‘We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order and we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.'”
Contrast this scenario with all the violence and property destruction that was done by the Black Lives Matter movement this past summer and was clearly orchestrated over the Google, Apple and Twitter platforms. The violence and damage was exponentially worse, yet not a word of censoring these platforms was ever mentioned.
Gab Strikes Back Against ‘Mockingbird Media Complex’
The Gab social network also claims to be under coordinated attack. According to Gab CEO Andrew Torba, there’s been a suspicious rise in violent content on the site that doesn’t appear to be generated by real users. In a January 8, 2021, statement, Torba said:30
“Over the past several weeks I have been openly warning the Gab community to be on the lookout for fedposters and threats or encouragement of violence on Gab.
This PSYOP campaign started back in early December with newly created accounts popping up out of nowhere and making threats of violence. We have zero tolerance for this behavior and it is absolutely not free speech.
This has always been our policy. We have thousands of volunteers, customers, and longtime community members who helped us stomp out this PSYOP campaign over the past several weeks and expose it. After this week, it’s clear why this PSYOP was started: to take down alt-tech platforms and frame them for the January 6th protests that ended with the police killing an unarmed woman.
Almost instantly after police allowed protestors into the Capitol the New York Times started a baseless narrative that this protest was organized on alt-tech sites, and in particular on Gab, without offering any proof, screenshots, usernames, or evidence to back these baseless claims.
I’ve recorded a video highlighting how this all played out. I hope you’ll take some time to watch it to learn how the CIA Mockingbird Media complex operates. The way we fight back is with truth and by speaking truth to their power, which is quickly fading.”
Antiwar Conservative Banned
While “incitement of violence” is being used as the justification for banning social media accounts, Facebook’s suspension of Dr. Ron Paul, a former Republican congressman for Texas and presidential candidate in 2011, punctures that narrative. He’s one of the most peaceful antiwar personalities out there.
Make no mistake. Eventually, all will be targeted. Acceptable speech will continue to narrow until everyone has something to lose by opening their mouth and expressing an opinion.
However, he’s also an outspoken defender of civil liberties and health freedom. In September 2020, he interviewed me for his Liberty Report, discussing strategies to boost your immune system.31 Paul also promotes sound money and exposes political and financial corruption, so perhaps this is where the problem lies. In a January 11, 2021, Twitter post, Paul noted:32
“With no explanation other than ‘repeatedly going against our community standards,’ Facebook has blocked me from managing my page. Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified. The only thing we posted to Facebook today was my weekly ‘Texas Straight Talk’ column, which I have published every week since 1976.”
The article in question apparently discussed “shocking increase in censorship on social media,” though,33 which may have tripped Facebook’s blocking apparatus. Discussing the incident in an article on RonPaulInstitute.org, Jonathan Turley writes:34
“Paul, a libertarian leader and former presidential candidate, has been an outspoken critic of foreign wars and an advocate for civil liberties for decades … His son, United States Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted, ‘Facebook now considers advocating for liberty to be sedition. Where will it end?’
Even before the riot, Democrats were calling for blacklists and retaliation against anyone deemed to be ‘complicit’ with the Trump Administration.
We have been discussing the rising threats against Trump supporters, lawyers, and officials in recent weeks from Democratic members are calling for blacklists to the Lincoln Project leading a national effort to harass and abuse any lawyers representing the Republican Party or President Trump.
Others are calling for banning those ‘complicit’ from college campuses while still others are demanding a ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ to ‘hold Trump and his enablers accountable for the crimes they have committed.’
Daily Beast editor-at-large Rick Wilson has added his own call for ‘humiliation,’ ‘incarceration’ and even ritualistic suicides for Trump supporters in an unhinged, vulgar column … Also, a top Forbes editor Randall Lane warned any company that they will be investigated if they hire any former Trump officials.
The riots are being used as a license to roll back on free speech and retaliate against conservatives. In the meantime, the silence of academics and many in the media is deafening …
The move against Paul, a long champion of free speech, shows how raw and comprehensive this crackdown has become … It is like having a state media without state control … As we have seen in Europe, such censorship becomes an insatiable appetite for greater and greater speech control.”
In the video35 featured at the top of this article, Paul discusses the dangers of big tech censorship. Unfortunately, he falls short on solutions in that video. In my view, one key strategy that we must focus on is to uphold the Constitution. If you want to live in a free society, you must first understand what a free society is, so educate yourself about your Constitutional rights. As noted by Greenwald:36
“On Facebook and Twitter, one finds official accounts from the most repressive and violent regimes on earth, including Saudi Arabia, and pages devoted to propaganda on behalf of the Egyptian regime. Does anyone think these tech giants have a genuine concern about violence and extremism?”
What’s Behind the Push for Censorship?
According to Big Tech, free speech is “dangerous.” I guess a follow-up question to such a statement would be: “To whom?” As mentioned earlier, agencies such as DARPA are using the online services of private companies, and according to independent journalist Whitney Webb,37 the COVID-19 pandemic has given “a dangerous boost to DARPA’s darkest agenda.”
“Given this foreknowledge and the numerous simulations conducted in the United States last year regarding global viral pandemic outbreaks, at least six of varying scope and size, it has often been asked — Why did the government not act or prepare if an imminent global pandemic and the shortcomings of any response to such an event were known?” Webb writes.38
“Though the answer to this question has frequently been written off as mere ‘incompetence’ in mainstream media circles, it is worth entertaining the possibility that a crisis was allowed to unfold. Why would the intelligence community or another faction of the U.S. government knowingly allow a crisis such as this to occur?
The answer is clear if one looks at history, as times of crisis have often been used by the U.S. government to implement policies that would normally be rejected by the American public, ranging from censorship of the press to mass surveillance networks.”
She goes on to review some of these historical events, and some of the DARPA-developed technologies that are now likely to come into play, from DNA and RNA vaccines to implantable biosensors and nanoplatforms said to detect disease.
If history is our guide, could the clamp-down on free speech be part of a bigger control and manipulation agenda — one that is directed not toward foreign enemies but the local population?
Might it be part of the Great Reset agenda, with its transhumanist bend? As explained by Webb in her article, DARPA has a transhumanist vision for the military, so why not for the general population? Especially seeing how its “health based” biotechnologies end up meshing so seamlessly with new surveillance technologies.
I believe there may be some truth in that. Most certainly, big tech and social media monopolies are playing a central role in the social engineering currently taking place to pave the way for the technocratic “reset” of the global economy and way of life. That plan simply cannot occur without a sufficient number of the population being onboard with authoritarian conduct.
Greenwald has been a longstanding progressive and no fan of the Republican party, yet he notes that Silicon Valley giants may also be catering to the Democratic party in the hopes they won’t be regulated.
“The Democrats are about to control the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress, leaving Silicon Valley giants eager to please them by silencing their adversaries,” Greenwald writes.39
“This corrupt motive was made expressly clear by long-time Clinton operative Jennifer Palmieri: ‘It has not escaped my attention that the day social media companies decided there actually IS more they could do to police Trump’s destructive behavior was the same day they learned Democrats would chair all the congressional committees that oversee them.'”
Just Wait — You’re Next
While many appear to be caught up in the schadenfreude of the moment, basking in the perceived power of cancel culture, make no mistake — the censorship will not be limited to conservatives. Years ago, I warned that online censorship would not end at alternative health sites like mine, and guess what? It didn’t. Then I warned it would not stop at questioning vaccine safety, and of course, it didn’t.
In 2020, discussions about certain medical treatments for COVID-19, the sensibility of mask wearing and the origin of the virus all became targets for massive censoring and deplatforming. Next came bans on criticism against protests that frequently turned violent. Now one political party is being silenced en masse.
Make no mistake. Eventually, all will be targeted. Acceptable speech will continue to narrow until everyone has something to lose by opening their mouth and expressing an opinion. It’s inevitable, which is why supporting censorship is so ill advised. As noted by Greenwald:40
“The liberal New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg pronounced herself ‘disturbed by just how awesome [tech giants’] power is’ and added that ‘it’s dangerous to have a handful of callow young tech titans in charge of who has a megaphone and who does not.’
She nonetheless praised these ‘young tech titans’ for using their ‘dangerous’ power to ban Trump and destroy Parler. In other words, liberals like Goldberg are concerned only that Silicon Valley censorship powers might one day be used against people like them, but are perfectly happy as long as it is their adversaries being deplatformed and silenced …
That is because the dominant strain of American liberalism is not economic socialism but political authoritarianism. Liberals now want to use the force of corporate power to silence those with different ideologies.
They are eager for tech monopolies not just to ban accounts they dislike but to remove entire platforms from the internet. They want to imprison people they believe helped their party lose elections, such as Julian Assange, even if it means creating precedents to criminalize journalism.
World leaders have vocally condemned the power Silicon Valley has amassed to police political discourse, and were particularly indignant over the banning of the U.S. President … Even the ACLU — which has rapidly transformed from a civil liberties organization into a liberal activist group … found the assertion of Silicon Valley’s power to destroy Parler deeply alarming …
Yet American liberals swoon for this authoritarianism. And they are now calling for the use of the most repressive War on Terror measures against their domestic opponents. On Tuesday, House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) urged that GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley ‘be put on the no-fly list’ …
No authoritarians believe they are authoritarians. No matter how repressive are the measures they support — censorship, monopoly power, no-fly lists for American citizens without due process — they tell themselves that those they are silencing and attacking are so evil … that anything done against them is noble and benevolent, not despotic and repressive.
That is how American liberals currently think, as they fortify the control of Silicon Valley monopolies over our political lives, exemplified by the overnight destruction of a new and popular competitor.”
Take Control of Your Online Presence
Censorship is never directed to specific groups, eventually it is applied to anything deemed threatening to the ruling class. So, while you wait for a decentralized, censorship-free internet, what can you do to protect your online privacy and your right to free speech? Here are a few suggestions:
|Switch from Facebook and Twitter to free-speech alternatives41 such as Gab, MeWe, Minds (and Parler if they manage to come back).|
|Switch from YouTube to uncensored alternatives42 such as Bitchute, Brighteon, Banned.video and Thinkspot.|
|Download the Signal or Telegram app to encrypt your text messages. Telegram also allows you to subscribe to channels (read-only messages are sent to your phone from any channel you subscribe. This feature is starting to be increasingly used by individuals who have been banned on other social media platforms).|
|Use a VPN on your desktop, laptop and mobile devices to preserve your privacy.|
|For content creators and alternative news sources that no longer have a social media presence due to censoring, subscribe to their newsletter if available, and/or mark their website in your favorites and check back on a regular basis.|
|Boycott Google by avoiding any and all Google products: Stop using Google search engines. Alternatives include DuckDuckGo43 and SwissCows. Uninstall Google Chrome and use Brave instead, available for all computers and mobile devices.44 From a security perspective, Brave is far superior to Chrome and offers a free VPN service (virtual private network) to further preserve your privacy. Switch to a non-Google email service such as ProtonMail,45 an encrypted email service based in Switzerland. Stop using Google docs. Digital Trends has published an article suggesting a number of alternatives.46 Don’t use Google Home devices. These devices record everything that occurs in your home, both speech and sounds such as brushing your teeth and boiling water, even when they appear to be inactive, and send that information back to Google. Android phones are also always listening and recording, as are Google’s home thermostat Nest, and Amazon’s Alexa. Ditch Fitbit, as it was recently purchased by Google and will provide them with all your physiological information and activity levels, in addition to everything else that Google already has on you. If you’re a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts.|