Online security has been an discussed since the election of Donald Trump notably the idea that the Trump campaign worked inappropriately with the Russian government to get the 45th President elected. The idea of wanting better relations with a state like Russia which in many ways does not reflect Western social values, to conduct international business more effectively in a joint way is what Trump talked about.
During his election cycle that got him the Presidency and at a fever pitch every day afterwards a narrative was discussed that better relations were not the idea Trump is a puppet of Russia. The crackdown on Trump like speech online which does veer into hate speech sometimes on Facebook was monitored by a group called the Atlantic Council who do a poor job because they aren’t against fake news they are against anti establishment dissent more broadly speaking.
The idea of Russian assets running a muck and destroying Western civilization online is puffed up as the Reuters piece that discusses their activity points out factually: ‘Facebook is using the group to enhance its investigations of foreign interference. Last week, the company said it took down 32 suspicious pages and accounts that purported to be run by leftists and minority activists. While some U.S. officials said they were likely the work of Russian agents, Facebook said it did not know for sure.’ (Menn, 2018) This is unacceptable because a left wing fomenting of discord is entirely democratic and bodies like the Atlantic Council simply fuel the conspiracy theories of tomorrow by taking action against the left as much as they are there to stop what the narrative of Russia-Gate suggests.
I believe that there is a conflation between fake news and news that is unflattering or problematic to the establishment and you can see that simply where the money comes from the Atlantic Council. Think about the substance of the criticism of Wikileaks in 2016: it was not a denial of the facts rather that the facts were inconvenient. As Matt Taibi says: ‘Many on the left lamented the Wikileaks releases of Democratic Party emails, but those documents were real news, and the complaint there was more about the motives of sources, and editorial emphasis, rather than accuracy.’ (Taibi, 2018)
I would not take the position that there should be no censorship on social media because otherwise there would be an endless amount of real-life violence and pornography that would be unacceptable. There are however plenty of grey area cases such as Palestinian Peace activists, Black Lives Matter activists or even people who are against the regime change policies in Venezuela who lose their freedom of speech on social media for dubious reasons.
It is up to the gate keepers to provide the public with their methods of establishing when someone is violating acceptable speech and up for us to decide whether that is or is not our values as a society.
In the end it is my opinion that after the Iraq WMD story presented by the C.I.A., whatever the intelligence community says should not be accepted as sacrosanct because they are subject to manipulation. The current state of the world is very confusing because many people outside of the club of mainstream journalism can present a world view with a filtering of information and presentation of different priorities. Knowing all these perspectives is impossible hence we live in politically fragmented times that simply reflects us in a transitional period where no one clear agenda has found its way to the top just yet.
I’m not thrilled by the Atlantic Council and don’t think you should be either! I talk about movies mostly but think freedom of speech is worth protecting as well. I would love for you to read my thoughts on the Atlantic Council.: https://bit.ly/3gPYtcv
My 2nd WordPress Blog might not take aim at the Reptilian Agenda but it’s still worth mentioning.: https://bit.ly/304aNQl
- Menn, Joseph. “U.S. think tank’s tiny lab helps Facebook battle fake social media.” Reuters. 17 August 2018
- Taibi, Matt. “Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship.” Rolling Stone. 2 August 2018