Forget Russia, Social Media Giants Banning Alternative Voices Will Directly Influence Elections

Monday, September 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

As the mainstream media attempts to keep the Russian fear alive, a very real threat from social media tech giants is brewing which could lead to mass censorship.

By Matt Agorist
September 3, 2018

As the Russian hacking conspiracy theorists continue pining away in their relentless attempt to prove Russian interference in the United States 2016 elections, Americans, in general, are unaware of the far more sinister interference taking place right now—in the form of their social media news feeds.

Social media giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have gone on the offensive in the past few weeks and executed a full on purge of various accounts they claim violate their terms of use. While it is certainly within the rights of these companies to refuse service to anyone they like, their influence in the political sphere should not be overlooked.

With the click of a mouse, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple effectively erased Alex Jones from their platforms earlier this month. While many people cheered on this removal of Jones, conservatives included — because of his vitriolic and often close-minded approach — it was just the beginning of a full on press to silence those who challenge the status quo.

Since Alex Jones was banned, individuals on the right and the left have found themselves being purged from the interwebs. Or, others have found themselves on the other end of a shadow ban so massive that they would reach more people yelling from a street corner than tweeting or posting to their tens of thousands and even millions of fans.

While there are currently no metrics to show just how large of an effect these bans, shadow bans, and suspensions have been in silencing voices who attempt to put forward a narrative that challenges the status quo, one would have to be completely out of it not to realize the implications of such control over information.

To put this into perspective, let’s assume — for the moment — that the Russian government actually did launch a massive social media campaign aimed at influencing elections and they had countless bots doing this for them. Even if they had millions of users actively putting out disinformation, their dissent would be essentially powerless to the almighty algorithm who could and already has castrated their reach with the click of a mouse.

Last month, literally overnight, Facebook deleted thousands of pages they say were linked to Russia. Consequently, a leftist page that was set up to counter the right wing Unite the Right rally in DC, that claims it was not linked to Russia at all, was also taken down.

Last month, veteran activist Noam Chomsky accused Israel of “brazenly” interfering in US electoral politics in a way that vastly outweighs any efforts that may have been carried out by Russia. And he’s right.

“First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support,” he said.

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