Internet Resources Become Weaponized
High Tech Oligarchs threaten democracy
The current electoral campaign differs from that of 2016 in that the media, both conventional and online, has realized its power and has been openly playing a major role in what might well prove to be a victory across the board for the Democratic Party. At least that is the expectation, bolstered by a flood of possibly suspect opinion polls that appear to make the triumph of Joe Biden and company inevitable while at the same time denigrating President Donald Trump and covering up for Democratic Party missteps.
Most Americans no longer trust what is being reported in the mainstream media but when they look for “real” information they frequently turn to online resources that they believe to be more politically objective. That has never been true, however, and what most newshounds are actually seeking is commentary that reflects their own views. In reality, the news provided is almost always either spun or distorted and sometimes completely blocked, note particularly the resistance to reporting the tale of the shenanigans of Hunter Biden.
The New York Post is claiming that a trove of emails from a laptop reveals that “Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.”
The emails include a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the oil company Burisma’s board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month. “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads. An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.
The correspondence, if authentic, disproves Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to his son about his overseas business dealings.” One would think that the story would be a real blockbuster, welcomed by self-respecting journalists but the reality has been that the mainstream media is doing its best to kill it. Facebook and Twitter have both blocked it though Twitter has since relented, and much of the rest of the liberal media is regarding it as a hoax.
Facebook has in fact become something of a leader in reversing its self-promotion as a site for free exchange of ideas. It has removed large numbers of users and alleged suspect sites and has blocked any “denial or distortion” of the so-called holocaust in response to what it regards as a surge in anti-Semitism. It has hired a former Israeli government official to lead the censorship effort on the site.
As Facebook and Twitter are private companies, they can legally do whatever they want to set the rules for the use of their sites, but when the two most powerful social media companies choose to censor a major newspaper’s story about a presidential candidate’s possibly corrupt son less than three weeks before the election it suggests a more sinister agenda. They are quite likely banking on a Democratic victory and will expect to be rewarded afterwards.
Indeed, it should be assumed that Facebook and the other social media giants are reconfiguring themselves for the post-electoral environment in expectation that they will be more than ever politically and economically indispensable to aspiring politicians. This willingness to engage with politically powerful forces has led to increased involvement in the various mostly left-wing movements that have shaken the United States over the past five months. Television and radio stations as well as corporations and local businesses have rushed to endorse and even fund black lives matter without considering the damage that the group has been doing to property and persons that have had the misfortune to cross its path, not to mention some of the group’s long-term more radical objectives. Individuals identified as blm leaders have demanded mandatory training to reprogram whites as well as punitive reparations, to include “white people” turning over their homes to blacks.
Some of the developments are quite dangerous, most notably the compiling of lists of organizations and individuals that are considered to be “enemies” of the new social justice order that intends to take over the United States. One has noted the desire for revenge permeating many of the comments on sites like Facebook (which claims to delete “threats” from its commentary), to include some material in recent weeks that has called for the “elimination” of Americans who do not go along with the new normal.
One of the most invidious steps taken by any of the corporate social media is a recent decision by Yelp to allow Antifa to compile the raw material on so-called “fascist businesses” that will be included on a list of “Businesses Accused of Racist Behavior Alerts.” The list itself was set up to appease demands coming from the blm movement.
Yelp is a review site that provides grades and commentary on a broad range of goods and services, to include many businesses that cater to the public. The potential for abuse is enormous as Yelp is an information site that has no capability to investigate whether complaints of “racism” are true or not and Antifa, which is recognized as being at least in part behind the devastating Portland riots, is far from an objective observer. In fact, this is what Antifa has tweeted about its new role, which will allow group members to submit names of “non-friendly” businesses, defined as “also known as (AKA) any company that’s hanging blue lives garbage in their store or anything else that’s anti the BLM movement.”
The Antifa intention is clearly to put unfriendly shops and restaurants out of business, so it will not exactly be interested in engaging in constructive criticism or changing behavior through negotiation. Using the intimidation provided by the “Alerts” list and direct threats of violence from Antifa and blm, businesses will be coerced into supporting radical groups lest they be targeted. It is somewhat reminiscent of the old Mafia protection rackets, and who can doubt that demands for money will follow on to the verbal threats?
The rise of the internet oligarchs might indeed do more serious damage to the freedoms that still survive in the United States than will victory by either Biden or Trump. What Americans are allowed to think and how they perceive themselves and the world have taken a serious hit over the past twenty years and it can only get worse.