18 April 2018

'Digital frontier is hierarchical', content creators don't have the power - @bkampmark

Social networks and websites built upon user-generated content are becoming increasingly hostile to users, as governments and indeed website owners take greater and greater interest in what is appropriate content.

The trend is particularly visible on the Google-owned video-hosting website YouTube, where political dissidents, gurus and amateur journalists have seen their content demonetized. Content creators subjected to this can no longer make money from advertisements with their videos.

Channels like Representative Press and even some of the very earliest and most successful YouTube channels like The Amazing Atheist have complained of demonetization. The former moved some content to BitChute as one possible alternative to the video-hosting giant.

Demonetization drew great attention among many in the aftermath of the shooting at the YouTube headquarters by Nasim Najafi Aghdam on April 3, 2018. Nasim had been one of the users affected by YouTube demonetization, claiming it was because the company showed preferential treatment for big business rather than individuals and activists, whom it has turned against.

Reacting to the shooting in an article for Countercurrents, RMIT University lecturer Dr Binoy Kampmark warned "the digital frontier, far from flat in its egalitarian access, is vertical, hierarchical in its hold.  Power only devolved to the mass community of users in an artificial sense, giving that charming impression that the plebs controlled the production and creation of content."

Similarly, in Twitter's "purge", users have complained of sudden and unexpected requests for account verification or simply having their entire profile deleted from the site without warning or provocation. Some of the users had spent years building their following. According to those complaining, they were targeted for their conservative views. But the fact the company is allowed to target anyone so arbitrarily is bad news for people on either side of the political spectrum.

The trend being observed suggests that the future of many social networks is bleak for political dissidents of all camps. The paranoid US government and its close partnership with Google play a key role in making that outcome certain. After going after Facebook, Twitter and Google in Senate hearings for not actively combating alleged Russian influence on the US 2016 election, US lawmakers can be expected to pressure social networks in a desire to punish people who don't agree with them, e.g. who don't hate Russia enough or just aren't very loyal to the US regime. Targets for sanctions could be picked without regard for their political camp or geographic location, only for their disloyalty to America.

Although US lawmakers may ultimately shelter themselves from dissident voices by bullying social networks to sanction content, such an approach turns a blind eye to the way social networks rely on their uninhibited international scope and freedom of speech to maintain their appeal to creators.
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15 April 2018

Hard line needed on fake "celeb left": @kevindooleyirl since 2016

Strong rejection of establishment figures, academics and journalists professing to be the political "left" is required if leftist opposition to the state's imperialist propaganda is to be consistent, a blogger has argued since 2016.

It may be that Kevin Dooley's views deserved more attention when his blog began in 2016, and should be brought to readers now more than ever in the wake of a recent renewed stampede of lies and military aggression by Western countries against a Middle Eastern state - this time Syria.

Worse than the missiles launched by the aggressors on Syria, the toxic warheads of lies and dubious emotional propaganda have rained on the populations of Great Britain and the United States in particular as they did in the Iraq War in 2003. Like deadly toxins, such lies by our regimes can have severe repercussions and ultimately lead to deaths on the streets of the US and UK, as terror attacks have shown us.

It seems quite urgent that we hold anyone to account who acts as the apologist of American international terror and thuggery, no matter how enlightened they seem.

Dooley's analysis from 2016 seems to resemble comparable denunciations by so-called "conspiracy theorists" (particularly those who question the US regime's narrative of 9/11) that reject many leftist writers as "gatekeepers". Noam Chomsky's name surfaces in both types of analyses.

Dooley lists the following untrustworthy elements as part of the establishment "Celebrity Left" loyal to the Washington regime, although many others clearly exist:

Tim Wise
Noam Chomsky
Terrell J. Starr
Hussam Ayloush
Jeremy Scahill
Keith Olbermann
Jon Schwartz
Naomi Klein
Glenn Greenwald
Sam Kriss
David Simon
Max Blumenthal
Ben Norton
Rania Khalek

A common sign of such figures is their defense of the regime war criminal Hillary Clinton. Several such figures have changed their views on US military adventures throughout the world, fearing they would be discredited otherwise. But they, as state apologists, are no doubt ready to offer their support to the US regime again in other theaters of its falsely "humanitarian" aggression.

Fake publications that can be considered agents of the imperialist regime are The Intercept and Jacobin. It is notable that The Intercept is syndicated through US military propaganda newsletters, indicating business dealings with the aggressor's military.

Website: https://kevindooleyirl.wordpress.com/

Follow Kevin Dooley on Twitter at @kevindooleyirl
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If the US leaders wanted to wage a thermonuclear war that would destroy America and the world, we would not be here to talk about it. Presid...

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