Google Is A Sell Out

A Leak From Google Confirms Silicon Valley’s Complete Commitment to Dictatorship

The Google Leak.

Conservative Youtube Channels

The Guardian has published a hatemap of Youtubers. I don’t know all of them, but I think it is a pretty good collection of good content creators. Check it out!

The Net Neutrality Lie

Styx Ranting about Alex Jones’ Ban From Twitter

Tucker Carlson Special on Free Speech over The Internet

 

Facebook Censors PragerU

prageru
Screenshot: PragerU FB page traffic (reach and clicks)

For all of you who are on Facebook and have noticed that I put up a page on my own, it was taken down after one post. But after the InfoWars ban, the purge is now also reaching the more visible online debate participants. Canadian comedian Gavin McInnes was taken off twitter and so was his British colleague Godfrey Elfwick. And I don’t even know what things like these once were:

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Ann Coulter’s retweet is replaced with the message “The account of @Ann_Kelly was withdrawn because of a local law in Germany.”

Now, PragerU faces a drop of traffic on its Facebook page. As you see in the screenshot above, the numbers fell from the thousands to the single or double digits. Facebook completely banned the video on manliness. Also removed as hate speech is this video on moderate Muslims.

My blog is automatically co-uploading its content on Google plus which has a dismally small reach. I have also started a gab.ai account. You can follow me there on https://gab.ai/BenGoldstein. WordPress is also co-uploading on Pinterest and LinkedIn, but I haven’t even looked once into these places. Despite all obstacles let’s get the word out, not just mine, the word.

WELT Online and my Experience on their Comment Section

Germans are hardly on social media. I wrote a piece about in-group out-group communication that talks briefly about the platforms available in Germany. The most obvious ones are the comment sections under the newspapers. In the mentioned article I recalled my experience with ZEIT online. It took me only a weekend to get blocked from the place. I also registered with Tagesspiegel. I spent little time and got also blocked there after a few weeks. The next step was WELT.

CaptureTagesspiegel

What is WELT? WELT is the third most popular political news outlet after Spiegel and Süddeutsche, and enjoys 69.8 million visits per month. It belongs to the publisher Springer, which also owns the tabloid BILD (and a myriad other papers and book publishers). BILD is technically the news outlet with the largest reach, but is usually not considered political. Springer used to be a conservative publisher and became a target of a bombing by the communist terror organisation Red Army Faction RAF in 1972.

Under Merkel the media aligned and Springer is now on the political left. However, WELT is still less screechy than the Washington Post. The sound is comparable to the Wall Street Journal.

I did not read WELT for a while because it had a monthly budget per IP for some time and their views did not clearly enough represent the views of those who actually run the show in media, culture and politics. The power elites are best represented by my usual paper ZEIT. WELT is considered a quality paper and their job is to speak to ordinary citizens. They do so with lacing the cover page with mildly conservative viewpoints.

Yes, they do call Trump a sociopath and compare him with mass murderers, but there is the occasional article that is overall pro-Israel and just makes a nasty self-righteous turn towards the end. Sometimes the White House gets praise, but purely on economic grounds. Left-wingers also want their taxes cut, but not other people’s. Sometimes even an immigrant crime story makes its way to the front page.

Because I did not read it for a while, I also did not pay attention to the comment section. A superficial look at it surprises. It seems to contradict my usual allegations that conservative voices are hardly heard anywhere because of the absurd level of censorship. People say that they want less immigration, that they like Israel, want their taxes cut, prefer less regulation, less nannying, and even favor openly the conservative party AfD.

So I felt that I could finally wrap up by blog. No, of course, not. I became suspicious and registered as a user.

The first thing that meets the eye is that there are no messages to indicate what should and shouldn’t be said. ZEIT online controls their forum with an iron fist because media types know that comment sections do more to persuade people than articles.  Tagesspiegel like WELT did not offer any guidelines. So I grew used to that during my ongoing experiment.

Both Tagesspiegel and WELT check each comment before it goes up. An obvious difference is the size of both platforms. While Tagesspiegel is quick to run through a comment, WELT will have to deal with a flood of texts and each takes its time. A discussion is not possible for the time that an article remains on the front page. The big advantage of WELT is that the likes on your profile page indicate how much of what you wrote is read once a comment of yours goes through.

Did I write “once a comment goes through”? Yes, it is only a tiny, tiny fraction of your comments that will see the light. And this is what intrigues me. What is the selection based on?

Given the very small number of comments that go through, I believe that the censors make a positive selection. They don’t read everything and therefore will also never block a user. They just skim through the messages and pick what they like.

But how does the comment section then look like a conservative outpost? I see safe selects. The comments don’t contain material that is rare knowledge. What is out there is the kind of general sentiment that you cannot help spreading over the kitchen tables. People say that they vote conservative party AfD or that they want less immigration. Important is that it does not get too specific and that no individual member of the elite is called upon to do this or that. There is the occasional oddball that makes conservatives look stupid. Jokes are completely absent because the messaging of jokes cannot be controlled and people are more likely to be convinced with jokes than with long-winding texts.

This is what Noam Chomsky famously called the “controlled opposition.” You give the impression that some criticism is heard, but you don’t show the full range of options or new information. Criticism looks repetitive and dull. The German left repeats over and over again that the right “would not have answers.” Of course, Clinton did the same, but Trump was putting out his policy papers online and could leapfrog the media. In Germany information is so tight that people who are not actively seeking will come to the conclusion that there are no ideas but the “throw tax money at it” solution for every problem. I understand that some Americans are also caught in that CNN bubble which makes them believe there was no Trumpian policy. They simultaneously believe that he is enforcing fascism and also that he does nothing but eat fast food and watch TV. Imagine almost an entire country in such a CNN-like bubble.

What is ironic about this is that for the lack of policy discussions German media almost exclusively talks about foreign countries, much like the media in totalitarian regimes. When it does talk about German politicians – which is different from policies – they talk a lot about their calendars: who meets whom where. This is why you see so many international summits that all have no results but vague “declarations” of their intentions. They come with smiles and photos. And the media outside the English-speaking world is reporting things like when the plane lands, what is discussed on the lavish dinner table, the general “topic”, the location of the conference etc. As if they worked. In summer the parliament goes on holiday and outside the Putinesque Merkel-holiday reports the media openly admits that it turns to other yellow press rubbish. This is called “Sommerloch”, German for “summer hole.” I’m not kidding.

The bottom line is that commenting on WELT is not worth the time. Even the most innocuous posts don’t get through because of the random selection of comments that are chosen for publication.

The Weakness of American Conservatism

The Alex Jones social media ban across a plethora of platforms reminded me of the problems that I have with American conservatism. Quite a while ago Steve Bannon suggested to “regulate social media like a public utility.” Whatever that means it is trying to make regulation palatable to a conservative/libertarian audience.

As a European onlooker I see the twists and turns this argument makes. Every dollar that makes it from the government to the companies is used to “explain” to conservatives that the tech companies are quasi Hitler…sorry I was just in the mood of criticizing conservatives …quasi the government.

The logic is that if Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on are the government, they would have to guarantee First Amendment neutrality. I hate to break it to my dear conservative friends, but Google is not your government.

It also does not have to be your government just to pass a law that requests political neutrality. All companies are regulated. Only because you dislike regulations in general does not mean that there should be NO regulation. The issue is treated as if “companies can do what they like” was a statute of the constitution. It isn’t. It is your general preference.

Congress spews out tons of laws week after week and feeble conservatives have a moral breakdown over a potential one-liner that says something like “Social media platforms must not discriminate against their users based on their political views.” Geezes, look at the laws that regulate your business. There is also a fine line between conservatism and anarchy. You cannot just declare yourself a business and “do whatever you want.” Private businesses cannot do whatever they want.

The most annoying thing is that conservatives don’t see the wider reaching global ramifications. If the government would require neutrality, they would put up a fight against other, less free countries abroad. Facebook would not give up the rich American market only to serve Iran. They would insist that Iran either respects whatever is put up on Facebook or block the service. At the moment less free countries, spearheaded by Germany, are forcing social media into a censorship regime. Their mentality adapt to the German mentality and the consequences in the home market are a taste of that.

Wouldn’t it be great if America stood up for its values again? Some conservatives also insist that the First Amendment does only protect you from your government. The problem is that they confuse it with freedom of speech itself. The First Amendment is only the legal materialization of the moral principle to create a free market of ideas. The principle is more important than the words in the constitution which – being the constitution – do only materialize the idea to restrain the government. It is also not enough to look only at what entities do that are legally a part of the state. In practice it makes no difference if a king encroaches on your rights or if he rents a private torture chamber to have somebody else do it for him.

A last, more separate flaw of American conservatism is the futile discussion on individuality versus collectivism. Freedom is not decided on this line. Ayn Rand is an interesting intellectual, but her ideas are not necessarily true only because they are popular. People need to guide their lives and rights belong to them individually, but we must also acknowledge that these rights are protected by the community. It is not sophisticated self-interest if one sacrifices himself for others and the “wisdom” is even that we shouldn’t do that. Without people doing something against their own interests, no large fire would be put out, no enemy troops defeated, no scientific breakthrough would come to be.

The last flaw is alleviated in the movement because more religious groups are having a momentum at the moment and set a counterpoint to Rand’s “objectivism”, which I believe will ultimately disappear.

BPS on the Alex Jones Situation

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