Twitter terminates the Ron Paul Institute and demands confession of guilt before it will restore service. Microsoft threatens to shut down Gab.ai (the free speech alternative to Twitter: it must be good: Wikipedia accuses it of being a White Surpemacist sites, and lists users including Yiannopolous and Alex Jones: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gab_(social_network)). Microsoft claims that one post on Gab.ai was denounced as “anti-semite” by an unidentified user, so the whole network must be terminated. New York Times demanded that Twitter censor Alex Jones, and demands that Twitter censor Pres. Trump: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/opinion/twitter-alex-jones-jack-dorsey.html As the New York Times has said again and again, it is necessary to blacklist and censor all opposing viewpoints.
Ron Paul Institute
When Social Media Goes Anti-Social. Ron Paul Institute, August 10, 2018.
Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute: You’ve likely seen the big Twitter brouhaha this week, where former State Department official and whistleblower (and 2017 RPI conference presenter) Peter Van Buren was permanently banned from Twitter after a heated exchange with several mainstream media figures who coordinated spurious claims that he threatened violence. The Libertarian Institute’s Scott Horton and yours truly were suspended when we came to Van Buren’s defense. While it might sound more like a schoolyard dust-up than a pivotal moment in the debate over censorship, private companies, and government, in fact it is far more the latter than the former.
First, what was Van Buren’s suspension all about? You can hear it for yourself at the above video, but to summarize, Van Buren jumped on a Twitter thread started by journalist Glenn Greenwald in which Glenn castigated the mainstream media for swallowing and reprinting without question the government lies that keep leading us to useless and senseless wars. While Glenn was being pummeled for suggesting that mainstream journalists were lazy, craven, and far too dependent on their relationship with their government “sources” to do the job entrusted to them as members of the fourth estate, Van Buren amplified Greenwald’s points from the other side of the coin. He essentially told the furious journalist mob: “I lied to you for decades on the orders of my government bosses. I lied to you about our ‘progress’ in Iraq and many other things. Not only did you swallow my lies and reprint them uncritically, your colleagues did the same thing. We were at first shocked at how willingly and uncritically you reprinted government lies, but then we became ever more contemptuous of you for failing to do your job — acting as a check on raw government power by looking critically and skeptically at government pronouncements.”
Now that is a paraphrase of Peter’s words, but I think it’s a fair summary of the spirit of the exchange.
Anyone following the lead-up to each and every recent war can corroborate Peter’s point. There are no hidden powers necessary to see the criminal collusion between a Judith Miller, for example, and her government contacts who pushed war on Iraq based on lies. The same was true about virtually every mainstream journalist in the run up to the US attack on Libya, the regime change operation in Syria, and the US-backed coup in Ukraine and its aftermath. Government warhawks determine that the next target is a “monster” who “kills his own people” and the media dutifully repeat the claims. Then, ironically, more often than not the US government starts dropping bombs which actually do kill the target government’s own people.
Peter’s is a strong voice challenging the very lifeblood of the neocon warhawks: their access to the media and their reputation as “experts.” Anyone who followed his Twitter account – @wemeantwell – not only received an education in the hypocrisy in the media and among the elites who seek to shape our worldview, but they saw the passion of a true whistleblower who told the world what really goes on behind government lies that our interventions are going smoothly and are making a better world. Anyone who has not yet read his massively important book on the Iraq war should do so right away!
Twitter’s mysterious “monitors” decided to side with the mob and to permanently ban Peter from the website. They suspended myself and Libertarian Institute’s Scott Horton for our robust criticism of the mob that demanded Peter be banned.
Twitter also did something to Scott and me that was positively Stalinist: when we tried to log in to our account while suspended, we were greeted with our “offending” Tweet and told that we must delete it ourselves in order to be considered for reinstatement. Even though Twitter had all the power to delete the “offending” Tweets, the message was clear: you must admit how wrong you were and remove it yourself. I told a colleague about this strange demand and his response was chilling…and accurate: “That’s giving the game away for them, Stalin face, deniability for them by making you self incriminate… communitarian policing to the extreme, psychological reframing, behaviorist modification …. just like they would do to a child in school. Neither Scott nor I bit.”
Then something very interesting happened: a general outcry arose over Twitter’s attack on libertarians and antiwar people. First a piece on the massively read ZeroHedge website and then the DrudgeReport picked up the story “above the fold.”
Even Fox Business got into the business of worrying about voices being silenced, as you can see in yesterday’s interview with Ron Paul: (embedded video)
Caption: Ron Paul talks social media censorship and the Ron Paul Institute on Fox Business.
The attempt to quietly silence a few voices opposed to the Washington war regime did not go as planned. Suddenly millions were concerned and paying attention, particularly in he wake of the chilling coordinated forced-disappearance of Alex Jones from virtually every social platform known to man — even links to his work that appeared on porn sites!
Twitter backed down on Scott and me. They are holding fast to their ban on Peter (for now). We need to keep making noise, in my view, to get him reinstated. As Peter said on the Liberty Report, this is not really about him. It is about pushing back against those who would love to shut us out of the debate.
And let me be absolutely clear on this part: our resistance to the anti-social behavior of the social media does NOT suggest a desire for government intervention. We do recognize that these companies are more and more in bed with government, to the point where a sinister kind of proto-fascism is emerging where the companies do the kind of censoring the government would love to do but does not dare. But calling for more government control over what is to a degree a government-created problem is not the correct — or even logical — solution. As Scott Horton said on the clip at the top, the marketplace will come up with its own solution.
So where are we now? At the Ron Paul Institute we are grateful for your support, which has enabled us to punch above our weight class in terms of resources and prominence. When the next crackdown comes on libertarian and antiwar voices — and it will come — we have already been able to lay down the marker. Our voice has been greatly amplified by the strong stand we have taken and we intend to use that voice again and again as warranted. The government is getting closer and closer to social media companies and that is something we can most strongly oppose. We do need your help. Your tax-deductible donation to the Ron Paul Institute goes a long, long way toward helping us stand up for our shared values and interests. It’s more important than ever — now that more and more are listening to us — that we have the resources to seize the day and get the message out.
We’d love to be able to commission more original material, for example, making the case against censorship and against this de facto corporate-government merger among social media and Internet companies. We would love to have the resources to put on six conferences per year instead of two or three. We’d love to hold events out west, in the mid-west, etc. We have a great message and we need your help to get it out. Please consider a tax deductible donation today!
We are nearing 150,000 subscribers to our daily Ron Paul Liberty Report and we’re nearing 15 million views of the program. That’s a lot of reach for an operation as lean and mean as ours is. Imagine if we had the resources to really advertise the program beyond word-of-mouth, so that millions more Americans could see Ron Paul giving a daily lesson in liberty and the both of us debunking the “fake news” that the corporate media shoves down our throats! We can do it! But we need your help!
To everyone who will be attending our big Washington conference on the 18th: we can’t wait to see you! We have a GREAT event planned. We’re all so excited! Thank you for being excited too. Thank you very much for your continued support for peace and prosperity.
Sincerely yours, Daniel McAdams, Executive Director.
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.