by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
about the only bulwark against being silenced by the
modern-day tech-corporate-NKVD-Stasi is Patreon.
you do a search of shadow
banning, you'll find sites that claim to help you
identify whether Twitter or Instagram has shadow
banned your account. The basic idea
banning is to spoof the shadow-banned user into
believing their public posts are visible to all while in reality
the posts are visible only to the user or in some cases to the
definition of shadow
banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment
ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or
their content from an online community such that it will not be
readily apparent to the user that they have been banned."
banning is controversial because it allows an administrator or
moderator to effectively become a censor and prevent specific
users from interacting with other members of an online community
on an equal basis."
banning and outright banning are only the tip of the
iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or
social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque
controls on how
much of your digital presence has been ghosted--not just in
social media communities but in searches and how links to your
site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech
cartel that controls what's visible and "found" on the web and
cartel is dominated by Google and Facebook. Google
controls over 90% of all search: what search results are
displayed, the weight given to links (the page-rank assigned to
websites) and a variety of other factors that can be depreciated,
removed, omitted or blocked by algorithms and/or human censors
(a.k.a. administrators) without
recourse and without the site or user being informed.
this chart displays the dominance of Facebook and Google in
digital ad revenues, it is a rough proxy for their dominance in
mindshare, user data collected and control over what is displayed
and not displayed in search results and social media.
are all digital ghosts now, and how much of your digital shadow
is visible to the world is secret / opaque. If you
violate company policies or applicable censorship laws (as
interpreted by the company attorneys), the corporation will notify
you that your account has been frozen or banned.
these instances, users and content creators are informed of their
this visible part of web / social media censorship is only the
tip of the iceberg. Most of the censorship is invisible and
undetectable. Here's an example of how this might
has reportedly based one of its censorship programs on the
demonstrably bogus (and anonymously produced) PropOrNot list
that was hyped by the Washington
Post in 2016. The list of sites
accused of being Russian propaganda outlets was a grab-bag of
left, right and center websites whose only "crime" was publishing
some bit of skepticism about the coronation of Hillary Clinton.
a bogus anonymous list becomes the foundation of Facebook's
censorship efforts. This is precisely how the
former Soviet Union's secret police operated: a falsely reported
association became the foundation of surveillance and the setting
of various traps and snares to catch anti-social
elements in the act of undermining the regime.
the association was false no longer matters. What matters
name is on the list. It turns out
oftwominds.com made it on the modern-day NKVD-Stasi list of
PropOrNot, which despite
being debunked has taken on a life of its own in the New
Police State of Facebook, Google, et al.
might have heard about a targeted website's traffic suddenly
plummeting 30% or 40% literally overnight. Well, it's true. Many
sites left and right report their traffic mysteriously and
suddenly plummets without any explanation by the organs of
censorship (Facebook, Google, et al.)
happened to oftwominds.com this month. I have traffic data going
back to 2005, and my traffic (visits and page views) has been
remarkably steady for years. The number of my posts per week
remains the same, my engagement on social media remains the same
(as far as I can tell, heh) and my page rank remains the same (5)
(again, as far as I can tell).
when my traffic drops like a light switch was flipped, I notice.
hope you'll enjoy the irony that many if not most of the charts
published on my site are from the Federal Reserve Economic Data
site (FRED). But this is akin to the innocent
citizen snagged by the NKVD or Stasi for unspecified crimes
against the people protesting his innocence and good
of that matters. What matters is your name is on the list, and
our administrators are
obligated to track your digital presence and
digitally ghost you by adjusting search results to depreciate your
presence, underweight links from other sites, jam attempts to
re-post your content and so on.
of this is visible or reported. It all happens behind the closed
doors of Facebook, Google et al. Just as loyal
employees of the NKVD and the Stasi were constantly told they were
the bulwark of the people against enemies of the state, employees
of Facebook, Google et al. are told they're weeding out "fake
news" and "propaganda" (like those charts from the Federal Reserve
Economic Database) that is disruptive and divisive.
other words, they're good
Germans doing their masters' bidding, for very
handsome salaries, bonuses and stock options.
the incomes of those secretly ghosted without trial or recourse
plummets along with their traffic. The net result
of the perverse magic of tech cartel censorship is only the
wealthy few can afford to keep posting original content after
they've been ghosted.
Facebook, Google et al. reassure us we haven't been ghosted, why
should we believe them? Since the entire apparatus
of censorship is operated
by private, for-profit corporations in complete secrecy, on
what basis would their assurances be credible or verifiable?
about the only bulwark against being silenced by the modern-day
tech-corporate-NKVD-Stasi is Patreon--individuals who provide
financial support of independent voices and analysis because
they value those independent analysts and content creators.
doesn't matter whether you consider yourself left, right or
you want to resist secret censorship of both the left and the
right, then please consider supporting the independent
commentators and analysts who have enhanced your life with
value, insight or entertainment. Thank you,
patrons and financial supporters of oftwominds.com and other
independent content creators. Thanks to you, the tech cartel can
ghost us and our content but they can't erase it entirely.
least not yet.
you're not sure where to start, search Patreon.com for
the names of those independent content creators you value.
Consider subscribing to independent journals like Counterpunch
magazine which is currently in a fundraising drive. I
just re-upped (and also contributed to independent blogs I
value)-- not because I agree with everything they publish but
because I value their independence.
new mystery The
Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of
Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or
$8.95 (print); read
the first chapters for free (PDF).
My book Money
and Work Unchained is
now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition.
Read the first section for free in PDF format. If
you found value in this content, please join me in seeking
solutions by becoming
a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.