With all the noise surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour Party and our UK government’s total mishandling of the pandemic we currently find ourselves in, you may have missed the fact that there have been two rather important senate hearings in the United States which have worldwide consequences for both social media platforms themselves and free speech.
The CEO’s of the top social media companies Facebook, Google and Twitter, all had to answer questions from US senators over their handling of the 2020 US election. I’ll ignore the testimonies of Google’s top guy and Facebook’s Zuckerberg for the purposes of this blog entry, although I’ll talk about the platforms later, and turn my focus towards Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey.
Jack was under fire because of Twitter’s actions in both censoring the President of the United States and the little matter of them banning any links to a now infamous New York Post article that basically proved Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, was a crackhead who not only forgets where he sends computers to be repaired, but had also been receiving large payments from Ukrainian and Chinese firms in exchange for favours from the then Vice-President Biden.
Jack had a horrid time of it in these hearings, coming under fire from many a foaming GOP senator ready to attack him on behalf of their party and fuhrer, however one Senator in particular gave Jack a tougher time than most – the GOP senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.
Now I don’t know about you, but if you’re getting your ass handed to you twice in a matter of weeks by a man whose legal team once defended a law banning sex toys arguing a person has no right “to stimulate one’s genitals“, then you might just be on the wrong side of the issue. Or, to put it a more accurate way, you might a publisher masquerading as a free speech platform.
As you can tell from the above exchange, Jack Dorsey and Twitter are in a real pickle right now. They’ve been trying to play both sides of an argument for too long. They have been telling us that free speech is a human right and that they are a free speech platform, whilst at the same time trying to appease their shareholders, punishing any speech they deem to be “bad”, shadow banning and removing accounts critical of western governments, and rewarding people who toe the line in the public eye and say the “right” things with a blue tick and an algorithm boost.
By censoring the NY Post article on Hunter Biden and locking their staff out of their Twitter account until they deleted all links to it, Jack Dorsey and Twitter may as well have declared, “We are a publisher, therefore we must be regulated as one!”
Twitter, of course, is not alone in having this problem. Facebook has a similar problem, as does Google. They are all declaring that they support free speech and that free speech is a human right, but then have to censor and ban those saying the “wrong” things which might affect their shareholders’ stake in the company.
This issue is bad enough on its own, however the situation is much, much worse than just a free speech issue.
I’ve come to realize that while Twitter is using our content to make money and giving us NOTHING in return, Facebook is the most diabolical spying tool ever created. If you have it on your phone, delete it. Now. Forever. Unless you think it’s okay for a company run by somebody who would not look out of place in a Nazi uniform to be harvesting every piece of info they possibly can about you in order to sell it to corporate interests, or give it to the government for free should they request it.
Then we come to Google, who of course own YouTube, the platform the vast majority of my work has been published on in the last 4 years. Any body who has followed my career thus far on YouTube will know this: They have censored the hell out of me!
In March last year, I amassed an extra 1500 subscribers on my YouTube channel. In April I added an extra 2000. Then, in May I managed to gain an extra 3000 subscribers. My channel was taking off. People seemed to like my honest reporting on the state of the world and its politics, even if I was a little rough around the edges.
Then, a month later, I went public with a letter Julian Assange had sent to me after I wrote to him in Belmarsh prison following the US indicting him on 17 charges under the espionage act. At that time, I had 18,800 subscribers on YouTube. Almost 18 months and hundreds of videos later, I now have around 100 subscribers fewer. My videos no longer show up in suggested feeds, my subscribers are always complaining they do not get notified when I drop videos. If you watch one of my videos now, the next video will more likely be FOX news or CNN than it will be another video of mine. They silenced my voice, and at the same time, any money I was making from Adsense dropped down to practically zero.
YouTube, for whatever reason, whether it be an algorithm change I was caught up in, or somebody at Google physically blacklisting my channel because I had received a letter from Assange, had cut the legs off from under me. My channel couldn’t grow since YouTube wouldn’t show my videos to anybody, and they demonetized pretty much every video I uploaded by default. This meant I had to appeal every decisions to demonetize new videos, losing what little revenue I was receiving from Adsense because by the time they did monetize my videos I’d lost revenue from it as 95% of the views it would get had already not shown ads.
Since then, around 18 months or so as a result of this corporate censorship, I’ve been getting further and further into debt.
When I first started my channel in 2017, I had no debt whatsoever. I wasn’t rich by any means, in fact my income was probably lower than minimum wage, but my rent was paid and my head was above water. As of right now, though, I’m struggling.
On top of the corporate censorship cutting my income down to next to nothing from them, I’ve had no help at all from the government. Universal Credit, incorrectly as it turns out, said I wasn’t entitled to it since I had already received it for a year, so I could not get any help with rent or council tax throughout the 2020 pandemic. I also was not eligible for coronavirus relief as a self-employed person, since I hadn’t earned enough in previous years.
Yes, that’s right, I couldn’t get coronavirus relief from the UK government, since I was too poor in the previous years and didn’t earn enough to pay tax. Fair?
As a result of all this, I’m now close to £4000 in rent arrears, and my local council have sent multiple letters threatening to evict me. It’s likely that as soon as the pandemic passes and normal service resumes within local councils, I’m going to have to fight like hell to keep a roof over my head.
I’m not talking about all this in order to raise funds, although it should be clear I am in desperate need of them and any help however small is appreciated. The reason I’m talking about this is simple:
It shouldn’t be this difficult to report the truth.
In the last 4 years, the amount of stories I have gotten right while the corporate legacy media have gotten wrong is honestly astounding. While they have been promoting obvious lies surrounding the Assange, the Skripal affair, Russiagate, Iran, Syria, Corbyn, Chris Williamson and many others, I’ve been getting these stories for the most part right. Consistently.
YouTube don’t recognize this, of course. Instead, they force viewers toward “authoritative” sources of news such as CNN, Fox, ITV, channel 4 etc – all “authoritative” sources of news that have lied to their audience repeatedly over the last 4 years. And yes, they’ve lied. They weren’t “mistaken” and their reporting was not botched – if a middle-aged geezer in the midlands can get these stories right from the front room of his council flat on a budget less than minimum wage, I’m damn sure they could with their huge staff and ballooning budgets.
The media lied on purpose for the establishment, and now they’re being rewarded for it with even more traffic, while independent sources struggle immensely and are punished for getting them right.
If it wasn’t for my Patrons and the support given to me by the 200 or so who send me a dollar or five every month, who I cannot begin to find the words to thank enough, I simply would have had to give up by now. I imagine a few of you right now after reading my predicament will be shocked I haven’t. I didn’t give up, though, and hopefully never will. My little podcast is going to be around for a long while yet.
It’s just not going to be hosted on YouTube much longer.
We need a free-speech platform on the internet. One that promotes communication between opposing sides, rather than attempting to drive a wedge between them. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be investigating this further and speaking to people who know a thing or two about how to set one up, and looking at the countries around the world that are addressing this huge issue while punishing the huge tech companies that want to monopolize information for profit.
I deleted Facebook years ago, and so should you. Before the end of 2020, I’ll be done with YouTube and Twitter, too. There is just no point in being on these platforms any longer. My podcast will be hosted on this website in future, so please sign up to my newsletter to be notified of new episodes.
It shouldn’t be this hard to report the truth, but with your help, I’m going to do my level best to keep doing it anyway.
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