Perspective

Free Our Internet and the New Censorship

The unilateral banning of certain Twitter accounts; the invisible manipulation of news feeds by Facebook; the silent, all-too-discreet removal of certain titles from the shelves of major online booksellers, such as Amazon, WHSmith and Foyles; the quarantining of videos on YouTube; the manipulation of search queries and search results by Google; the arbitrary removal of services such as comment platforms, crowd-funding platforms, web-hosting platforms—all carried out in accordance with unknown and inaccessible standards—this has become a banal reality in our day, and only the most ingenuous of observers, or the most biased, could deny that it represents a specifically contemporary form of censorship.

The companies in question are not small businesses, whose actions will affect only a handful of potential customers; they are gargantuan, multinational corporations whose secret policies have repercussions for individuals around the globe, potentially influencing the public discourse of entire societies, the elections of their governments, and the actions and decisions of their public figures.

The fact that this censorship is not governmental but private renders it not less, but more, dangerous, obtrusive, and obnoxious.

The perpetrators of this new censorship like to refuge themselves behind barricades of legality, claiming that “freedom of speech” does not force them to provide a platform for just any speech. But these same individuals would never permit so strict an interpretation of the freedom of association, which by this same logic should not force any private entity to associate with just anyone: these censors would be the first to fly into a fury if the proprietor of a local restaurant, for instance, dared to close his doors to some “minority group” or other. Yet they, in brazen hypocrisy, do nothing less, with this single difference: they act on the international scale, and their actions affect not a handful mere of individuals, but untold numbers.

As if all this were not enough, several of these same companies have been caught abusing their unique positions by wantonly selling or sharing the private information of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of their private users to political campaigns, advertisers, and “information analysts.”

Every person reading these words, without exception, is touched by the covert decisions of individuals whose names are often enough not even known to us. Because in this contemporary day we must use services such as those provided by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube, these same platforms must be held to stricter standards than those which apply to individuals or to small businesses, exactly as utility companies or other public service providers are held to different standards than small private companies or private service providers.

Fortunately, initiatives have arisen to insist upon precisely this necessity.

We call attention to one in particular, a very interesting non-profit by the name of Free Our Internet. By their own description,

Free Our Internet is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate citizens about how Silicon Valley giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been:

  • Banning, blocking, and censoring conservative speech online.
  • Trying to exempt themselves from basic consumer protection and pushing government regulations like so-called “net neutrality”
  • Abusing consumer and user data, as well as and manipulating information across their platforms.

Beyond offering a point of reference for anyone who would like to better educate himself in these problems, Free Our Internet organizes petitions (which I invite my readers to sign and to share), chronicles the banning of specific individuals and organizations, publicizes new developments in the political and legal sphere, and schedules townhall events on subjects related to freedom of speech. The executive director of Free Our Internet, Christie-Lee McNally, has also written several very fine articles on these questions for Breitbart.

Initiatives such as this merit our close attention and our support. The Alt Right finds itself, for evident and worthy reasons, at the vanguard of the defense of freedom of speech in our day. Arktos Media Ltd. proudly stands that same line. In this cause, all allies make us stronger, and it behooves us to unite our strength on this ground.

It is said that the tyrants of old neither wrote nor promulgated their law, but punished those who broke it nonetheless, despite the fact that these presumed “criminals” could not even name the transgressions for which they were suffering. This will sound all too familiar to anyone who has been the victim of the “deplatforming” of our contemporary “tech giants.” The fact that today it is private agents to impose an unpredictable censorship on us is indeed much more troubling than if this same censorship came in the form of explicit, unambiguous, universally applicable laws.

Almost all of us would consider purely legal censorship deeply prejudicial to our freedoms; let us then lend our support, in whatever form we are able, to those who are actively fighting the much more sinister encroachment of private censorship in our day.

#FreeOurInternet

John Bruce Leonard
John Bruce Leonard, Editor-in-Chief of Arktos, studied philosophy, letters, and languages in a university curriculum based exclusively on the great books of the Western Tradition. After taking his degree in Liberal Arts he moved permanently to Italy, where he nourishes his ever-living preoccupation with the heritage and the future of Europe.

40 Comments

  • The energy and vitality of on-line culture was the pent-up release of thought from decades of control by big-media, television news, publishing houses etc. The clamp-down on the real dissidents (us) is (((them))) trying to re-establish centralized narrative control.

  • The ‘quiet removal’ of Evola and Dugin titles is disturbing. The online book selling giants are killing off traditional booksellers. If certain authors cannot be bought online then for practical purposes their books will not sell at all. Who will then publish them, and how may they be disseminated and studied?

    The author is correct to note that the online book merchants are happy to proffer all manner of violent pornography, calumny and infantile nonsense without regard to any previously accepted publishing standards of editing, typography or even binding! They must therefore be forced to state their position clearly: if they would ban Heresy let them tell us themselves how to recognise it.

    Another point is that the veracity and neutrality of the SPLC must now be interrogated in the mainstream. Why is this organisation, with its worthy-sounding civil rights era moniker being permitted to compile an Index of Prohibited Books on our behalf? On what grounds should we accept its ex cathedra pronouncements of Damnatio Memeoriae on historic western authors, on whole areas of thought?

    I salute Arktos (whose volumes decorate a few of my own bookshelves) in keeping these thinkers’ works available in this era of cultural vandalism and dwindling freedom.

  • There is more to this new Internet censorship than the platforms and “companies” who create it. It’s a mass ideology shared by MANY. Just look at the world of so-called “literary” publishing – the literary journals, magazines, and sites that publish fiction, poetry, and essays are UNANIMOUS in their hatred and rejection of the alt-right, and of white culture in general. (And, also, of Christianity.)

    For example, this story in Electric Literature is typical:
    https://electricliterature.com/indie-bookstore-demonstrates-how-to-deal-with-the-alt-right-f929b9d34e1b

    It’s trendy and fashionable now to be an outspoken anti “white supremacy” (whatever that means) activist, but this is more than just being fashionable: it’s a requirement. The literary press hates the alt-right, hates whites (as in, Christian Caucasians), and they now make no bones about it.

    So where is the literary movement for the alt-right? Even people who are not alt-right, but who do not share this progressive, liberal anti-white ideology, are now ostracized from the entire literary scene. Where can they go? Why are there no alt-right or even non-liberal literary sites out there?

    • It’s because ideological censorship & political discrimination are not illegal.
      The gatekeepers won’t put our books in the stores, whether they would sell or not.
      There is an army of special interest organizations & political activists behind every decision Corporate America makes.
      Our ideas are simply verboten. If our ideas were allowed, people would immediately begin figuring out what is being done to the white race.
      There are of course rightist publishers, but they are fringe, & if they get too big, the anti-asperistic Cultural Marxist gatekeepers will be there to shut them down, buy them out, slander them through the press, etc.
      Thus it makes little sense to even start such a publishing company. Sure, noble people do it, but it’s not for the money by & large. They know if the company actually got big, it’d be frozen out of most major bookstores & Amazon probably wouldn’t even carry our literature. You can sell books, but it’s important not to draw too much attention to yourself.
      Cultural Marxism is not merely a viciously anti-white, evil ideology. It is also in some sense a cartel.

  • Social media platforms may be “private” but they serve as a “public venue”.

    Support this lawsuit. Jared Taylor of American Renaissance is suing Twitter for censorship in Kalifornia.

    This lawsuit will follow on the coat tails of a prior successful lawsuit. This lawsuit concerned individuals passing out pamphlets in a shopping mall. When the owners of the mall stopped the pamphleteers, they sued in court. They won.

    The courts said that the property may be “private” but it served as a “public venue” and thus they could not restrict communal political activity. This case will affect all social media platforms.

    If Jared Taylor wins in court Twitter will appeal as will Jared Taylor if he should lose. It then will go to the Ninth Circuit Court. Again, whoever wins the loser will appeal and then it will be the Supreme Court.

    I think this case will be the Roe V. Wade of free speech. Please research this and consider doing a video to support the case and get people who follow you to donate money to Jared Taylor.

    Freedom of speech is hanging in the balance. I am giving $100 per month. I hope you and your followers can give some money too.

    https://www.amren.com/news/2018/02/white-nationalist-jared-taylor-sues-twitter-ban/

    https://www.amren.com/help-fight-internet-censorship/

  • It’s the Jews. It’s less about PRIVATE companies than Jewish monopolies.

    And they target not only Conservatives but Palestinians.

    Jews hate any nationalism but their own.

    So, Jew-owned Facebook works with Zionist ADL to shut down not only Alt Right voices but Palestinians voices. White National Liberation and Palestinian National Liberation are both under attack.

    To Jews, it’s like this: Whites = Palestinians = Expendable.

    This censorship isn”t mainly ideological. It’s tribal. BDS is usually associated with the Left, but it is under greater attack than even the Alt Right. It is being criminalized by cuck politicians of EOJ or the Empire of Judea.

    Also, the notion that Free Speech applies only to the government is nonsense.

    After all, it was the GOVERNMENT that shut down Charlottesville. And the government denied rental of Reagan building to Alt Right conferences.

    No, it’s not a government vs private enterprise issue. It’s about the Power.
    The power can shut down anyone through government or businesses.

    Indeed, the government does restrict speech. If you want to work for the government, you better not say certain things. You will be fired. Government hires and fires in accordance to creed.

    Finally, all the people who say private companies have the right to fire or ban people based on creed or ideology will sing to a different tune IF a company fires someone for supporting Zionism as a hate ideology against Palestinians.

    Suppose a law firm or media company fires someone for having ugly and hateful Zionist views. Or suppose Twitter goes after Zionist accounts as hateful toward Palestinians.

    I guarantee that there will be a massive movement to pressure those companies to change policy.

  • I don’t like the down-voting on this comment system. I don’t like that the total up-votes is reduced by the down-votes from hostile visitors to this site. Is there any way to fix that?

    I would like to see the up-votes and down-votes counted in separate totals.

    I understand it may not be technically possible to change this system.

    • prevents morons clicking the first thing they say and people just saying dumb shit that is agreeable to get votes like
      trump 2020!!!
      6,000,000 upvotes!
      and yes i did downvote you, nothing personal

  • The AltRight is Censored……..

    Because, we express Truths that are Toxic to the Powers that Be………

    But, I was quite happy to see BreitBart’s Israel First/Neocon Management being destroyed by the #NoWarinSyria Sentiment in the Comments Sections……..

    People are Waking Up……..

    The AltRight has made a Fundamental Impact on the Western World…….

    • There is one thing the Alt-Right can be applauded on and that is the anti-war stance. Right now if you look at Twitter, white nationalists are leading the charge against dragging America into another evil war for the military industrial complex and Zionism.

      Too bad my fellow leftists who opposed the Iraq war couldn’t be more consistent. This could go very badly…

      • I agree. All who oppose Trump’s war against Syria (and Iran and Russia) should unite, regardless of our other differences. Politics can make for strange alliances, sometimes.

        In the Congress, both “parties” agree on all the important things, such as their support for the war against Syria. The Republicans are worse on this issue – they are the war-lovers party. In practice, however, the Democrats are nearly as bad.

        I give the Democrats (and Obama) great credit for the Iran nuclear agreement – that was a good deal for all sides, and all people. Therefore, the Neocons (such as John Bolton) hated it.

        • Agreed. And it’s tragic how neo-cons like Bill Kristol and Max Boot are being treated as heroes by many on the left just because they hate Trump.

          Kudos to Tucker Carlson for being the only person on television speaking truth to power.

      • Honestly man the Altright is the liberals of 15 years ago.
        We are pro-free speech, anti-war, pro-working class, etc.
        I’d presume many of us were always this way, the only thing that has changed is that the world openly hates white people now.

      • Joe, it seems you are about to join the AltRight. Do it! It Is not so hard for a leftist, believe me. At least in Europe. Do you know how many former voters of the Socialist Party and the Comunist Party are voting Marine Le Pen in France? How many former voters of the Labour Party are voting Britain First in the UK? and so on…
        The European AltRIght is not against the Welfare State, and it is not against secular culture. The thing is if we want to defend the Welfare State and the secular culture (which are WHITE achievments) we have to defend the WHITE race and its Christian background.
        I am former voter of the Socialist Party in Spain. Today I vote the local AltRight: VOX.
        What is doing the European socialdemocracy lately? They are pushing the muslim agenda. They are traitors.

    • I agree – the Alt-right is censored, because we express the truth.

      Globalists prefer deception and distraction. Globalists use pointless sporting events and endless wars to distract the masses. They cannot refute the Alt-right, so they censor it instead. They have no other argument.

      That is good news, if many commenters at Breitbart oppose any more US involvement in the Syrian war. The USA is a force for evil in the world today. Nationalists should all support Russia.

      I don’t read Breitbart. I trust what you say is true.

      • In America……

        Many Woke Whites are consigned to Breitbart……..

        They don’t realize that their Hill is a Pit……..

  • “claiming that “freedom of speech” does not force them to provide a platform for just any speech. But these same individuals would never permit so strict an interpretation of the freedom of association, which by this same logic should not force any private entity to associate with just anyone: these censors would be the first to fly into a fury if the proprietor of a local restaurant, for instance, dared to close his doors to some “minority group” or other. ”

    So which one is it, Alt-Right? You are arguing that social media companies should not be allowed to discriminate against anyone. Does this mean you have finally evolved on the Civil Rights Act? Or are you just being hypocrites since you in a position of weakness?

    • “The Alt Right finds itself, for evident and worthy reasons, at the vanguard of the defense of freedom of speech in our day.”

      This is not true. Several Alt-Right websites ban dissent. DS and TSR have both banned everyone in who supports Paul Nehlen or Chris Cantwell, and Chris Cantwell has banned everyone who criticises him. And keep in mind that these are fellow Alt-Righters being banned, not leftists like me.

      Plus there is the fact that banning free speech is something advocated by many in the movement.

      You advocate free speech out of enlightened self-interest. Would you still advocate free speevh you ran the country and the left were in the minority?

          • Then let us not focus on them for a moment. Johnny, I recall you describing yourself as a fascist. In your ideal fascist world, is there free speech for dissenters? Or am I correct in describing the Alt-Right’s current fixation on free spesch as a practical position coming from a position of weakness?

            For the record, I support free speech on principle for all – including the Alt-Right.

          • No. All enemies of the regime will be crushed.I’m not Alt-Right though. Nor do I claim to be a free speech advocate. I use it because its available to me. The AR claims to support free speech, but do not tolerate views they don’t like on their own platforms. I’ve had comments deleted here as well, because they were too critical of Putin or the Soviet Union. Russia can not be criticized without being anti-Russian, which i’m not. And yeah, countless people have been banned from the DS/TRS forums for vocally not liking the new normie friendly direction they want to go in.

            Atleast I’m not a hypocrite.

          • Millennial Woes on multiculturalists who exhort Whites to self-destruction:

            “They have the right to remain silent. Forever.”

          • I suppose I should elaborate on this so I’m not accused of hypocrisy.

            Morally, there is a substantial difference between censorship for the benefit of elites, and censorship for the benefit of the people.

            The first is never legitimate. The second is may be legitimate. One might say that elites can use the public interest to justify censorship that has the purpose and effect of benefiting elites and their allies

            That is true, of course, and our First Amendment has not prevented elite circumvention of free speech norms. We played fair, and hostile leftist elites used our free speech principles to make us feel so guilty for our existence that we are now destroying ourselves.

            Now that free speech no longer serves their purposes, they are attacking it. I don’t think we can fight this ruthless pragmatism with principled libertarian fanaticism, though I am open to correction on the issue.

            We are different from the “skeptic community” (classical liberals) in the sense that our survival is the paramount value. All other values must yield, because what good is free speech to Whites if we are extinct?

      • “You advocate free speech out of enlightened self-interest.” What proponent of freedom of speech does not?

        “Would you still advocate free speevh you ran the country and the left were in the minority?” Your argument seems to be that the Alt Right is self-contradictory, insofar as it wants freedom of speech now so that it can later suppress it. In the first place, I think that many in the Alt Right would support freedom of speech even more strongly from a position of strength than of weakness. But be that as it may, let us assume for a moment that your critique is accurate, at least in certain cases.

        Then what? Should these individuals be censored for being inconsistent? Or perhaps they should be censored because they themselves would censor? But does the very idea of “freedom of speech” then not necessitate—censorship?

        How if one of those who wants to “ban freedom of speech” were to say to you: Everything you say is true, Gothic Joe; but we are only trying to hold “liberals” to the standards /they/ purport to defend. It is not our fault if they are wanton hypocrites.

        What then?

        • The thing is random comments of Spam from From Oldenberg for example don’t get taken down. Optics fags are given free reign to spew their divisive classist bullshit. NA even posted porn here a couple weeks back. Only comments at all critical of any period of Russian history get taken down.

          And yeah, whining about Twitter or Facebook moderating users who are racist, to create a safe space for leftists, and then turning around and doing the same thing on your own platform is hypocrisy 101. Size of the platform is irrelevant.

          • It’s was NOT porn. It was art depicting the delicate beauty of the aryan woman.

    • Well, they’re different issues. One is freedom of speech, the other association. That said, you can defend a business owner who discriminates on the basis of race or ideology in a principled way, namely via private property rights and/or freedom of association. On the opposing side of that debate are other interests, like the right to make a living, equity concerns, economic growth, etc.
      On the other hand, it’s actually really difficult to defend what Big Tech is doing to the right in a principled way. It’s blatant ideological censorship for purely partisan (& often petty) reasons. It can’t really be defended morally. It is evil. All the arguments for it, like “but hate speech is violence”, etc. are transparent nonsense. None of them are persuasive. What Big Tech is doing is the work of psychopaths & bigots, nothing more. Furthermore, our democracy depends upon robust political debate. The government should regulate those Big Tech corps into upholding the ideals that allow democracy to actually function. There really is no other morally defensible position. That said, for what it is worth, I personally have a nuanced position on the “civil rights” subject, but I am certainly willing under certain circumstances to curtail rights if it means serving a compelling govt interest. I don’t, however, believe in curtailing speech because speech to me is one of the most principal rights, the right which legitimizes democracy itself. The right to association, on the other hand, is fundamental, but less so (not even found in the Constitution). That said, a business owner actually associates with a patron in a way that Facebook & Twitter do not, namely on a personal level. So I’m not really sure that right is even implicated when it comes to Big Tech. However, even if it was, freedom of speech would trump it. Certainly Twitter’s speech rights are not implicated when you prevent it from censoring the voices of its users. That is not its speech & by doing so you are not censoring or curtailing speech, but protecting it.

    • Good points, Gothic Joe, but you are leaving out two essential factors, which I touch on in this article: the question of scale and the question of private versus public interference.

      As for the first, no one on the Alt Right (or practically anywhere, for that matter) argues that private individuals or small businesses should not be allowed to control the speech that is present, for instance, on personal websites. No one will claim that a blog with even a hundred thousand followers should be forced to publish every single comment made by any random user, or that a mom-and-pop bookstore which refuses to carry, say, /Mein Kampf/ or /Das Kapital/ should be punished for their refusal. But companies like the ones mentioned in my article have enormous control, in some cases de facto monopolies, over their respective domains. There are alternatives to many of them, and it is both good and important that these alternatives should arise and be supported; but no one really thinks that any of the substitutes for Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter at present have near the reach that those three have. To say it again, we are speaking of corporations whose decisions can have wide-ranging political ramifications; the degree of influence here, the absence of transparency, combined with a distinct political bias and a simultaneous blanket denial of such bias, is unacceptable.

      Global service providers, particularly when these same make pretenses toward neutrality, should not be allowed to comport themselves as if they were merely private businessmen, for precisely the same reason that private individuals should not be given control over political questions merely on account of their wealth.

      The other fundamental question here is whether it is the government or private individuals who effect censorship. I would wager that no one on the Alt Right (everyone here is invited to correct me if I am speaking out of turn) would support censorship imposed globally by private monopolies in the absence of legal precedent: such is, almost by definition, a form of illegitimate rule.

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