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Visibility Filtering 101
So, I finally heard from someone at Twitter about why they have been censoring my tweets with fake “age-restricted adult content” labels and damaging my income and reputation as an author by maliciously deceiving people into thinking I’m some kind of slimy pornographer. So I’m banging out a quick newsletter to fill you in, because I know you’re just dying to hear all the details.
OK, seriously, before you decide that I am about to whine about Twitter for several hundred words, and then dejectedly click away from this newsletter, please stop for just a moment, and consider that what I am about to describe is not just a personal gripe about Twitter that I want to bore everyone to death with, but is basically the template (or one of the templates) for censorship in our “New Normal” world.
The way this template (i.e., model) works is, nothing is actually officially “censored,” not in the way we normally think of it. Or … OK, sure, a few things are, but most of what gets censored on the Internet — by global corporations like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, in collaboration with governments, Intelligence agencies, and an ever-expanding network of shady NGOs and so-called “disinformation experts” — is not censored, technically. Instead, it is “visibility filtered.”
Here’s an example of “visibility filtering” …
As most of my regular readers are aware, Twitter has been “visibility filtering” my Consent Factory account with these fake “age-restricted adult content” labels for years. It started sometime during 2021 and has increased under the Musk regime.
Obviously, I don’t tweet “adult content.” I tweet political satire and commentary. Twitter knows this. Everyone even passingly familiar with my writing knows this. These fake “adult content” labels are just a pretext to censor my political speech.
I have addressed Twitter’s censorship, and defamation, repeatedly, on Twitter, for going on two years. Not one word in response, neither from “old bad Twitter” nor from “free-speech Twitter” … until last night.
What happened is, Ella Erwin, Twitter’s new Head of Trust and Safety, replied to a tweet by the Hart Group, UK, denying that Twitter was censoring them. One of my readers called my attention to it. So I tweeted the above tweet to Ella, asking for an explanation of the fake “age-restricted adult content” labels that Twitter is (and has been) censoring my tweets with.
Here’s how Ella responded to my request …
So, Twitter’s official position is that I repeatedly tweeted “Nazi imagery,” which Twitter deems “age-restricted adult content.” What would be hilarious about this response — if I hadn’t been censored and defamed for two years — is that the so-called “Nazi imagery” I tweeted was historical photos of Nazi Germany, which I tweeted in order to satirize, and criticize, and strenuously protest the systematic fomenting of mass hatred of “the Unvaccinated,” and the rollout of a segregation system designed to persecute “the Unvaccinated,” and the abrogation of people’s constitutional rights to protest, and our rights to free speech, and the rest of the fascistic features of the so-called “New Normal.”
Here’s a sample of some of the “Nazi imagery” I tweeted back in 2021 …
So what Ella is saying is, if you tweet photos of Nazi Germany (or presumably any other totalitarian system) to protest and condemn totalitarianism, that means you are celebrating totalitarianism, and you’re going to get “visibility filtered” by Twitter, except that you’re not, because that would be a mistake, which Ella would publicly claim to have “corrected,” although she hasn’t corrected anything … or something.
Which, of course, is bullshit. You know, and I know, and Ella Erwin knows, that my Consent Factory account and numerous other Twitter accounts have been censored, and, yes, are still being censored, purely for ideological reasons. The “adult content” and “sensitive content” labels are a blatent pretext, and not even a plausible pretext. Censoring “Nazi imagery” in toto, i.e., regardless of the context in which it is used, would mean censoring accounts like The Auschwitz Memorial, not to mention the accounts of certain neo-Nazis in Ukraine, were it actual Twitter policy and not just a pretext.
Anyway, what a pity that the Twitter Files limited hangout is over now. It would have been nice to have gotten a more in-depth look into how Twitter is “visibility filtering” political content, and to hear the preposterous horseshit that Twitter executives like Ella come up with when they get confronted about it in a way they feel is a little too “visible” to just continue to ignore.
The point (i.e., why I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to fill you in on this) is not whether I, personally, have an uncensored Twitter account. I’m pretty much done with Twitter (and Facebook, where I am also censored into oblivion). The point is, the Censorship Industrial Complex (as Michael Shellenberger has dubbed it) is not going away. On the contrary, it is ramping up. The EU Digital Services Act, the RESTRICT Act in the USA, and other such acts and ordinances in Canada, Australia, Brazil, and elsewhere, are all big, red, flashing warning signs indicating the direction the global-capitalist ruling classes are moving in.
As Michael Shellenberger put it in a recent piece …
“We are thus witnessing the emergence of a governmental apparatus with the power to control the information environment in ways that determine what people believe to be true and what is false. As such, it is no exaggeration to say that the West is on the cusp of a new and much more powerful form of totalitarianism than either Communism or Fascism, which were limited in their reach by geography.”
As I have been warning for … well, for what feels like a very long time now, we are on The Road to Totalitarianism. We’re not going to get there all of sudden. We are going to get there step by step, one little “visibility-filtered” tweet, one Facebook post, one YouTube video, one “sensitivity-edited” book at a time.
P.S. I recently announced that I was going to make these “non-column” newsletters a “paid-subscribers-only” thing, and I was going to start with this one, but I can’t seem to hit the paywall button. I don’t know whether I’ll ever be able to. In any event, this one is going out to everyone.
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