Letters to Craig Murray #15

27Nov21
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Letter #15 Delivered 21 Nov 21

Hi Craig,

It was great to get two replies from you this week :)

There’s a cartoon by John Jonik that I’m sure you’ve seen many times, with Uncle Sam pushing forward a box labelled ‘Control of Internet Speech’ and a man labelled Corporate Media asking ‘How would you like this wrapped?’ with rolls of paper labelled ‘Anti-Terrorism’ and ‘Protect Kids’ hanging behind him.

We know from Snowden that the ‘Anti-Terrorism’ wrapper was working in full flow eight years ago, and there’s nothing to suggest that the edifice has been torn down.

So we now have a situation where ruling parties have a decade or so of getting their way with the corporate gatekeepers of speech, and they want more of the same. They KNOW that the gatekeepers can do what they want, but the ‘Anti-Terrorism’ wrapper only stretches so far, and is also limited by a pervasive cloak of secrecy. So it’s time to bring out the ‘Protect Kids’ wrapper, which is what lies at the heart of the ‘Online Safety’ Bill.

The suppression you’ve encountered is evidence of over reach at the margins of the existing status quo. An arguable grey area between those with a peaceful ‘purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause’ and those willing to enact violence for such a cause (which we see time after time is hard to pin down until the violence happens). But that suppression is just the amuse bouche for what’s about to come.

There’s no doubt that the corporate gatekeepers have behaved atrociously in their pursuit of profit. ‘Filter failure at the outrage factory‘ has promoted extremism and conspiracy because it looks like ‘engagement’ to the algorithms, and more engagement = more $advertising. The use of algorithms has allowed the gatekeepers to become ethical vacuums, as the decisions aren’t being made by humans. But the answer to that problem isn’t to hand decision making power to ruling parties. That’s not how we’re going to win back democracy.

We caught a glimpse of something better – a world of dialogue without gatekeepers. The open Internet, and its blogs and RSS feeds and comments sections. But those things were encircled then shut down by the gatekeepers. The means are still there, but the attention economy bulldozed the ruins and set up its strip mall on top.

We may have free speech, but we struggle for meaningful reach. I hope you can continue to be a strong voice in that struggle, as it may be the most important struggle of our time.

Keep well as the days count by.

Chris



One Response to “Letters to Craig Murray #15”

  1. We may have free speech, but we struggle for meaningful reach. I hope you can continue to be a strong voice in that struggle, as it may be the most important struggle of our time.

    Well said and I would arrive this point transcends more than the core points you covered. This summarizes the cradle to grave of communication in todays society and the argument between every single on of them. The fight to be meaningful!


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