Chris Hedges Video

Chris Hedges & Ramesh Srinivasan Debate Twitter & Facebook Banning Trump

On DemocracyNow!, the two discuss how Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies have removed President Trump from their platforms.

Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies have removed President Trump from their platforms, after years of debate about the disinformation he shared to millions of followers from his accounts. While many are applauding the bans, author Chris Hedges warns they could backfire on a new episode of DemocracyNow! “To allow these companies to essentially function as de facto platforms for censorship and manipulation … harkens back to the way civil liberties were eviscerated in the wake of 9/11,” says Hedges. “It’s always, in the end, the left that pays for this kind of censorship.” DN! hosts also speak with UCLA professor Ramesh Srinivasan, director of the Digital Cultures Lab, who says Big Tech allowed right-wing extremism to flourish for years before acting and that lawmakers need to enact robust regulation. “All of these technology platforms, powered by their hidden algorithms that are indeed opaque, thrive on the amplification of polarization,” says Srinivasan. “It is incredible how much power we have given to a very small number of people who are essentially mediating pretty much every aspect of our lives.”

18 comments

  1. Facebook has been censoring for awhile. I noticed it in early 2020. They remove posts with certain words – like “Plandemic”. I was not able to even save a post with that word in it, no matter what the post actually said. I got around that by putting dashes in-between the letters. Some people resort to Pig Latin to avoid censorship.

    There are apparently words and phrases which “justify” censorship. Facebook claims the text promotes a “conspiracy theory” and that is enough to disallow it. To me the phrase “conspiracy theory” is code for “I don’t want anyone to read this.” There is no conspiracy. And there is no theory. The text may be a falsehood, and I’m okay with Facebook flagging it as a possible falsehood. But they must not declare it so beyond the pale that no one should be allowed to see it.

    I am not prepared to discuss the value of censorship. But I think it is WRONG.

  2. The people the tech social media companies are not the like of Trump and other neo-Nazi, but those of us on the left. I can speak of this censorship personally. I made a criticism of Hunter Biden during the “scandal” about his dealings with Burisma, and Twitter deleted my account. I have been appealing my suspension ever since, but they have yet to respond, despite the fact that I had a right to make such a criticism. My postings and comments describing my own socialist beliefs have also received bans from Facebook, where I have been given a third 30-day ban. In addition, my Facebook account was hacked several times in the last month prior to my recent ban, and my blog on WordPress was also taken down and hacked.
    I’m almost at the point where I’m prepared to quit social media altogether, but it seems that they’re going to do this digital termination for me. I don’t have a coterie of solicitors a my beck and call to help me get over this censorship hump. SO much for freedom of speech.

  3. Another great interview with Chris Hedges, he gives key insight into what is happening, and what lead up to this pivotal point in US history. Rakish Srinivasan calls for public accountability, regulations, and transparency of all social media. I agree, and add that these companies should be taxed. Regulate them, tax them , and reign them in!

    1. Not sure Hedges is right here when he says Trump didn’t incite violence because his comment didn’t specifically direct his cult to attack the Capitol.

      The ‘censorship’ wasn’t directed entirely any one particular comment as having incited the violence… but the entire storm of lies and the ‘ecology’ that have primed the rioters to commit not just this attack but also likely future attacks.

      It’s obvious that the purely-for-profit media is a toxic influence, to the point where it has likely radicalized millions… even tens of millions. Warning labels are not enough to convince people that their cultish belief systems might be wrong… anything that does not reinforce the Trump cult belief system is immediately invalidated in the same way breaking with Trump marks one as a traitor or the enemy.

      We are well past the point in the ongoing collapse where we can afford luxuries like totally unregulated speech… and there are worse things than censorship.

  4. A sitting president of the US explicitly incited a mob to disrupt Congress from certifying his loss in the presidential election!

    Does the magnitude of that event even register in anti-establishment, anti-liberal Neo Progressive Demagogues and left-ish propaganda buffs?

    Given the circumstances, it is not censorship but self-defense, and an essential service to the public that comes way too late!

  5. I had the longest running Tulsi Gabbard for President 2020 page on FB. I started in December of 2017. The day she withdrew from the Primary FB shuttered it. I wrote them a number of times asking for the reaon and they simply refused to respond.

  6. Confusing article – we’ve allowed companies to essentially run the Government for a long time.

    Why are Trump’s ramblings considered disinformation?

    How do we “harken back” to the civil liberties that were taken away after 9/11? Those are still missing and any debate silenced.

    Everytime we post on social media we’re aware of at least 5 agencies that record everything. We also prefer not to be censored, but hey, America you know?

  7. I can hardly believe that I need to say this. You [generic you] are aggrieved about FB censorship? Really? FB was never intended to be a forum in which you can kick up your heels and “roam free”. It is a corral, and those in it are the livestock. If you do not want to be treated as livestock, get out of the corral and run away. Don’t return.

    1. This makes logical sense, yet in the real world they are crazy-popular venues where discussion is shaping our actual world.

  8. How valuable is free speech anyway when it’s delivered into arenas where the possibility of simply getting a point across much less convincing anybody about anything with it is heading toward zero because in this so-called Information Age we’ve let our Marketplace of Ideas go so badly to seed as to free speech of any meaningful amount of its storied potential for swaying hearts and minds?

    Thanks in large part to Big Tech, the ground rules for freely exchanging ideas don’t include the excluding of doing so in patently bad faith with the help of whole bodies of false knowledge and gobs of propaganda and disinformation of other persuasions and a lot of good old fashioned bullshit and the option of falsely hollering “Fake news” always right there in the back pocket along with so many other tools for neutering truths that don’t square with the consensus in one’s echo chamber.

    I think in our efforts to protect our freedom of speech we ought to devote more elbow grease to also protecting the forums for our discourse from all this warping of our sense of what free speech is good for.

  9. twitter/fakebook upset when china, Uganda ban them but Okay for them to ban Syrian partisan girl, trump, south front, new eastern outlook, but not SP

  10. What a messed up interview from Amy, who i used to respect, but now seems to have Trump derangement syndrome or is under some kind of threat. So sad .

  11. Chris has his own dedicated venue on RT, why is he promoting by his appearance the anti-radical views of Amy Goodman & Democracy Later?

    It must be true, the sky is falling.

  12. This sort of self-defensive will be used against the Left and progressive. Be careful what you ask for cuz when the left starts to gets censored ( which they already are) you just might regret it.

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