Big Tech Glenn Greenwald Media Politics

Democrats and Media Do Not Want to Weaken Facebook, Just Commandeer Its Power to Censor

"Whistleblower" Frances Haugen is a vital media and political asset because she advances their quest for greater control over online political discourse.
Illustration of a silhouette of a hand holding a phone with the Facebook logo on it.
(Stock Catalog / Flickr)

By Glenn Greenwald / Substack

Much is revealed by who is bestowed hero status by the corporate media. This week’s anointed avatar of stunning courage is Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager being widely hailed as a “whistleblower” for providing internal corporate documents to the Wall Street Journal relating to the various harms which Facebook and its other platforms (Instagram and WhatsApp) are allegedly causing.

The social media giant hurts America and the world, this narrative maintains, by permitting misinformation to spread (presumably more so than cable outlets and mainstream newspapers do virtually every week); fostering body image neurosis in young girls through Instagram (presumably more so than fashion magazines, Hollywood and the music industry do with their glorification of young and perfectly-sculpted bodies); promoting polarizing political content in order to keep the citizenry enraged, balkanized and resentful and therefore more eager to stay engaged (presumably in contrast to corporate media outlets, which would never do such a thing); and, worst of all, by failing to sufficiently censor political content that contradicts liberal orthodoxies and diverges from decreed liberal Truth. On Tuesday, Haugen’s star turn took her to Washington, where she spent the day testifying before the Senate about Facebook’s dangerous refusal to censor even more content and ban even more users than they already do.

There is no doubt, at least to me, that Facebook and Google are both grave menaces. Through consolidation, mergers and purchases of any potential competitors, their power far exceeds what is compatible with a healthy democracy. A bipartisan consensus has emerged on the House Antitrust Committee that these two corporate giants — along with Amazon and Apple — are all classic monopolies in violation of long-standing but rarely enforced antitrust laws. Their control over multiple huge platforms that they purchased enables them to punish and even destroy competitors, as we saw when Apple, Google and Amazon united to remove Parler from the internet forty-eight hours after leading Democrats demanded that action, right as Parler became the most-downloaded app in the country, or as Google suppresses Rumble videos in its dominant search feature as punishment for competing with Google’s YouTube platform. Facebook and Twitter both suppressed reporting on the authentic documents about Joe Biden’s business activities reported by The New York Post just weeks before the 2020 election. These social media giants also united to effectively remove the sitting elected President of the United States from the internet, prompting grave warnings from leaders across the democratic world about how anti-democratic their consolidated censorship power has become.

But none of the swooning over this new Facebook heroine nor any of the other media assaults on Facebook have anything remotely to do with a concern over those genuine dangers. Congress has taken no steps to curb the influence of these Silicon Valley giants because Facebook and Google drown the establishment wings of both parties with enormous amounts of cash and pay well-connected lobbyists who are friends and former colleagues of key lawmakers to use their D.C. influence to block reform. With the exception of a few stalwarts, neither party’s ruling wing really has any objection to this monopolistic power as long as it is exercised to advance their own interests.

And that is Facebook’s only real political problem: not that they are too powerful but that they are not using that power to censor enough content from the internet that offends the sensibilities and beliefs of Democratic Party leaders and their liberal followers, who now control the White House, the entire executive branch and both houses of Congress. Haugen herself, now guided by long-time Obama operative Bill Burton, has made explicitly clear that her grievance with her former employer is its refusal to censor more of what she regards as “hate, violence and misinformation.” In a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night, Haugen summarized her complaint about CEO Mark Zuckerberg this way: he “has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful and polarizing content gets more distribution and more reach.” Haugen, gushed The New York Times’ censorship-desperate tech unit as she testified on Tuesday, is “calling for regulation of the technology and business model that amplifies hate and she’s not shy about comparing Facebook to tobacco.”

Agitating for more online censorship has been a leading priority for the Democratic Party ever since they blamed social media platforms (along with WikiLeaks, Russia, Jill Stein, James Comey, The New York Times, and Bernie Bros) for the 2016 defeat of the rightful heir to the White House throne, Hillary Clinton. And this craving for censorship has been elevated into an even more urgent priority for their corporate media allies, due to the same belief that Facebook helped elect Trump but also because free speech on social media prevents them from maintaining a stranglehold on the flow of information by allowing ordinary, uncredentialed serfs to challenge, question and dispute their decrees or build a large audience that they cannot control. Destroying alternatives to their failing platforms is thus a means of self-preservation: realizing that they cannot convince audiences to trust their work or pay attention to it, they seek instead to create captive audiences by destroying or at least controlling any competitors to their pieties.

As I have been reporting for more than a year, Democrats do not make any secret of their intent to co-opt Silicon Valley power to police political discourse and silence their enemies. Congressional Democrats have summoned the CEO’s of Google, Facebook and Twitter four times in the last year to demand they censor more political speech. At the last Congressional inquisition in March, one Democrat after the next explicitly threatened the companies with legal and regulatory reprisals if they did not immediately start censoring more.

Pew survey from August shows that Democrats now overwhelmingly support internet censorship not only by tech giants but also by the government which their party now controls. In the name of “restricting misinformation,” more than 3/4 of Democrats want tech companies “to restrict false info online, even if it limits freedom of information,” and just under 2/3 of Democrats want the U.S. Government to control that flow of information over the internet:

The prevailing pro-censorship mindset of the Democratic Party is reflected not only by that definitive polling data but also by the increasingly brash and explicit statements of their leaders. At the end of 2020, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), newly elected after young leftist activists worked tirelessly on his behalf to fend off a primary challenge from the more centrist Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), told Facebook’s Zuckerberg exactly what the Democratic Party wanted. In sum, they demand more censorship:

This, and this alone, is the sole reason why there is so much adoration being constructed around the cult of this new disgruntled Facebook employee. What she provides, above all else, is a telegenic and seemingly informed “insider” face to tell Americans that Facebook is destroying their country and their world by allowing too much content to go uncensored, by permitting too many conversations among ordinary people that are, in the immortal worlds of the NYT‘s tech reporter Taylor Lorenz, “unfettered.”


When Facebook, Google, Twitter and other Silicon Valley social media companies were created, they did not set out to become the nation’s discourse police. Indeed, they affirmatively wanted not to do that. Their desire to avoid that role was due in part to the prevailing libertarian ideology of a free internet in that sub-culture. But it was also due to self-interest: the last thing social media companies wanted to be doing is looking for ways to remove and block people from using their product and, worse, inserting themselves into the middle of inflammatory political controversies. Corporations seek to avoid angering potential customers and users over political stances, not courting that anger.

This censorship role was not one they so much sought as one that was foisted on them. It was not really until the 2016 election, when Democrats were obsessed with blaming social media giants (and pretty much everyone else except themselves) for their humiliating defeat, that pressure began escalating on these executives to start deleting content liberals deemed dangerous or false and banning their adversaries from using the platforms at all. As it always does, the censorship began by targeting widely disliked figures — Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones and others deemed “dangerous” — so that few complained (and those who did could be vilified as sympathizers of the early offenders). Once entrenched, the censorship net then predictably and rapidly spread inward (as it invariably does) to encompass all sorts of anti-establishment dissidents on the right, the left, and everything in between. And no matter how much it widens, the complaints that it is not enough intensify. For those with the mentality of a censor, there can never be enough repression of dissent. And this plot to escalate censorship pressures found the perfect vessel in this stunningly brave and noble Facebook heretic who emerged this week from the shadows into the glaring spotlight. She became a cudgel that Washington politicians and their media allies could use to beat Facebook into submission to their censorship demands.

In this dynamic we find what the tech and culture writer Curtis Yarvin calls “power leak.” This is a crucial concept for understanding how power is exercised in American oligarchy, and Yarvin’s brilliant essay illuminates this reality as well as it can be described. Hyperbolically arguing that “Mark Zuckerberg has no power at all,” Yarvin points out that it may appear that the billionaire Facebook CEO is powerful because he can decide what will and will not be heard on the largest information distribution platform in the world. But in reality, Zuckerberg is no more powerful than the low-paid content moderators whom Facebook employs to hit the “delete” or “ban” button, since it is neither the Facebook moderators nor Zuckerberg himself who is truly making these decisions. They are just censoring as they are told, in obedience to rules handed down from on high. It is the corporate press and powerful Washington elites who are coercing Facebook and Google to censor in accordance with their wishes and ideology upon pain of punishment in the form of shame, stigma and even official legal and regulatory retaliation. Yarvin puts it this way:

However, if Zuck is subject to some kind of oligarchic power, he is in exactly the same position as his own moderators. He exercises power, but it is not his power, because it is not his will. The power does not flow from him; it flows through him. This is why we can say honestly and seriously that he has no power. It is not his, but someone else’s. . . .

Zuck doesn’t want to do any of this. Nor do his users particularly want it. Rather, he is doing it because he is under pressure from the press. Duh. He cannot even admit that he is under duress—or his Vietcong guards might just snap, and shoot him like the Western running-dog capitalist he is….

And what grants the press this terrifying power? The pure and beautiful power of the logos? What distinguishes a well-written poast, like this one, from an equally well-written Times op-ed? Nothing at all but prestige. In normal times, every sane CEO will comply unhesitatingly with the slightest whim of the legitimate press, just as they will comply unhesitatingly with a court order. That’s just how it is. To not call this power government is—just playing with words.

As I have written before, this problem — whereby the government coerces private actors to censor for them — is not one that Yarvin was the first to recognize. The U.S. Supreme Court has held, since at least 1963, that the First Amendment’s “free speech” clause is violated when state officials issue enough threats and other forms of pressure that essentially leave the private actor with no real choice but to censor in accordance with the demands of state officials. Whether we are legally at the point where that constitutional line has been crossed by the increasingly blunt bullying tactics of Democratic lawmakers and executive branch officials is a question likely to be resolved in the courts. But whatever else is true, this pressure is very real and stark and reveals that the real goal of Democrats is not to weaken Facebook but to capture its vast power for their own nefarious ends.

There is another issue raised by this week’s events that requires ample caution as well. The canonized Facebook whistleblower and her journalist supporters are claiming that what Facebook fears most is repeal or reform of Section 230, the legislative provision that provides immunity to social media companies for defamatory or other harmful material published by their users. That section means that if a Facebook user or YouTube host publishes legally actionable content, the social media companies themselves cannot be held liable. There may be ways to reform Section 230 that can reduce the incentive to impose censorship, such as denying that valuable protection to any platform that censors, instead making it available only to those who truly allow an unmoderated platform to thrive. But such a proposal has little support in Washington. What is far more likely is that Section 230 will be “modified” to impose greater content moderation obligations on all social media companies.

Far from threatening Facebook and Google, such a legal change could be the greatest gift one can give them, which is why their executives are often seen calling on Congress to regulate the social media industry. Any legal scheme that requires every post and comment to be moderated would demand enormous resources — gigantic teams of paid experts and consultants to assess “misinformation” and “hate speech” and veritable armies of employees to carry out their decrees. Only the established giants such as Facebook and Google would be able to comply with such a regimen, while other competitors — including large but still-smaller ones such as Twitter — would drown in those requirements. And still-smaller challengers to the hegemony of Facebook and Google, such as Substack and Rumble, could never survive. In other words, any attempt by Congress to impose greater content moderation obligations — which is exactly what they are threatening — would destroy whatever possibility remains for competitors to arise and would, in particular, destroy any platforms seeking to protect free discourse. That would be the consequence by design, which is why one should be very wary of any attempt to pretend that Facebook and Google fear such legislative adjustments.

There are real dangers posed by allowing companies such as Facebook and Google to amass the power they have now consolidated. But very little of the activism and anger from the media and Washington toward these companies is designed to fracture or limit that power. It is designed, instead, to transfer that power to other authorities who can then wield it for their own interests. The only thing more alarming than Facebook and Google controlling and policing our political discourse is allowing elites from one of the political parties in Washington and their corporate media outlets to assume the role of overseer, as they are absolutely committed to doing. Far from being some noble whistleblower, Frances Haugen is just their latest tool to exploit for their scheme to use the power of social media giants to control political discourse in accordance with their own views and interests.

Correction, Oct. 5, 2021, 5:59 pm ET: This article was edited to reflect that just under 2/3 of Democrats favor U.S. Government censorship of the internet in the name of fighting misinformation, not just over.


20 comments

  1. Great article; this is precisely what’s going on. The right-wing authoritarianism of the “new” Democratic party and its corporate media press agents is at one and the same time both obvious and frightening. We’re entering a very dark period for free speech.

  2. What a great article. Greenwald sees through all the seeming concerns to the real motive.

  3. Mr. Greenwald, despite the contempt I hold for Trump and his minions, I felt offended–as would anyone with a healthy respect for the First Amendment–when folks called for censoring the man. It’s messenger-shooting time. Trump’s appeal speaks to a deeper dysfunction in the West, to the consequences of living in thrall of the ideology we label capitalism and its extreme manifestation today: finance capitalism. The cultural unhappiness (malaise?) that has ensued as a result of handing not just economic but political power (thanks Citizen’s United) over to the 1% has led citizens to seek out a Messiah who “champions” their “cause.” That Trump _merely_ utters the language and usurps the mob’s legitimate rage for personal gain matters little. He gives a voice to the hopeless and disempowered. And that’s why they love him.
    In the oratorical battlefield of articulated ideas, Trump has won. Corporation that fund dark money PACs know he’s a clown who will front for elites despite lip-service to despairing and neglected Americans. Bernie, on the other hand, does in fact walk the walk and he’s a man PAC-men will refuse to back. One FDR in a hundred years was enough. I am also reminded of the German elites who noted young Adolph’s appeal to the crowds and immediately decided to co-opt him.
    Can you blame nihilist Trump for his world-class opportunism and crass cynicism?
    Be well.

  4. Mr. Greenwald, despite the contempt I hold for Trump and his minions, I felt offended–as would anyone with a healthy respect for the First Amendment–when folks called for censoring the man. It’s messenger-shooting time. Trump’s appeal speaks to a deeper dysfunction in the West, to the consequences of living in thrall of the ideology we label capitalism and its extreme manifestation today: finance capitalism. The cultural unhappiness (malaise?) that has ensued as a result of handing not just economic but political power (thanks Citizen’s United) over to the 1% has led citizens to seek out a Messiah who “champions” their “cause.” That Trump _merely_ utters the language and usurps the mob’s legitimate rage for personal gain matters little. He gives a voice to the hopeless and disempowered. And that’s why they love him.
    In the oratorical battlefield of articulated ideas, Trump has won. Corporations that fund dark money PACs know he’s a clown who will front for elites despite lip-service to despairing and neglected Americans. Bernie, on the other hand, does in fact walk the walk and he’s a man PAC-men will refuse to back. One FDR in a hundred years was enough. I am also reminded of the German elites who noted young Adolph’s appeal to the crowds and immediately decided to co-opt him.
    Can you blame nihilist Trump for his world-class opportunism and crass cynicism?
    Be well.

    1. These are brilliantly perceptive comments, socrates2. ‘Control the opposition’. THAT is the KEY (to the kingdom) for ‘them’.

      As the Elites exercise their masterful control of every side, and as they pretend that they hate Trump with a fiery passion hotter than 10,000 suns, few ‘see’, as does our brilliant fellow citizen, socrates2, that Trump is ‘THEIR’ man.

      People on the Left all ‘see’ that Trump has only pretended that his sympathies lie with the Common People. But few of us ‘see’ that Trump has been ‘cast’ to play the role he’s playing.

      Is Trump a dupe/patsy? Or is he ‘in’ on the Big Ruse? Could be either. The former seems more likely. But could he really be THAT stupid? It’d be like Tony Soprano getting the idea that he could take over the whole nationwide ‘Five Families Syndicate’, and run it from the back room at ‘the Bing’.

      What made medium-smart Tony successful was that he knew his limitations. What little self-awareness he had, he put to very effective use. Tony inherited the ‘wisdom’ to know better than to mess with shit above his pay grade. (His father and uncle taught him well). Tony knew that he was NOT Michael Corleone, let alone Vito.

      With his gargantuan ego, Trump would have been an easy ‘mark’. It would have been easy to lure him into embracing the grandiose idea that only HE can save the nation.

      The Ruling Elites MADE him president. There is NO doubt about that. The only question is, ‘were they stupid, or cunning’ ?

      They were either stupid, or else just ‘asleep at the wheel’, (or cunning?), but the Elites gifted him $billions$ worth of free Mass Media access during his victorious 2016 campaign. The Mass Media made Trump president. Who controls Mass Media?

      Stupid? Or just ‘asleep at the switch’? Me?… I don’t think these people came to be where they are by being stupid., or careless. Underestimating one’s enemy only leads to defeat. (Surely no one has to read Sun Tzu to know that).

      But such are things we’ll likely never know. (I think conspiracy theories are ‘boring’ because you never get a definitive answer). Knowing such things, (like who really killed John Kennedy), does not matter. What matters is knowing that since at least Caesar’s time, (he wrote extensively about it, over two millennia ago), Elites have realized that it was much better to ‘control the opposition’ than to try to defeat, destroy, and annihilate the opposition.

      You can’t just have one party. You can’t have a ‘big game’ without at least two teams. Who’d watch? You gotta have ‘rivalry’. You gotta exercise human tribalism. Good guys and bad guys, (wholly defined by point of view). Which does the ‘smart-money’ bet on?

      Look around us. Which ‘side’ do the Ruling Elites NOT control?

      The Left has allowed itself to be duped by “the oldest trick in the book”. Divide and Rule. At the very moment when the Ruling Elite Class saw its own vulnerability, (expecting that economic ruin lay ahead at the outset of ‘the pandemic’), the Elites used all their raw power to ignite a Race War. Using their control of Mass Media like a maestro does her or his baton, they ‘orchestrated’ an uprising rooted in people’s deepest most primitive tribal divisions.

      Let’s see… It’s early Thursday… You want a riot in Boston tomorrow, just as the long week-end kicks off? Gimme a minute… Let me see what kind of video footage I can find. Oh… I have perfect footage… Not just in Boston, but in Miami, and Chicago too. Still looking in LA. We’ll find something… Give us time to get all the footage staged up to run on an endless loop, (shouldn’t take more than a few minutes), and we’ll toss it into the MassMedia megaphone echo-chamber.

      We can go coast to coast by later this morning. We’ll have a few in the streets by late afternoon. We’ll see some scattered orange glow in tonight’s sky. Full blown riots and looting by tomorrow night.

      Just ‘say the word’ and it’s done.

      ‘See”?…

      Then the instant Trump was elected the Ruling Elites turned on him, and started ‘characterizing’ him in the minds of the ‘liberal’ faction. They made this ‘midwit’ (medium-smart) frat-boy trust fund idiot into the reincarnation of a cross between Hitler and a deranged serial murderer who keeps innocent dewey young maidens in a spider dirt pit with hungry rats before he murders them and makes lamp shades from their skin.

      ‘See’?… The forces now in the field are ALL ‘marionette’ forces. The Ruling Elites are not ‘fighting a battle’. They are stage-managing a ‘show’. They paid for ALL this. They bought the costumes and the props for BOTH sides.

      Of COURSE they were meticulously careful in casting the part of the ‘people’s hero’. They had to act, before a genuine ‘leader of the people’ had time to rise. A genuine Caesar would be as dangerous as them, to the Elites themselves, as the OG Caesar, (JulieBoy his own self), was to the Roman Elites.

      Trump was the perfect patsy, (or ‘shill’, either one). Silver spoon punk. Born on third, arrogantly proud of his triple. Narcissist. Medium smart. Just slightly above average, (130? 135?). Craving public attention. Craving public adulation.

      His business empire is crumbling. He’s losing big time down in Jersey. (We let Tony and the boys know ahead that he was coming). Let’s get him set up in a TV show. Make him a Mass Media ‘TV Star’. We gotta keep this guy above water. He can be of use to us. It’ll be a waste if he goes under.

      We’ll plant the idea in the dumb schmuck’s mind that he should be POTUS. That should be easy enough. Tell a narcissist his nation needs him? Are you kidding? (You ever see a large bass explode on a surface plug?)

      We’ll get him out there, and see how he plays in Peoria.

      Nice town, Peoria. (Been there). It once thrived on the good UAW wages at the local auto plant, but now can’t afford to hire anyone to keep the tumble weeds, blown all the way here from the Nebraska high plains, from accumulating in the street gutters.

      Peoria… Deep in the American Heartland… Where the yeomen folk are still sinking into the stink and mire, wounded, weak, bleeding, and more of their kids each day are found dead in rat-infested alleys with needles still stuck in their arms. Hopeless despair oozes over the landscape like some deadly sticky molasses.

      Well… Sherlock had his ‘smarter brother’. But it sure did not require a ‘genius’ to realize that such people are ‘ripe’ for ‘leadership’. “Awright boys… gitcher carpet bags all packed… Pack plenty of snake oil. Don’t forget your Flashing Colored Light machine.”

      The Smart-Money does not bet on one side or the other. The Smart Money bets on both sides, but rigs The Game so’s they ‘rake the take’. In a $21 trillion dollars economy, how much is each 1% of ‘rake’? (The credit card payment system alone rakes 2% to 2.5% of ‘vig’).

      The Smart Money doesn’t much care which side wins. Sometimes they favor one. Sometimes the other. But usually they are very careful to favor BOTH. You control those who depend on you.

      Greenwald ‘sees’, but he is allowing his attention to be ‘tied up’.

  5. Poor Sir Greenwald remains confused. His attention is being successfully manipulated. He is focused on the puppet show. He is writing about the actions of the puppets as if they were ‘real’
    and meaningful. He just can’t quite seem to allow himself to draw the very obvious conclusions to which all the evidence of his own experience leads him.

    He writes about “Democrats” and “Media” as if these are the actual ‘actors’, the actual perpetrators of events, rather than the ‘actors’, the people hired to pretend to be the perpetrators of events.

    When is poor Greenwald going to turn his attentions on the REAL seats of power? When is he going to start talking about the people who control both Mass Media and the Democratic Party Machine?

    Both of these entities, both Mass Media and thew DPM, are merely ‘tools’. The rifle is not the soldier. The soldier is not the general. Top corporate TV executives are the errand boys of the people calling the shots. Our current POTUS served them as a loyal bagman for all his decades as the Senator for Big Money. Pelosi is their errand girl. Mitch McConnell does their bidding.

    Glenn Greenwald remains confused. He remains under his Adversary’s power. ‘They’ bought him off, (they thought), by backing his star status (after Snowden) with The Intercept gig. That was Big Money to him. $500k per is what I heard he was making at the end. $500k? That’s a pittance to the Big Boys in the Mass Media bid’ness, where a 1 minute ad on the Super Bowl is now worth $11 million.

    But when the action got hot and heavy, Sir Greenwald remained true to his genuine values. In the midst of an ultra ‘high stakes game’ that he did not fully understand, (as it yet appears he does not), he ‘kept his head’, he ‘did the right thing’. He showed us that he is a genuine person, a person of Public Honor, a person of Public Dignity. Such genuine attributes lent him the courage to stay true to his own beliefs and values when he was under extreme pressure.

    He understands that ‘freedom of speech’, and ‘freedom of the press’ are the most basic principles of democracy. If we no longer have these basic freedoms of personal and public expression, then we no longer have anything that even resembles ‘democracy’.

    Greenwald hasn’t yet added up 2 + 2. His recent experience has clearly demonstrated to him, (as he’s told us), that we no longer have these most crucial basic freedoms of expression, but he seems to think that somehow we can ‘fix’ all this by carefully studying the Byzantine labyrinth of the puppet show characters and plots being presented to us so we can ‘pass a law’ to fix it all right up.

    Look, folks… We are facing a very deadly reality. Masses of our nation’s citizens have been duped into embracing competing Beliefs Systems that regard each other as existential enemies. Both these competing Belief Systems are absurdly self-contradictory. When you burrow down into the basic premises that form their arguments, neither side makes sense to a LOT of people.

    The latter group remains undefined. With the two deadly warring factions aroused to what seems like the brink of massive bloodshed, how many of us wish a pox on both these houses?

    What is being called ‘the left’ and ‘the right’ do NOT set the parameters of the political spectrum. These are deliberately FALSE parameters. All alternatives and options do not lie between these supposed ‘poles’. In fact, the truth, (as far as this ole boy can ‘see’ it), lies well OUTSIDE and beyond these parameters of ‘left’ and ‘right’ being artificially imposed on us.

    Nobody knows anymore if Greenwald is ‘left’ or ‘right’ because he ‘broke the mold’. He’s neither. He’s an outlier to that entire artificial ‘construct’ of reality.

    He needs to realize that they are NEVER going to let him ‘back in’ unless he public renounces his ‘Dignitas’.

    Greenwald heard the final whistle but he still hasn’t accepted that the game he was playing in is now over. The precedent is set. They are now ‘free’ to swing their Mass Media club with full force. There is no longer freedom of speech, nor freedom of the press, not democracy, in our nation.

    What’s worse is how classically ‘Orwellian’ they are, as ‘they’ pretend they aren’t doing what we ALL can clearly SEE them doing. And, of course, in a classic ‘projection’ of their own delusional insanity, they blame the people they are persecuting for being the persecutors.

    Under duress, the ‘monster’ needed both hands for other deceptions. The Mask of Democracy slipped. We saw that demon’s naked face, snarling at us, grimacing at The People, in primitive hatred.

    And there was Sir Greenwald, eye to eye with the frickin’ monster. And here he still is to ‘tell the tale’.

    They did it. We all saw them. They ‘threw’ the election. Right out in broad daylight. And now they’re pretending that they didn’t do it. They’re pretending they didn’t do what we all SAW them do.

    And even worse, they’re pretending that the people who saw them do it, but won’t agree to pretend that they didn’t do it, (that’s us, somewhere’s between 40 and 120 MILLION of us), are outlaws who must be persecuted and driven from public discourse and governance.

    These dangerous, delusionally insane people are pretending that they somehow have the power to impose their pretenses on us. They think they can FORCE us to renounce reality itself, to renounce what we saw with our own eyes.

    This is a grab for TOTAL power. They want to have the power to FORCE people to believe their Narratives in lieu of the truth.

    Greenwald does not yet seem to fully understand how ‘serious’ our predicament is. Does he think we’re going to somehow fix all this through the corrupt apparatus that controls our nation? We’ll just figure out how to outsmart Pelosi and McConnell and the rest of them? Greenwald wants us to closely follow the twists and turns of the Puppet Show’s dramatic plots?

    Why? So we can out-slither these sewage swamp creatures through the muck and fix all this. We can slither to solutions better than sewage swamp creatures can slither to get the whole thing mucked up with sewage?

    Is THAT what poor Sir Greenwald is saying? Despite his recent courageous actions, is he just another poor schmuck saying “they’re outta be a law”.

    Anyway….. Don’t mean to pick on poor Greenwald. He’s a good man. He’s shown his mettle. He’ll find his way. I have faith in him.

    (Whether you burn those bridges or not, Mr. Greenwald, they’re NEVER going to allow you to walk back over them anyway. You sometimes seem to be hoping that another rich patron will come along to back you again).

    1. Wow! N Speaks. You should get your own gig as a writer. Or do you have one already. Enjoyed reading your obnoxious deliveries more than Greenwald’s ‘DEMOCRATS AND MEDIA…..’

  6. “Winter time is coming. The windows all filled with frost. I went to tell everybody, but I could not get across. I just want to be your lover baby, I don’t want to be your boss. Don’t say I never wanted you when your train gets lost”. (Lot to Laugh. Train to Cry)

    I’m trying to get Glenn Greenwald to acknowledge what he seems to ‘see’.

    Momentous Events, events of tectonic magnitude in Human History, are rushing upon us. We will do well to expect them with preparations. But just expecting them will be the first step, I suppose.

    Mr. Greenwald is not ‘in good form’ here. He covers a lot of ground without leading to the suggested conclusions. It would take 10,000 words to even begin to try to fully respond to this rather aimless ‘rambler’. He’s just ‘off’. Happens to all of us.

    He quotes the long passage from Yarvin (sp?), for example, who is writing about the massive power of “the press”, and then Greenwald processes this quote, and comments on it, as if it had been about the power of government.

    This shows his own confusion. He does not have these various ‘players’ clearly sorted in his own thinking.

    Identify the Enemy…

    Greenwald has not yet focused his attention on his true Enemy. ‘The Press’, and ‘The Government’, are elements of ‘The Show’. The Show is NOT reality. (It can be very hard to remember that).

    Before he clicks his ruby slippers, Sir Greenwald still has work to do. There are curtains to be drawn back first.

    It was only a few weeks ago, a couple months or so, that I was wondering if Glenn Greenwald had it ‘in him’ to run for POTUS.

    He should look to a young Nader for inspiration. Has he considered organizing to file a Public Suit against The Intercept for violating his most basic rights? He should remember that in the end people get tired of constant complaining. They’ll tune out. People want someone who will DO something.

    If Lady Fortune offered me the opportunity She offers Mr. Greenwald, what choices would I make? What would I do?

    Yea… Well… It’s not every day you see History offering people opportunities like this. Will Mr. Greenwald be a fading gadfly now? Or does he have something else in mind?

    Action requires leadership.

    “You who choose to lead must follow
    But if you fall, you fall alone
    If you should stand, then who’s to guide you?
    If I knew the way I would take you home”.
    — R Hunter, J Garcia

    Does anyone know the way? Does anyone really know what time it is?

  7. yes, and I have to laugh when public media has to announce a disclaimer regarding; “_____…is supported by Facebook”
    so nice to have a tabloid on your side
    – how irresponsible

  8. More insincere bellyaching from this unprincipled hack, who hasn’t produced a shred of new or original journalism in years. Why does Scheerpost keep republishing this bilge?

    Glenn is, sadly and predictably, fabricating a version of events that panders to the perpetually aggrieved Trumpenvolk who now comprise his audience. This is all of a piece with his newfound vaccine trutherism, and his pitiful recent attempts at playing defense lawyer for the January 6th insurrectionists.

    The real meat of the Facebook whistleblower’s testimony is that these tech oligarchies put profit over human lives — an externalization of costs that absolutely invites comparisons to Big Tobacco, the gun industry, and other corporate polluters. So, naturally, Greenwald has adopted the screechy and hysterical anti-regulation posture here, while also indulging in his favored pastime of verbally pummeling a young woman who dared to speak up.

    Glengarry Glenn Greenwald righteously postures as a crusader against the iniquities of finance and Big Tech, yet he was only too happy to gorge at the trough of venture-capital-craziness and kowtow to billionaire eBay impresario Pierre Omidyar when he launched The Intercept. Or, more recently when he jumped ship to Substack, to nuzzle at the teat of VC tech archfiend Marc Andriessen. Witness his pathetic plugs for his preferred platforms in this very piece!

    Greenwald only hates Big Tech inasmuch as he’s stuck outside of the tent, and wishes he could be inside pissing out with the rest of the elite courtiers. Which coincidentally pretty much describes his tortured attempts to become a corporate news talking head — catch him on Ku Klux Kyle’s Two Minute Hate at 8pm on Fox!

    1. Right. It’s all about profit. That’s why the Yarvin quote about poor, helpless
      Zuck is so hilarious. He’s more than happy to do whatever it takes to bring in
      the bucks. I don’t think he believes that he is helpless. Not for a nanosecond.

  9. Obviously, people on power in Washington don’t give a shit about the FIrst Amendment to the Constitution…inotherwords, they don’t give a shit about the Constitution.

  10. Unfortunately, in recent years, Glenn has transmogrified into a one-eyed
    cyclops who sees only part of the visible spectrum. Here’s what I would add
    to this article’s title:

    … and Republicans and Media do not want to weaken Facebook,
    just commandeer its power to censor.

    There are plenty of lefty commentators who will never again appear
    (if they ever did) on the msm. Algorithms lead eyeballs away from their
    writings and videos. Both Ds and Rs want this.

    Glenn is right about the Ds and wrong to omit the Rs – something he
    has consistently done for quite a while now.

    If he wants to approach a greater amount of truth by filling in this
    omission, you can bet that he will never appear on Tuck’s show again.

    BTW – I think that Bob should continue to post Glenn’s articles. They
    do contain some truth — as one-sided as they have now become.

  11. I often enjoy Glenn’s work, but I gotta flip him the bird for hoodwinking me into reading the pompous bloviations of a reactionary monarchist.

    And read Yarvin’s “gray mirror” essay I did- and was pretty f***ing disappointed. Reams of undefined labels and unearned assertions, stitched together with clever boilerplate, and then coated in more just factually wrong claims made for a ponderous and obnoxious read. At a certain point I quit my tally of red flags and plowed through hoping there was a good reason Glenn linked to this piece.

    And here’s the sad part- Glenn didn’t need to reference such a crappy source to make any of the reasonable points he DID make, but the fact that he did gives me some reasonable pause about his analytical bearings these days. The trump years broke a lot of brains, left, right, and center. Is he another casualty?

    Tearing the Dems down with reason and data ain’t hard, so why reference a guy that equates democracy to lynch mobs? I hope he ascends the walls of his rut…

  12. Why no mention of the word algorithm in this entire piece? There’s a key distinction between regulating algorithms that amplify hate speech and divisiveness AND censoring posts to oppose the mainstream narrative.

  13. The US (via SCOTUS) has long maintained that hate speech = free speech, generally actions being given weight, while threatening words (seemingly dependent on who is being threatened and who is doing the threatening) can be construed as assault.
    The Democrats (and our politicians in general) have lost this battle that THEY too can be generally reviled and hated publicly, without fear of reprisal. So they want to re-fight the battle in controlling social media. Anyone can say anything against Putin, Xi Jin Ping, and Donald Trump but you are racist or misogynist or threatening violence if you insult one of our fine Public Servants. The Powerful (our betters) must be protected at all costs from the powerless rabble.
    (a few SHORT articles):
    https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/criminal/does-the-first-amendment-protect-hate-speech.html
    https://www.hate-speech.org/hate-speech-free-speech/
    (What is scary is that science is being heavily censored during this pandemic, and science is very much dependent of discussions and dissent).

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