Gab.ai has been taken down following a sustained attack by the Silicon Valley giants. This supposedly comes as a result of the alleged crimes of one of its users, Robert Bowers, the main suspect in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. The latest attacks on the social media platform came following the arrest of 46 year old Bowers, who has been detained for his alleged participation in an apparently senseless massacre at the synagogue. We are told that 11 people were killed by the gunman and my thoughts are primarily for the victims and their families.
The founder of Gab.ai Andrew Torba has told Gab users that Gab.ai is likely to be down for a few weeks because the site’s hosting has been pulled by its new provider Joyant. In addition PayPal have removed Gab.ai’s access to their services. Torba told the Gab.ai community:
GAB IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE I don’t care what we have to do, I don’t care what it takes. We will build everything from the ground up if we have to. We may be down for a few weeks. The truth is we do not know yet. We are working on solutions. We will figure it out. Keep fighting for freedom. We sure will be. Please pray for the victims and their families. I know many of you are upset at what is happening to Gab, but the focus should be on them.
However, aside from the devastating effect on the victims and their families, there are other issues relevant here. It is these I am focusing on in this blog post.
You will note that I said ‘alleged’ in reference to Bowers’ actions because he hasn’t been tried in a court of law yet. A vital principle of our so called democracy is that every single one of us, without exception, are presumed innocent until ‘proven’ guilty. We also have the right to defend our innocence before a jury of our peers. Only after the perpetrator’s lawful conviction, beyond any reasonable doubt, can any of us legitimately speak about his or her guilt. To do so, prior to a fair trial by jury, is to fundamentally misunderstand, or ignore, the supposed foundation of Western democracy.
Another vital pillar of that democracy is freedom of speech and, separately, freedom of expression. For the rest of this article I will refer to Bowers’ social media posts, particularly on Gab.ai. However, I want to make it very clear that I do not assume Bowers is guilty of any crime simply because he appears to hold opinions others, including myself, don’t like.
Posting under the username ‘onedingo,’ whose posts appear to have been removed by the Gab administrators, Bowers allegedly (because I have no evidence to the contrary) posted a number of anti-Semitic tropes. The British state broadcaster the BBC have kindly reposted these if anyone wants to read what he allegedly wrote.
Personally I’m not that interested. As far as I am concerned he can say whatever he likes. I am perfectly at liberty to disagree with him and, if these comments are his, I do. However, if I find anything he says deeply offensive, as a Gab user, I can ‘mute’ him and no longer have to read his bile.
Of course, because his posts have all now been removed, I have no way of knowing if anything I am told about them is actually true. I am now entirely reliant upon the opinion of others who claim to know what he wrote. Such as the BBC and other mainstream media outlets.
This stops me from fully understanding the concerns raised. My access to information has been limited and I am being forced to rely upon state broadcasters and multinational media corporations for my news. My question is why?
Am I not allowed free access to this information? Have I shown myself to be untrustworthy and who bestows that trust upon me? Under what right? If Bowers is an anti-Semitic loony, why can’t I ascertain that fact for myself? It’s not as if the technology doesn’t make that possible. Who is the arbiter of my ‘opinion?’ Who ‘tells’ me what to think?
I’m British so I will focus upon what I am told by the British mainstream media (MSM). The BBC report on the crime gives some initial alleged details about the shooting and the alleged perpetrator but devotes nearly half of the article to discussing the social media network Gab.ai. In the same article they link to a post which suggests Gab.ai is a haven for ‘hate speech.'
So it is evident, for the MSM, in addition to the crime itself, the suspect’s use of Gab is important. His ability to discuss unpalatable views with other idiots is suggested as a possible ‘reason’ for his actions. He is claimed to be the pedlar of so called ‘hate speech’ and, as such, he is labelled ‘alt right’ and a ‘conspiracy theorist.’
This is not the first time we have heard mainstream voices attempts to link ‘conspiracy theory’ to extremism and even terrorism.
In November 2001 George W. Bush addressed the United Nations General Assembly with the following words:
We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of >September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the >guilty. To inflame ethnic hatred is to advance the cause of terror.
Similarly, in 2014, then British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech to the U.N. He equally contended that 'conspiracy theory' was synonymous with 'terrorist,' though he chose to lump them in with fascists as well.
To defeat ISIL – and organisations like it - we must defeat this ideology in all its forms..........
….......it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it. We know this world view.
The peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot or that the 7/7 London attacks were staged..........
We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism – not just violent extremism.
….............We must proscribe organisations that incite terrorism against people at home and abroad. We must work together to take down illegal online material............we must stop the so called non-violent extremists from inciting >hatred and intolerance in our schools, our universities and yes, even our prisons.
Of course there are some who will argue that this is not compatible with free speech and intellectual inquiry.
But I say: would we sit back and allow right-wing extremists, Nazis or Klu Klux Klansmen to recruit on our university campuses? No.
So we shouldn’t stand by and just allow any form of non-violent extremism.
….......we need the strongest possible international focus on tackling this ideology - which is why here at the United Nations, the United Kingdom is calling for a new Special Representative on extremism.
Indeed the British government have led the way on legislation to control and curtail ‘freedom of speech.’
For example the Public Order Act, makes it a criminal offence to use threatening or abusive language intended to cause “alarm or distress” to an individual or anybody else who hears it. It is also a criminal offence to use language, or publish written material, intended to incite “racial hatred”, “religious hatred” or “hatred” against individuals on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender etc. This is the ‘hate speech’ often referred to.
I don’t know about you, but I accept freedom of speech comes with certain responsibilities. Not only is it wrong but also justifiably illegal to encourage anyone to commit an act of violence.
However, the various laws in our alleged democracies which stop people from advocating violence predates so called ‘hate speech’ legislation. 'Hate speech' laws appear to be stopping people from sharing ideas. Perhaps these ideas are unacceptable to some. Perhaps they cause offence.
Nicolaus Copernicus held dangerous views which offended many. He was reviled in his lifetime for his heretical ideas. He advocated the heliocentric model of the Solar System. Had he lived today he would undoubtedly be accused of 'hate speech.'
I am not defending Bowers' alleged ideas, I find them as repugnant as the next man, but I am defending his right to freedom of speech. If we deny morons their freedom of speech we also deny it to people like Copernicus or perhaps Vitalik Buterin. You may scoff at that idea but logically that is where this censorship process is taking us.
An opportunity cost, if we value freedom of speech, is that any idiot, like me, can say any stupid thing they like. I can swear at people, call them names, tell others I hate them and even post offensive pictures of their godhead if I so choose. But providing I don’t encourage violence, groom children, share paedophilia images or prejudice a trial, I fail to see what possible reason there could be to censor me further.
To be found guilty of 'hate speech' in the UK, the court needs to show that you intended to cause harm. Defending an allegation of ‘intent’ is practically impossible because it is a thought. Consequently, you can be convicted of a criminal offence in the UK simply because someone else has decided they are either alarmed or distressed by something you say or write.
Therefore, it is an entirely a subjective matter for the complainant. As long as they can prove they were alarmed or distressed, which they can do by virtue of making the claim, and nothing more, you can not only be silenced but also convicted. It boils down to someone’s ‘opinion’ about whether or not something is hateful.
A ‘thought crime’ in other words.
But it doesn’t stop there. Libel laws, the law of contempt and other legal restrictions on court reporting, trespass, official secrets and anti-terrorism legislation, intellectual property laws, public order laws, intellectual property and patent law, privacy and data protection actions, anti-discrimination and obscenity laws and harassment all add to the suppression of free speech.
The MSM, in Robert Bowers case, have again associated extremist violence to freedom of speech. They are particularly keen to link it to social media, their natural competitor, and highlight the claimed connection so called ‘conspiracy theory.’ They rarely criticise the draconian laws of suppression that spring from their assertion that violence is a consequence of free speech.
There is no evidence at all to substantiate this opinion. Not a single scientific study has ever suggested this idea is true. Yet, for some reason, we appear to be basing our modern society upon this unproven, nonsensical idea.
The only time the MSM have raised strong dissenting voices was in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry which encouraged the British Government to propose Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. This would compel the MSM to pay the court costs for any libel action brought against them, no matter what the verdict. Rather than accept this particular totalitarian diktat they have instead signed up to the most stringent press regulations of any alleged democracy in the world.
This MSM’s enthusiasm for ending free speech seems somewhat at odds with the principles of a free and open ‘fourth estate’ and is contrary to press freedoms that allow them to hold power to account. It is almost as if the MSM is nothing more than a representative of the state, rather than its inquisitor. If so, it begs the question what purpose they serve other than the dissemination of official state propaganda.
The modern pejorative use of the term ‘conspiracy theory; was first devised by the CIA in 1964 in their service wide strategy document 1035-960 Countering Criticism of The Warren Commission Report. This laid out the strategies, still used by most people today, to illogically discredit anyone who presents evidence or hold opinions they don’t like the look of. Essentially just by labeling them ‘conspiracy theorists.’ The strength, or weakness, of the evidence is irrelevant. The purpose of the strategy is simply to discourage the masses from ever looking at that evidence. There good reason for the state to do this. So called 'conspiracy theory' is often well founded in empirical evidence and frequently exposes the crimes of the state. Of course they don't want you to look at it.
However the labeling of people serves another purpose for the state. By grouping people together into identified ‘collectives’ (progressive, alt right, left, right, conspiracy theorist and so on,) rather than deal with people as free thinking individuals the state can simply tar whole swaths of the population with the same brush and legislate against them accordingly. Unfortunately people do seem all too willing to affiliate themselves with one group or another and are highly susceptible to 'identity politics.'
Sadly, this makes them extremely easy to manipulate. They subscribe to a dogma, rather than think independently, and tend to hand over their self determination to the collective. Preferring to unquestionably 'follow' rather than assert their individual sovereignty. For those who manipulate them this has the added bonus of ensuring they spend most of their time arguing with each other. None who identify as right wing will accept anything said by those who identify as left wing, and vice versa. While they bicker over their chosen collective identities the people who created the divisions in the first place, the state for example, can get on with the business of ruling over them unhindered. It’s called divide and rule and it's the oldest political strategy on Earth.
This ‘labelling’ strategy is used to discredit any and all deemed to be ‘alt right.’ It doesn’t matter if they are law abiding citizens or even pacifists, once their opinions have been deemed to be ‘alt right’ or, even worse, ‘conspiracy theory’ they are all to be silenced because they are branded hate preachers, anti-Semites and potential, if not actual, terrorists.
However the MSM’s apparent eagerness to prosecute and pursue what they have decided is ‘hate speech’ seems to reach its zenith whenever they talk about social media. In Bowers case, the furor created has led to Gab having its server shut down and losing access to PayPal funding streams.
This reveals a conflict of interest within the MSM and the Silicon Valley tech giants for whom Gab presented an insignificant but growing threat. The MSM's continual attacks on social media are clearly influenced by the fact that they are losing money, and influence, to social media. Increasing numbers of people no longer get their news from them. This had a massive impact on their advertising revenues as advertisers turned to cost effective targeted advertising on social media, instead of the relatively expensive “scatter gun” approach offered by the MSM.
The same can be said for the Silicon Valley tech giants who have seen a recent exodus from their platforms as people seek spaces to openly share ideas without being censored.
However, those most concerned about people’s ability to freely share information are Governments and the deep state institutions that infest them. Government propaganda outlets, like the BBC and the Guardian, are leading the charge to turn any atrocity into a scathing attack on social media. For reasons we will discuss shortly, they appear to be particularly vexed by new independent social media platforms like Gab.
The deep state have long been involved with the tech giants. In-Q-Tel, the capital investment firm of the CIA, were the money behind Keyhole, who may be better known to you as Google Earth. Cloudera, a mass data storage and archiving service used by Facebook, receives In-Q-Tel funds. In-Q-Tel have also invested in data mining firms, like Dataminr, Geofeedia, PATHAR, and TransVoyant whose surveillance of Twitter and other social media platforms enable the deep state, such as the NSA in the U.S and GCHQ in the UK, to track everybody. The MSM reports on alleged data protection scandals involving Facebook, Twitter and so on are designed to make you believe you have some sort of privacy. the breaching of which is therefore a "scandal".
This is absurd bilge. The intelligence agencies track absolutely everything. Nothing you do online is private.
Perhaps it shouldn’t go unnoticed that Lifelog, the Defence Advanced Research Program Agency’s (DARPA) own social media project, stated its objective as:
…to be able to trace the life of an individual in terms of events, states, and relationships (and to) take in all of a subject's experience, from phone numbers dialed and e-mail messages viewed to every breath taken, step made and place gone.
Facebook, with links to Leader Technologies inc. and IBM technologies (both with connections to In-Q-tel) have seemingly achieved the aims of DARPA’s Lifelog. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that the first announcement that the Lifelog project was officially being wound down appeared on news site Wired on 4th February 2004, the same day that Zuckerberg’s Facebook platform launched. Personally I don't believe in such startling coincidences, especially given In-Q-Tel's intimate relationship with Silicon Valley.
Given the deep state’s longstanding partnership with the tech giants it is not unreasonable to consider that the intention was always to coral all online activity within just a few, major social media platforms. The threat of losing control over information flows has always been a concern for the deep state propagandists and the slave MSM who serve them.
So keeping us all on centrally controlled platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the other major social media platforms, is essential. Allowing independent free speech platforms like Gab to thrive simply isn't an option. By forcing us to use the controlled platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Google and Twitter we can be more easily monitored and dissenting voices marginalised more effectively through the use of ‘demonetisation’ and ‘shadow banning’ for example. Divide and rule continues unimpeded.
However, awareness of the inherent censorship capability built into these centrally controlled platforms has grown. More people are seeking decentralised, uncensored alternatives every day. This has encouraged the emergence of the new start up social media platforms such as Steemit, Minds and Gab. Each have their strengths and weaknesses but each are also reaching out to an ever increasing market of people who will no longer accept censorship and broadly oppose the limits being placed on their freedom of speech.
This freedom for the instant exchange of information presents an existential threat to those who wish to control what we say and think, including the mainstream media. The MSM are entirely compliant with censorship laws both because they are controlled by deep state actors who own them and because it’s in their own financial interests.
If you believe that Operation Mockingbird ended with the Church Committee you are mistaken. The name may have gone but principle of a controlled mainstream media remains. The MSM is full of deep state operatives to this day. Many in the West cast derision upon state controlled Russian media outlets. Perhaps some have felt some pity for the Russian people who have to put up with this censorship.
However Tass must look on the BBC and CNN with envy. Because, while the Russian people know much of their news is heavily controlled by the state (though less so today) he amazing trick of the Western MSM is that they have sold the people the lie that they have a free and open press. People in the West are far more likely to swallow the propaganda they are fed than your average Russian simply because most don't know it's propaganda.
For example, in 1995 the Sunday Telegraph's chief foreign correspondent Con Coughlin posted a story that Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif Gaddafi, was involved in a massive counterfeiting operation. Saif launched a libel action and the Telegraph were forced to acknowledge the story was completely fictitious. Con Coughlin divulged he had written the story on behalf of MI6, having met with then British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and MI6 operatives.
Coughlin also disclosed that he had been reporting MI6 supplied stories for years and had falsely attributed the stories to other sources to complete the deception. It was Con Coughlin who broke the 45-minute Iraqi WMD story in the UK which allowed Prime Minister Tony Blair to falsely claim legitimacy for an illegal war that killed millions.
I need to make it clear that I abhor violence. It is, and always has been, the language of the oppressor. The horrific slaughter at the Tree of Life Synagogue is an appalling act. If Bower is guilty of carrying it out, he should be tried and convicted to face the full penalty of the law. But blaming the actions of an individual on his social media activity and freedom of speech is utterly ridiculous.
The MSM and the state would have you believe that, without his ability to spread 'hate speech,' he wouldn't have allegedly decided to massacre people. So presumably massacres never happened prior to the advent of the Internet? The suggestion is totally preposterous and we must surely question the motives of any who attempt to make it.
If laws are passed to remove Bowers freedom of speech; if his access to platforms where he can exercise that freedom of speech are ‘taken down’ and if it becomes a crime for him to say something the state, or anyone else, doesn’t agree with, then we will all suffer the consequences. The law won't only apply to deranged nutters. It will apply to all of us.
Any crime investigation has to establish some basic facts in order to isolate suspects and proceed objectively. Generally these are evidence, opportunity and motive. Another way of looking at motive is to ask who stood to gain from the crime. We are told that Bowers rabid anti-Semitism drove him to commit this atrocity. Anyone labelled a 'conspiracy theorist' or 'alt-right' is also considered to be anti-Semitic. We are informed by the MSM, this highlights the problem with free speech, especially on social media.
The universal prevalence of this canard, across the mainstream media, shows they intend to hammer home the message. According to them, Bowers supposed actions were formulated because he could freely share his delusions with others. Therefore, in concert with our governments, calls are strengthening to take down ‘independent free speech social media’ and legislate the larger commercial platforms. This will force most people to either remain on, or return to, this centrally controlled form of social media. Which is precisely what the state desire.
Governments and the deep state which controls them, can’t simply ban free speech. This would almost certainly lead to revolution. They need a ‘reason’ to justify the continual creep of oppressive anti free speech legislation.
So who benefits from this terrible crime? Perhaps Bower carried it out as a result of his own warped political views but those who want to control our freedom of speech also stand to gain from his alleged actions. This is something which shouldn’t be easily dismissed by investigators. Though I wouldn't hold your breath.
The day of simple print media and centrally controlled TV and Radio broadcasting are over. But it is obvious that we are not going to be allowed to produce our own media, discuss evidence, say what we like or even think as we chose. We clearly face a struggle to assert our human right to freedom of speech. Often government will say they are protecting our human rights. They are not.
Our human rights aren't given to us by the government. We are born with them. The only power government has is to either respect or ignore them. In the case of censorship of freedom of speech they are most definitely ignoring them. Their claimed oversight of our human rights is abject drivel. They are not theirs to control.
For the first time in history we are close to achieving the ability to truly share information freely across the globe. The potential for the sharing of ideas in real time is beyond imagination. We each now have the ability to research whatever we like and make up our own minds. Scientists, engineers, philosophers and artists can collaborate on an unprecedented scale. But rather than celebrate this huge evolutionary leap forward, all we see, read and hear from the state is the rapid rollout of legislation and propaganda designed to stop us from doing it.
It is clear to anyone who spends more than a minute thinking about it, that the notion we live in a free and open democracy which cherishes free speech and freedom of expression is an absurdity. If you still cling to your belief that you live in a free and open democracy you haven’t been paying attention.
We are all falling under the yoke of global dictatorship and, unless we break free from the divide and rule paradigm and stop blaming each other for the ills of the world, we’ve got no chance.
Take it easy you hoopy froods.
~~~~~~~~ Follow & Debate Me On ~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Debate Me On ~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Recommended Websites ~~~~~~~~