Something very dangerous for free speech is happening. With the recent UK terror attacks and other events as justification, governments such as the UK and France are pushing a crackdown on internet freedom.
British PM Theresa May pushed for an international internet crackdown recently, then France followed suit.
France’s cooperation with internet censorship was recently reaffirmed. According to Theresa May’s spokesman:
“The counter-terrorism cooperation between British and French intelligence agencies is already strong, but President Macron and I agree that more should be done to tackle the terrorist threat online.”
Now, Google is not only announcing they will put more resources behind censoring “extremist content,” but they consider conspiracy theorists and others who aren’t advocating for violence worthy targets as well.
According to AP:
“Facebook and Google “have done little to counter the use of their platforms to spread hateful, false “information,” from conspiracy theories accusing various minority groups of plotting against America to websites promoting Holocaust denial and false “facts” about Islam, LGBT people, women, Mexicans and others, the organization [Southern Poverty Law Center] said in a report earlier this year.”
To make it stranger, they say artificial intelligence will do the job for them.
According to an Engadget article titled “Google bets AI and human oversight will curb online extremism”:
“To start, it’s pouring more energy into machine learning research that could improve its ability to automatically flag and remove terrorist videos while keeping innocently-posted clips (say, news reports) online. It’s also expanding its counter-radicalization system, which shows anti-extremist ads to would-be terrorist recruits.
It’s the stronger reliance on people that may matter the most, however. Google plans to “greatly increase” the number of humans in its YouTube Trusted Flagger program, improving the chances that it’ll catch terrorist material. It’s likewise working with anti-extremism groups to pinpoint recruiting-oriented content.
Google wants to tackle those YouTube videos that are borderline, too — if it spots videos with “inflammatory” religious or supremacist material, it’ll put those clips behind a warning and prevent them from getting ad revenue, comments or viewing recommendations. In theory, this strikes a balance between free speech and public safety.”
Anyone with a decent understanding of power should know that this isn’t about “online extremism.” It’s about the alternative media, the “conspiracy theorists” influencing cultures that are incompatible with the agenda of the powerstructure.
The question is, how can free thinkers respond? Free thinkers and alternative media outlets need support now more than ever. Only hardcore, persistent support can keep this culture alive, that we’ve barely started to create in this decade.
While things may seem bleak for free thinkers at times, we’ve definitely made progress: and we shouldn’t let this inevitable wave of censorship negate our progress.
For more info on this 21st Century-style silent censorship, this is an excellent video.