by Caitlin Johnstone
The elephant in the room with the ongoing controversy about the Biden administration’s push for more internet censorship is the fact that both the US government and the Silicon Valley tech companies who are being pushed to censor are acutely aware that those companies can be brought to their knees by antitrust cases and other regulation if they don’t censor people’s voices in accordance with the government’s wishes.
After Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted on Thursday that the administration has given Facebook a list of accounts to ban for spreading “misinformation” about the Cv vaccine, she has now doubled down saying that people who circulate such materials online should be banned from not just one but all social media platforms.
“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others for providing misinformation out there,” Psaki told the press on Friday.
When asked by the press for his thoughts on companies like Facebook, President Biden said the failure of those platforms to adequately censor posts about the vaccine makes them guilty of “killing people”.
When confronted about the extremely serious implications of a US presidential administration telling social media platforms who to censor, Psaki said the administration wasn’t censoring people but merely raising the issue with the tech companies.
“We don’t take anything down,” said Psaki. “We don’t block anything. Facebook and any private-sector company makes decisions about what information should be on their platform. Our point is that there is information that is leading to people not taking the vaccine, and people are dying as a result. And we have a responsibility, as a public health matter, to raise that issue.”
Psaki is not technically lying, but she isn’t telling the truth either. While it’s true that the Biden administration is not directly blocking or taking down social media posts, it is also making social media companies a Godfather-style offer they can’t refuse.
For years the US government has been making it abundantly clear to the giants of Silicon Valley that if they do not greatly escalate censorship of undesirable content per Washington’s instructions, there will be consequences.
The primary factor in determining what will happen in our world is not control of capital, nor control of government, nor control of resources, nor control of weapons, but control of narrative. All the others follow from narrative control. Control the narrative and you control where the weapons will go, where the capital will go, where the resources will go, what the government will do. Real power begins with narrative control. Understand this and you’ll understand why governments, plutocrats and media behave the way they do.
So while antitrust laws ostensibly exist to protect the citizenry from corporate power, here they are being leveraged to ensure the union of corporate power and state power. The carrot is billions of dollars, and the stick is the threat of painful government intervention.
Obviously the US government would prefer to simply have monopolistic corporations voluntarily censoring content in accordance with government interests, but for them the only thing worse than having no monopolistic companies serving the empire would be having monopolistic companies which refuse to serve the empire. So the threat being issued here is, “Censor the way we tell you to censor, or your company will be broken down and replaced with one that will.”