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Self-Censorship: Where The Real Damage Is Being Done

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“After my August Twitter suspension a #Resistance account publicly doxxed me, posting my home address, phone number and other information. I didn’t make a public ordeal out of it at the time because I obviously didn’t want to draw attention to it, but I did report it because I wanted it deleted. I was not expecting Twitter Support to reject my report, especially after they had me jump through a bunch of hoops to prove that I did in fact live where the doxxer was saying I lived, but they did.”

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(CJ Opinion) — I was going to write another article today about a different topic, but I backed down because I didn’t think I could deliver the kind of fiery, forceful, unmitigated argument it would need to be without risking getting banned from social media and blogging platforms.

The article I was planning on writing, which you’ll just have to imagine now, would have been titled “ ‘Assange Can Leave Whenever He Wants!’ No, Idiot, He Can’t.” The feature image was going to be a screen shot of a blue-checkmarked empire loyalist named Greg Olear tweeting the infuriatingly dopey argument that Assange is free to just waltz out the embassy doors whenever he wants, so therefore he isn’t actually being imprisoned by an Orwellian power establishment for publishing authentic documents about powerful people. Never mind the fact that you can say exactly the same thing about literally anyone under political asylum; they are all free to leave the political asylum they’ve been granted at any time, and pointing this out is just describing the thing that political asylum is. Never mind the fact that a UN panel ruled that Assange is being arbitrarily detained by the threat of imprisonment. Never mind that the same US government which tortured Chelsea Manning is currently openly pursuing Assange’s arrest because of his publications, making the assertion that he’s “free to leave” the same as saying he’s “free” to jump off a cliff. People don’t want to believe that their government imprisons journalists, so whenever Assange is in the news you see this argument making the rounds.

I’ve been self-censoring more and more lately, especially since the latest round of coordinated cross-platform silencing of multiple alternative media outlets the other day. Back in August I had my Twitter account temporarily deleted when I said the world will be better off without John McCain and a bunch of #Resistance accounts mass reported me; Twitter cited “abusive behavior” as its justification. The only reason my account was restored was because there was a large objection from many high-profile journalists and activists who understand the dangers of internet censorship, and I’m not willing to gamble that I’d get that lucky should something similar happen again. Being able to disrupt establishment narratives on a high-traffic website like Twitter outweighs the benefits of speaking in an unmitigated way.

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Please call Congress and tell your lawmakers to overturn the FCC and restore net neutrality:

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Thank you for supporting net neutrality –

Please call Congress and tell your lawmakers to overturn the FCC and restore net neutrality:

Call: 858-264-0403

We’ll connect you to your lawmakers. You can use this script — just introduce yourself, be polite, and say:

“I support Title Two net neutrality and I urge you to sign the discharge petition and vote for the Congressional Review Act ‘resolution of disapproval’ to restore net neutrality.”

Thank you!
-The StopTheFCC Coalition

Internet Sales Tax Bill

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strip bannerInternet Sales Tax Bill

Invoice# 7463
Dear Internet User,

The Federal Government has calculated the sales tax owed on your internet purchases for 2013. More

Urgent! Congress moving to kill net neutrality

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 Fight For The Future

The Internet rose up and we are closer than ever to winning net neutrality, but now Congress is trying to kill it.

Click here to call congress and the FCC!

Today, the House and Senate are holding hearings to hijack the FCC’s debate on whether to save net neutrality or let ISPs create Internet slow lanes. The Chairmen of the committees, who receive large contributions from the cable industry, want to pass legislation (called the Thune/Upton proposal) to derail the FCC’s net neutrality efforts. This is happening today, tell them to stop now.

The House and Senate hearings on the Congressional plan to destroy net neutrality will be held at 10AM EST and 2:30PM EST respectively. Stay tuned on this page to watch the livestreams below.

Google Seeks to Weaken Search Engine Ranking of “Content Farming” Websites

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

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Alternative news sites beware, Google is changing their algorithm to reduce your status to a spammer in an attempt to control the flow of information on the Internet.
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Eric Blair 
Activist Post

Google has announced that it is fixing flaws in its algorithm that allows search results to be spammed, while also planning to weaken the search-ability of websites referred to as “content farms.”  Matt Cutts, head of Google’s anti-spam team, writes:

As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content. (my emphasis)

The only clear reference from Google about problems occurring from “content farms” in regards to spamming search results is from China: “Last year Google faced a rash of webspam on Chinese domains in our index. Some spammers were purchasing large amounts of cheap .cn domains and stuffing them with misspellings and porn phrases.”  They claim this scheme led to “irrelevant” search results.

Yet, their goal seems to be to weaken what has been referred to as “news aggregating” websites as “one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” This clearly describes many sites that present alternative news. However, plenty of alternative news sites and blogs have original material which they freely share, in part or in full, purely to support one another in disseminating the truth. This is of key importance to spread information in the absence of government or foundation funding, as enjoyed by much of the mainstream media. It is also a counter to censorship, so that a free market of ideas can flourish where people can investigate facts for themselves, rather than have opinions dictated from a limited number of sources. Continue Reading

FCC passed new rules — written by corporations — that will end Net Neutrality

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BREAKING: Minutes ago, the FCC passed new rules — written by corporations — that will end Net Neutrality.
For the first time in history, the U.S. government approved corporate censorship of the Internet, putting the future of online free speech at risk. Unbelievably, the person leading the charge was Obama appointee Julius Genachowski.
This violates President Obama’s campaign promise to protect Net Neutrality, but some media are reporting the corporate spin that this is a “Net Neutrality compromise.” It’s not — there’s no such thing as half a First Amendment. We need to set the record straight.
If you’re on Facebook, click here to spread the word.
By sharing, you can help us spread the top 3 reasons the rules passed today are a giveaway to big corporations and break Obama’s promise:
  1. They enshrine different rules for wired and wireless Internet — allowing big corporations to censor on your mobile phone
  2. They allow corporations to set up tollbooths online, stifling new innovators like the next YouTube who can’t pay the fees the old, crusty corporations can pay
  3. For the first time, they embrace a “public Internet” for regular people vs. a “private Internet” with all the new innovations for corporations who pay more — ending the Internet as we know it
A more detailed explanation is here. Please pass this email to your friends so they know not to believe the corporate spin.
Thanks for being a bold progressive,
Jason Rosenbaum, Adam Green, Stephanie Taylor, and the PCCC team

Death of Free Internet is Imminent: Canada Will Be Test Case

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Live Link: The National Expositor

Kevin Parkinson on 22 July, 2008 11:10:21

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Reality Check – In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet.

The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community. The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet.

And mostly, it’s good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved. However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don’t count. More

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