People Need to Reclaim the Internet 403

No matter how much you dislike Trump, only a fool can fail to see the implications for public access to information of the massive suppression on the internet of the Hunter Biden leaks.

This blog has been suffering a ratcheting of social media suppression for years, which reached its apogee in my coverage of the Julian Assange trial. As I reported on 24 September:

Even my blog has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister – people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.

It was not just me: everyone reporting the Assange trial on social media suffered the same effect. Wikileaks, which has 5.6 million Twitter followers, were obtaining about the same number of Twitter “impressions” of their tweets (ie number who saw them) as I was. I spoke with several of the major US independent news sites and they all reported the same.

I have written before about the great danger to internet freedom from the fact that a few massively dominant social media corporations – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – have become in effect the “gatekeepers” to internet traffic. In the Assange hearing and Hunter Biden cases we see perhaps the first overt use of that coordinated power to control public information worldwide.

The way the power of the “gatekeepers” is used normally is insidious. It is quite deliberately disguised. “Shadow banning” is a term for a technique which has many variations. The net result is always that the post is not ostensibly banned. Some people see it, so that if the subject of the suppression claims to be banned they look stupid. But it is in fact shown to far, far less people than it would normally be. So even members of my own immediate family find that my posts no longer turn up in their timeline on either Facebook or Twitter. But a few followers, presumably at random, do see them. Generally, though not always, those followers are apparently able to retweet or share, but what they are not told is that their retweet or share is in fact put in to very, very few people’s timelines. The overall audience for the Tweet or Facebook post is cut to as little as 1% of what it might be without suppression. As 90% of the traffic to this blog comes in clicks from these social media posts, the effect is massive.

That was the technique used on the Assange hearing. In normal times, the ratchet on traffic can be screwed down or released a little, from week to week or post to post.

In the Hunter Biden case, social media went still further and without disguise simply banned all mention of the Hunter Biden leaks.

As I reported on September 27 last year:

What I find deeply reprehensible in all the BBC coverage is their failure to report the facts of the case, and their utter lack of curiosity about why Joe Biden’s son Hunter was paid $60,000 a month by Burisma, Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer, as an entirely absent non-executive director, when he had no relevant experience in Ukraine or gas, and very little business experience, having just been dishonorably discharged from the Navy Reserve for use of crack cocaine? Is that question not just a little bit interesting? That may be the thin end of it – in 2014-15 Hunter Biden received US $850,000 from the intermediary company channeling the payments. In reporting on Trump being potentially impeached for asking about it, might you not expect some analysis – or at least mention – of what he was asking about?

That Hunter Biden received so much money from a company he never once visited or did any legitimate work for, located in a country which remarkably at the same time launched into a US sponsored civil war while his father was Vice President, is a question which might reasonably interest people. This is not “fake news”. There is no doubt whatsoever of the facts. There
is also no doubt that, as Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden secured the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma for corruption.

The story now is that Hunter Biden abandoned a laptop in a repair shop, and the hard drive contained emails between Hunter and Burisma in which he was asked for, and promised, various assistance to the company from the Vice President. This hard drive was passed to the New York Post. What the emails do not include is any incriminating correspondence between Hunter and his father in which Joe Biden agrees to any of this – which speaks to their authenticity, as that would be the key thing to forge. Given that the hard drive also contains intimate photos and video, there does not seem to be any real doubt about its authenticity.

However both Facebook and Twitter slapped an immediate and total ban on all mention of the Hunter Biden emails, claiming doubts as to its authenticity and an astonishing claim that they never link to leaked material or information about leaked material.

Alert readers will note that this policy was not applied to Donald Trump’s tax returns. These were extremely widely publicised throughout social and mainstream media – and quite right too – despite being illegally leaked. Twitter may be attempting to draw a distinction between a “hack” and a “leak”. This is difficult to do – the Clinton and Podesta emails, for example, were leaked but are frequently claimed to have been hacked.

I am astonished by the online comment of people who consider themselves “liberals” who support the social media suppression of the Hunter Biden story, because they want Trump to be defeated. The truth is that those in control of social media censorship are overwhelmingly Atlanticist figures on the Clinton/Blair political spectrum. That embraces the roles of Nick Clegg and Ben Nimmo at Facebook. It explains the protective attitude of Blairite Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales (also a director of Guardian Media Group) toward the Philip Cross operation.

Censorship from the self-satisfied centre of the political establishment is still more dangerous, because more stable, than censorship from the left or right. It seeks rigorously to enforce the “Overton window” on social media. It has a “whatever it takes” attitude to getting Joe Biden into the White House and removing a maverick element from the political stability it so prizes. Its hatred of public knowledge is behind the persecution of Assange.

The Establishment’s problem is that inequalities of wealth are now so extreme in Western society, that the attempted removal of access by the public to radical thinking is not protecting a stable society, but is protecting a society tilting towards structural instability, in which the lack of job security and decent conditions and pay for large swathes of the population contrasts vividly with the spectacularly flourishing fortunes of the ultra billionaires. Our society desperately needs thinking outside the box into which the social media gatekeepers are attempting to confine us.

An early part of that thinking out of the box needs to relate to internet architecture and finding a way that the social media gatekeepers can be bypassed – not by a few activists, but by the bulk of the population. We used to say the internet will always find a work-around, and there are optimists who believe that the kind of censorship we saw over Hunter Biden will lead to a flight to alternative platforms, but I don’t see that happening on the scale required. Regulation to prevent censorship is improbable – governments are much more interested in regulation to impose more censorship.

The development of social media gatekeeping of internet traffic is one of the key socio-political issues of our time. We need the original founders of the internet to get together with figures like Richard Stallman and – vitally – Julian Assange – to find a way we break free from this. Ten years ago I would not have thought it a danger that the internet would become a method of political control, not of political freedom. I now worry it is too late to avert the danger.

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403 thoughts on “People Need to Reclaim the Internet

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  • Skip_NC

    Just a small point, but we do not know whether some or all of the Trump tax returns were obtained illegally, because we do not know for sure who delivered them to the NYT. If it was the signing preparer, their employees or a non-employee engaged to prepare or consult on a substantial element on any of the returns, there was almost certainly a violation of 26 USC 7216, punishable by up to one year in federal prison. However, I can think of possibilities which make the release legal, especially with the entity returns. Not usually advisable, but certainly legal.

    The consensus on tax professional discussion boards I habitually visit is that it was probably not anyone at Mazars.

  • al bolger

    in response to the NYT Biden blackout,to quote George Galloway,
    should Trump gain the second term,he will extract a terrible price on these so called social media giants.
    end quote.
    Social media giants that are quite clearly by now in the year 2020 intelligence assets,as the BBC is an Intelligence asset.

    • lysias

      So those social media giants will do everything they can to prevent Trump’s re-election.

      • philipat

        Which is not democracy. The correct way to counter an argument or proposition with which you do not agree is to come up with a superior counter-argument or proposition – not to delete it.
        I regard myself as a political centrist and neither a “Liberal” nor a “Noe-Liberal” but the issue is not one of political labels but one of free speech, which is already under threat in so many ways in our so-called “Western Liberal Democracies”.

  • laguerre

    It always seemed to me that Biden and Trump were nearly as bad as one another. It is only a question of whether you prefer establishment-style corruption (Biden), or wild, crazy, corruption, encouraging armed militias on the streets. Government in the US has always been in the pockets of the wealthy corporations.

    With regard to the internet, since Berners-Lee and the WWW, basic access to the internet has been uncontrolled, and still is – this site is the witness. It wasn’t so before. Nobody is obliged to use Facebook or Twitter. It’s when email or websites begin to be controlled (not impossible) that we’ll be in danger – that happens in some countries.

      • laguerre

        Oh really? Somehow that news hasn’t reached Europe. That guy in Wisconsin who shot two dead, and was allowed to depart by the cops, wasn’t a democrat.

        • lysias

          “That guy in Wisconsin,” as you call him, was being attacked by an Antifa mob, and only shot in self-defense. All three men that he shot had criminal records. The first man that he killed had served years in prison for raping five boys aged 9 to 11.

          • laguerre

            The antifa mob, as you call them, weren’t armed. He didn’t have to shoot. Any reasonable person would not have. I always thought you were a reasonable thinker. This gives me doubts.

          • pretzelattack

            that murderer in wisconsin was encouraged to go out in the streets, and you don’t get to murder people who have committed crimes in the past, as you well know, so the only reason you are bringing that up is to justify murder on some kind of moral, not legal basis. and links to these purported crimes are needed these days, given that every single victim of cop violence is smeared; one of the more recent examples is a slight woman journalist with a clearly displayed press badge; at first they claimed she was somehow at fault.

          • Andrew Ingram

            Now you are lying. That manboy went out armed to kill. He was attacked after shooting someone.

          • lysias

            Too many people, it would seem, have swallowed the mainstream media’s account of what happened in Kenosha. They have apparently failed to learn that the business of the mainstream media is to lie. Even though the present thread is another spectacular example of their mendacity.

          • CasualObserver

            Democrats ‘I see no Ships’ moment ?

            The Rittenhouse case has been publicly documented with extensive video to the extent that he was shown to be in very real danger of death or disablement before he discharged the first round. It would be as well to remember that of the 3 shot, one was attempting to brain Rittenhouse with a skateboard, whilst another actually had a drawn pistol that he was unable to release when a shot took away best part of his elbow. The first guy shot and killed was charging Rittenhouse down whilst another was firing a pistol from behind. Oh yes, and All 3 victims had felony records ranging from child molestation, to ‘Domestic Violence’, what we used to call beating up the Mrs and kids.

          • Laguerre

            Personally I rely on videos for my understanding or events, not on what people say. The guy in Kenosha was waving around a semi-automatic in an aggressive fashion, not surprising people reacted badly. He didn’t have to shoot to kill. I am equally unsurprised that the Right have rushed to his defence, and come up with long strings of arguments, as FWB claims below. A very-well resourced defence. Late published videos are frequently fake, early published ones have a better chance of being genuine. Videos of antifa people doing the same haven’t reached this side of the pond very much; they’re obviously reserved for a US audience only.

          • Stewart

            @Laguerre 19:59 “The antifa mob… weren’t armed”

            @Laguerre 05:33 “The guy in Kenosha was waving around a semi-automatic in an aggressive fashion”

            The antifa mob were armed with petrol and acid bombs, wooden and steel bars, skateboards and hand guns. They were setting fire to people’s businesses and property and assaulting anyone who tried to stop them. In no way was it a “peaceful” or “lawful” protest.

            The guy in kenosha was a 17 year old aspiring police officer who went to help the law-abiding residents of kenosha protect their property from the “mob”. Far from waving his rifle around aggressively, just prior to the first shooting incident he was in fact wielding a fire extinguisher, putting out a large wheelie bin fire that the rioters had lit at a petrol station.
            There is clear video evidence that he was shot at before he returned fire in the first instance.
            He was retreating when he was attacked again, at least one of the attackers had a hand gun.
            He immediately surrendered himself to the police after the incident.
            The fact is that ALL THREE of the antifa “protesters” he shot were convicted criminals of the very worst kind – while this, in itself, of course does not justify them being shot, it speaks volumes about the type of people involved in these “protests”.
            I would recommend reading about the original Antifaschistische Aktion in the Weimar Republic – they were instrumental in turning people away from moderate socialism and towards the Nazis.
            Just because the facts are unpalatable to you, doesn’t make them any less true.

          • pretzelattack

            what the f was he doing out on the street in the first place. he was purportedly “protecting property”, but he was far from the property he was supposedly protecting. this right wing campaign to smear rittenhouse’s victims and justify murder is consistent with every other smear campaing. george floyd, (dead man walking what a f.n joke), trayvon martin, the kid in cleveland, over and over and over bootlickers rush to defend murdering cops, not to mention all the garden variety head busting. whether it’s kneeling on a guy’s neck for 8 minutes, shooting a 12 year old with a toy gun, or posting fake picture the right wing is always ready to polish the boots.

          • Stewart

            @pretzelattack 12:04
            Oh please. I’m a firefighter in Herefordshire and I know all our local police – ordinary men and women doing a sometimes extraordinarily difficult job; definitely not murderous agents of the deep state. I’m sure that the local kenosha police are exactly the same. Do you have to deal with sociopaths/drug addicts/drunk, violent and mentally ill people in the course of your working day?
            “right wing campaign to smear rittenhouse’s victims”
            Rittenhouse’s victims had already smeared themselves – see FairiesWearBoots’s comment below
            Among the antifa mob causing chaos in kenosha were criminals bussed in from out of state (paid for by whom?) and, far from fighting “oppression”, were attacking the homes, property and persons of ordinary people. I wonder if you would be quite so supportive of their actions if it was YOUR house or family they were threatening?
            ” the right wing is always ready to polish the boots”
            The left/right dichotomy is meaningless – the true divide is top / bottom or billionaires/everyone else. They set us against each other so that we don’t turn on them. Seriously, ask yourself has communism been a force for good in the world, any more than capitalism? The political debate. and political thinking in general, needs to move beyond this binary nonsense.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            This antifa thing does seam to resemble the color revolution thing. I’m not suprised at the idea of violent people being bussed in.
            Did you know BLM recieve funding from the Ford Foundation? The purpose of it all is not clear but it is standard operating procedure to antagonise both sides.

          • Natasha

            October 20, 2020 at 13:51
            @pretzelattack 12:04
            “Do you have to deal with sociopaths/drug addicts/drunk, violent and mentally ill people in the course of your working day?”

            Yes. They are called politicians.

          • pretzelattack

            hey stewart, this isn’t herefordshire. who you know in herefordshire has nothing to do with what the jackbooted government thugs, and their civilian helpers like rittenhouse, were doing. no the protestors aren’t busing in criminals, or whatever addled right wing propaganda you have fallen for. same playbook as iraq, same playbook as syria, smear the people that are getting murdered as “terrorists” or “criminals” to justify violence by the united states government. and it’s often people who fought those wars, who kneeled on iraqi necks or afghani necks, who come home and get jobs in the domestic branch of government thug incorporated, kneeling on american necks.

          • Jonathan

            Stewart, what does that gob of treacle about your local police have to do with the IDF-trained American police forces? Nothing.

            No state system has ever been a force for good in the world. And you presume to call others out for binary thinking?

            Authoritarianism is still a mental illness.

        • FairiesWearBoots

          Firstly, the George Floyd “incident” that set off the latest round of “mostly peaceful” protests (×570.png)? Turns out he was a dead man walking, as p.2 of his autopsy confirms ( The average death dose of fentanyl is 9.96ng/mL – he had 11ng/mL, plus another 5.6ng/mL of norfentanyl and quantities of multiple other drugs. Allied with the other health conditions cited, it is no wonder that he “couldn’t breath” long before being taken to the ground, but why let facts get in the way of a good excuse for a riot (and subsequent apologist rationalisations).

          Secondly, the Kinosha shootings.

          Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer (the same Lin Wood who has, so far, made CNN and the Washington Post pay for lying about the Covington High School “incident” in Washington DC – the Guardian is c.5th on the list!) has released a video ( which shows the events as they truly unfolded.

          The first man who shot has been identified as Joshua Ziminski (

          The first individual shot by KR following this initial shot was Joseph Rosenbaum ( He can be seen earlier “asking to be shot”: Documents obtained from Pima County (Arizona) Clerk of Courts confirm Rosenbaum was charged by a grand jury with 11 counts of child molestation and inappropriate sexual activity with children, including anal rape. The victims were five boys ranging in age from nine to 11 years old. He was convicted of two amended counts as part of a plea deal.

          The second individual shot by KR, Anthony Huber (, hit him over the head with a skateboard and attempted to grab his rifle ( and He also had an “interesting” rap sheet ( and and was ordered not to possess weapons.

          The third individual shot by KR, Gaige Grosskreutz (, had the intention of shooting KR (pretends to be peaceful –, shot and still holding gun – There is an intermediate photo showing the muzzle of the Glock right against KR’s temple, but it seems to have been removed from the Internet!. He also had a rap sheet (burglary). According to his friend, Jacob Marshall, GG’s “only regret was not killing the kid and hesitating to pull the gun before emptying the entire mag into him.”

          All solid citizens “peacefully” rioting and burning to make everyone more equal.

          • giyane

            Fairies wear boots

            I imagine people on parole are pretty much owned by the state if or even if they don’t infringe their licence.
            You either work for us or you go back to jail. Therefore the fact that people with criminal records get to work for Trump is more to do with the criminality of the state, and that of the potus.

            Most of Daesh were in the same boat.

          • Stewart

            Excellent summaries – and fair play to Craig as well for even mentioning the Biden crime family.
            I fear that most of the commentators on this blog, however, are impervious to any facts which seem to contradict the “left = good, right = bad” narrative. See giyane (antifa work for Trump) or Carolyn Zaremba (only police and ultra-right are violent) immediately below for some good examples.

          • laguerre

            All the massive number of right-wing commenters on this blog are obviously invisible to you, though well-known to everyone else. Perhaps you don’t come much, but are still ready to characterise based on a gross generalisation.

          • Fredi

            Indeed FairiesWearBoots , ‘left wing liberals’ are immune to facts, tedious virtue signalers always are.

          • Susan

            It’s a bit confusing to know where the ideas swirling about you align with what you said at 13.51. But, regardless, your comment is spot on:

            “The left/right dichotomy is meaningless – the true divide is top / bottom or billionaires/everyone else. They set us against each other so that we don’t turn on them. The political debate. and political thinking in general, needs to move beyond this binary nonsense.”

            As evidenced by the responses to this post, the deep state must be rolling about laughing seeing how they have set us against each other.

          • Jay

            Yeah, the policies put forward by Corbyn are just the same as those of the Tories. The two sides in Bolivia, the same. Sadly only the great seers like yourself and Stewart can recognise it.

      • Carolyn Zaremba

        Bullshit. The legitimate protesters are nonviolent. It is the police and the ultra right-wingers who are the violent ones.

          • pretzelattack

            philipat the vast majority of protestors are nonviolent. the protests turn violent if the cops, as per usual, get off, reassigned to some desk job etc.

          • philipat

            Sorry but that just isn’t what any impartial person would conclude by viewing a broad range of footage on the internet. There is also the matter of buses bringing ANTIFA and BLM “peaceful protesters” from out of town and the pallates of bricks which just magically turn up at the “peaceful demonstrations”. All paid for, reportedly, by Soros-linked organisations.
            The people of Portland and Seattle have had enough and are now begging their elected officials for Police to restore law and order.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Perhaps the peacefull protesters are being infiltrated by paid and trained thugs, unknown to most of the protest organisers except for a select few.

      • al bolger

        ive heard it said control 5G and control the world,
        this goes some to explain the US distaste at Huawei`s progress

        • al bolger

          the official line is if the Chinese state request the help off of any Chinese company then they are obliged to assist.
          In regard to spying for the Chinese state then we see the issue.
          But we are also obliged to consider that this does not or can not happen in the west.
          And im a Dutchman.
          Or for international readers,
          Complete and utter bollocks if you think that the big social media players stateside do not help the US intelligence agencies

          • laguerre

            Frankly, all countries intervene, to the extent that they can. With the way that Berners-Lee and his associates set up the WWW, it is quite difficult to prevent uncontrolled communication, and subtle methods have to used. If you really want to prevent communication, you have to cut the internet, as the Indians did recently in Kashmir.

          • giyane

            Al bolger

            As you say, the British and Chinese states are joined at the wrist fingers in gloves working together on 24/7 surveillance. The only tiny difference is that China deems it more effective to tell people and Britain prefers to lie.

            If the state wishes to smell my dirty underwear they’d better be providing the free laundry too.

            Is that why Britain lies, to save having to provide anything any more. Universal Credit is only given to obedient slaves?

            The Huawei tripe mostly emanates from Ian Duncan Scourgethepoor.

            Just as HMG deny the danger of broadband radiation they also deny the psychological damage to our minds of being lied to and spied on all the time. It incapacitates only those who exercise freedom of thought.

            As indeed intended by the arseholes in power.

          • Steve Hayes

            Spying via Huawei equipment in the West isn’t really credible. It would either have to copy all the data passing through it to China or have chunks of software and control channels from China telling it what to copy. Either could be easily spotted by monitoring volumes of data and the second by that centre in Banbury that checks the Huawei software. Now we can’t rule out the risk of a kill switch which could perhaps be even more dangerous but, as the owner of a cheap and very good Huawei phone, I reckon the motive is almost certainly to try to nobble a formidable Chinese competitor. Unlikely to work for long. China is a huge domestic market and Huawei, with help from the state, will design out all Western technology and become even more formidable in a few years time.

  • Pumpkin Face

    I think the only solution will be for some brave hacktivists to destroy the functionality of these websites. There doesn’t seem to be any legal or political redress. Then again I know nothing about coding or how the internet works. Maybe it’s impossible. In which case, well, perhaps disrupting waterflow to their servers or some other physical but non-violent method of disruption, preferably legally of course. Train squirrels or crows to bite cables or fry themselves between transformers, then let them loose at Google HQ or wherever. That might be legal? Not ethical though to the critters.

    • bj

      Some time ago, the squirrels (it is rumored) decided that you and me are the ethical way to combat Google’s influence over Earth’s matters. We are toast — the squirrels get to live another day.

    • Lima

      There’s no political or legal redress because nothing bad is happening. They’re private organizations. They can do whatever they want. Don’t like it don’t use it. There’s other websites you know. You’re on one right now.

      • Pumpkin Face

        Uh, they’re “private organizations” who were called before the US Congress and ordered to behave in a certain manner; and who employ “fact-checkers” which are funded by several governments including the US; and who have billion dollar contracts with the US government.

        Weird how my local paint store wasn’t called before Congress and ordered to run their store in a certain way. And I haven’t been to my local gym lately, but it’s odd that they didn’t have contracts with NATO and US funded “fact-checkers”. And I think my local plumber doesn’t even have any high-level employees who were former high-level members of the US, Israeli, and other governments. How very odd!

  • Gerry Hatric Unthink

    What has happened to Craig Murray? It’s really weird to witness this bizarre froth mouthed rant. I’m a socialist, with little interest in Biden, Trump or rich folk in general and I’m telling you Craig has lost his mind. Why is he so perturbed about Hunter Biden? And why lie about what happened? The prosecutor was sacked precisely for not moving ahead with a prosecution against Burisma. How exactly is the prosecutor’s sacking helpful to the company? Now obviously Burisma were trying to influence Joe Biden by hiring his son, and as such they may be said to have been acting improperly, but this has nothing to do with Joe Biden. Just for the record, a Biden administration is a massive disaster from my point of view. I have no love for him. It’s just odd to read Craig’s stuff and witness him sliding deeper and deeper into insanity. And what’s with the paranoia about Google and Facebook, even poor old instagram are getting it from him. He’ll be telling us about bugs in his teeth next. He reminds me of the guy that stoats about Paisley town centre bawling at folk. You never know, maybe I’m in with the lizard people and out to get him too. Mwa ha ha ha!

    Oh well it’s off my chest now. Enjoy your dementia.

      • Fredi

        A socialist who leaps to defend US imperialists and corporations.

        You must mean Tony Bliar, did you vote for him in 93 Jay?

    • bj

      Forget your chest — here’s something for your head: Joe Biden was bag^H^H^H point man for The Ukraine.

      • laguerre

        As I mentioned earlier, it’s a choice between establishment corruption and armed militias on the street corruption. There isn’t a third choice on the ballot papers. As a member of a third country who will suffer from the US choice, I think I would prefer predictable US decisions, especially now as the US is in decline, and less likely to inflict new wars on us.

        • Yalt

          Depends on where you live; my ballot papers had a third (Green) and fourth (Libertarian) choice.

          • pretzelattack

            yeah but you and i both know they won’t put a dent in the parties. the game is rigged against parties that aren’t in on the big con.

        • Jonathan

          It’s paralipsis, a 1970s rendering of bleeding modern technology the strike-through tag. When I was a boy, there were two different command codes that computers’ line editors commonly interpreted to undo the character just entered. Imagine the original author was sending Backspace commands to edit their text, to a server expecting Delete which would dutifully regard the backspace as a legitimate character code, part of the text to be entered… but the edit, when displayed by the recipient’s terminal, was “helpfully” converted to the original text and printable ^H digraphs. Yes, that was a real issue, decades ago.

    • Ken Kenn

      It was the Obama Biden team that invented caging Mexican kids at the border.

      Obama and Biden took the US from involvement in two wars (bad enough ) to being involved in seven wars.

      Obama and Biden ( particularly Biden ) who wrote the Prison acts where black people in particular were banged up for being in possession of pot and ended up working for private companies as the much vaunted Constitution says that once you are in prison you are a slave.

      They also repealed the Glass – Stegal Act to allow Wall Street to smash up the US and the Western World’s economies with the Financial Crash.

      There are many more.

      I am a real socialist, with little interest in Biden, Trump or rich folk in general or in the idiocies you may or may not be being paid to say.

      No Socialist would trot out ( no pun intended ) a pile of uninformed nonsense that you and/or CCHQ have written or had written for you.

      Not even Matt hancock.

      I don’t like fake lefties and can spot them a mile off – I claim my fiver.

    • Susan

      “No matter how much you dislike Trump, only a fool can fail to see the implications for public access to information of the massive suppression on the internet of the Hunter Biden leaks.”

    • Tatyana

      What the hell do you mean by the line “The prosecutor was sacked precisely for not moving ahead with a prosecution against Burisma” ???

      Do you try to tell there was nothing personal in that Biden’s decision???
      That’s how Biden commented on the “sacking”

      The ukrainian prosecutor name is Shokin, it was him together with Lutsenko, who provided compromat on Biden to Rudy Giuliani.

      • Milan G.

        [ Mod: Habbabkuk ]

        Although she’s too coy to say so, Tat wants to contribute to the re-election of The Donald.

        Just like President Putin.

        • Tatyana

          oh, come on! I’m just tired of the US politicians blaming their farts on Russia.
          The last one who messed up and eventually pleaded guilty was Clinton with Lewinsky affair. Although, he might have said that the Russians hacked his …. ummm … I meant to say “brains”, but it seems that this word is not very suitable

          • Marius Hauge

            Pretty clear that Milan G. was primarily talking about your posts, which attempt to undermine Biden and therefore are supportive of Trum^p.

            But you’re wasting your efforts, Tatyana, because 99% of readers are not US electors.

          • Ingwe

            Tatyana-you remember the Clinton joke at the time:

            Q: Did you have sex with Monica Lewinsky? A:No!

            Q: Did you buy gifts for Monica Lewinsky? A: Well, I may have splashed out on a little frock.

            Lots of UK and most of the US commentators will try to link anything bad, anywhere in the world on Russia and, in particular, Putin. It’s part of a self-delusion, necessary after getting a glimpse of the darkness of their souls.

          • Tatyana

            Marius Hauge
            “attempt to undermine Biden and therefore are supportive of Trum^p” ??? Oh My God!

            I’m russian, why on earth would I be supportive of Trump ??? Does he do anythyng good for Russia??? Why people are convinced that Trump is anyhow of use for Russia? What, can you please tell me, what exactly makes you think that Trump is good for Russia?
            Does he facilitate anything for Russia? Trade? Military alliance? What?
            Even if he did, then how could I be supportive of him, when I’m not a US voter? How, eh? Going into the street of a russian city with pro-Trump slogans, or what? Who cares of my personal opinion and why on earth is speaking it out might somehow influence the US politicians?

            As to Biden, my primary comment referred to the line ““The prosecutor was sacked precisely for not moving ahead with a prosecution against Burisma”
            That is a lie.
            Prosecutor Shokin started investigation in 2015, then he was advised to stop digging into the case by Geoffrey Pyatt, and in 2016 Biden demanded to throw Shokin out. After Shokin was dissmissed the investigation never started again.

            Is there in this story anything proving that Shokin was dissmissed “for not moving ahead” ???
            Why is it “undermining” Biden? Biden should stop undermining himself with his own actions.

            Learn russian, perhaps soon you’ll want to know the facts from Wiki, that were not “edited” by Philip Cross 🙂

          • Jonathan

            No, Marius, actually, they undermine bourgeois republican rule as a whole. Those whose predatory beliefs and acts can be justified and sustained only under bourgeois republican rule are understandably very eager to make everything about themselves, and so clearly it is with the two-party system and those who would advocate for it.

          • Milan G.

            [ Mod: Habbabkuk ]

            “I’m russian, why on earth would I be supportive of Trump ???”

            Good question, Tat. Why is President Putin supportive of Trump?

    • Nullis

      The trick that Gerry is exposing, is that the spin message has become “there was nothing happening against Burisma” as if that was the target. The actual people looking for influence and protection were the owners Zlochevsky and tentatively Kolomoisky. Burisma was a vehicle to get that influence. Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank was credibly accused of appropriating $5bn from the IMF in Ukraine, and has links to the syphoning of IMF money from Moldova. The Oligarchs and financiers – Russian, Ukrainian, Kazakhstani, British, Arabian etc – are used to buying and using political influence in multiple forms, from funding foundations to direct help where needed.

  • Fred

    I respect so much of what you write but not the Hunter Biden story which is just baseless propaganda. This is why much of the MSM have decided they have had enough of this Guiliani/Russian disinfo.

    Hey, I still love most of what you say just not this nonsense.

      • Fred

        What do you mean “line-toeing”? I gave two web links that explained the history of Ukraine corruption, that Hunter Biden had nothing to do with any of it, and that the people promoting this nonsense were all tied to US hard Right figures including Rudolph Guiliani.

        The only “grand conspiracy” here is being run out of the Republican camp and the MSM generally have had a gut full of their blatant manufactured BS. (They don’t need to check with each other or take orders from a pizza basement or Deep State.) Here’s a detailed rebuttal of the latest laptop garbage:

        • Stonky

          “The only “grand conspiracy” here is being run out of the Republican camp and the MSM generally have had a gut full of their blatant manufactured BS…”

          I actually thought “Russiagate” was a grand conspiracy on steroids. I’m grateful to you for setting me right on that one. “The only grand conspiracy is the Hunter Biden one…” Got it. Thanks. And I’m delighted that the MSM have had a gutfull of blatant manufactured BS and have returned to the path of truth, honesty and fairness. That’s great news.

          • pretzelattack

            stonky i for one am shocked that anybody would not trust the new york times and the guardian. simply shocked.

        • John A

          ‘Hunter Biden had nothing to do with any of it’

          He was paid 50,000 a month in sweeteners for doing nothing but introduce them to his equally corrupt father. You live in cloud cuckoo land if you think Hunter is master sweet little no flies on me,

      • bj

        The conspiracy is going on right now, and it’s one wherein the MSM take part. Don’t cover anything negative on Biden. It’s all hands on deck for Biden, including the NSA and CIA. Right in front of your eyes. Are you effing blind?

  • james

    clearly fb, twitter and instagram need to be boycotted and people need to visit independent websites like craig murrays a lot more frequently.. this is my personal approach to all this..

      • Jimmeh

        I have never had a FB, Twitter, Instagram or eBay account. pr

        I’ve been a Wikkipedia editor since shortly after it launched; I have no time for Jimmy Wales, but Wikipedia is pretty good, as long as you take articles about the Middle East with a bushel of salt (many Wikipedia editors are zionists, and I think Jimmy is one – as a Guardian board member, he would be, wouldn’t he?)

        I don’t like private, for-profit internet channels. IRC and Usenet worked fine, and still do. Neither is dependent on the whims of some rich dude. Neither relies on advertising.

        IRC is immune to censorship. Anyone can create a channel, and they can require strong encryption, so that nobody can snoop. IRC is real-time chat, there’s no way to retrospectively edit what has been said in a channel. Anyone and everyone can log the traffic on a channel.

        “Censorship” on Usenet relies on a consensus of server admins, and if any one admin chooses not to suppress a post, then the post has not been suppressed. This suppression is nearly always concerned with spam, not politics. Anyone can set up a Usenet server, and be a server admin.

        Neither has images or video; but what are they good for? Oh – they’re good for advertising. Normal, meaningful communication is mainly text. Images and video are mainly good for propaganda.

  • sean ryan

    Where you have dependence, you lack independence.

    Freedoms, rights, liberties, and independence take hard work. Hard work to gain, and hard work to maintain.

    Simply sitting back and relying on the easy routes, relying on others to provide for you, remaining dependent on those others, but expecting those others to do as you want them to do, for you, is insane.

    Go out, find & build your own audiences.
    Stop passively sitting around, expecting Big Tech to do the work for you, but then complaining about them not doing their things, your way.

    D.I.Y. or die.
    Do your own thing.
    Start your own grassroots movement.
    Create something, an alternative, to defeat the influence of Big Tech.

    It won’t be easy, but few things truly worthwhile are easy.

    Your near-complete dependence on Big Tech isn’t working out, so the call goes out for dependence on more Big Government to enact laws to force Big Tech to comply to your lazy demands.

    We’re not suffering from a Big Everything problem, we’re suffering from a lazy problem.
    Everyone wants everything, they want it right away, but they don’t want to do expend any thought, effort or energy to get those things.
    They want everything simply handed to them, to their exact liking.

    Yes, I’m concerned about the growing corporate censorship & influence.
    But I’m also not reliant on those corporations.

    Remaining dependent, absent independence, is certainly no answer.

    • InnerCynic

      People are inherently lazy. So maybe we should instead call it Big Sloth, Big Snooze or Big Meh!

  • InnerCynic

    You’d have to be a fool not to see the obvious suppression. Big Brother’s wettest dream doesn’t compare to what’s going on.

  • youknowwho

    The only way to stop the unilateral control of information is for everyone to stop using social media…NFW. Why? We’ve institutionalized narcissism, reward victimization and use moral relativism as a guiding light. The aforementioned feed right into human online behaviors, so they’re never going away. As history has shown time and again, when negotiation fails, might makes right. IOW, when the suppression of free speech and thinking has put one group in a corner with no other way out, the fight mechanism will kick in and shit will go sideways. Regrettably, sometimes that’s not a bad thing.

  • greenergood

    There’s two weeks until the US presidential election. Whether Biden’s son is a facilitator for Ukrainian corruption is still a moot point for some, though not many. No matter – if you believe that Hunter Biden is corrupt should that affect his father’s presidential election? Shouid Donald Trump be re-installed as president? Would that make the world a better place? Would Biden being elected president make the world a worse place than if Trump were re-elected? Everyone is flawed, but some are way more scarily flawed than others. A perfect but impossible world, or one that is tremendously imperfect, but trying to be better in real life every now and then

    • craig Post author

      Whatever the answer to those questions, none is any justification for the social media suppression of knowledge that assists people in formulating their own answers,

      • Neil Rose

        Craig, I’ve been a follower for several years now and modestly contributed when I could; however, you’ve lost me today.

        I’m shocked at your ridiculous libertarian stance re; Murdoch and the New York Post’s disgusting smears. But I’m particularly outraged by the commentators that seem to overwhelmingly buy into this crap; their racist, sexist and conspiracy theory rantings have burst forth, with one even referring to Kamala Harris as ‘camel toe’ and remaining unmoderaed FFS. Disgusting.

        How would you like it if nefarious elements ‘found’ some evidence of your involvement in child abuse or some other corruption over your long career in out of the way places? Would you deem it in the public interest that implausible charges be made public to ‘assist people in formulating their own answers’ about you’?

        Thank you sincerely for the coverage of the Julian’s kangaroo court but my time here is over; embrace your new QAnon aficionados and stay safe.

        • vin_ot

          Neil, not even Hunter or the Biden campaign have denied these emails are genuine. The old man is running for the most powerful job in the world but everybody is supposed to pretend he isnt corrupt, despite this and all his credit card industry shenanigans?

          That’s not Craig Murray, as surely you must know.

          • vin_ot

            Btw there is major cognitive dissonance in trying to marry ardent Bidenism with concern for J Assange, if the latter is genuine.

        • bj

          Dumb post.
          Craig is not running for office as the President of the United States.
          The real racist here is Biden (crime bill) and the real sexist here is Biden (sniffer, Tara Read).

        • Stewart

          “I’m shocked that an actual “free press” means that sometimes I’m exposed to facts that I don’t want to agree with and that challenge my world view”

          Better hurry back to your social media echo chamber before you get “brainwashed”

          • pretzelattack

            biden is a right wing tool who also justifies cop violence. it has been a common theme in america, if not hereforshire ( i know nothing more of hereforshire than you know of america) for elites to use cops as storm troops against people that are pushing for change in the social order, usually peaceful people. both parties justify it, and anybody who isn’t brainwashed can see that. crime bill joe should be sending bootlickers into paroxysms of joy, with his record of supporting the criminal justice profit extraction machine, but apparently they prefer the more overt posturing of trump. the nonsense about “criminals bused in from outside” simply parrots the propaganda of the civil right era, when “outside agitators” were blamed for riling up peaceful black people who were purportedly happy with the jim crow status quo.

        • Ingwe

          Neil Rose, freedom of expression is indivisible. The fact that the mainstream media always distort the news by omission or downright distortion is not a reason for banning or preventing their shit. What is needed is a true freedom where the right to express views contrary to the ruling narrative are not only allowed but are encouraged and not suppressed.
          By this argument, Trump’s foul utterings must not be banned but the countering of them must be equally free and accessible. One either believes in freedom or one doesn’t. Once you start suggesting that something should be banned because it may offend against the perceived view of what is acceptable, then the freedom is lost. The preponderance and dominance of right wing media is a symptom of an unfree society but it is not the cause of it.

        • Stewart

          @pretzelattack 18:23

          “the nonsense about “criminals bused in from outside””

          Also from your comment above at 18:11

          “no the protestors aren’t busing in criminals, or whatever addled right wing propaganda you have fallen for”

          Of the 175 people arrested during the riots, 102 were NOT from Kenosha. 44 cities were “represented”.

          9 people from a Seattle-based group called “Riot Kitchen” were arrested in Kenosha with multiple containers of gasoline, fireworks, helmets etc. (Seattle is 2028 miles away from Kenosha!)
          This is not “addled right wing propaganda” – it is cold, hard fact.
          “Someone” has been funding and organising the unrest in your country – I’m not saying that there aren’t legitimate peaceful protesters involved, or that there aren’t legitimate reasons to protest (far from it), but facts, however unpalatable they may be to you and no matter how many times you or the mainstream media may deny them, remain facts.

          As an end note, and for the avoidance of doubt, I would just like to add that I am in no way pro-Trump. Personally I find him deeply unpleasant – his behaviour before being elected president is no doubt typical of a real estate billionaire. He enjoyed a brief period of infamy in the UK a decade ago when he bribed the Scottish government to evict a lone resident from the site of his soon-to-be golf course (detailed in the 2011 documentary “You’ve Been Trumped”).
          Be that as it may, he is the first US president in over forty years not to have started a war while in office. A president that is independently wealthy and not hanging off the pentagon’s tit has some advantages, does it not, if only for the residents of the Middle East?

    • craig Post author

      You miss the point spectacularly. It is for individual voters to make up their minds on the answers to the questions you pose. To deny them the information, so they come to the answer you consider the correct one, is not legitimate.

    • Susan

      Craig, despite your very clear opening paragraph…

      “No matter how much you dislike Trump, only a fool can fail to see the implications for public access to information of the massive suppression on the internet of the Hunter Biden leaks.”

      … many people are having great difficulty coming to grips with the “ISSUE” here. It is nothing to do with left-wing vs. right-wing, Biden vs. Trump, true vs. false, good vs. evil, or even social media vs. independent web sites. It is about a powerful deep state [whose power is above that of any sovereign government] that has created private companies to enact its censorship and authoritarianism.

      However, if people need to learn about the issue from the LEFT-wing perspective, the Intercept provides edification.

      And, if people need to learn about the issue from the RIGHT-wing perspective, the American Conservative provides edification.

      They say the SAME thing!

  • Penguin

    Is Hunter’s drug use linked to childhood abuse by his paedophile father? Joe Biden molests young girls on live TV but the entire media just ignores it because Trump. The best thing that could happen this election is another 4 years of DJT leading to the implosion of the Democrats and their replacement with several new parties. The Republicans are doomed it he wins too. Which is nice.

    YouTube – Joe Biden Appear To Squeeze 8 Year Old Girls Chest On Camera (1m 3s) – SmoothMedia

    YouTube – Creepy Joe Biden Hair Sniffing and Groping Little Girls Compilation (7m 42s) –
    yumyum bacon

    • Yalt

      I was thinking maybe the ideal outcome would be Avignon. A red President and a blue President, one holed up in the basement of the White House and the other in the basement of the Senate, each accusing the other of sodomy, simony and heresy, each claiming to want to restore the pristine image of the United States as the sole instrument of God’s will on earth, and each utterly ineffective at anything but their own petty corruptions.

      The one thing I’m certain of is that absolutely everyone here, with the possible exception of us third-party voters, will think their candidate has won the election. That’s when it will get interesting.

  • 5566hh

    “a few massively dominant social media corporations – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram”

    Instagram is actually owned by Facebook (which reinforces your point of course)

  • Lima

    Dumb people are gonna be dumb dude. Facebook and Twitter are private companies they can do whatever they want. Don’t like it don’t use it. Sorry a bunch of idiots don’t understand the difference between Facebook and the internet. You can’t force someone to be informed. Trying to force these organizations to allow material they don’t want to allow is a worse sin than them censoring said material.

    • Baron

      You what, Lima, insane?

      Could a private company offer to murder people for money?

      There’s something called the law, each and every entity in a society is subject to it, the private platforms, if this is what they are, cannot themselves decide what to censor, just as no private transport company can decide whom to carry or who should walk.

      You’re right about the distinction about the internet, a physical system of wires, servers and transponders, and the platforms, which are apps, but it’s the apps that are the enablers of the mechanical system. Given the power these apps have acquired, there will have to be a solution of either the apps sticking to non-political coverage of issues, or there will have to be a law compelling them to a fair play.

      • Yalt

        “Could a private company offer to murder people for money?”

        They keep changing their name but they used to be known as Blackwater. I suppose Pinkerton was an earlier domestic version of the same phenomenon.

        • Baron

          That’s overdoing it abit, Yalt, if they overstep the terms of reference, act unlawfully, commit a crime they are liable, aren’t they?

          In a theatre of war, it’s somewhat different, almost everything goes, but even then one has to be careful, look what’s happening to the British soldiers serving in Northern Ireland in times of trouble.

          • Yalt

            Theoretically you’re correct, they’re subject to law. As a practical matter our mercenaries, like our army, can kill pretty much anywhere they operate, with impunity. The entire planet is a “theater of war” as far as the US is concerned.

            Do you seriously think Blackwater or its successors are ever going to be brought to justice?

          • Yalt

            And I don’t mean to disagree with your post: even if in practice it’s damned hard to bring corporations to task before the law, it’s still important to insist that they’re at least theoretically subject to it. “Private companies can do whatever they want” needs to be objected to even if it’s largely true.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        ” just as no private transport company can decide whom to carry or who should walk. “

        Is that really so?

        • Baron

          Well, Johny, in London, could the bus company only allow people who are members of the Labour party to board a bus, all of them, but only a few of non-party members could catch a ride, the rest, the vast majority, has to walk, can it?

          That’s almost exactly what the Twitter and Facebook did, they ‘disembarked those that back the Donald from the internet traffic’, most of them anyway, no?

          • Johny Conspiranoid


            “Well, Johny, in London, could the bus company only allow people who are members of the Labour party to board a bus,”

            I don’t know. Is there actually a law against that if that’s how you wanted to run your bus company?

  • Antonym

    More stuff on -for sale- Hunter Biden to hide:

    “Hunter Biden email detailing alleged Chinese ties confirmed by source: report” By Kenneth Garger,
    October 16, 2020

    “Hunter Biden also had business dealings in Kazakhstan: report” By Jon Levine, October 17, 2020

    Not found by the FBI or CIA but by a computer scrap dealer.

    • James Charles

      ‘Hunter Biden: Republicans release report on Joe Biden’s son
      Hunter Biden’s lucrative work at a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was vice-president was “problematic”, a report by Republican senators says.’
      But it found no evidence that US foreign policy was influenced by it.”

      “In an utterly stunning development for US politics, Burisma Gas Holdings Corp of Ukraine admitted in court today they BRIBED U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
      The only issue left is how much the bribes were.   At present, Burisma disputes a claim that the Bribe amounted to $900,000.  There are indications the amount may be far greater!
      The ongoing case of Ukrainian gas holding company Burisma against People’s Deputy of Ukraine Andriy Derkach has revealed that Burisma did, in fact, bribe Joe and Hunter Biden with large cash payments. The only question is how much?
      The Pechersk District Court of Kyiv indicated that representatives from Burisma are only refuting the amount of money the company paid to Joe and Hunter Biden. Burisma is not, it is important to note, refuting that it did, in fact, pay these two some large sum of cash, which is still to be determined.”

      “EXPLOSIVE Email Reveals Hunter introduced Joe Biden to his Ukrainian Business Pal

      More ‘stunning developments’?

      “1) The first hard drive contains shocking videos of Hunter Biden sexually abusing and violently torturing female children, along with a copy of the $4.5 billion Kazakhstan and Ukraininan natural gas contract that Hunter signed with Chairman Xi Jinping and Vice President Wang Qishan. Hunter willingly allowed himself to be filmed engaging in crimes against humanity by the CCP, who required it as an insurance policy for their $4.5 billion deal.
      2) The second hard drive contains blackmail against Xi and Wang; the financial records of their hidden offshore assets, as well as the outline of their so-called ‘Architectural Art Project’, which is their plan for the CCP to control not only 1.4 billion Chinese people but also the United Nations, the United States and all US Presidents going forward.
      3) The third hard drive contains information about a virus and bio-weapons.”

      ‘What the hawkish Clinton could not achieve, the less strident imperialist Joe Biden hopes to carry on. He comes from the same neoliberal and neoconservative mindset as the former first lady and secretary of state. As part of his campaign fundraising efforts to secure big bucks from big pocket corporations and billionaires, Biden recently assured the tycoon class that changing corporate behavior “is not going to require legislation – [and] I’m not proposing any.” As a senator, he always played ball with Republicans and conservative Democrats, and that’s how he hopes to win over independents and anti-Trump conservatives to his side. ‘

      ‘William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, informs us that “Russia is backing Donald Trump, China is supporting Joe Biden and Iran is seeking to sow chaos in the U.S. presidential election…”. I guess that means that Russia and China will cancel each other out and that he’s telling us that Iran will choose the next POTUS. Who would have thought that the fate of the “greatest nation in earth” (as Presidents Trump, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, Bush Sr and Reagan like to call it) would be hidden under a turban somewhere in Iran?
      So, American, know this: your “trusted sources” are telling you not to bother to vote in November – it’s not your decision.’

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “1) The first hard drive contains shocking videos of Hunter Biden sexually abusing and violently torturing female children, along with a copy of the $4.5 billion Kazakhstan and Ukraininan natural gas contract that Hunter signed with Chairman Xi Jinping and Vice President Wang Qishan. Hunter willingly allowed himself to be filmed engaging in crimes against humanity by the CCP, who required it as an insurance policy for their $4.5 billion deal.
        2) The second hard drive contains blackmail against Xi and Wang; the financial records of their hidden offshore assets, as well as the outline of their so-called ‘Architectural Art Project’, which is their plan for the CCP to control not only 1.4 billion Chinese people but also the United Nations, the United States and all US Presidents going forward.
        3) The third hard drive contains information about a virus and bio-weapons.”

        I’m a conspiracy theorist but this doesn’t look very likely.

  • SA

    So what difference will it make if the Hunter Biden story Is allowed to come out? It is already out and it only seems to matter to people who are analytical, it probably matters not at all to the tribalist average voter. Elections are now open gladiatorial beauty contests, containing little of substance.
    The other problem I have is that certain individuals keep claiming that trump might be better than Biden. This assumption is based on the mistaken belief that US foreign policy is influenced or directed by the POTUS. There is little evidence of this as can be seen in the transition between Bush and Obama. On the contrary the serious populist rabble rousing populist and divisive Trump is much more likely to lead to much instability and misery in the US.So nothing really is worse than re-electing Trump.

    • pretzelattack

      us foreign policy is very much influenced by the potus. both bush and obama were enthusiastic empire proponents and war supporters, obama was however more rational on iran; it’s not surprising that their foreign policy was consistent. if you want fomenting instability the appalling inequality in the u.s. right now is the biggest driver, and that continues apace under either party.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      As Assad pointed out the POTUS is only the CEO. The board of directors stays the same.

  • SA

    The problem described is inherent to capitalism. Accumulation and monopolies. Corporations are Now more powerful than many ‘sovereign’ states , and these social media are corporations and even worse, they are in the hands of extremely powerful individuals. Boycott and finding alternatives is the only way to treat these attempted monopolies. But of course it does mean at least short term lack of social media exposure. But this has to start somewhere. Are there Chinese Russian Brazilian and Indian social media with combined readerships of billions? Should we move away from these western monopolies?

  • Antonym

    Voting for Biden equals voting 100% for Xi Jingping; with Trump we have a chance to claw back out of grip of the major globalist stockholders – CCP top combine, the “enriched” 0.1%.

    • SA

      “Voting for Biden equals voting 100% for Xi Jingping”

      Battle cry of the staunch Trump supporters.

  • Baron

    One cannot have public platforms run by private interests, it’s either that the platforms like Facebook or Twitter stick to non-political coverage of life, or there should be an oversight by a board of elected members responsible for ensuring a fair play.

    It’s totally reprehensible that the Donald’s tax returns were available widely, the Biden’s family corruption got censored. The platforms should lose Section 230 protections.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The original founders of the internet know very little probably about the global complexity of its current structure. Their ‘invention’ was just in effect a Local Area Network they used at work. It did not involve satellites, transatlantic cables, mobile phone masts etc etc. So I really am not sure what it is that you think that they will know about scaled-up internets. It is like asking a typical serial entrepreneur skilled at going from zero to £1m turnover before becoming an egotistical block to progress before £10m turnover is reached to unpick the logistical complexities of TNC cartel operations. They are very skilled people unsuited to the task at hand.

    The key question is whether the current internet is doomed as a commercial cartel or whether the peasants can storm the fortress and recapture it. If the former is the case, then a new start needs to be made locally, setting up communally owned local internets. You either form a cooperative or you do it through local councils, the latter being much more risky of sell-out to the first problem, not to mention blackmail by the Security Services, who will undoubtedly be the enemy in terms of reclaiming the internet commons. The key evolution is the joining up of the local networks via node systems. That again must be outside the reach of the globalist parasites.

    If the latter is to be the case, then new political parties will be required to impose the will of the people through regulation. It needs to be done as the first item on the agenda in Government, before the inevitable corruption of any new political party which has never failed to occur throughout history.

    The third way of course is direct targeting of the ‘owners’ of the great suppressors. Fining Mark Zuckerberg anything less than 99% of his net worth will change nothing, ditto Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and any other number of ‘investors’, most of whom hide behind Wall Street corporation names. If you think doing that politely through the law courts is going to work in under 20 years, you are a little deluded. Nothing short of denying those people the right to legal representation nor the right to trial is going to change things. They suppressed the internet, we suppress their legal rights as a result. If you want to be the Salvation Army, don’t be surprised to still be in court, bankrupting your supporters, in 2040.

    You cannot beat these people if money is the key determinant of outcome, because they are the richest. You can beat them if weight of numbers is the key determinant because they are few and the world’s population is many.

    • Jimmeh

      “setting up communally owned local internets”

      Well, there’s a lot of sense in setting up communally-owned local NETWORKS. The whole point of the internet, though, is that it a network of networks; any node can access any other node, on any of the constituent networks. That’s exactly what the internet protocols are for.

      The only way to restrict that is to build an edifice like The Great Firewall of China (yeah, India’s at it too, and so are several gulf states). But even TGFOC can easily be circumvented by using a VPN or Tor – both classic examples of the proper use of the IP protocols.

  • Father O'Blivion

    The key phrase in the letter claiming a Russian directed disinformation campaign is responsible for the Hunter Biden material, signed by 50+ ex-Intelligence officials is:

    “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do NOT have evidence of Russian involvement, …”

    How’s that for reluctantly disclosing the truth hidden under a mountain of lies.
    It matters not a jot where the material came from, the Biden camp isn’t disputing the veracity of the material. Similarly, the OPCW material on Douma is genuine, it doesn’t matter whether it was leaked or hacked.
    There’s something more important at stake here than whether Trump is given another term in office. The Democrats are promoting a Big Brother orthodoxy where the TRUTH is what the State apparatus says it is.

  • N_

    If Julian Assange helps Trump again this time, as he did in 2016, I hope he rots in jail.

    Glenn Greenwald is also scumming it up, going on about Hunter Biden’s totally irrelevant emails in order to help Trump. Shame on him.
    Is this all the Trump side have got against the Ghislaine Maxwell case that will blow them up?

    Facebook and Twitter are private companies. Facebook has always been a CIA operation. With Twitter, I understand the 77th Brigade is allowed to put its oar in too. When oh when will the left understand that there is only one sensible line on “social media”: smash Twitter, smash Facebook, smash the lot of it. Would they ask for “rights” to post to Pepsi’s website too? “Pepsi Cola fans against The Man”? How about the right to choose which vein you inject your heroin into?

    • pretzelattack

      oh the marxist. who apparently supported clinton. there is no obligation under the us constitution to lie for clinton. none. it’s not a crime to tell the truth about us war crimes, and it’s not a crime for a journalist to obtain information about a presidential candidate from someone who leaked it to him. the new york times and the guardian published the same things assange did. anybody prosecuting them?

      • Carl

        Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald are two of the biggest demons in the minds of supporters of the Citicorp Democrats. But this is probably the only Marxist who spouts venom towards those particular journalists.

    • James Charles

      “If Julian Assange helps Trump again this time, as he did in 2016, I hope he rots in jail.”

      This is why H.R.C. ‘lost’?

      “And it’s deadly. Doubtless, Crosscheck delivered Michigan to Trump who supposedly “won” the state by 10,700 votes. The Secretary of State’s office proudly told me that they were “very aggressive” in removing listed voters before the 2016 election. Kobach, who created the lists for his fellow GOP officials, tagged a whopping 417,147 in Michigan as potential double voters.”

      “In 2016, no fewer than 5,872,857 ballots were cast—and never counted.
      Does it matter? In Detroit, 75,355 ballots were never counted because of 87 broken scanning machines. And Trump supposedly won Michigan by 10,700 votes — really?
      And, no fewer than 1,982,071 legal voters were denied the right to vote. Told to get the hell out of the polling station. Can you guess their color?
      Add it up. That’s at least 7,854,928 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.
      So God Bless America. By the way, these numbers are from the raw data supplied to me by the US Elections Assistance Commission.”

      Would ‘it’ have mattered?

      “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
      Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page
      Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. “

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “Add it up. That’s at least 7,854,928 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.”

        It wouldn’t have happened in Russia.

    • Squeeth

      If Julian Assange helps Trump again this time, as he did in 2016, I hope he rots in jail.

      I hope you rot with him, you pseud.

  • DiggerUK

    It seems there is a belief that information on FB, Twitter and co. should be under our control.
    To demand we should “Reclaim the Internet” by complaining about their behaviour is as ridiculous as it would be to demand that we ‘Reclaim the Media’, they are in private hands.

    Does anybody here believe we should campaign to ‘Reclaim Fleet Street’ or ‘Reclaim Television’….it seems to be missed that we live in a world where private ownership rules.

    “Reclaiming the Internet” is a crazy slogan, it was never communally owned it in the first place…_

    • Ken Kenn

      No fan of Trump but this is just a contest between the Bad and the Ugly.

      No Good one is running.

      If you saw the Starmer puff piece on Newsnight last night you can see where the Bide thang comes from in the MSM.

      What we found out from an alleged political analyst ( Lewis Goodall – ex Talk radio? ) is that Starmer wants to be PM ( but not yet ) and that he stands for nothing ( not yet) and he might come up with some policies eventually but not until the next GE.

      By the way – the Jewish ‘ Trope ‘ was all the work of the imaginations of Goodall and his producer.

      Obviously Goodall doesn’t remember King Midas.

      Definitely not Jewish that fella.

      I wonder if Lewis selectively remembers Ed Miliband being forced (as a Jew) to eat a bacon butty or the media’s attack on his Communist father?

      Wrong types of Jews I suppose.

      I liked Dianne Abbots comments – very waspish.

    • Jimmeh

      ““Reclaiming the Internet” is a crazy slogan, it was never communally owned it in the first place…_”

      That is true, but rather misleading.

      The internet is a network of private networks. My home wifi is a private network, connected to the internet. I get to decide what traffic passes through my private network, just as Zuckermann gets to decide what passes through his network.

      But the protocols that are used to connect these private networks together are public, communally-owned, mostly immune to copyright and patent, and free to implement and use (give or take an internet connnection fee).

      There”s no need to “reclaim” the internet – it’s already ours. All we have to do is eschew those private networks that we object to. It’s a question of informed choice.

  • Dan

    “The story now is that Hunter Biden abandoned a laptop in a repair shop”

    Haha, very plausible. He didn’t leave it on the bus (with his homework) then?

  • writeon

    It seems to me that, unfortunately, American political ‘culture’ is spreadng outwards, and not just to the UK. We’re now seeing the emergence of what amounts to a one-party, two factions, political schism; that’s both emotionally partisan and highly tribal in character, a bit like rival football teams, an mirrors the Democrat/Republican split in the United States. This isn’t good. A prime example of how the UK has been infected by US political norms, is the cynical and dangerous weaponisation of ‘anti-semiticism’ and the growing tendency to create a ‘loyalty oath’ in relation to the state of Israel and even it’s ‘problematic’ ideology of expansive Zionism.

    An Internet that is ‘too free’ is obviously a direct threat to the established social order because it allows way too many people a platform to express their views to each other about myriad issues. In many ways the Internet is similar to the invention of the printing press. Today, however, it’s as if everyone has the ability and potential to become their own printing press and their own publishers, with an audiance that’s world-wide and outside state control. The Internet is, therefore, a huge threat to state/corporate propaganda and their control and filtering of texts, information, texts, ideas and knowledge itself.

    Today it’s becoming a hopeless task to force ideas into heads of the ‘peasants’ when they can see all around them the clear evidence that their little lives are massively different and so much poorer than the lives of the fabulously wealthy ‘aristocracy’ that live in a kind of virtual Versailles, a parallel world, far, far, removed from the lives of ordinary people. Even the Rand Corporation in the US can see that the massive transfer of wealth in the US over the last forty years; is problematic and destabilising. A shift worth 5 trillion dollars from the great mass of the population to the pockets of the tip one or two per cent. This is arguably the biggest shift in wealth in history, on a scale similar to ancient Rome.

    In a sense we’re living in a pre-revolutionary era, where too many people have lost faith in the system for comfort. The State’s answer to this is the usual one; far more control and a clampdown on freedom of speech and the right to access informaton, and an attack on heretics and dissenters like Julian Assange. We have entered the era of what incrasingly resembles… fascism. Where the state, the giant corporations, the military/police, the meida and the security services have merged into a new whole above and beyond the control of the people.

    • Yalt

      Thank you for this. I’ve finally gotten around to reading Christopher Hill’s “World Turned Upside Down” and the parallels between the pre-censorship flourishing of the printing press and today’s internet are interesting indeed.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Yes there is a growing requirement to pass a loyalty to Israel test but at the same time they don’t proudly boast to the electorate about it in their campaign literature, prefering to play that down.

  • Border Bus

    Employer- Why did you leave your previous employment?

    Biden – I was dishonorably discharged from the Navy for using crack cocaine.

    Employer – No problem – Start on Monday – $60,000 a month ok?

    • glenn_uk

      The optics are terrible, and it was politically clumsy for someone who might have been a serious contender for high office in the future. But it happens everywhere, particularly in semi-corrupt countries like the UK. It wouldn’t even have to be explicit – the notion of employing the son of the VP of America would have obvious attraction to any corporation.

      Not sure quite what all the shock and horror is here. Does this compare to having the President’s daughter hawking her fashion goods on the White House website, or explicitly making trade deals with China contingent on access for her products to that market?

      • bj

        Those kid gloves fit you nicely.
        That you prefer shadowy more than ‘explicitly’ is very telling.

        • glenn_uk

          “Telling”, eh? Do tell what!

          it could perhaps be “Telling” that you’re clutching your pearls about Biden junior’s rather dubious job, while the actual POTUS is engaging in up-front corruption of the most blatant and extravagant nature, and you have not seen fit to complain about any of it.

    • Yalt

      This kind of petty corruption is endemic; my first boss out of college was similarly unhireable (he’d been fired for sexual harassment, which back then took some serious harassing) but got the job after his uncle made a 7-figure donation to our hospital.

      It’s wrong, of course, but like Trump’s tax dodgery, it’s hard for me to summon much outrage over something so ordinary. Surely we’ve got more important things to worry about, like life sentences in solitary confinement or state-sponsored pre-trial executions? There’s a reason the focus is invariably on the personal failings of individual candidates.

      • joel

        The U. S. Establishment selected Biden precisely because he is nakedly corrupt. (For all that they’re now representing him as somebody who would bring character and decency back to the Oval Office.) The victory they really sought was achieved back on the spring — when they managed to manoeuvre a bought-off candidate past Bernie Sanders.

        Whether Biden was somebody likely to beat Trump was largely irrelevant since both he and Trump serve the same donor class. The oligarchy continues to win no matter which of the two is in charge.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          ” The victory they really sought was achieved back on the spring — when they managed to manoeuvre a bought-off candidate past Bernie Sanders.”

          It was all planned from the get go. Sanders were only there to sheepdog the left into voting DNC, i.e.keep voting Democrat and one day someone like Sanders will get in. No they wont and if they do they’ll be a phoney like Obomber. Cynthia McKinnon was the real deal and she vanished from the madia without trace.

  • Goose

    With Zuck’s Blessing, Facebook Quietly Stymied Traffic to Left-Leaning News Outlets: Report

    James Schneider(Corbyn’s Director of Strategic Communications during his time as party leader) tweeted this in response to this story:

    The changes to the Facebook algorithm after #GE2017 were immediately noticeable, had a significant impact on the public sphere and were entirely nontransparent.
    There clearly needs to be total transparency now from the likes of FB , Twitter et al, as to exactly what they are doing.

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