There is mounting evidence alternative news providers are the targets of censorship on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and elsewhere.
By Peter Lavelle | 10 December 2016
THE DURAN — We are told it is called “ghost banning” – meaning you are present, though invisible in plain sight, and the user is completely unaware. The goal is frighteningly obvious: deny an “offending” website traffic to the point that it disappears from public view. We suspect The Duran is among the many sites targeted in this new form of censorship.
This is the new business model of the old art of controlling what is considered acceptable speech by the power-that-be. As a result, legacy news outlets that comprise of the world of corporate mainstream media are propped, crowding out alternative views and dissent. Freedom of speech faces an existential threat.
“I had never heard of ghost banning until I was ghost banned by Twitter. That of course is the idea – they censor you without realising you are censored. People no longer get notifications when I post, and the tweet only turns up in the twitter line of followers who happen to be logged in at the time my tweet goes out. Those logging in later will no longer see tweets I issued while they were away. Most of my tweets no longer show up on twitter searches, and further restrictions are applied when people retweet my tweets.
Since ghost banning, traffic to this website from Twitter has fallen 90%.”
We are told alternative news outlets and social media are sources of “fake news” that intentionally corrupt, distort, and disrupt the public sphere. Indeed, there are those who disseminate false narratives and generate false stories. For the most part those who are engaged in these practices peddle “click bait” for the sole purpose of generating traffic and cash. Thankfully “click bait” is almost always easy to spot – it may entertain at times, but rarely is it actually believed. To ameliorate the damaging impact of “click bait” is to strike against any and all who deviate from the “established truth” pontificated by the political elites and their echo chamber mainstream media.
Employing “ghost banning” is a sign of weakness and even crowdedness. Targeting harmful fake news is not the goal. What is in play is how mainstream media has lost the confidence of global audiences. They are no longer believed and trusted. Not being believed and trusted has created the opening for others to do the job and service the mainstream media no longer performs – and that is telling the truth and informing the public.
This frontal attack on alternative media is a very dangerous strategy. With confidence in ruling elites crumbling, audiences will now have even more reasons to come to the conclusion they are being deceived and lied to. Censorship is not the answer – an open dialogue of competing ideas is.
Social media networks have become bigger than their old media predecessors. They played massive roles in the Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s victory, and how we as citizens now make our decisions. The elites and powers-that-be are rallying to find an alternative platform to control their message: Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve noticed multiple sites mentioned on PropOrNot’s blacklist complaining of Facebook and Twitter’s censorship, citing a shocking decrease in referrals coming from both social networks. A slight change to Facebook or Twitter’s algorithm is simple and quick, and can dial down how many people see a particular article.
What can be done?
Go to The Duran’s Facebook Page or any of your favorite pages and select ‘See First‘ under the ‘Following‘ tab (seen below). This will bypass Facebook’s algorithm and prevent them for censoring your newsfeed.