The mainstream media has once again attempted to terminate and destroy the ever growing rise of independent journalism through new media outlets.
The latest attack — led by the Murdoch-owned Times of London — has dealt a serious blow to all those who challenge the corporate media propaganda system — one which we must all fight back against — unless we wish to live in a world in which only a hand full of corporate moguls and political elites are the ones allowed to decide what we can discuss, how we can discuss it, and what journalists are allowed to report on.
The attack on new alternative media is not just about silencing dissenting voices or differing opinions: it is an attack on freedom of speech itself — the basis of any of form of liberal democracy.
If we cannot at least strive for this ideal, then we may as well just admit that we live in a corporate owned version of a totalitarian state like North Korea, instead of pretending — like gormless and floppy-eyed children — that we don’t.
The latest onslaught, led by the Times — follows earlier attempts to silence independent non-corporate approved news outlets — such as forcing Facebook to clamp down on “fake news” after blaming fake news for the election of Donald Trump as US President — a story which never seemed particularly plausible, and as suspected turned out not be, as is evidenced by this study into the claim from Stanford University.
None the less though, the mainstream media forced Facebook into filtering out content under the guise of stopping the supposed plague of fake news. Now corporations such as the US’ ABC, and the BBC are the ones deciding whether independent news is fake or not.
The BBC launched their “Reality Check” series as a response to this “crisis” — I have already fact-checked and debunked one of their articles here.
That’s the problem with these fact-checking organizations, they tend to leave out a lot of facts, for some reason…
Given that the mainstream media outlets can’t seem to tell a genuine reason to go war in Iraq, from a bunch of totally made up reasons spouted by a bunch of widely discredited former world leaders, one must wonder if they really are the best judges of whether something is factually accurate or not?
Of course, the fake news hysteria led by the mainstream media was always about silencing and killing independent media. I wrote an article hypothesizing this as the story unfolded in November of last year for Evolve Politics.
A week after the article was published right-wing Labour cronies Tom Watson and Michael Dugher (a former Murdoch employee) announced they would be leading the charge against fake news — as some sort of crusade for truth — a claim so silly it’s hard not laugh in the process of writing this. Part of this crusade involved directly naming the similar left-leaning independent news outlet the Canary as a target of their campaign.
Following the fake news attack on independent media the corporate mainstream media has concocted yet another way to potentially silence, and bankrupt new independent media: this time by linking advertisers on YouTube and Google Ads to videos about terrorism, ISIS, hate speech, Nazis, etc.
By doing this they have created a wide-reaching clampdown on YouTube and any website using Google Ads that discusses “extremist” political issues.
The Murdoch-owned Times of London lead the attack, launching a so-called investigation into YouTube’s hosting of “extremist content” (such as videos about ISIS) — claiming that big brand advertisers were unwittingly funding extremist views and content.
Beginning in early February this year, the Times ran a series of articles which consistently claimed that:
Dozens of YouTube videos promoting Combat 18, a violent pro-Nazi group, Isis or hate speech from al- Qaeda preachers, all run pop-up ads from reputable brands such as Marie Curie, the hospice charity, and Mercedes-Benz. The adverts play either during or just before the videos and generally pay out between $5-$8 (£4-£6.40) per 1,000 clicks or views, depending on the particular advertiser. Advertising revenue is split 55 per cent to 45 per cent in the poster’s favour, raising the prospect that marketing spending from western brands is finding its way into the pockets of extremists.
They called on YouTube and Google to implement better techniques to remove the ads from these extremist videos — something which YouTube and Google appeared to be doing, saying:
When it comes to content on YouTube, we remove flagged videos that break our rules and have a zero tolerance policy for content that incites violence or hatred.
However, this wasn’t enough for the Times who continued to peruse their agenda and proceeded to force YouTube and Google into clamping down harder.
The Times repeatedly claimed that brands are funding extremist views through YouTube videos.
Apparently, pornographic content was also being funded by these ads on YouTube. How this is even possibly true on a website where the ultimate crime is considered to be showing a glimpse of tit or anything resembling sex, I really don’t know. YouTube is surely the most sex-free place on the internet, and that takes quite a lot of effort in this day and age.
The fact that they and other mainstream publications openly call for wars on nations like Iran, or North Korea — that aren’t threatening us in any serious way — and doing their best to ramp up a possible nuclear war with Russia — based on a bunch of allegations that nobody can provide evidence for to justify — apparently that isn’t extremism.
If it was extremist, it would surely mean that the Times has to force its own advertisers to boycott it…..
Following the recent terrorist attack in London, the Times unsurprisingly used it as yet another away to push through their advertising boycott on “extremist” content on YouTube and Google Ads.
Linking the terrorist attack to YouTube — no real evidence is presented, but why should it be? How many people actually watched these videos? If you just type in — as they suggest “ISIS caliphate” — into YouTube’s search engine all you get is a bunch of mainstream news reports — some of which could contain the kinds of violent acts they describe here.
The mainstream media, after all, it seems through articles like this and their endless fevered coverage of ISIS, are the terrorist group’s unwitting chief promoter.
Perhaps further into the search you could find material directly from ISIS or similar, but even so, given the extent to which YouTube manages to remove sexual content, it seems quite unimaginable that it would’ve been some sort of epidemic and widespread problem.
The Daily Mail joined in — attacking YouTube for hosting this video.
The man in the video (most likely a martial artist — apparently making self-defence videos will also be a crime in the future) has absolutely no relationship to ISIS or terrorists — he explained the purpose of this video, saying:
I just want to show that people who wear these vests should not feel invincible
They are still vulnerable. These vests should not be described as stab proof.
The fact that Masood was an ex-con with a record stretching back to the 80’s for crimes such as knife possession, and had spent time in prison — the place where these kinds of things are taught by inmates to other inmates — apparently isn’t even worth considering.
No, it must’ve been YouTube’s fault.
On the 23rd of March (the same day as the London terrorist attack) this year a list of big brand advertisers banded together to boycott YouTube’s “extremist” videos.
Advertisers include the UK government and the BBC. The move appears to have been further justified by the attack, but has clearly been a few months in the making — the date of the advertiser’s boycott, most likely being coincidental to that of the terrorist attack, rather than a reaction to the attack alone…
The boycott is unlikely to affect Google’s revenue stream — as Business Insider UK pointed out.
They also point out that the move may have been a play by the traditional advertising industry to retain its market, and assert its authority.
The result of the boycott and Google’s action has been to vastly demonetise alternative media content that involves any of the extremist topics, such as ISIS, or drug use, religion or just about anything that makes up the content of the increasingly popular alternative media, news, and political commentary outlets available on YouTube, and other Google Adsense platforms.
Both left and right wing alternative political channels hosted on YouTube, such as the US’ Secular Talk, Amazing Atheist, the Jimmy Dore Show, and the UK’s Sargon of Akkad — have all suffered intense and catastrophic revenue plunges as a result of this — reporting an up to 90% decrease in revenue as a result. The move will likely hit any alternative news and media outlets using Adsense to help fund them.
These channels hardly promote “extremist” views about any of the boycotted topics — rather they discuss them outside of the mainstream corporate framework.
Meaning that they challenge, for instance, the atrocities carried out by the US/UK governments in the middle eastern bloodbaths. Whereas the mainstream media politely refers to these wars as strategic blunders or tries to cover up the truth of what is going on, the targeted commentators and channels never fail to speak about them.
Content about less controversial topics — therefore far more boring topics — containing corporately acceptable content, such as makeup tutorials, clothes, and videos of cats falling over — will no doubt remain fully monetised.
Unless Google considers their android-based professional Primark saleswoman Zoella to also be a creator of extremist content, then we can rest assured that she and the many other popular corporate monotonies that already make up about 97% of the YouTube universe will remain fully monetised, promoted, and will continue their ascension of total domination, and therefore total banality on the platform.
Corporate advertisers have no interests in ever funding alternative news media — and the mainstream media sees alternative media as a serious threat to themselves, so, therefore, the two forces have combined to take down those of us who challenge the mainstream narratives, propaganda, and lies.
Corporations, of course, also feel threatened by alternative media as it operates outside of the boundaries of “acceptable” debate that is normally held within the narrow spectrum of the corporate mainstream media. The mainstream media never challenges corporations or their power, quite purposely, partly because they are owned by corporations who have tentacles in all sorts of other ventures, and partly because they rely on money from corporate advertisers themselves — therefore there is no reason for them to ever challenge the status quo, the opposite is true: they are there to maintain it, as it is in their primary interest to do so.
The corporate media uses its power to control and influence the power elite politicians, rather than ever challenging them in the interests of the population, they challenge them in the interests of corporations and the rich and powerful.
The Murdoch press endlessly champions politicians who do nothing but systematically attack the working class — and in a broader sense the rest of the general population, yet rather than ever challenging this, he and the other powerful corporate elites help to maintain this collusion and the propaganda system that sells these politicians as if they are people who somehow care about us — they don’t, it’s obvious, they don’t.
This is a story repeated throughout history — the internet a relatively new invention, that can be easily used to spread information to the mass of the public — has so far been a relatively free area of discussion.
Yet, just as with the invention of printing press which provided a mass of working-class and socialist newspapers and literature in its early days, leading to a rich, intellectual political and social culture of the working-class during this period, the internet too, must be crushed by corporations.
The working class press became the corporate press. Up until the 1960’s the UK had a widely circulated working class newspaper called The Daily Herald — a genuinely working class newspaper, containing general socialist thought, ideas, and discussion — by the mid 60’s the paper was unable to compete against the corporate press, and by the end of the 60’s was owned by Murdoch, under its new name: The Sun.
The deep irony of the mainstream media, and corporations pretending to care about being associated with or fuelling ISIS — they more than anybody act as an unwitting propaganda arm for ISIS — endlessly glorying and martyring ISIS terrorists, giving them more attention than they ever warrant, dressed in a feverish and lurid language that is almost designed to attract a certain type of (unhinged, ex-con, etc) person to the ISIS cause.
The corporations themselves, of course, are most likely buying the oil that ISIS holds. Further to this some of the biggest corporations in existence through their oil buying, investment of so-called petrodollars, and arms sales all make huge wads of cash from the most brutal Islamic fundamentalist regimes on the face of the earth — Saudi Arabia being perhaps the worst of all of them.
This mixed with their complete contempt for the many lives destroyed in the process of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and the many other war crimes carried out in the Islamic world to this date — ramping up potential support for ISIS in the process.
The corporations have to own our minds in order to control our thoughts about the world — when they can’t do that as much — they panic, and that’s when we get new forms of censorship, such as the fake news debacle, and this latest attempt.
Labour MPs like Chuka Umunna and Tom Watson have been working for quite some time now at clamping down on alternative media — when asked to comment by the Times about their investigation Umunna — a member of the home affairs select committee said:
This is deeply disturbing
There is no doubt the social media companies could be doing far more to prevent the spread of extremist content.
None of this is true — when these people speak of extremist content they speak of the extremist content they do not approve off: which when translated from politician to plain English means: challenging the status quo — the only form of “extremism” that truly sends fear into their hearts.
They approve of the most widely available extremist content — that which the powerful offer through the mainstream publications. Nuclear war with Russia, Middle-east war brutalities, refugees being locked up and dehumanised, the list of extremist content in the mainstream media is endless — yet that is never under attack from the powerful.
Because they agree with it.
For independent media outlets we have only one solution: to be funded by the people who read/watch/listen to us, and support the work we do. That’s really the only way to ensure any possible survival for alternative news media.
The corporate attacks will keep on coming — like grotesquely bloated, spoiled, greedy brats they clamber for more and more of what they desire — throwing crying hissy fits until they get what they want:
more money, more control.
They could’ve easily just demonitised, and removed the genuinely extreme content. Google may claim it hasn’t the resources: that’s quite hard to believe given how much money they make every year — but the reality is they aren’t interested in saving a portion of their content that doesn’t make much money anyway for them. The fact this content actively challenges the corporate world, means they have no interest in protecting it.
Once again the corporate media has fought back against the growing popularity of those who actively critique the lies, distortion, and nonsense they spout on a daily basis.
Let’s not let them take our media away from us — let’s make sure we keep it in the hands of the people, if that means chipping in a few quid every now, surely that alone is worth it, just to break up the corporate media lies, monotony, and propaganda.
It will be interesting to see if videos about these extremist topics, such as ISIS will be demonetised when they are produced by the BBC, ABC or similar corporate media.
I suspect that no matter what, they will continue to receive advertising revenue through Google for their “work”.
That, in itself, is enough to illustrate just how morally bankrupt the system of corporate media is — the only way the corporate media can make money is from corporations.
The whole point of the media should be to challenge all forms of power, especially corporate — yet, clearly, nothing could be further from the truth.
WATCH — Animation: Noam Chomsky Explains How The Media Is Controlled by Corporations (amongst other things).