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Brave New World as we “Faceoff with Facebook” – But what’s the Alternative?
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Brave New World as we “Faceoff with Facebook” – But what’s the Alternative?

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Facebook is not really anybody’s friend and that is becoming too obvious, not only in terms of internet censorship and their so-called community standards; they are most selective at whom they block.

This begs the question as “who is really behind the curtain?”

Coincidence or not, two of my publishing outlets: Veterans Today. VT, and USA Really are both blocked—their links cannot be shared by facebook.  I guess that says something good about me, and the company that I keep, or that I keep VERY BAD Company and I am not a very politically expedient or correct person—even an useful idiot.  

A friend from Kentucky writes, Jeffrey, (over a month ago) I had sent a link to your site for writers to a friend, and FB deleted it claiming it went against their guidelines. Censorship is rampant.

In response to my dilemma, another friend wrote me recently, “Incidentally, you might want to start a Steemit account. You can post original content there. If people like it, they 'up vote' and you get paid a penny. (A penny for your thoughts), actually it is "Steem coin" equivalent to a cent.”

“I have a Steemit account, but friends haven't joined yet. It's just starting. You can repost whatever articles which are posted on VT or wherever. It takes a day to a couple weeks for your account to be approved. Only more fairly intelligent people are on there since it takes extra effort to get on.”

It is not the financial incentive that has me looking for an alternative to facebook but a moral choice.  I am tired of trying to share articles with family and friends and receiving this message when it they are blocked, “this message was removed because it includes a link that goes against our Community Standards.”

What Standards?

My social media savvy friend was curious as why my publishing sites were blocked, “Did VT or USA Really post anti-FB propaganda or something?”  I explained that it was more complicated than that and based on being one of many alternative media sites which are on the wrong side of political expediency; you don’t make friends by speaking truth to power.

Once upon a time I was a teacher of American literature at some fancy IB School in Tbilisi Georgia; I can always find something relevant in the time honored quotes of Mark Twain, having just assigned the War Prayer to my current college English students.  I wonder how the messenger of G-d would have reacted to social media, i.e. Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter—if he too had been blocked from speaking to the congregation as described in the War Prayer.

 It is even more complicated that than, as every aspect of what we are fed in terms of print media and even social networking serves some greater power, and not greater good. Social media is rendering many of us clueless.

If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.

–Mark Twain, US humorist and anti-imperialist

As a child I was told of my grandmother battling out with H. L. Mencken on the editorial page of the Baltimore Sun over something he had written, or correcting him on some contentious detail of history.

Well all that is moot these days, as few even read the paper but depend on the likes of social media to stay informed, and that is where the real misinformation comes in. There is little speaking truth to power, as once upon a time was the case with even corporate media.

An interesting footnote: He is known by a few in this generation for having predicated that someday that the ‘White House Will Be Adorned by a Downright Moron’?

As democracy is perfected, the office [of president] represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move towards a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

 Friend or Foe?

Facebook is a nasty piece of work, and just consider the funding history from its inception and CIA links.  It tracks people, makes connections, and who knows what else, its true agenda. In the era of Facebook: algorithms are considered as more trustworthy than humans but the code is written with a purpose In mind—and what is best for you and me is far from mind. 

Facebook allows what it wants, and that is with corporate media and BIG BROTHER in mind, as what gets earmarked as newsworthy. Once upon a time “independent publishers” were able to use the platform to reach their audience but those days are numbered.  

Allegedly Facebook is not in the business of creating the news − just sharing it—and nowadays, just blocking it, even the mundane sites that you want to share, if it does not have FB’s SEAL of approval. But where is the oversight, how can a corporation be allowed in a purported free society to be the great censor and manipulator of media?

Facebook’s domination of media creates the risk of the continued “hambergerization of information” with a very corporate bias and answers to none. Technically to its shareholders, and what is decided at the top is OK with them, as long as the dividends flow.

As the hapless users of the platform, we must be gun shy of any product with almost absolute power with little to no oversight. It is even worse than Orwell’s 1984 in many ways. We must be critical of the hidden hand of media censorship, shaping of our behavior and the “dumbing down” of America.

“Offer them the flowers and the books again”

It may be too late, as we are to the stage of no return. Our very souls are being sucked from us by such conditioning. It is not as George Orwell feared, simply banning books but that people are just too preoccupied in their virtual reality to even read them.  It is exactly as Huxley feared, in Brave New World, was that it would not be necessary to ban them, as who is left who would no read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism.

As for Brave New World vs. 1984, which one has won out, it appears that Brave New World has won - the society posed in that novel is what today's society has (obviously) become, although, as you know (especially after reading InfoWars, Google News, Facebook and PrisonPlanet so much), the "Powers That Be" would prefer that we live in the "1984" Society, and are trying their darndest to plunge us into that darkness—and Facebook is giving us the needed push to be cast into the abyss.

There will come the point where they will not have to even try. I've seen a lot of that propaganda all over the 'net and described as truth. If anyone dares speak up in favor of education, they will be tarred and feathered. For instance, at least in America, Ask younger folks what the Civil War was about and they insist it can only be a one word answer and they insist nobody should learn anything more.

As BNW describes, “they’ll [this generation] is growing up with what the psychologists used to call an ’instinctive’ hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterably conditioned. They’ll be safe from books and botany all their lives,” … and accompanied by a campaign against the Past; by the closing of museums, the blowing up of historical monuments (luckily most of them had already been destroyed)”, or [being removed], as in the case of America—and even the books.

Author: Jeffrey Silverman