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QAnon, Facebook and the Inquisition

Many years ago (in 2003) a man drove his truck up the steps of the main entrance of the Canadian Parliament buildings. CBC just happened to be there. He was wrestled to the ground as he shouted: “you are all a bunch of Satan worshippers!” . I heard him say this on CBC news, and I thought to myself, how did that slip through the censorship? How had he guessed? Who had told him?

So when I heard that the basic premise of the evolving doctrines of the QAnon conspiracy was that an elite of pederastic or hebephile Satan worshippers is running the United States, I thought – nothing new here. That it was being run out of some pizza joint somewhere just adds that piquant touch of pseudo-facticity that lends credence to nonsense on stilts. Do they not know it is being run out the Council on Foreign Relations?

There has always been wickedness in high places, to cite St Paul. Always will be.

Thus I was interested to read on Unherd that “Facebook is radicalising your parents“. As the avergae age of users of Facebook rises, the kinds of concerns expressed naturally reflect the concerns of middle-aged and older people. (This usage pattern reflects the gradual ageing of the population, as births have crashed since the 1970s)

I quote: “The most shared news pieces on the site are increasingly on the Right. On 20 July of this year, for instance, the top-performing Facebook link posts by US pages were:

1. Fox News
2. Fox News
3. Occupy Democrats
4. Fox News
5. Ben Shapiro
6. Ben Shapiro
7. Ben Shapiro
8. An0maly
9. Blue Lives Matter
10. Dan Bongino”.

 

In possible accordance with this concern for radicalization of the elderly and the stated concern for spread of the dangerous ideology of QAnon, FaceBook announced the following:

“On October 6, we announced that we will begin removing any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content, in line with our expanded Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy.”

Naturally I was interested in what the policy said. Under the “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy’, Facebook has announced the following on its webpages:

 

Policy Rationale

In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow any organizations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on Facebook. This includes organizations or individuals involved in the following:

  • Terrorist activity
  • Organized hate
  • Mass murder (including attempts) or multiple murder
  • Human trafficking
  • Organized violence or criminal activity

 

We also remove content that expresses support or praise for groups, leaders, or individuals involved in these activities. Learn more about our work to fight terrorism online here.

 

We do not allow the following people (living or deceased) or groups to maintain a presence (for example, have an account, Page, Group) on our platform:

Terrorist organizations and terrorists, which include:

Any non-state actor that:

  • Engages in, advocates, or lends substantial support to purposive and planned acts of violence,
  • Which causes or attempts to cause death, injury or serious harm to civilians, or any other person not taking direct part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, and/or significant damage to property linked to death, serious injury or serious harm to civilians
  • With the intent to coerce, intimidate and/or influence a civilian population, government, or international organization
  • In order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.

 

Hate organizations and their leaders and prominent members

A hate organization is defined as:

Any association of three or more people that is organized under a name, sign, or symbol and that has an ideology, statements, or physical actions that attack individuals based on characteristics, including race, religious affiliation, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, serious disease or disability.

 

Mass and multiple murderers (including attempts)

We consider a homicide to be a mass murder if it results in three or more deaths in one incident
We consider an attempted mass murder to be one where an individual uses a weapon or vehicle to attempt mass harm in a public space or against more than one person
We consider any individual who has committed two or more murders over multiple incidents or locations a multiple murderer

 

Human trafficking groups and their leaders

Human trafficking groups are organizations responsible for any of the following:

Prostitution of others, forced/bonded labor, slavery, or the removal of organs
Recruiting, transporting, transferring, detaining, providing, harboring, or receiving a minor, or an adult against their will

 

Criminal organizations and their leaders and prominent members

A criminal organization is defined as:

Any association of three or more people that is united under a name, color(s), hand gesture(s) or recognized indicia, that has engaged in or threatens to engage in criminal activity, including (but not limited to)

  • Homicide
  • Drug trafficking
  • Arms trafficking
  • Identity theft
  • Money laundering
  • Extortion or trafficking
  • Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual exploitation (covered in section 7 and section 8)

We do not allow symbols that represent any of the above organizations or individuals to be shared on our platform without context that condemns or neutrally discusses the content.

We do not allow content that praises any of the above organizations or individuals or any acts committed by them.

We do not allow coordination of support for any of the above organizations or individuals or any acts committed by them.

We do not allow content that praises, supports, or represents events that Facebook designates as terrorist attacks, hate events, mass murders or attempted mass murders, serial murders, hate crimes and violating events.

End quote

__________________________

There you have it. Without appeal or means of address to the decision makers, your collection of 3 friends may be designated supporters of ‘hate events’,  without any actual event having taken place.

It is really much more pernicious than it appears.

Suppose for instance I became convinced that cousin marriages should not be allowed. (The case is made in Joseph Henrich’s “The WEIRDest people in the world” that the abolition of cousin marriage has marked the character of the people of western Europe profoundly, and in a positive direction for the emergence of modernity). Then I pointed out that in many societies of the world, mainly though not exclusively Muslim, cousin marriages are encouraged. If I pointed out that the suppression of cousin marriages was a necessary condition for the emergence of broadly based non-kinship societies, as Henrich’s book does, and that the secret of success of Western European societies was the suppression of cousin marriages, would I be banned from FaceBook as a hate group, if three of us decided it was an important idea to agree upon and promote?

Now a lawyer might quibble, but you know the answer. You betcha. Some social justice warrior kid would ban you in a flash if he or she thought that a discussion of the negative effects of cousin marriages was aimed at Muslims. Or even if it was not aimed at Muslims but Muslims complained.

We are inventing the new Office of the Inquisition. It is being done before our eyes. It is being done for all the right reasons, as long as you believe harm results from speech.

The least that could be done was what they did about the Inquisition in Portugal in the 1750s. No penalty imposed by the Inquisition was effective unless ratified by the state. That sharply reduced its power. If we cannot avoid the creation of these new Offices of the Inquisition, we should limit their jurisdiction and effectiveness.

 

Controlling the Human Spirit The Inquisition and Slavery 1250–1800 | by I POWER ALLAH | Medium

 

A calm inquiry  into the nature of beliefs about time, space, law and God is conducted in the 1700s. Are we there again?

Television versus Joe Rogan, and other topics

Spotify's dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech? | National Post

 

This past week I spent a few days with friends at their cottage. They have a complete spectrum of broadcast television available, whereas I have not subscribed to cable for at least five years. During that time, I have cultivated my news and opinion sources by selecting twitter feeds, facebook friends, and youtube videos. I am not living in an outrage bubble. I see more of Joe Rogan and Douglas Murray, for instance, than talking heads. Even my favourite broadcaster, Tucker Carlson, is watched solely through the Intertubes. I have become accustomed to conversations on Triggernometry and other interview shows where questions are asked sincerely and answered comprehensively, where issues are engaged, and answers are open to debate rather than assumed to be false or true according to the Narrative – the tale the media are making up today for our consumption.

It was thus something of a shock to the system to watch reaction to the Speech From the Throne on CTV this week. I simply could not believe the rudeness of the chief Talking Head, Lisa Laflamme. Every question was a gotcha or a “when did you stop beating your wife?”. She made the current Finance Minister look good in that Chrystia Freeland answered hysterical questions with factual responses, and kept her cool throughout.

So naturally as Joe Rogan enters the world of broadcasting, he becomes the target of the hysterics and witch hunters of the MSM. The case in point this morning was a hit piece by Sadaf Ahsan, “Spotify’s dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech?”

She writes:

“But here’s the thing: Rogan has long had a habit of spreading misinformation, sharing his own personal feelings and thoughts as facts, and he’s also a very big fan of conspiracy theories. It’s partly why he’s so popular for a very specific brand of fanboy, which Slate once generously described as “freethinkers who hate the left.”

Oh my goodness, how shocking! An opinion journalist who is sometimes wrong! And add to this the phony dilemma of whether Spotify’s staff has some role in censoring Joe Rogan, or Douglas Murray, or amy of the other thinkers who appear in Youtube. Apart from factual errors he is also accused of “transphobia” – the thought crime of insufficiently accepting that biological males are fmals when they declare themselves to be so.

Joe Rogan now draws viewership that competes seriously with entire cable TV networks.

This is from the article hyperlinked above.

  • “Joe probably gets 5-7 million views of full podcasts a day, which makes him far larger than any TV host.

  • Joe gets 200 million podcast views a month. CNN gets 330 million views a month, NBC and Fox are way bigger.

  • Factoring in Rogan clips, and media website views. Joe gets 400 million views a month. CNN 800 million, Fox 1.2 billion, 700 million for NBC. So Rogan is gigantic, but not bigger than the big media corporations. 1/2 of CNN though, and 2/3 of NBC. That’s insane.”

Other sources show cable networks drawing about 2-3 million viewers a month.( https://www.statista.com/statistics/373814/cable-news-network-viewership-usa/)

Our busy little thought controller Sadaf Ahsan writes:

“Relatively politically liberal, Rogan has supported Bernie Sanders (though recently shifted his support to President Donald Trump), is pro-choice and believes in more social spending for the working class, but he also regularly gives right-wing commentators the space to share their ideas and often questions issues of LGBT equality. So it’s not all that surprising Rogan is loved by so many and that, as a figure who perpetuates a kind of toxic masculinity – what with his penchant for hunting, MMA fighting, and heteronormative views – he has become a beloved figure particularly in conservative circles that largely thrive online.”

 

Joe Rogan is a centrist Democrat, a male, a focused martial arts combattant, and a political liberal who likes Trump (sort of). He sounds like a quite typical American male of his generation, and he and millions more like him will secure Trump’s next term as President.

Rebel Yell rightly chides me for my naivety, in that I still think there might be some truth occasionally permitted in the MSM. Maybe there is, but the economics of slime hurling obviously provide more eyeballs than sobriety. The economic incentives of the MSM are skewed towards lies and outrage. Stay away from them.

 

 

Bari Weiss Resigns from the New York Times

Her resignation letter is fascinating, and what we suspected is happening, is. Calling it American Pravda is not an exaggeration.

 

“….a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.\…”

“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

“All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.”

“On the outer edges of rationality”

Nutters will be nutters. Even a court ruling is not sufficient to get the UK police to consider they might be wrong. No evidence is required to establish a hate crime. Repeat – no evidence is required. How is the hate crime established? By the subjective state of any nutter that your post was “hate”.