How Widespread is Censorship?
The bulk of censorship online results from just two programs.
Orchestrated by counter-violent extremist (CVE) community (a certain type of think tank), carried out by the tech platforms, and funded by the federal governmnent, censorship is an institutional effort.
A counter-violent extremist owned by Google, called Jigsaw, is the primary developer of those programs, and while there are other ways to censor opposing views, such as the various CounterSpeech techniques implemented by other counter-violent extremists online, we will focus on Jigsaw's programs here – Perspective API and Moderator.
Our team at Jigsaw uses artificial intelligence to spot toxicity online, and part of our work focuses on how to make that information more useful to the platforms and publishers that need it to host better conversations. 3
– The Noble Jigsaw
Perspective API users:
- Bing Search 1
- Coral by Vox Media "provides publishers with world-class conversation tools and strategies. More than 200 sites in 21 countries trust Coral to power their communities" 4
- Der Spiegel (a German magazine) 4
- Disqus, "the largest comment hosting service, with more than 50 million monthly comments across 200 countries, 2 billion monthly unique visitors, and 17 billion monthly page views" 3
- El Pais, "the most-read newspaper in Spanish" 5
- Facebook 1
- FACEIT (a gaming platform) 4
- The Financial Times 4
- Google Search 1
- Instagram 1
- LA Times 4
- Le Monde (a French publication) 4
- New York Times 4
- OpenWeb, "OpenWeb is a leading audience engagement platform that hosts 100 million active users per month. Their clients include publishers like AOL, HuffPost, TechCrunch, Fox News, Hearst, Refinery29, Sky Sports, MarketWatch, Salon, Newsweek and many others" 4
- Reddit 4
- Southeast Missourian 4
- Taringa (Latin America's 2nd largest social media platform) 4
- Twitter 1
- USA Today 4
- Wall Street Journal 4
- Washington Post 4
- Wired 4
- Youtube 1
Clearly, censorship has become a global effort, and is favored by the left-leaning despite left-leaning disinformation being the most destructive and sanctioned narratives of the modern world. Jigsaw only contributes to that disinformation9.
In fact, another left-leaning CVE by the name of Moonshot was given such unprecedented network control across Google during the 2020 presidential election, that users across the nation were in awe of how difficult it was to find simple information online. From September to December, Moonshot used 0ver 125,000 indicators for targetting people and content online 6. This means that what Moonshot defines as an "extremist" is so broad that 125,000 indicators are needed to be able to encapsulate it. What resulted was the strangest 2 month version of the internet that Americans have ever seen.
The Moonshot example is how far censorship can be taken, though in that case, something far more sinister is occurring than simple censorship.
Censorship is Just 1/3 of the Story
Censorship is just 1/3 of the story. To control information, one needs to be able to (1/3) stop certain ideas, (2/3) disseminate other ideas, and (3/3) justify this control. Obviously "stop certain ideas" refers to censorship, but how does the CVE community (2/3) disseminate other ideas?