When I was a teenager my father was a high ranking officer in a sensitive area of the Air Force. We were sent to Paris and then to SHAPE, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe.
Since my father was such a big muckety muck my brother and I were deemed to be kidnapping targets. In addition, it was thought that it would be a good idea to put us through an intensive course on propaganda: what it was, how to recognize it, how to combat it. My training came in handy, especially after I was waylaid in East Germany, but that’s another story.
I went on to Journalism School, thanks to the US Navy. More training on propaganda. Bottom line, I’m really good at recognizing crap when I see it.
Whenever a company can manipulate WHAT you see that’s propaganda. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to or what cause you espouse. Whenever the free flow of information is dammed up because a company, a corporation, or an individual deems it unfit for your eyes, you should run, not walk, to the nearest exit.
Shadow banning, de-monetizing, restricting content are just some of the techniques being used by Google, FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube. It’s brilliant because you never see what they don’t want you to see. You can’t make an informed choice because choice is limited for you – not by you.
One of the things I love about the internet is that it promotes the democratization of information. What’s happening now is the infantilization of the public. Someone else is deciding what’s good for you. As a fully functioning adult I don’t need anyone else choosing what’s acceptable for me. I’ll do my own deciding, thanks.
I use Duck Duck Go for my search engine. I never use Google anymore. First of all, I don’t want to be tracked and secondly I don’t trust them. I don’t use FaceBook, either, and I’ve mentioned why more than once.
What can any of us do? Recognize that it’s happening. Don’t get our news or information from just one source. Cast a jaundiced eye to stuff you see on these sites. Use a different search engine. Realize that if something is free (Google, Twitter, FaceBook, and YouTube) then each one of us is the commodity. We’re for sale through our personal information: likes, dislikes, friends, and companies with whom we do business.
A very old adage is: information is power. That’s never been truer than today.