It’s “sensitive” to tell the truth these days. It can get you in trouble. It can get you censored. And that’s exactly what the Establishment is aiming for: total and complete censorship of the Internet, whether done by corporate titans or by governments. And who are the biggest, most vocal advocates of censorship today? It’s the “liberals.” After all, corporate Twitter is hardly a bastion of reactionary thought. Backed up by a phalanx of liberal academics, who have been turning out reams of “research” designed to show that right-wing “extremists” are spreading “hate” and ‘misinformation” over the Internet, the paladins of American liberalism have now become the Mrs. Grundys of the cybernetic age.
This illiberal liberalism has been trending for a while, but it spiked with the 2016 presidential election, when the anti-“fake news” campaign hit the media. Supposedly broadcast by Russian “bots” – automated social media accounts – information deemed damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and labeled “misinformation,” was held responsible for the Democratic nominee’s surprising defeat. The publication by WikiLeaks of the DNC files and John Podesta’s embarrassing emails brought cries by liberals for the media to refrain from covering the story. And the WikiLeaks revelations gave birth to an entire mini-industry, which purports to show that the whole thing was a Russian plot to elect Donald Trump – a conclusion endorsed by our intelligence agencies without making any real evidence public.
Now the same thing has happened with the French election, where rightist Marine Le Pen faced off with centrist neo-liberal (and winner) Emmanuel Macron. Hours before a mandatory ban on campaigning went into effect, what is apparently the entire content of the Macron campaign’s email cache was published online, along with allegations of a secret Cayman Islands bank account, charges of tax evasion, and an email from a prominent campaign official ending with the slogan (in French) “F—k the people.”
The response to this has been ferocious, with threats by the French government to prosecute anyone who so much as mentions the data dump, and accusations that – of course! – it’s all a Russian Plot. There’s Cyrillic metadata as well as the actual name of a Russian computer expert in that metadata, which, far from being evidence of a sinister Russian conspiracy, probably means someone is trying to implicate the Russians. Who, after all, would leave such a painfully obvious clue?
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