‘Censorship industry’ called ‘whole-of-society’ replacement of the First Amendment

by WorldTribune Staff, March 17, 2024

[Editor’s Note: Since 2017, independent media platforms like WorldTribune.com saw proprietary and quantitative evidence that their audience share and “reach” were being arbitrarily limited and in some cases aggressively suppressed. In this follow-up to a Feb. 16 video featuring Tucker Carlson interviewing conservative commentator Mike Benz, Dr. Joseph Mercola notes how Benz lays out how the censorship regime in the United States aims for a “whole society” replacement of the First Amendment.]

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), misinformation online is a whole-of-society problem that requires a whole-of-society solution.

The DHS means that four types of institutions must fuse together as a seamless whole. Those four categories and key functions are:

1. Government institutions, which provide funding and coordination.

2. Private sector institutions that do the censorship and dedicate funds to censorship through corporate-social responsibility programs.

3. Civil society institutions (universities, NGOs, academia, foundations, nonprofits and activists) that do the research, the spying and collecting of data that are then given to the private sector to censor.

4. News media/fact checking institutions, which put pressure on institutions, platforms and businesses to comply with the censorship demands.

As explained by Benz, the censorship industry was built as a whole-of-society effort, and to combat that, a whole-of-society solution is needed.

Mercola notes:

“According to Benz, modern censorship is based on a complex, integrated system where governmental interests, military defense strategies and corporate technologies converge to regulate and restrict free speech, moving us away from the foundational ideals of internet freedom and openness toward a more controlled and surveilled communication landscape,” Mercola writes.

“Initially, the Internet was heralded as a tool of freedom, promoting open dialogue and the exchange of ideas across borders. This freedom was supported and even exploited by entities like the Pentagon, the State Department and intelligence services to advance U.S. interests abroad, particularly in facilitating regime change by supporting dissident groups in authoritarian countries. However, this perspective has shifted dramatically in the past decades.

“According to Benz, the change began with the realization within U.S. and allied defense and intelligence communities that the same tools that promote freedom and regime change abroad could also be used against them, which led to a significant shift from promoting to restricting speech online.”

Benz says:

The high-water mark of internet free speech was the Arab Spring in 2011, 2012, when you had … all of the adversary governments of the Obama administration — Egypt, Tunisia — all began to be toppled in Facebook revolutions and Twitter revolutions, and you had the state department working very closely with the social media companies to be able to keep social media online during those periods,” Benz says.

So free speech was an instrument of statecraft from the national security state to begin with. All of that architecture, all the NGOs, the relationships between the tech companies and the national security state had been long established for freedom.

In 2014, after the coup in Ukraine, there was an unexpected counter coup, where Crimea and the Donbass broke away and they broke away with, essentially, a military backstop that NATO was highly unprepared for … That was the last straw for the concept of free speech on the internet.

In the eyes of NATO, as they saw it, the fundamental nature of war changed at that moment … You don’t need to win military skirmishes to take over Central and Eastern Europe. All you need to do is control the media and the social media ecosystem, because that’s what controls elections.

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