While it would be easy to chortle over a company like Twitter receiving a comeuppance at last, an honest assessment of what’s happened forces recognition of the difficult task facing social media monopolies. Twitter may not have the user base of Facebook or the viewership of YouTube, but they are the default platform for politicians everywhere to reach their constituents. And what did Nigeria’s president say that got him suspended from Twitter?
In reference to a growing insurrection in the nation’s southeast, he wrote: “”Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,”
This was a clear reference to Nigeria’s civil war, fought to defeat the succession of Biafra, a war that anyone alive back in 1967-1970 will remember as a hideous conflict that claimed millions of lives. Did this Tweet cross the line into a threat of violence? If not, it came awfully close. But assume for a moment there is no ambiguity whatsoever. Assume, as millions of Nigerians did, that this was an unsubtle threat to start killing people.
What was Jack Dorsey supposed to do? And shall we applaud the retaliatory government “suspension” of Twitter, when that’s what China, Iran, Russia, and other authoritarian nations do to repress their populations?
There’s a lot to chew on here. How are these suddenly crowned communications titans supposed to handle conflicts around the world that manifest as heated rhetoric, or worse, on their platforms? Imagine the predicament Google finds themselves in, owning a monopoly on online mapping, when they have to draw borders for nations with disputed territory? Where does the territory of Pakistan end, and India’s begin? What is the name of Taiwan? And so on.
In the United States, the solution ought to be easier. Communications platforms enjoy immunity from liability for what their content providers post, and in return, they don’t have the right to edit their posts. They get around this, and behave with an explicitly partisan agenda, by claiming they are protecting viewers from “hate speech.” This is a loophole that should be plugged.
But we can have these debates in the U.S. There are rules we can litigate, and eventually an equilibrium is going to be restored. In much of the rest of the world, by contrast, there are no rules, only power. Jack Dorsey may not be playing fair in the U.S., and for that we criticize him. But the game Dorsey has to play in nations like Nigeria may elicit a shred of empathy even in his critics. Only a shred, but a shred nonetheless.
There’s so much wrong with this it’s hard to know where to begin. Perhaps bullet points will suffice:
(1) Zuckerberg’s expenditure epitomizes the new reality: Democrats have all the money. They have the unions, they have big media, they have big tech, they have the woke corporations, and they have the billionaires.
(2) What Zuckerberg did violated existing campaign laws by creating unequal access to voting opportunities. It also was ethically suspect insofar as politically motivated private money was funding public agencies entrusted with overseeing voting.
(3) Trump did not incite the riots that took place on January 6th. By the standard Facebook used to judge Trump’s actions, so many politicians are guilty, most of them Democrats, that none of them should have Facebook accounts anymore.
(4) In any event Facebook is not suspending Trump for another two years based on his actions of January 6th. They are keeping Trump off Facebook because they don’t want him to use their platform to influence the 2022 elections.
(5) Facebook may be a “private company,” but they enjoy the legal immunity of a communications platform. With that immunity comes the responsibility to operate as a public forum, accepting all content that does not violate the First Amendment.
(6) The reason Facebook relies on the highly subjective “danger to the public” rationale for banning Trump from their platform is because it is the only way they can claim he is not entitled to First Amendment protections. It is wholly unjustified.
Ultimately what companies like Facebook are doing is sowing the seeds of Balkanization. They are driving more and more people onto alternative platforms. Trump himself is rumored to have a new social media platform he intends to launch soon as a competitor to Facebook.
Facebook has made the political calculation that their monopoly status will remain in spite of increasingly robust alternative platforms emerging. In this they may be right. It is time to force Facebook in court to either adhere to the obligations attendant to their Section 230 immunity, or lose those protections.
Zuckerberg’s come a long way since he built a website where his buddies could post photos of women and rate them on their sex appeal. That was only 16 years ago! In interviews, Zuckerberg claims his earlier “Facemash” had nothing to do with “Facebook.” Anyone who’s so much as smelled a line of code knows that’s BS. Change the name, expand the scope. Same architecture, same sordid founding user base. It’s fine if Zuckerberg wanted to be a crass undergraduate with a “prank” website that morphed into a zillion dollar company, but where’s the outrage from the predictable quarters? Where are the cancel culture police?
And now, this young man buys national elections, and decides who can speak, and who must be silent.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/Zuckerberg-portrait.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-06-07 22:46:412021-06-07 22:48:23Facebook Suspends Trump for At Least Two Years
How many people had their “reach” throttled down to nothing, or had their groups cancelled, or were banished altogether from Facebook, for stating what initially was taboo, then was controversial, and now is a likely fact: COVID-19 is an engineered “gain of function” virus, not found in nature.
It was only two months ago that Facebook announced they would “crack down on groups that break its rules.” As if they haven’t been cracking down ever since 2016. When Facebook has a CEO that’s willing to personally spend nearly a half-billion dollars to buy the presidency of the United States – and they do, his name is Mark Zuckerberg – you may rest assured that Facebook “cracking down” on unwanted political sentiments is an ongoing phenomenon.
Perhaps it’s fair to give Facebook credit for being flexible. Or maybe they’re just recalibrating their political agenda: When the overriding goal was to destroy the reelection chances of Donald Trump, it was important to claim anything Trump said must be false, but once Trump was out of office, it was safe to permit speculation as to the origins of COVID-19.
The news media sure played up the reversal. It made the headlines on CNN, Politico, Reuters, the Washington Post, USA Today, Yahoo, and countless other media properties. The Washington Post, predictably enough, had to put a leftist spin on the news, with a headline warning that “Facebook’s reversal on banning claims that covid-19 is man-made could unleash more anti-Asian sentiment.”
Is it possible that Americans will ever manage a collective puke at this infantile, destructive propaganda? At what point do we all dare again to identify the sources of potentially existential threats, even when they aren’t the work of wicked White people?
There are now dozens of alternative platforms big enough to host millions of users, free of censorship. But Facebook hosts 2.6 billion users. YouTube, for that matter, hosts 2.0 billion users. No other platforms come anywhere close to this sort of reach. When it comes to social networks, Facebook is a monopoly. When it comes to online video, YouTube is a monopoly.
This is why political activists have to work in both worlds – they operate on the monopoly platforms like Facebook, because of its unique potential to get their message in front of millions, while at the same time they migrate as many people as they can to their accounts on alternative platforms. That way, on the day that Facebook – without any accountability whatsoever – vaporizes their account, their lists, their content, all their years of work, they aren’t completely destroyed.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/W84iOrig-Facebook.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-06-02 00:08:002021-05-31 13:05:17Facebook Now Allows Claims That COVID Was Engineered
Back in the 1970s, the Union of Concerned Scientists, along with scores of other influential left-leaning groups, were in genuine opposition to corporate special interests. That was then. Today the global Left and multi-national corporations are in perfect political alignment.
But back then, as recently described by Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, the “disinformation playbook” employed by corporations consisted of the following tactics:
(1) The Fake – Conduct counterfeit science and try to pass it off as legitimate research.
(2) The Blitz – Harass scientists who speak out with results reviews inconvenient for industry.
(3) The Diversion – Manufacture uncertainty about science where little or none exists.
(4) The Screen – Buy credibility through alliances with academia or professional societies.
(5) The Fix – Manipulate government officials or processes to influence policy inappropriately.
In an interview posted on YouTube – which was quickly removed by YouTube – now accessible on BitChute, Dr. Kory, as quoted in the alternative news sourceWorld Tribune, “describes how the five tactics have been deployed against the scientific findings on ivermectin. One example is the corruption of leading medical journals, whose editors refuse to allow ivermectin studies to advance to peer review. The most egregious institutional participant, however, is the WHO.”
Kory’s accusations are denied a hearing on any mainstream media platform. For this reason alone they must be taken seriously. His allegation? “The real problem with the drug [Ivermectin], is that in addition to being effective, safe, and easily available, it is very cheap. Ivermectin costs only a few dollars per dose. This pits the drug against financial interests of over 100 billions of dollars to be made from vaccines.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been impossible to get reliable data on the effectiveness of therapies. To the extent there is reliable data on Ivermectin, it has been suppressed. But even without data, and even without a background in medicine, it is compelling to wonder – what would have happened if the hundreds of billions that have been poured into vaccines had instead been used to research and deploy early stage treatments?
Thanks to “gain of function” research, and suppression of treatment options, we now face a world where mandatory vaccines, which will have to be “boosted” with annual shots. Over time, this will pour trillions into the treasuries of the pharmaceutical corporations, and bestow previously unthinkable police powers to national governments.
Or we may hope. Will the efficacy of Ivermectin be the next thing that Facebook stops censoring? And if so, will everyone that took the experimental vaccines suddenly not need them, since what they were protecting themselves against is curable? Don’t hold your breath. If COVID-19 therapies became popular, trillions in profits and tyrannical new powers would be in jeopardy.
Until the media platforms, most assuredly including the search and video monopoly Google and the social media monopoly Facebook, start to permit open discourse on this topic, we must consider the possibility that we are victims of what might well be the biggest betrayal of a population by its economic elites in the history of the world.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/WHO-LOGO.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-06-01 13:01:502021-05-31 13:05:10Ivermectin Therapy Suppressed by WHO and Censored Online
It is difficult to overstate the helpless feeling that results when one finally realizes that the most powerful arbiters of communications in the history of the world are not platforms, but publishers, intent on ensuring that only news and information they approve of ever sees the light of day.
The most egregious refutations of the approved narrative are banned entirely, left to sputter away on backwater alternative platforms that lack the capacity to virally connect with a mass audience. But reputable journals are victims of more refined tactics, equally frustrating, equally unfair. One of the most reputable of these reputable victims is City Journal, one of the finest policy magazines in America.
Earlier this month City Journal exposed the force behind Facebook’s “fact checking” operation, a nonprofit organization named “Science Feedback.” These people are not objective fact checkers in any sense of the word. They are a partisan gang of fact blockers, created to filter out of mainstream online content anything that violates their ideological and political preferences.
City Journal author John Tierney describes how his report on the harms to children from wearing masks was labeled by Facebook’s “fact checkers” as “Partly False Information. Checked by independent fact-checkers.” But as Tierney describes, there is solid evidence to back up his claim that wearing masks can cause oxygen deprivation, especially in children and athletes.
The shameful behavior of these “fact checkers” is well documented. As Tierney reminds us, when back in October President Trump said that COVID vaccines were going to be available within a month or two, “Science Feedback” slapped an “inaccurate” label on his prediction, saying the vaccine wasn’t going to arrive sooner than mid-2021. The reality? Within days after the November election, the vaccines were announced as ready, and shots began in December.
How do you fight corporations that have lined up, with all their hundreds of billions of dollars, to hire “fact blockers,” implacable and blatantly biased? City Journal appealed to Facebook and to Science Feedback, and neither changed their position despite being given compelling evidence to support Tierney’s claims.
Ultimately what these propagandists do is spread the truth when the truth is convenient, and lies when lies are convenient. Their mission is to promote whatever reality they’re paid to promote, and to suppress and smear anything that challenges that reality.
“Science Feedback” is focused on two things, heath and climate, which are the “emergencies” being hyped to take away individual freedom and national sovereignty. Organizations like “Science Feedback” are the reason why whenever millions of people hear cliches like “science based policy,” or “trust the science,” or the infantile “Science Says…” they turn away in disgust.
The ironic bottom line result of organizations like “Science Feedback” is to discredit “science” as a politicized fraud, adding it to the list of institutions for which reasonable people have lost all trust.
The popular woke notion that a white person has no right to express their opinion to a black person is a preposterous canard. Of course whites can speak out, because year after year, the Democratic party relies on black voters to change the outcome of every close election in America. When someone is altering your future, sending it careening into an abyss, you have the right to try to talk them out of it.
Nonetheless, it is always a relief to find another black influencer who is willing to challenge the Democratic machine. At the risk of playing the same game at which the woke Left excels, we’ll just state for the record that of the 348 records now populating the Winston84 directory, 58 of those individuals are black. That’s almost 17 percent. And today we proudly add another, Leonydus Johnson, who bills himself on Twitter as “an advocate for post racial identity.”
Until the next wave of cancellations, influencers like Leonydus Johnson may not be boosted by the big platforms, but they’re making their presence known. With 111,000 followers on Twitter, and a growing presence on the other mainstream venues – Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube – Johnson is a man to watch. It would be a shame if he had to move onto the alternative platforms, but how he has been harassed so far is an indication of how the threshold for tolerable speech is being relentlessly lowered.
For example, on his Instagram account, Johnson has a screenshot of a Tweet where he wrote “How can Americans be so arrogant as to believe that what happened in places like Maoist China cannot possibly happen here?” Good question! And for his trouble, Twitter notified Johnson that “Your post didn’t follow our Community Standards on hate speech. No one else can see your post.”
Are you kidding?
Johnson’s website is called “Informed Dissent,” where he discloses that “His sociopolitical and economic views are heavily influenced by the likes of Murray Rothbard, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, Milton Friedman, and Jordan Peterson.” His content is fact based, rational, and delivered with a controlled passion that will move the uncommitted.
People like Leonydus Johnson are going to save America. Because they are rising up, as post-racial individuals, and demanding that “Who I am has very little to do with my skin color.” These awakened warriors against the woke Left are a sleeping giant. They are the heart of America, they are united, and they will prevail.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/W84iOrig-LeonydusJohnson.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-05-24 23:06:342021-05-24 23:09:09Leonydus Johnson - An Advocate for Post Racial Identity
It is a shame that America’s establishment institutions have become obvious purveyors of an agenda-driven narrative, irrespective of the actual truth. For those of us who weren’t sure if this was so prior to the Trump presidency, it became obvious once he got elected in 2016. For four years, with straight faces, mainstream television news anchors spewed blatant falsities, verifiable by anyone who actually watched the events being covered. The fix got even more obvious in the runup to the 2020 election, as websites and social media channels were deleted by the tens of thousands, denying viewers the opportunity to decide for themselves truth from falsehood.
The COVID pandemic made this reality of censorship even more obvious – and to what end? In any pandemic there are four steps that public health authorities take. They mandate social distancing, they develop early stage treatment protocols, they develop late stage treatment protocols, and they work on a vaccine. But with COVID, part two was largely ignored. Not only ignored, but maligned. Information was suppressed or minimized over any suggested early stage treatment, from the much condemned HCQ to more standard therapies such steroids to reduce deadly inflammation. Why?
When institutions lose credibility, society begins to fall apart. The COVID pandemic could have been handled differently, and maybe it only attacked the aged and the weakened, but attack it did. There were well over 600,000 “excess deaths” in the U.S. during the twelve month period from 4/01/2020 through 3/31/2021, when compared to the averages for the previous six years. This data is readily available from the CDC (download CDC Excel data). But then again, there are millions of people now in America who don’t even believe this statistic from the CDC. And why should they?
Which brings us to the vaccines. Brought to market in record time, are they saving lives, or has COVID already run its course? How effective are they? What are the long-term effects of taking them? Will people have to take boosters every year? Will “vaccine passports” become a fact of life around the world? Are these vaccines breeding more virulent COVID variants? Some of these questions can’t be answered because nobody knows. Others will not be answered, or even discussed. Why? The only thing we know for certain is that vaccine manufacturers are going to make hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, and the powers of central governments around the world just got far, far more intrusive.
One of the last refuges of dissident content are podcasts, because they are lengthy, audio only, and hence difficult to monitor. Here are two podcasts produced by Del Bigtree, one with world renowned vaccine specialist, Geert Vanden Bossche, and one with award-winning virologist, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi. Both of them discuss the global COVID vaccine rollout. Their observations are disquieting, to put it mildly. Are they correct in the observations? Who knows? But their credibility is no less than the credibility of the propaganda machine to which our supposedly intrepid establishment media has been reduced.
So is it wrong to listen to these contrarian viewpoints before deciding whether or not to take the vaccine?
We think not.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/W84iOrig-TheHighWire.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-05-18 23:04:042021-05-18 23:39:22Suppressed Opinions on COVID Vaccines
For years PragerU has done a remarkable job of producing conservative themed videos and distributing them online. They have done this despite being shadowbanned, deboosted, demonetized, and often having their videos either removed or accompanied with content warnings.
Nearly ten years ago PragerU, recognizing the threat that YouTube could cancel their videos at any time, figured out how to produce and host their own videos independent of YouTube. But the platform they chose, JW Player, has now terminated the relationship, claiming “PragerU’s content is misleading.” They provided no examples. They provided no explanation.
As reported in ReclaimTheNet.org, “JW has many irons in that big profit fire: it has deals with the likes of ESPN, Electronic Arts, and AT&T. It also heavily features outlets like Vice and the Young Turks. Compared to that, what does it matter to it, in this day and age, to ‘cancel’ PragerU’s content via an ‘updated community guidelines’ policy?”
Any impartial observer who has watched all three of these content providers, that is, Vice, the Young Turks, and PragerU, will have a tough time understanding why PragerU was singled out. Vice and the Young Turks have a liberal bias, PragerU has a conservative bias. But if anything, PragerU has content that is less misleading than Vice or the Young Turks.
PragerU’s offense wasn’t that they went too close to the line separating fact from fiction, or honest commentary from misleading commentary. Their crime is that they were too good at making a case for conservative values.
A few years ago, in response to the ongoing harassment of PragerU, Billy Binion, an “assistant editor” at Reason, published an article entitled “PragerU Does Not Understand Censorship.” In this article, the author claims that because PragerU hasn’t been banned completely from platforms, they aren’t being censored. His logic is that since PragerU has established a robust online presence despite being suppressed at every turn, somehow this excuses the fact that they’ve been suppressed. Perhaps Billy Binion, Reason, and libertarians in general are the ones that “don’t understand censorship.” To use a metaphor, there is “torture” and there is “murder.” But both are forms of abuse. To say someone wasn’t abused because they weren’t murdered is the logic that Binion employs. It’s ridiculous.
The real problem with Binion’s reasoning comes down to this comment he makes “But Twitter’s advertising policies have nothing to do with the First Amendment, which protects PragerU from government action—not from the decisions of a private company.”
Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. Spotify. Apple. Google. WordPress. Bank of America. The list is long and growing. Now, add JW Player to that list. They’re all “private companies.” And if libertarians had their way, private companies would take over the world. Oops. Libertarians are having their way.
A balanced political observation might be to recognize that government protects us from private company’s abusing their power. Recognizing this doesn’t make us “socialists.” If private companies are allowed to control communications, much less squeeze the public space into smaller and smaller corners, then the Bill of Rights, all of them, have little meaning.
Here’s the danger: “You’re on private property. You will say what we want you to say, you will do what we tell you to do, or we will evict you.” Sound familiar? Put on your mask when you board a plane owned by a private company, or when you step into a superstore owned by a private company. It doesn’t matter what the CDC has told us, not that they’re terribly reliable.
But we digress. PragerU is a victim of censorship. And it’s yet another form of censorship, where the owners of the actual software and hosting companies deny service. No shirt, no shoes, no liberal bias, no service. Good luck to PragerU. And Reason? Wake up. You’re not helping.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/PragerU-LOGO.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-05-18 17:41:302021-05-18 17:50:38JW Player Video Software Company Bans Prager U
Over the past year the mission of the Winston84 project has been to identify silenced or suppressed voices online, and provide links so people can find them on alternative platforms. We’ve also tried to offer useful tips, pointing viewers to information that comes up and is immediately suppressed.
Some of our finds are obscure to most people, which is why we highlight them. The “Planet Lockdown” video, featuring an interview with Catherine Austin Fitts, is an example. The video can still be found, and is essential viewing for anyone trying to make sense out of where we are headed as a civilization – regardless of whether or not you believe everything Fitts has to say.
Other times we have featured brave warriors whose thoughts ought to be amplified by the online censors instead of suppressed; perfect examples are the many conservative Black intellectuals and activists such as Ward Connerly, who has spent a lifetime fighting for a colorblind society, or just outspoken free thinkers, such as the actor Clifton Duncan.
But the elephant in the room, the biggest voice silenced, the proof that censorship practiced by the online communications monopolies is brazen and knows no bounds, is that of our 45th president, Donald Trump. Using Facebook and Twitter, Trump was able to bypass the lies and distortions relentlessly spewed by a hostile media establishment, and reach hundreds of millions of people.
You may love Trump or hate him, but he did not deserve to be deplatformed by Facebook or Twitter. The fact that they did so is a violation of their Section 230 immunity, which protects them from liability for the posts their users make in exchange for their commitment to operate as a neutral platform, not a publisher.
But when you have tens of billions in your checking account, which Facebook surely does, you can thumb your nose at the law. When you have purchased a national election, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surely did, and now have a friendly regime in Washington, the law will bend your way regardless of the merits.
With these realities to fortify their resolve, Facebook has just upheld their ban of America’s 45th president. A scathing description of how they did this and what it means can be found in a recent article published in American Greatness by Julie Kelly. Facebook is not above the law. Facebook is the law. That is life in America today, and even the president is not immune to their reach.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/DonaldJTrump.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-05-13 22:58:302021-05-13 22:59:38Trump Still Banned from Facebook
If you want to find conservative Spanish language programming, you’ll look long and hard and may never find any. There is a critical mass of Spanish speaking media consumers in markets across America, but only a handful have access to right-wing points of view.
A company with growth potential in this area is therefore a major threat to the leftist cabal that controls most of the American media. That’s why, as recently reported in the Daily Wire, Democrats in the U.S. Congress are trying to block the sale of a major Miami radio station to America CV, a Spanish language media company with an anti-Castro editorial position. According to Newsweek, “the Spanish-language network America CV, which owns América TeVé, exited bankruptcy court and announced it was buying Caracol 1260 AM last week.”
Imagine that. This company, owned by Marcell Felipe, doesn’t even represent itself as “conservative,” but they’re still considered such a threat to liberals that the U.S. Congress may intervene. It is indeed worth Federal intervention when a private media company proposes to purchase a radio station and change its name to “America Radio.” After all, we wouldn’t want Latino voters to start loving America! They might start voting for conservatives!
Apparently Democrat Latinos in the U.S. Congress are terrified that the “sophisticated Spanish-language misinformation campaigns perpetrated during the 2020 election,” might continue into the 2022 election and beyond. That, in turn, might result in Florida staying Red. Because it couldn’t have anything to do with the job Florida’s no nonsense governor is doing, or the fact that Florida is thriving, while Blue states are still emerging fitfully from “lockdown.”
Anyone who thinks Latinos are destined to vote Blue in the future, and hence, “demographics is destiny,” could be in for a rude shock in the coming years. Latinos are going to help shape the future of America’s conservative movement, and Latinos may eventually become majority conservative. That’s why giving voice to conservative Spanish speaking media companies has to be stopped at all costs.
Censorship has many faces. Selective use of the FCC’s powers to regulate media sales – without a shred of anti-trust evidence, or anything else apart from a shift from the political Left to the political Right – is just another example of this censorship. If “America Radio” takes off, and Spanish language speakers start hearing another point of view, it will proliferate, online and offline.
Truth is a river. Censors can throw rocks in the river, but they can’t stop the flow.
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https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/America-TEVE-LOGO.jpg400400Edward Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v4_280x50.pngEdward Ring2021-05-12 15:41:152021-05-13 14:16:13Conservative Spanish Media Faces Congressional Opposition