Is the Alternative?

When Parler was bounced off Amazon Web Services back in January, it seemed like a good idea to migrate to Gab, since they control their own server network. As YouTube continued its relentless suppression of counter-narratives, Gab TV was one of many good alternatives. And as the war on counter narratives extended to financial services, Gab again beckoned, with a plan to open their own bank.

How’s all that working out?

Independent banking, perhaps Gab’s most ambitious aspiration, still has Torba playing defense. Just last week another bank canceled its relationship with Gab. In a report published by The National File, Torba said “I predict that soon we [Gab] will see the same level of financial persecution used against churches who refuse to go woke and continue to preach God’s Word. Christians and conservatives need to wake up to what is happening in this country. We’re moving beyond simply getting banned from Facebook and Twitter and onto something much worse: they want us banned from the entire financial system.”

Despite setbacks on the financial front, which could eventually prove fatal, if you believe free speech should be free in America, then Gab, and its founder, Andrew Torba, still deserve a lot of credit. Gab TV is up and running, and the original is a throwback to the wild free-for-all that Twitter and Facebook once were. But scale is the challenge, and Gab, for all its integrity, does not reach a lot of people.

Scale is relative, of course. And it isn’t easy to get user figures for Gab. Their global Alexa ranking is 2,208. That’s impressive, but Twitter’s Alexa ranking is 38. To achieve the scale of their monopolistic rival, they have literally a world of ground to make up. According to Omnicore, Twitter is used by 21 percent of U.S. adults, with over 200 million worldwide users. According to The Intercept, as of March 2021, Gab had 4 million users.

Gab TV is off to a good start, but have a look at their view counts. Scroll down to videos posted 24 hours ago and find the one with the most views: Gab TV’s most popular July 12 video, based on counts one day later, has the edifying title “SICK! School Hires Gay Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey to Teach Small Children How to Stick Stuff Up Your Butt.” Yes, perhaps we need to know what some on the extreme Left is trying to teach our kids, but at 643 views, not too many people got the message.

Gab, just like Parler, Odysee, BitChute, Rumble, and dozens of other alternative platforms, faces an almost impossible challenge. They are competing with three monopolies: Twitter for short form text, Facebook for long form text, and YouTube for videos. Those three companies own their respective markets. Their competitors, and there are many, are competing for the remaining ten percent slice, if that.

As Robert Mariani, writing for The American Conservative, put it back in January, “You Can’t ‘Just Build Your Own Twitter.’ To build an alternate social media website with a dissenting moderation policy, you must first invent the universe. Good luck.”

Another big problem for the alternative platforms, beyond the challenge of inventing a parallel universe, is the stars and constellations they will attract. We value fringe content, all of those odd stars, because if you navigate through them, you will find valuable information. But you have to explore a lot of idiocy as well. The mainstream platforms, for all their sinister manipulation of the narrative, have a huge advantage. Pretty much every nonpolitical attraction, from how to string a guitar to how to repair a washing machine, climb Mount Shasta, or find every old friend you ever knew, is right there. With that critical mass, they’re never going to lose most people.

The monopolies know this. That’s why fighting to make them respect free speech is just as important as supporting the alternative platforms.

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Twitter Bans Nick Fuentes

What took them so long? When reviewing the list of people banned by Twitter, you have to wonder how the President of the United States could be “permanently suspended” (is that an oxymoron?), but Nick Fuentes remained. He must have done a careful dance to avoid somehow violating Twitter’s “terms of service” until now. And even now, Twitter won’t tell anyone what was the last straw.

Fuentes, at the ripe old age of 22, has already made quite a name for himself. His initial videos, which he started posting as a college freshman, weren’t terribly alarming. He would initiate debates over immigration with people who disagreed with him, and appeared to be having the time of his life. This quality, the gleeful troll upsetting Leftist pieties, at first probably disarmed some of his critics. In a 2019 interview with Milo Yiannopoulos, those qualities come through loud and clear.

What also comes through, then and now, is a young man who openly admits he wants to live in a society that is majority white, condemns homosexuality, and claims America’s media and financial sectors are dominated by Zionists. Should people like Nick Fuentes be permitted to share their opinions on public online forums?

The answer to that is clearly open to debate, but along with Ben Shapiro – no fan of Fuentes – we’ll error on the side of inclusion. Not only because speech, no matter how much we disagree with it, remains protected under the First Amendment. Not only because the Section 230 exemption requires publicly used platforms like Twitter to refrain from editorial censorship. But also because of the double standard.

It doesn’t matter if you agree with the double standard. Free speech laws aren’t designed to protect speech you agree with.

Why is it that other nations, from Japan and Israel to virtually any Islamic nation, are permitted to scrupulously preserve their culture, whereas critics of culturally disruptive mass immigration to the United States are branded as racists? Why is it that Islam condemns homosexuality, but if some Christians share those beliefs, they are subject to lawsuits and online censorship? Why is it that members of Congress such as Ilhan Omar can condemn alleged Zionist influence, but Nick Fuentes cannot?

There’s another reason it is a mistake to ban someone like Nick Fuentes from platforms like Twitter, and it is what this will do to him. Everyone pushed off the mainstream platforms doesn’t just lose their audience and years of work. They are reminded that free speech isn’t free. They are reminded that only narratives that meet with corporate approval are tolerated. They are reminded that there is a shocking degree of unanimity among what corporations tolerate.

Finally, they are reminded that if you are a Leftist and say offensive, outrageous things, you are tolerated, whereas on the Right, not only are you not tolerated, but you are held up as supposed evidence that the entire Right thinks like you do, and should therefore be destroyed. Nick Fuentes no longer has reason to be reasonable.

This is no way to unite the nation. Allowing people like Nick Fuentes to speak their minds, exposing them if they’re loose with the facts, engaging them if they’re proposing solutions or expressing preferences that are unpalatable or ill conceived, is a pathway to reconciliation. It’s also the American way.

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Facebook Launches Extremist Snitch Campaign

Want to mess with someone you dislike? Maybe some person hiding behind a pseudonym that insulted you on Facebook with an abandon that only an anonymous coward might muster? Well now you can. Facebook has made it easier than ever to snitch on your enemies.

“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist,” is the unsolicited message popping up by the thousands, if not millions, on the feeds of unsuspecting users. Facebook then helpfully offers “confidential support.”

As reported in American Greatness, another new popup courtesy of Facebook is a warning that “you may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently,” which goes on to say “you can take action now to protect yourself and others.”

What irony. How is this not an ominous new escalation in the war on free speech and unmanipulated thought? Where exactly is the line drawn that separates the “extremists” from the rest of us? And how can we trust a company to be impartial when applying that definition, when it is ran by a CEO that spent over $400 million dollars to buy a national election and put his senescent puppet into the White House?

To those with a sense of history and more than a little skepticism over man’s capacity to remain civilized, these moves are not isolated or insignificant. They are part of a rapidly progressing movement to concentrate economic and political power and silence dissent.

The apparent hypocrisy, where looting, vandalism, violence and intimidation is tolerated when motivated by favored causes, while mere ideas are crushed if they challenge those causes, erases any credibility Facebook – or any of the big online platforms – might otherwise have. They’re not looking for extremists. They’re looking for political dissidents who are on the wrong side.

The day may come when people on the Left realize the con. Because this ongoing transformation of America into an oligarchy will not end well for the foot soldiers on the Left, regardless of how useful they are today. That day may not come too soon.

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LinkedIn Deletes Account of mRNA Inventor

You would think that the scientist that invented the mRNA and DNA vaccines would not have his opinions overruled by the censors overseeing LinkedIn accounts, but if so, you’d be wrong. Last week the personal account of Dr. Robert Malone, the pioneer of mRNA vaccine technology, was deleted by LinkedIn without warning or explanation.

In an appeal, LinkedIn did the courtesy of replying to Dr. Malone, offering six examples of what they allege was “misleading or inaccurate” information about vaccines and COVID-19. But if you read these examples, what you are viewing are reasoned, informed opinions by one of the leading experts in the world.

One may argue, ad infinitum, First Amendment rights, the prerogatives of LinkedIn as a private company, and the relevance of anti-trust precedents. But there is another even more basic governing principle that can apply here: Is LinkedIn a “platform,” or is LinkedIn a “publisher,” and if LinkedIn is a platform, enjoying Section 230 immunity under Federal law, why are they exercising editorial discretion as if they were a publisher?

This solution – forcing censorious platforms to adhere to their obligations under Section 230 – invites the fewest conflicting interpretations. That Section 230 is not invoked invites speculation and nurtures conspiracy explanations. Why, after all, is someone of Dr. Malone’s stature being silenced? Someone who has made such fundamental contributions to the technologies that he is criticizing should not be silenced, they should be amplified. Maybe there are facts we haven’t taken into account?

Not only was Dr. Malone silenced despite his stature as one of the leading experts in the world on this new vaccine technology, but he was silenced despite offering a nuanced perspective. Dr. Malone wasn’t shooting from the hip, calling into question the entire COVID-19 vaccination effort. He was merely stating his belief that for young children and adolescents, the risks of the vaccine might outweigh the benefits.

Big tech has made it clear they will censor whatever threatens a mainstream narrative, in this case on the question of who should get a COVID-19 vaccine. It begs the question: Who is defining this mainstream narrative, and why? Because it has become obvious to anyone paying attention since, say, June of 2015, that there is such thing as a “mainstream narrative,” and those who don’t adhere to it will find themselves without a voice.

And then, guess what? On July 5th, after much outcry, Dr. Malone’s account was reinstated by LinkedIn. People with less credentials and fewer followers are never so lucky.

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National File – Hard News for the New Right

Twitter, like Facebook, YouTube, and, for that matter, Source Watch, is a good place to find alternative voices not because they aren’t trying to silence these voices, but because they are. Call it the Streisand effect, defined by Wikipedia as ” a social phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of further publicizing that information.”

Twitter did their job again a few weeks ago when they locked out the news site “National File,” after it reported that a 13 year old died after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Epoch Times reported the lockout, later lifted, but the public spotlight hit the National File, and we had a look.

To be clear, there is nothing terribly special about the National File. Undoubtedly ran on a shoestring, they have a news website, the obligatory social media accounts, and a YouTube channel that’s been dormant for over six months.

So what’s the point?

The point is that when you view their home page, keep two things in mind. First, you need sources like the National File to find reports that embarrass the Left, or tell the rest of the story about something that the Left has distorted into a smear on the Right. Because you’ll never see any of that on the mainstream media platforms – online or offline.

Second, if you examine the National File’s content, you will find the predictable selectivity. The news they choose to report defends the Right and exposes the Left. But their respect for facts doesn’t merely match that of the mainstream media, but exceeds it. Anyone who thinks that David Muir at ABC, or, for that matter, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook or Jack Dorsey at Twitter, is going to care any more about the truth than National File editor Tom Pappert, is living in fantasy land.

That is why we started Winston84, and that is why we continue to highlight examples of censorship and examples of alternative voices that are suppressed. We welcome the National File to our directory of irreverent investigators, and wish them well.

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Vivek Ramaswamy Demolishes Stereotypes

Once in a great while a promising leader emerges that gives all of us hope for the future. Vivek Ramaswamy is one of these individuals. Only 35 years old, Ramaswamy has already earned a degree in biology from Harvard, a law degree from Yale, and founded several biotech and healthcare technology companies and subsidiaries. His new passion? Fighting “wokism.”

In a 26 minute YouTube video that has attracted over 100,000 views, and probably would have attracted millions of views if it were furthering the corporate narrative, Ramaswamy offers a rare blend of brevity, detail, insight and eloquence. He begins by relating the experiences of his own immigrant family, explaining that “hardship isn’t the same thing as victimhood.”

He then defines woke culture as “new secular religion in America, where your identity is based on race, gender, and sexual orientation,” and “it [woke culture] posits that America is a systemically racist country, where if you’re black you are inherently disadvantaged, and if you’re white you’re inherently privileged.”

In a monologue that really should be heard in its entirety, Ramaswamy continues: “If you say ‘I’m not racist’ that means you are a racist, if you say ‘all lives matter’ that somehow means you believe that black lives don’t matter.”

Ramaswamy understands what’s happened, explaining that “in the name of diversity we have sacrificed true diversity of thought, in the name of democracy we have sacrificed our most important democratic norms of free speech and open debate, and in the name of inclusion we have created an exclusionary culture where certain views are just not welcome.”

These observations, and the culture of fear that Ramaswamy accuses woke culture of creating, is only part of why his video is so powerful. He explains how critical race theory moved from a fringe academic theory in the 1990s to the defining characteristic of American establishment institutions today. His theory is that corporations, their public image reeling in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, embraced the notion of race as the defining cause of oppression, because it deflected activist attention from economic oppression. As he puts it, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Wall Street to move from being the bad guys to being the good guys just by adopting these values.

No brief summary of Ramaswamy’s remarks can do them justice. He skewers the conventional libertarian mentality as completely inadequate to these times, as the government is now pressuring corporations to exercise censorship and surveillance that Americans are constitutionally protected from the government doing.

In his conclusion Ramaswamy asks “what does it mean to be an American today, in the year 2021? I can’t remember a time in my life when we more badly needed an answer to that question.” He calls for Americans to cultivate a shared identity, and to view our history with pride.

“Today as a people we are hungry for a cause. We are hungry for a sense of purpose. We are hungry for identity. The absence of a shared cause in America is a black hole at the center of our nation’s soul and when you have a vacuum that runs that deep, bad things start to fill the void. That is part of what makes wokeness so appealing as the new religion of our time.”

“We are hungry for a cause but we have forgotten that America itself can be that cause. We have spent over a decade celebrating our diversity and we have forgotten all of the ways that we are actually the same, united by a common set of ideals as a country…”

“A fundamental part of that vision was the American dream, that no matter who your parents were you could achieve that dream with your own hard work, your own commitment, and your own ingenuity. We spent the 2010s celebrating our diversity, we have to spend the 2020s celebrating what binds us together.”

This is a man to watch. Watch the video. It is unlikely to be removed, but don’t expect it to be promoted, either!

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COVID-19 Early Stage Therapies Remain Censored

The American Journal of Theraputics published a study on June 17 that found “the drug reduced the risk of death in COVID-19 patients by an average of 62 percent, at a 95 percent confidence interval of 0.19–0.79, in a sample of 2,438 patients,” and “Among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the risk of death was found to be 2.3 percent among those treated with the drug, compared to 7.8 percent for those who weren’t, according to the review.”

Meanwhile, in India, the most recent surge of COVID-19 cases was suppressed within weeks after “India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revised its guidelines on April 28 to include a recommendation that asymptomatic and mild cases be treated with Ivermectin.”

Why isn’t this headline news in the United States? Why is it that early stage, inexpensive therapies for COVID-19, which appear to be effective against the latest variants, remain forbidden topics for national networks? Why are these reports accompanied by warnings and deboosted on social media platforms, if they’re allowed to appear at all?

These forbidden topics slowly give way to truth, as proven with Facebook’s about-face earlier this month wherein they now allow claims that COVID-19 was engineered in a lab, and does not have natural origins.

The suppression by social media platforms of information about Ivermectin and other early stage treatments is both inexplicable and well documented. For over a year, information about Ivermectin therapy was suppressed by the World Health Organization and and censored online. And there is plenty of evidence that the “fact checkers” used by these social media monopolies are in fact partisan “fact blockers.”

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.

History will not be kind to the special interests that denied hundreds of thousands of people access to treatments that could have saved their lives. It is not necessary to be against vaccinations, or indulge in conspiracy theories, in order to realize that for some reason, America’s health establishment engaged in murderous negligence, with the full complicity of the media, online and offline.

And they’re still doing it.

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Revolver Alleges Federal 1/06 Provocateurs

If you Google “Darren Beattie,” you will know the power of algorithmic character assassination. His identity, according to the arbiter of reality that controls 92 percent of worldwide online searches, is defined by the fact that he attended a “white nationalist” rally. The actual transgression, if you want to call it that, was to speak at the Mencken Club, a group that takes its name and its inspiration from H.L. Menken, and like him, revel in the writer’s iconoclastic spirit.

If you review Darren Beattie’s work, you will find him to be a journalist and political commentator whose only flaw, if you want to call it that, is elitism. He doesn’t shrink from accusing his critics of low IQs. Problem is, they usually deserve it.

More to the point, Darren Beattie has characterized a recent investigative report on the always interesting, relatively new website Revolver, which he helped found, as “the most important piece we’ve ever published.” That’s a big statement, and it might just be true.

Titled “Unindicted Co-Conspirators in 1/6 Cases Raise Disturbing Questions of Federal Foreknowledge,” the article presents evidence that many of the most egregious actions committed by the mob during the January 6 capitol protest were done by provocateurs under the supervision of Federal agents.

Typically in cases where there are criminal cases, the informants are themselves indicted, then granted immunity in a plea deal in exchange for testimony. But in the cases pending against January 6 protesters, the witnesses are “unindicted co-conspirators.” Yet in many cases these individuals committed more serious crimes than the people who are sitting in jail awaiting trial.

Also noted in the lengthy report is a recap of the supposedly deadly plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The article alleges that five of the eleven key individuals involved in that plot were Federal agents, and goes on to describe how these Federal agents encouraged the would be kidnappers and provided them material support right up until their arrest. Continuing, the article identifies some of the Federal agents running what might be characterized as an entrapment operation in Michigan as the same agents transferred to Washington DC and on the scene January 6th.

The sad reality of mainstream news today is there is very little that can be trusted. Revolver, while clearly hewing to its own set of biases, offers crucial balance. This article should be read, carefully, by anyone trying to better understand what’s really going on in America’s Federal government, and who is really in charge.

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Will We Ever Know the Truth About the Clintons?

Christopher Sign is dead at age 45. Sign is the journalist that exposed the supposedly unplanned meeting between Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in 2016.

If you Google “Christopher Sign dead” you’ll get a page full of headlines and excerpts stating his death is “being investigated as a suicide.” But why would a healthy 45 year old with a young family do that? Sure, it’s possible, but it isn’t likely.

Sign, who received death threats after reporting the obvious – the ex President of the United States, husband to the Democratic candidate for president, does not randomly run across an airport runway to a plane that just happens to be parked next to his plane, in order to engage in a 20 minute discussion about the weather. Just days after the meeting, the FBI decided it would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary.

One of Google’s top search results has the helpful excerpt “Trolls spread ‘Clinton crime syndicate’ nonsense conspiracy after ABC anchor found dead.” The problem with these attempts to debunk the conspiratorial interpretation of Sign’s death is simple: We’ve realized our news is censored and we’ve realized our establishment institutions can’t be trusted.

When you watch every major corporation and political special interest in America line up to fund a year of vandalism and thuggery, justified by lies and distortions, while demonizing the law abiding majority as inadvertent if not overt White Supremacists, you don’t trust them any more.

When you watch the entire weight of the American corporate establishment spend four years spreading obviously dishonest propaganda calculated to demonize and destroy an elected president, you don’t trust them any more.

When you watch the American medical establishment, with the full complicity of every major political and corporate institution, suppress information about early stage treatments for COVID-19, and lie about its origins, you don’t trust them any more.

When things like this happen, conspiracy theories gain credence. And the conspiracy theory that holds forth on the “Clinton crime syndicate” is robust, despite that many of the investigative voices that mushroomed into the Q Collective have been largely silenced. It wasn’t the Q digital army’s supposed militancy that got them banished from every major online platform, nor their most outlandish theories about Satan worshipers running the democratic party. It was what you read between the lines: tens of thousands of people were diligently investigating countless examples of how corrupt special interests have spread like a cancer through America’s most trusted institutions.

The light of day was intolerable. The Q warriors were crushed. Now they barely survive, relegated to alternative platforms where only the initiated dare to tread. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions remain in the online corridors where approved algorithms deliver approved pysops, and they ride the dopamine drip into quiescence.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who if nothing else is a breath of fresh air in a dank DC swamp, tweeted what millions are thinking: “Why is it that so many who cross the Clinton Crime Syndicate end up dead?”

If you want to find out more about the so-called “Clinton Death Count,” there isn’t much to be found. Comprehensive lists that were easily found ten years ago have disappeared. One fairly comprehensive list can be found from Robert Horan, who maintains a website and a Twitter account. His list includes details about each alleged victim, but hasn’t been updated in over a year.

There are other sources, the anonymous “Clinton’s Blood Trail,” also not updated. A NewsBytes article from 2016, a Gateway Pundit article from January 2021. Or a “debunking” article published on an Ohio State University website in 2019 – be sure to read the comments, since often that’s where the most interesting information can be found.

We may never know what is really going on behind the scenes in the Clinton organization. We don’t know if the scores of deaths suffered by former associates of the Clintons are the result of foul play. What we do know, however, is that there is a coordinated attempt to suppress this material.

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Nigeria Bans Twitter

Which is worse? A nation where politicians are silenced by “private companies,” or a nation where private companies are silenced by politicians?

In America, we experience the former, and in Nigeria, the latter applies. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the Twitter’s operations in the country.

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.

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