How social media is used as a tool of empire.
Big-tech is being used as a tool of the United States empire
As I wrote about last week the United States empire is trying to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. This became even more clear after the re-election of Daniel Ortega when Biden said he will use all diplomatic and economic tools at his disposal to hold accountable the Ortega government. In case you don’t speak state department I will translate: the United States is going to starve the Nicaraguan people through sanctions because they elected a government that did not bow down to their global dictatorship. There is so much that needs to be said about the imperialist assault on Nicaragua but in this piece, I will focus on one specific aspect: social media censorship and tie it in with a larger issue of social media being used as a tool of imperialism. Recently social media companies went on a rampage censoring anyone doing reporting on Nicaragua that went against the United States regime change narrative. Journalist Ben Norton reported that Facebook and Instagram banned 1,300 account in Nicaragua belonging to Sandanista journalists and activists. When many of these people went to twitter to show they were real people and not government bots they were banned by twitter as well.
Journalist Camila Escalante reported that a Canadian physician named Timothy Bood who was observing the Nicaraguan election was banned from Facebook for three days for posting something critical of U.S. involvement in Nicaragua. I reported on Twitter that the same reporter Camila Escalante who is currently doing on-the-ground reporting in Nicaragua for her independent outlet Kawsachun News had her account flagged on Twitter for containing “potentially sensitive content”.
Journalist Alan MacLeod in a piece for Mintpress News found that Ben Nimmo and Luis Fernando Alonso, the two people behind the Facebook report that claimed the banned accounts were bots, had ties to military intelligence. Ben Nimmo for example worked as NATOs press officer from 2011-2014 and worked for a U.K. funded imperalist propaganda operation called statecraft. He is also a senior fellow at the pro war think tank the Atlantic Council (more on that later).
Social media used as a tool of empire.
This is just one of many examples of social media being used as a tool of the American empire. Below I will detail how the U.S. empire and its allies used social media to censor dissent against the Venezuela coup, selectively flag state media, and silence journalism because of russigate propaganda. In 2018 Facebook partnered with the Atlantic Council to counter “emerging threats” and “disinformation campaigns”. Again for those not fluent in state department, this means anything that goes against the imperialist narrative. A look at the Atlantic council's funding finds they are funded by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Raytheon Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, NATO, the U.S. state department, and the U.A.E. just to name a few. It truly is absurd that a think tank funded by the banks, oil companies, arms manufacturers, NATO governments, and gulf dictatorships is supposed to be an objective source on foreign policy. After this partnership, Facebook censored left-wing Venezuelan media such as TeleSUR and Venezuela Analysis when the Trump administration was backing a coup and placing brutal sanctions on the country. The Nicaragua censorship is verry much a repeat of this. Another example of social media acting as a tool of imperialism is its selective flagging of state media. For example Twitter Labels RT, Sputnik, CGTN, and Press TV as state-affiliated media but not BBC, NPR, or Voice of America. Another great example of this is Twitter flagging or banning content because of evidence-free state department claim it was “Russian disinformation”. The most obvious example of this would be the Hunter Biden emails which were deemed without evidence as "Russian disinformation" by former intelligence officials. Twitter took the former spooks at their word and banned the sharing of a New York Post article reporting on the emails. It was later verified by a politico reporter, Ben Schreckinger that these emails were authentic. Another example of this is when Twitter flagged a Max Blumenthal article in the Grayzone that used leaked documents from the U.K government with a warning saying "These materials may have been obtained through hacking". This again showed Twitter’s double standard because as journalist Aaron Mate pointed out stories using leaks from Iran and China that were most likely hacked did not get the same treatment from twitter.
I reported on this issue in an earlier article where I reported Twitter partnered with AP and Reuters to counter so-called disinformation. Within that article I detailed how both outlets have pushed pro-war propaganda on everything from Syria to Bolvia to Russiagate.
I write about this to show how this is not a one-off instance in the case of Nicaragua but an example of a bigger systemic issue. This also shows the importance of opposing big-tech censorship for those on the left and anti-imperialists. Social media censorship will always backfire and be used by the state department as a tool of imperlaism.