It sure is interesting how stuff keeps happening that makes free speech on the internet something dangerous which must be curtailed. Covid, the Capitol riot, Russian propaganda, all of which just happen to require tightening restrictions on our single best tool against the powerful.
Had online platforms not agreed to curtail speech in alignment with the US empire, they would with 100 percent certainty have been broken up by antitrust cases and been replaced by other monopolistic companies that would censor in alignment with imperial interests.
You’re not permitted to ascend to power within the system unless you cooperate with existing power structures. If you don’t, you’ll be stopped in your tracks and replaced with someone who will.
A rookie journalist who doesn’t advance narratives favorable to US imperialism will keep getting called to the editor’s desk until they get the message. When rookie social media sites first showed up it was the same thing, except instead of the editor’s desk, it was US congressional hearings.
Western journalists learn very quickly that they can only get published by mainstream outlets by promoting narratives that are favorable to US imperialism. Example:
I have a story of air-strikes in Afghanistan killing/injuring over 1,500 children – and largely US led airstrikes. So far I have not been able to get the NYT, WaPo, BBC, Guardian, Mirror, Times to bite. If anyone wants it as a story, please DM me and I can send details.
— Iain Overton (@iainoverton) May 5, 2021
This is how propaganda occurs in the west. It’s not that Jeff Bezos emails Washington Post reporters saying “Promote US wars!”, it’s that only reporters who support imperialism see their articles published and their careers rise. As Noam Chomsky famously said in an interview with Andrew Marr, “If you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”
It’s always easier to flow with power than to flow against it. Entire societal infrastructures have been built to ensure that this is the case. Any effort which helps the powerful will be elevated and amplified, while any effort which inconveniences them falls into an empty void.