System Shock: Alternative Media, Censorship and Systematization

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Han Fei says:

    I would like to offer a few observations about the alt-media sphere.

    The alt-media is in essence decentralized and compartmentalized. You don’t have one big echo chamber but rather hundreds if not thousands, catering to all sorts of tastes and “identities”, though as you’ve noted many times, all united with a common streak. I hate to sound cliched, but I believe I’m right to say that is impractical to take down these individual cells. This is evidenced by the media executives’ anti-piracy campaign, which despite going on for decades, resulted in nothing except dismal failure, and in fact on the contrary, significantly improved the technical capabilities of pirates. This is a reason why a small place like Kali Tribune is highly unlikely to be shut down.

    IW was shut down because it was the first such outlet to graze the skins of normies. The frenzied response of the mainstream press only indicates that they have no clue how to deal with the threat of one alt media source growing large enough to pose competition to them. Since the takedown, IW’s audience increased by millions due to widespread coverage of the event in fairly public sources. People had it hammered in them for decades that censorship of free speech was the ultimate evil, but now the same evil is being touted as a necessity by the same mouthpieces. If anything, it sounds like the perfect advertisement for alt media. The other consequence is that people having their access restricted to IW in major outlets like youtube, will naturally flock to the myriad of alternatives that are safely still up and running. Fringe outlets like pro-Russian “geopolitical” analysis or alt-right websites are untouched. This fact leads me to my major, sinister realization.

    I anticipate an objection that the audience pool of a fringe alt media outlet like the The Roots, Arutz Sheva or the Daily Stormer is negligible. Indeed it is, and you can safely ignore the influence they can have on an individual basis. But when you have thousands of such places, each more or less converging towards the same sort of worldview (regardless of whether its “leftist SJW” or fascist), then it’s not hard to point out to where this may lead. To adapt, to remain relevant in an era of dissipation, mainstream media too will increasingly cater to in-group narratives, until both alt and main melds in a single whirlpool of “free press”, all broadcasting their singularly distinct message of chaos.

    The media is a consumer product. It plays on the faculties in the human organism that elicit pleasure. People are naturally drawn to the sights and sounds that stir something deep inside them (even if consciously they may find it appalling) so as to produce an elated feeling of some kind, hence you have a predominance of narrative based reporting in alt-media (and most mainstream as well). The principle behind media is the same as that of pornography, in the sense that it is driven by the desires of the target consumer more so than by the source’s intent to actually provide meaningful information. Everyone is guilty of this whenever they peruse the media for coverage of daily events, myself no exception.

    Time after time again, we can trace how the “free press” shaped public consciousness through the spread of perfidious lies and unsubstantiated rumors. In the United States, media is tearing apart the fabric of society and undermining the authority of the state. The myriads of fringe groups, galvanized by the harrowing noises of their favored press outlets, are unconsciously led to pursue an increasingly thin framework of action and opinion. The air is filled with the draught of revolution.

    I’d like to say a few things about the Russia question, but given my scribomania I don’t want my comment to be longer than it already is.

    Oh and expect to be attacked in the future from both sides far more than you have up to this point. This is the price of seeking a semblance of the truth on a platform that is largely concerned with self-satiation.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      This tendency of melding mainstream and alternative is something I noticed early on in the “fake news” campaign; on the methodological level, MSM started relying on conspiratorial thinking. As such kind of explaining the world always tends to offer “totalizing narratives”, it is extremely adaptable to internet and useful for “system identity building” the most people in reality seek on internet.

      So, as far as they move on from traditional media platforms onto internet, MSM will meld with alternative, if for nothing else then for the purpose they’re both poised to fulfill and the methods involved. Conspiratorial narratives are unavoidable for this.

      The case of Yuri Bezmenov who is now becoming the poster boy for Leftist conspiracy theories about Russia is both hilarious and telling.

      As for KT, they can’t bring the site down without a bit of hacking. They can remove it from social media, but that wouldn’t hurt a bit.

  2. Avatar Ante says:

    I think that this attempt at shutting down the alt media shows the lack of wisdom and probably drop in quality of people running the supposed mainstream. It is very unlikely they will succeed in shutting anything down, certainly in the way they would want to see. But they will achieve the effect of alt media’s audience being entrenched even more in their naughty opinions and positions, alt media personalities having their credibility reinforced by the attack (“See ?! What have I been telling you?!”) and many fence sitters being encouraged to hop into the alt camp. Nothing quite like a feeling of danger and outrage to invigorate otherwise passive people and give them a sense of purpose. And if that danger is actually not all that dangerous and mostly cosmetic, all the better. I guess it will feed the need to be a rebel, in a similar way in which adhering to the various human rights and similar issues does. You get to have the appearance of a cool rebel biker, while at the same time not risking anything and being perfectly in line with either mainstream or the “alternative”, either way part of a massive, uniformed, conforming block, irony of it as usual being missed.

    Except of course if this is by some kind of a design, but I doubt it. We tend to overestimate the powers that be, after all they are only people, and middle aged to elderly people at that, who probably have very similar problems in navigating the modern technological jungle to our own parents and grandparents.

  3. Avatar Michał says:

    I really don’t know why they shut down Alex Jones. His disinformation worked in their favor. To rise his credibility, as more and more people see through his judeofilic lies and his connections?

    • Avatar Malić says:

      Because “they”, by which I denote tech companies and media, are not particularly intelligent and also probably not particularly “judeofilic”.

      • Avatar Han Fei says:

        Oh but Branco how are we going to stop the heat death of the universe unless we tackle its chief causal connection to the Judenfrage?

        Jokes (or are they?) aside, given their phenomenal success with it so far, trying to defuse negative attitudes towards Jews is probably the last thing on the so called speech enforcers agenda. The late Uri Avnery seems to have gotten the right idea as to why this is.

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