Censorship: The Psychological Operation Campaigns (PSYOPS)
When we think about censorship, it’s easy to think of the Chinese government and its “Great Firewall.” However, there are many other types of censorship that happen every day. The most common type is self-censorship–people censoring themselves because they fear social rejection or some kind of repercussion for speaking up. In this blog post, we will cover how censorship happens in a general sense as well as specifically through technology platforms like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. We’ll also discuss psychological operations campaigns (PSYOPS), which are used by governments to control information flow on the internet.
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Governments using psychological operations (PSYOPS):
Governments have been using psychological operations (PSYOPS) to control information flow on the internet for many years. PSYOPS are a type of psychological warfare that uses propaganda and other techniques to influence the emotions, motives, and objective reasoning of an opponent. In the context of censorship, PSYOPS can be used to discourage people from speaking up or sharing information that could be harmful to the government or its interests.
One of the most famous examples of a PSYOPs campaign targeting social media is “Project Syria.” This was a campaign run by British intelligence services in order to influence public opinion about the Syrian civil war. The campaign used fake social media accounts to spread pro-government propaganda and discredit opposition activists. It was also used to influence public opinion in other countries and shape the narrative about Syria in ways that were favorable to British interests.
Another example of government censorship through PSYOPS is when news stations reported on a chemical attack by Syrian forces against civilians, but then blocked out footage before it could air because they felt like there was “too much blood.” This type of self-censorship goes beyond simply avoiding certain topics–it’s actually censoring information so that people can’t even see or hear something important. This demonstrates how powerful psychological operations campaigns can be–they not only control what we say, but also what we can say. They have an effect on our imagination as well as our reality!
Governments using social media platforms:
Google, Facebook, and YouTube are a few of the most commonly used technology platforms for sharing information. They also happen to be two of the biggest targets for censorship by governments. In China, Google is blocked along with many other websites that are critical of the Chinese government. Facebook is also blocked in China, as well as a number of other countries like Iran and North Korea.
One way that governments can censor content on these platforms is by using sophisticated algorithms to identify and remove certain keywords or phrases from search results or posts. For example, in 2016 the Turkish government blocked access to YouTube after users began posting videos that showed evidence of corruption by the president and his associates. The Turkish government was able to block access to these videos by identifying and removing them from YouTube search results.
Governments can also request that Facebook or Google remove specific pages or websites from their platforms. This was the case with Backpage, a website that was used for sex trafficking and prostitution. The site was taken down by the FBI and Homeland Security because it violated obscenity laws, but many people were critical of this move because Backpage had been instrumental in shutting down human trafficking rings that used other websites for their operations.
Censorship happening at Google, Facebook, and YouTube:
Censorship of Conservative Opinions on Social Media Platforms – a social media blog post by Jonathan L. Mora, Jr., Esq. The U.S Government is leading the way in censorship with many major social media platforms actively censoring conservative opinions and thoughts across their sites; however this trend has been noticed for quite some time now especially since 2016 when Donald Trump announced he would be running for President of the United States…
Censorship happening at Google: Google was recently exposed as manipulating search results to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the Democratic Presidential Primary Election that took place earlier in 2016; it can also happen if your political viewpoint does not align with positions held by those who work at Google which means that conservative opinions are not only actively censored but also hidden from public view…
Censorship happening at Facebook: In a recently leaked memo, it was revealed that Facebook has been working on ways to suppress conservative news stories from appearing in the social media site’s “Trending Topics” section. This is just one example of how Facebook censors conservative viewpoints; another example would be the removal of Diamond and Silk’s page after they voiced support for Donald Trump during his Presidential Campaign…
Censorship happening at YouTube: A recent study conducted by The Western Journal showed that while left-leaning videos were recommended nearly 20 times more often than those with a right-leaning perspective, the recommendation ratio for mainstream media outlets such as CNN, NBC, and CBS was almost equal. However, when it came to videos with a conservative perspective, they were recommended far less often than those with a liberal perspective – in some cases as little as one-sixth the amount…
Google, Facebook, YouTube Censorship of Conservative Opinions:
Google, Facebook, YouTube Censorship of Conservative Opinions. Social Media sites have been censoring conservative opinions since 2016 with no signs of stopping. Although blatant censorship is being used by social media companies for political reasons it still seems to be working against the conservatives’ favor which has led many people into feeling that their freedom of speech is being violated.
In March of 2016, Facebook announced that it would begin to censor “fake news” stories from its site. CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in an interview with CNNMoney that the company would begin to use algorithms to prevent the spread of hoaxes and false information. This announcement came after many people accused Facebook of helping to swing the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Zuckerberg’s decision to censor these stories outraged people on both sides of the political spectrum.
The censorship of conservative opinions on social media has only increased since the 2016 election. One example is Steven Crowder who found that he could not distribute his videos through YouTube’s advertising service because they were deemed “not advertiser friendly.” On July 26th, Crowder filed a lawsuit against YouTube for their censorship of his videos.
The lawsuit alleges that Crowder’s First Amendment rights were violated by YouTube when they removed some of his videos and demonetized others. The suit also claims that YouTube is using its power as the dominant video-sharing site to suppress conservative speech. This is not the first time YouTube has been accused of censoring conservative opinions. In February 2017, PragerU filed a lawsuit against the company for restricting their videos in over 30 countries because they violate “local laws” which include certain European countries and others around the world.
YouTube argued that since these countries have restricted access to content that violates certain laws, restricting these videos is not a violation of the First Amendment. However, PragerU believes that YouTube is using “its restricted mode to censor speech with which it disagrees” due to its liberal bias.
As if Facebook and Google have not already done enough censoring on their own they are now teaming up with other major tech companies to do the same. Recently, Facebook and Google announced that they will be teaming up with Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube to create a new censorship partnership.
The goal of this partnership is to create a “common set of rules” for censoring “extremist content” on their platforms. However, there is no telling how these rules will be implemented and what they might censor. Many have also taken this as a sign that the censorship of conservatives on social media may soon become more widespread than ever before.
It seems only time will tell if these companies continue to use their influence to try and suppress conservative opinions or not but until then it is important to be aware of what is happening and to fight for our right to free speech.
Social media liability protections:
The Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 provides immunity from liability for providers of interactive computer services. Section 230 of the CDA states that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” This immunity has prevented internet companies from being held responsible for what their users post. The CDA was passed to prevent the early regulation of the internet, but in 2018 it is being used to protect social media giants from liability for censoring conservative opinions.
Consequences of Censorship:
What are the consequences of Censorship “Censorship is a big problem in this world.” We all know what happens when someone says something and then everyone else has to follow by looking at who said it before they can say anything themselves. There’s also always been problems with censorship when people try to hide things or make it look like something never happened. It’s hard to trust anyone when you can’t even have an open conversation without someone trying to shut it down. There are a lot of examples of censorship in the world, but here are some that stand out:
The first example is the banning of books. This has been happening for centuries and it’s still going on today. There are a lot of books that have been banned for different reasons, but the most common reason is because they contain controversial topics or ideas. A lot of times, people don’t want to hear these things because they might make them question their own beliefs. But, by banning these books, we’re not letting people to think for themselves and we’re taking away the right of other people to read what they want.
Another example is when someone gets censored on social media or something similar like that. This has been happening a lot over the last few years, but there’s always going to be times where this comes up again because it hasn’t really been solved yet. A lot of people get censored for saying things that the government or other people don’t want them to say. This is a huge problem because it’s stopping people from speaking their mind and sharing their opinions. And, if we’re not allowed to do that, then we’re not really living in a democracy anymore.
So what can we do about it?
Well, here are a few tips…
– Use a VPN or proxy to access blocked websites.
– Share information about censorship on social media and with your friends.
– Contact your local representative and let them know that you are concerned about censorship.
– Support organizations that fight for freedom of expression.
Too often, censorship is looked at as something that only happens in the context of China’s “Great Firewall.” This blog post has shown that there are many other types of censorship happening every day. When you take into account psychological operations campaigns (PSYOPS), which are used by governments to control information flow on the internet, it becomes clear how important it is for us to collectively support free speech and democracy around the world. To end with a quote from Winston Churchill: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it; ignorance may deride it; but in the end, there it is” -Winston Churchill
Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on subject such as – PSYOPS: Propaganda, Censorship, and Disinformation and Propaganda: The Psychological Operation Campaigns (PSYOPS), Disinformation: The Psychological Operation Campaigns (PSYOPS), and Censorship America: understanding the concept and its impact
Photo By: U.S. Army, press censorship in World War I