Yep. Surveillance capitalism is about to achieve its greatest victory with extreme ease. All that it needed to do was get the Bezos-owned newspaper to publish daily articles about “a scary virus,” and people lined up to get surveilled, controlled, traded, and modified. It’s profoundly gratifying that there are two actual leftists – Wolf and […]Surveillance Capitalism Wins
By Eric Striker
The “Trump bump” of liberal outrage that helped propel psycopaths and sadists to positions of cultural authority following the shock 2016 election result is in a free fall. Yesterday, Buzzfeed-owned HuffPost announced that it would be laying off 47 in-house bloggers, a digital media massacre that may be a harbinger of wider industry trends.One of those terminated, Luke O’Brien, made a name for himself over the years for using his press credentials to terrorize entire families, including getting them fired and inundated with death threats, over online political disagreements.O’Brien’s behavior, enabled by former Editor-In-Chief Lydia Polgreen (who saw the writing on the wall and left HuffPost in March 2020), even led to a New York Times chastisement after he made the mistake of subjecting a wealthy Jewish family to his abusive practices. O’Brien openly and proudly flaunts his high status in Antifa circles, credentials typically earned by engaging in low-life behavior. His social media profiles are loaded with the amplification of violent left-wing extremists, which in the long term is bound to make him unhireable in more professional outlets. The HuffPost staff is by no means the only casualty this week. The Intercept, a once respected publication that brought us the Edward Snowden leaks, is in dire financial straits according to a recent email appealing to the public for funds. The online magazine lost its star and co-founder Glenn Greenwald to Substack in October 2020 due to the stifling nature of his editors and colleagues. The Intercept in recent years made a decision to depart from its traditional editorial line, which focused on criticizing and exposing government abuses, in order to chase shallow liberal identity politics and engage in generic Democratic Party partisanship. After the inauguration of Joe Biden, the wealthy donors they calibrated their message to attract suddenly stopped writing checks.Also this week, Antifa doxer Jamie Peck appears to have been booted from Sam Seder’s Majority Report. Seder, who is Jewish, is an MSNBC liberal that in 2017 sought to integrate violent communists and anarchists like Peck into his network to help build a post-Charlottesville anti-white “resistance.” Now in the Biden-era, Seder has made a decision to dispose of the mentally unstable and drug-addled Peck and replace her with the younger and more docile “Young Turks” DNC loyalist, Emma Vigeland. Many were surprised when transvestite “Antifa” celebrity Emily Gorcenski released a letter on Sunday announcing its retirement from militant anti-white activities. Gorcenski, who enjoyed 15 minutes of fame after Charlottesville, has seen its online engagement decline steadily over the years. According to its farewell statement, Gorcenski has suffered significant personal financial and mental strain and a low return on their time invested, ultimately coming to the realization that being a full time “Antifa” troll just isn’t worth it when all is said and done. Aside from rich liberals getting bored with outrage clickbait, a number of other developments have put pressure on the Antifa/”SJW” industry. The popular patronage site Substack has allowed anti-woke leftist personalities that identity politics inquisitors thought they had canceled like Freddie DeBoer, Matt Taibbi, Michael Tracey and Glenn Greenwald to operate free of ideological commissars, billionaire donors and corporate sponsors. There is nothing stopping the 47 laid off HuffPost journalists or the staff at the Intercept from opening up their own Substacks, but the problem is ordinary people don’t feel their opinions and “reporting” on who made a racist joke when they were in middle school is worth anything.Also contributing to their crisis is that energy is leaving the intellectually oppressive environments of Twitter — where “SJWs” and “Antifa” are given an artificial advantage by CEOs and NGOs — for alternative apps like Clubhouse and Telegram that, while imperfect, tolerate a wider range of ideas and debate. Last but not least, the biggest pushback against the “Judeo-Left” is coming from other leftists themselve. Alexander Reid Ross and Shane Burley, two Jewish men who are some of the American Antifa movement’s most prominent ideologues, have been collaborating with the Zionist/neo-conservative Daily Beast to accuse socialists that are anti-war, anti-Israel or do not fear talking to people on the right of being National Bolsheviks and Third Positionists. Their article attacking various sensible figures such as Norman Finkelstein for writing for Unz.com or Jimmy Dore for going on Tucker Carlson was widely panned, while Burley is now routinely humiliated and mocked by his own side. It is hard to see whether this is the end of the inquisition or if the “Antifa” gatekeepers have simply become obsolete. If Merrick Garland and Kristen Clarke are confirmed, the FBI and Department of Justice will have finished morphing into bonafide instruments of open, unconstitutional anti-white tyranny (a process that began under Trump).Regardless of what comes next, innocent people on both the left and right who have had their lives destroyed by cruel and nasty sociopaths can enjoy a bit of schadenfreude.
The NYT’s Taylor Lorenz falsely accuses a tech investor of using a slur after spending months trying to infiltrate and monitor a new app that allows free conversation.A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.Just as the NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony.Oliver Darcy has built his CNN career by sitting around with Brian Stelter petulantly pointing to people breaking the rules on social media and demanding tech executives make the rule-breakers disappear. The little crew of tattletale millennials assembled by NBC — who refer to their twerpy work with the self-glorifying title of “working in the disinformation space”: as intrepid and hazardous as exposing corruption by repressive regimes or reporting from war zones — spend their dreary days scrolling through 4Chan boards to expose the offensive memes and bad words used by transgressive adolescents; they then pat themselves on the back for confronting dangerous power centers, even when it is nothing more trivial and bullying than doxxing the identities of powerless, obscure citizens.But the worst of this triumvirate is the NYT’s tech reporters, due to influence and reach if no other reason. When Silicon Valley monopolies, publicly pressured by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other lawmakers, united to remove Parler from the internet, the Times’ tech team quickly donned their hall-monitor goggles and Stasi notebooks to warn that the Bad People had migrated to Signal and Telegram. This week they asked: “Are Private Messaging Apps the Next Misinformation Hot Spot?” One reporter “confess[ed] that I am worried about Telegram. Other than private messaging, people love to use Telegram for group chats — up to 200,000 people can meet inside a Telegram chat room. That seems problematic.”These examples of journalism being abused to demand censorship of spaces they cannot control are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. And they are not confined to those three outlets. That far more robust censorship is urgently needed is now a virtual consensus in mainstream corporate journalism: it’s an animating cause for them.