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Writing in the Age of Censorship

We are in a new age of censorship. It is quite surprising that it has taken this long for the powers that be to crack down on free speech online. I think the main reason is that the elites where simply unable to fathom the revolutionary power of the Internet, which can give every Joe, Dick, and Harry his own voice.

Of course, accessibility is a problem. The other day I came across a one-hour video on YouTube that rather cleverly illustrated cognitive biases, but not with any jargon. Instead, the guy succinctly explained the concepts, gave examples, and showed you how you can improve your critical reasoning abilities. There was nothing new for me in it, but that is not the point. Instead, the issue is that this particular video had garnered around 80 views in 18 months. This makes you wonder how much great content there is that does not find any audience. On the other hand, there are guys who reach hundreds of thousands of people with their videos from their mother’s basement. The most influential producers online make mainstream media look like amateurs.

The latter is indeed the point. I think a big reason Alex Jones was deplatformed was that he had a reach that far exceeded most mainstream media outlets. Organizations employing many thousands of people and are backed by the advertising dollars of big corporations have no idea how to compete with a guy with a small team like Alex Jones or even the occasional lone wolf on YouTube. Mainstream society is based on the principle of presenting very limited and often highly biased points of view — think of how the U.S. mainsteam justified the invasion of Iraq; it was all based on lies. No matter what you may think of alternative voices online, it is hard to deny that they present viewpoints you will not find reflected in mainstream media. Many are well-argued. For instance, the mainstream has not yet explained why we need low-IQ immigrants from sub-Sahara Africa in the West or why Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. The bullshit mainstream newspapers and TV want to feed you is beyond bounds.

The elites had fallen asleep behind the wheel, but after Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election and Brexit, they have realized that they have lost control over the narrative. This is why you now get censorship on all platforms. It was ramped up to eleven. The biggest names have now disappeared. Alex Jones is gone, Milo was cut off. In a concerted effort, Twitter and Facebook have kicked off conservatives. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal will cut ties with you if you have noticeable visibility online and don’t subscribe to the cult of globo-homo.

The legal landscape has been shifting quite drastically as well. For instance, some German YouTube channels were shut down because of a change in the laws according to which you now need a TV license (!) for broadcasting, which makes a mockery of the original intention of those laws, which were of course due to the limits of the frequency spectrum. Maybe you’ll one day need a license to have a blog online and if your opinion does not conform to the narrow range of opinions you are officially allowed to hold, you won’t get one. Heck, you already may even get thrown in prison or get fined for having unpopular opinions, like it has happened over and over in the UK, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, and many other countries. You may think I am worrying about nothing, but we are at the point where sharing a meme on Facebook can cost you a significant amount of money or may even put you into jail for a couple of years, while we have people in our oh-so-open Western societies who rape, rob, and vandalize with relative impunity.

Right now, the mid-tier is under attack. Rosh is a recent victim. Chateau Heartiste, the blog by Roissy, was shut down by WordPress. It does not matter what you think of those people — I think that Roosh is an idiot and Roissy a pretentious buffoon. Yet, keep in mind that free speech is heavily under attack. The focus has been on video as it is a much more powerful medium than the written word. There is a very nice essay on that particular topic in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, by the way. Yet, the written word is now under attack, too. Compared to the bigger YouTube channels, a blog like Roissy’s, which was arguably the biggest one in the wider “manosphere”, is a lot less relevant. Yet, he had to go.

Once the mid-tier has been cleared out, anybody with some kind of name recognition will have to go. That is when I think I will be getting under attack. This is by no means feverish speculation. My blog is blocked on several public WiFi networks. This includes various airports, large companies, and public administrations in Europe. My audience is quite small but steady. However, I am big enough to have ended up in the cross hair of some European censors already. I think it is only a matter of time until the hammer will go down. I do not yet have a contingency plan. However, I am taking very frequent backups of my sites. I have started looking into hosting in Eastern Europe and Russia, so that is probably my escape hatch, but time will tell whether it is viable. We are living in dark times. It may well be that the two decades from 1995 to 2015 will go down in history as a singular period in which it was possible to speak your mind freely and find your audience online, and all due to the incompetent powers-to-be who took about 20 years to realize that the world has changed around them.

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