By Caitlin Johnstone
As Orwell well understood, you can exercise control in the present by rewriting the past.
Twitter has imposed a weeklong suspension on the account of writer and political activist Danny Haiphong for a thread he made on the platform disputing the mainstream Tiananmen Square massacre narrative.
The notification Haiphong received informed him that Twitter had locked his account for “Violating our rules against abuse and harassment,” presumably in reference to a rule the platform put in place a year ago which prohibits “content that denies that mass murder or other mass casualty events took place, where we can verify that the event occured, and when the content is shared with abusive intent.”
“This may include references to such an event as a ‘hoax’ or claims that victims or survivors are fake or ‘actors,’” Twitter said of the new rule. “It includes, but is not limited to, events like the Holocaust, school shootings, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters.”
That we are now seeing this rule applied to protect narratives which support the geostrategic interests of the US-centralized empire is not in the least bit surprising.
The US government thought police at Twitter locked journalist Danny Haiphong @SpiritofHo's account, threatening to suspend him because he contradicted the Western propaganda narrative on Tiananmen, calling it "abuse".
There is only "free speech" for US regime propagandists here pic.twitter.com/t9CeCGIBeK
— Benjamin Norton (@BenjaminNorton) June 5, 2022
Haiphong is far from the first to dispute the mainstream western narrative about exactly what happened around Tiananmen Square in June of 1989 as the Soviet Union was crumbling and Washington’s temporary Cold War alignment with Beijing was losing its strategic usefulness. But we can expect more acts of online censorship like this as Silicon Valley continues to expand into its role as guardian of imperial historic records.
This idea that government-tied Silicon Valley institutions should act as arbiters of history on behalf of the public consumer is gaining steadily increasing acceptance in the artificially manufactured echo chamber of mainstream public opinion. We saw another example of this recently in Joe Lauria’s excellent refutation of accusations against Consortium News of historic inaccuracy by the imperial narrative management firm NewsGuard.
As journalists like Whitney Webb and Mnar Adley noted years ago, NewsGuard markets itself as a “news rating agency” designed to help people sort out good from bad sources of information online, but in reality functions as an empire-backed weapon against media who question imperial narratives about what’s happening in the world. The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal outlined the company’s many partnerships with imperial swamp monsters like former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and “chief propagandist” Richard Stengel as well as “imperialist cutouts like the German Marshall Fund” when its operatives contacted his outlet for comment on their accusations.
Lauria compiles a mountain of evidence in refutation of NewsGuard’s claim that Consortium News published “false content” about the 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine, copiously citing outlets which NewsGuard itself has labeled accurate sources of information with its “green check” designation system. It becomes clear as you read the article that NewsGuard’s real function is, as John Kiriakou put it, “guarding the country from the news.”
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal