The Truth About Censorship and Shadowbanning Part I

Tyranny begins with the control of information. The West stands upon the precipice of this control.

Almost all information passes through just a few tech platforms in a global bottleneck of information, making the total control of information plausible for the first time in human history. This article will focus on the first facet of information control – censorship.

The community of organizations that develops the techniques to control information (for the tech platforms, news outlets, and intelligence agencies) is called counter-violent extremists (CVEs). CVEs are software developers, think tanks, and “researchers.” The public is unaware of an extensive CVE community that works extensively with tech platforms, intelligence agencies, and left-leaning policy research centers. These concerted efforts have produced devastating impacts on free societies, but we will focus solely on Jigsaw for now.

Jigsaw is the counter-violent extremist that pioneered censorship software and the only CVE owned by a tech platform (Google).

Before discussing the software, it is essential to stay two steps ahead of our opposition. The initial reaction of certain people will be denial – a futile response since these programs are open-sourced with undeniable paper trails. Once our opposition realizes this, they will fall back on the justification for censorship. All rationale that I have encountered from the CVE community rely on flawed reports of extremism, terrorism, and hate crimes. I have analyzed these narratives and published my results [see references] for anyone who wants to know the objective truth.

  • Jigsaw’s (unscientific) disinformation campaign[1]
  • A proper debunking of hate crime claims[2]
  • A proper debunking of far-right extremism/terrorism claims[3]

Now for censorship and shadowban software:

 The 1st Program

Jigsaw’s first attempt at censorship was the Perspective API program[4]. Initially, this program was meant for comment sections of social media platforms and was even tested on the social media page of Jigsaw’s longtime partner, the New York Times[5].

Perspective API began as a text-based AI where the client could use it to flag disagreeable comments for manual review rather than monitor all comments in a social media post. Another option that the program offered was to delete the flagged comments themselves without the client being involved in the process. Unfortunately for Jigsaw and their clients, this approach of simply deleting comments was not very subtle and fostered quite a bit of outrage.

Eventually, Jigsaw learned to be more tactful and modified Perspective API to hide comments. By “hide” means that a comment is effectively deleted, but the original user who posted the comment could still see it, but other users could not. The public began to refer to this type of censorship as “shadowbanning.” The purpose of shadowbanning is to censor people without their knowledge. If shadowbanned, users would still see their content but not know that all other Internet users cannot see it (though it is a bit more nuanced than that).

As the program was further developed, its scope included images and audio, and logically, video censorship. According to how the client uses the program, content can be censored after it is published online or censored before any other user ever has the chance to see it; in fact, the latter case accounts for 99% of all content removed. If a social media page owner uses Perspective API, the comment section is censored. If an entire social media or general search platform uses Perspective API, then all content uploaded (including the comment sections of those content) is subject to censorship. Most censored content occurs before being published in a comment section or social media post. This is particularly interesting as many CVEs refer to this content as “harmful,” but to whom, if it is deleted before any see it?

The 2nd Program

Jigsaw has another open-sourced tool called Moderator[6], which was also developed in partnership with the New York Times [7].

Moderator is a text-based AI “that leverages Perspective to prioritize comments”[6][7]. Technically, Moderator is more than censorship – it gives preferential treatment to specific content, so it is more of a propaganda tool, whereas Perspective API is a censorship tool. While Perspective API censors unwanted content, Moderator prioritizes wanted content.

Both programs use keywords to function. The CVE community has enormous databases of keywords to target content and users, often for far more sinister projects than censorship. However, this article merely briefly introduces how the CVE community removes ideas they disagree with. There is much more to this story.

Stay Tuned

Important questions that will be answered in future articles:

Who is targeted for censorship?

Which companies/corporations use these programs? The results will undoubtedly surprise you.

What other CVE projects exist?

Is there federal funding for censorship and other CVE projects?

Be sure to read: The Truth About Censorship and Shadowbanning Part II

You may also like: We Cannot Allow the Left to Destroy Palm Beach County

References

[1] Kelly C Offield. “A Hidden War on Free Speech: Google’s Jigsaw”. The ARKA Journal. 

[2] Kelly C Offield. “Progressive Movements: How Unscientific and Harmful Are They?”. The ARKA Journal. 

[3] Kelly C Offield. “The False Agenda” The ARKA Journal. 

[4] Jigsaw. “Perspective API” https://www.perspectiveapi.com/how-it-works/

[5] Jigsaw partnership with New York Times. https://www.youtube.com/jigsaw

[6] Github. “Moderator” https://github.com/conversationai/conversationai-moderator

[7] Jigsaw. “Toxicity: Case Studies” https://jigsaw.google.com/the-current/toxicity/case-studies/

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