Internet censorship and whither shall we go?

This article is well ahead of what I think is the curve, but I think it gives people fair warning of what’s coming at them, and perhaps some time to start digging in before it arrives. Take it or leave it, as you wish, but you’ve been warned.

As a lone blogger who writes to a very defined objective and on the usual bloated skeptic budget courtesy of Big Oil, I’m obliged to do my own PR to get my content out into the wider world by placing links in various distribution mediums. Facebook is one of my output mediums like Twitter or Reddit that automatically get a link when anything is published here, but quite frankly as far as I could see it never brought in much in the way of new readers.

If anything, the reverse seemed to be true. People read something here and put a link to it on their Facebook account by clicking the Facebook share button at the end of the article.

I am going to sever the connection to my Pointman Facebook account, and I’d like to explain to you my reasons for doing so.

The most immediate reason is my account there was suddenly frozen a while back, announced by the arrival of a coercive and rather threatening email demanding my real name and copies of my driver’s license, state-issued ID cards, passports, military cards, photo IDs and whatever else they could think of short of a DNA swab, retina scan and finger prints.

There are a number of very compelling reasons not to comply with such an outrageous demand, and I’ll run through some of them.

The first and arguably the most important, is that type of information is an identity thief’s wet dream, and you’d be supplying it to an organisation which has a history of security breaches. By some accounts, it also has a history of not admitting such breaches have occurred unless it gets absolutely chronic. Nobody should ever under any circumstances put personal information of that type onto the internet, never mind on a horse’s ass of a social media site.

Just this week, the details of 100 million users, yes that’s 100 million users, of the Russian equivalent of Facebook went up for sale on a market in the darknet. Bear in mind, Russians, being by nature and upbringing totally paranoid about security, are miles ahead of a bunch of Californian wannabe techno-hippies running around in Jesus boots and T-shirts with the details of nearly a billion people slopping around in their ill-guarded systems.

In short, I have no faith in their security expertise.

The second reason, and a personal one, is that I simply don’t trust that organisation with knowing my real name. I stopped commenting under that many years ago in response to cyber and real threats to me and my loved ones. In a sense, that decision to soldier on anonymously lifted my game. My thoughts and commentary here have to stand or fall on their own merits, without the prop of any personal authority I might have.

Putting it bluntly, I don’t trust them or one of their minions not to leak my name.

That is a very strong statement and needs some justification but the old rules of life apply; when there’s a doubt, you act like there’s no doubt. Of late, some evidence of long-suspected things have surfaced about Facebook which strongly indicate that an unacceptable and disingenuous level of political censorship is occurring in the human element of moderation and the selection of what’s trending by Facebook.

As always, when dealing with a secretive corporation which has an oppressive attitude to employees reluctant to go with the office flow, hard evidence is difficult to come by, but it’s starting to come out, both from former employees and some external testing of the moderation process.

What’s more worrying, is that it appears the bias is being fully supported by a systemic corporate culture, right up until the point where it becomes so outrageous, a grudging retraction has to be done, but that doesn’t appear to prevent exactly the same type of abuse happening the following day.

What is actually trending is carefully disappeared if it doesn’t happen to fit a liberal agenda, and what isn’t trending but should be, is magically made to be trending. It’s information manipulation of the worst sort. The censorship aspect with the attendant intimidation, is even more blatant. Take the case of Carlos who made what I’d consider a fair point and in a polite civilised manner. He got his account suspended for 24 hours but compounded his problems on reinstatement by mentioning it’d happened – that got him an additional three-day suspension.

If you’re a sciency type who knows the difference been theoretical and experimental coneheads, you’ll appreciate the next experiment done on Facebook. Two accounts were set up. One was anti-Palestinian and the other anti-Zionist. The posts and comments on both sites were gradually escalated up the hate speech scale. Very soon the anti-Palestinian site was knocked offline with the rationale that it broke Facebook terms and conditions.

Just to rub home the point, the experimenters had a good whinge to Facebook about why a page that exhorted Arabs to hate Israelis should stay up. Didn’t contravene terms and conditions was the smug reply. I’m not a Jew, but by Christ, if such rampant anti-Semitism is the new form of the liberal left these days, gimme a gun Abbie my friend; I’ll be right behind the barrier with you ready to do my fair share of shooting.

This is all really censorship not moderation, which is why I’ve chosen to use that word all the way through this article.

The fact that I’m severing any connection with Facebook from this end obviously doesn’t preclude you sharing or linking to a piece here, and in all honesty I’m bound to say I’m always grateful to people for circulating an article because most of what I write is mission oriented, but you should be aware that by doing so you could be running the risk of running foul of their censorship regime.

I’m not aware of instances of something like that happening, but what I do know is that if it hasn’t already happened, it will – because censorship is a one way street.

It only ever leads to stricter and stricter regulations, with everyone ending up looking nervously over their shoulder worrying if what they were about to say might offend the almighty censor.

An example of that tendency was James Delingpole’s blog at the Daily Telegraph. For a couple of years it was a great forum to discuss and argue over the global warming issue, but then the paper introduced a new comment management system called DISQUS, which not only made any meaningful debate impossible, but also introduced a censorship regime which tore the guts out of the forum.

I’ve seen what that sort of regime looks like, seen it choking out any dissenting opinions, no matter how trivial. Seen the plastered on grimaced smiles of approval by its victims while underneath it all, they absolutely hated its guts and wished it nothing but ill. With great reluctance, I walked away but perhaps it was the final exasperated impetus in the naissance of this blog.

A few years down the line, they finally abolished the blogs. Not long after, they disabled comments on everything else they published. Mr Mordancy is dead, but Mr Bland has now taken up residence in his stead.

The censors now have nothing left to censor there, and any dissenting viewpoint has been extinguished at the Telegraph. In a sense, it was always a traditional paper medium dipping its toe into a soft format and struggled with the novel concept of interacting with a readership. It’s now retreated back to being an output only medium because that’s all it knows and true to its nature, the scorpion will always sting, even though it knows that by doing so it’ll drown in the river.

The Telegraph, like other old media mastodons of its ilk, will eventually be selected out of the gene pool by the newer and more nimble creatures of the internet savannah.

The central problem is where you think the middle point on any contentious issue is. Think of it as an old-fashioned meter with a needle which rests at the mid-point between two measurable extremes. In essence, their mid-point needle is positioned well left of centre, which essentially means that any moderate viewpoint which doesn’t agree with theirs gets lumped together with the neo-Nazis, racists and other assorted fringe nutjobs, and treated accordingly.

The writing is on the wall.

We’re moving into the thermidor phase of that first glorious explosion of freedom of expression on the internet. What you’re allowed to say, what you’re allowed to see; these things are gradually being eroded, gradually coming under control.

To pose Lenin’s classic question, but in an entirely different context, what is to be done?

More fully expressed, what is to be done about this creeping censorship of the internet for all of the best possible reasons? If I can be rolled up with holocaust deniers because I dissent on a point of science, what’re the odds of you being rolled up with anything else simply because you refuse to agree with some official proposition?

How bad is it becoming?

Depressingly, the answer is it’s probably going to get a lot worse. All the major internet players like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft have just signed up to an anti-hate speech deal with the EU, and the definition of what might constitute hate speech is so vague and wide-ranging as to accommodate any control freak’s wildest dream, and by control freak we’re talking paternalistic government who knows exactly what’s best for you.

Such an agreement plays to both their aims; the government control freaks get a choke lock around the necks of internet users and the obscenely fat cats of the internet age get to abuse a market dominance position with a sly wink from the governing powers for their compliance. Great deal, everybody walks away from the table a big winner, except you.

The mainstream media have had their dissenting teeth pulled; they’re craven whipped curs grovelling at the feet of their masters nowadays, and now the bosses are after the last holdout islands of dissent in the internet badlands.

Best of all, the people who’re going to be making the decision to censor you are those whippy dippy firms, and I’m pretty sure where their mid-point needle will be on any contentious issue. There is, of course, no right of appeal, since the criteria for the decision will have little or nothing in the way of a legal basis. It’s big town hall versus little man you. They’ll disappear you.

Patently, once you sit down at a table to play a rigged game on the house’s terms, you’re going to lose, whatever you do. The only winning strategy in that situation is not to play their game.

Ten years ago I realised a contrary viewpoint would never get a fair hearing in the MSM, never mind a hearing at all. Such viewpoints became not only orphans but non-persons as Eric Blair predicted with a scary prescience that is to this day still unnerving. Not only will your comments disappear, but the fact that you ever made them at all will disappear as well. You’ll disappear.

We’ve done this trip before. The old legacy media sold the gullible the global warming scare, but the resistance to it, being denied any platform in those mainstream organs, retreated into the relatively new space called the internet, the outlaw Badlands, and debunked the science. In a similar sense, being pushed out of the surface web, dissenting opinion will simply retreat into the under web, otherwise known as the darknet.

I’ve already set up a fallback home in the undernet. We did it once, we can do it again, confident that people who’ve once had a taste of red meat will never go back to slurping up their master’s permitted measure of thin gruel, even if that’s coming from the internet nowadays.

They will find their way yet again to the open and free forums which have nobody’s jackboot on their neck.


Related articles by Pointman:

Kobayashi Maru.

The scrotum of the legacy media shrivels even further.

Immoderate moderation at the DT.

Click for a list of other articles.



35 Responses to “Internet censorship and whither shall we go?”
  1. hybrid webtech says:

    Hey Pointy,

    It’s been a few years since I’ve commented. Just laziness I guess.

    Anyway, it’s too bad that you have to take such steps. It’s even more regrettable that society in general is evolving this way, on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Let me push out a potentially contentious point, in correction to something you said. For discussion purposes, you understand. You referred to the government as being paternalistic. I propose that we change it to maternalistic, since this seems to fit more with social democracy/socialism.

    Are you aware of “FreedomainRadio”? ( I find the content thought-provoking; it was because of content on this site that I began to think of modern socialism as more maternalistic than paternalistic.

    So, keep up the effort. Protect yourself and your family, and maybe someday the clear light of classical liberalism will once again cut through the darkness of dogma and ignorance.


    • Old Rooster says:

      Well it has been called the “Nanny State” for many a long year now. But not of the kindly old spinsters, rather the evil old crones like a Hilary Clinton or a Julia Gillard.


  2. Juliet46 says:

    I’m not on FB, Twatter or any other (Anti)Social Media. Hope I am savvy enough to navigate the dark web – I need to keep on reading your posts.


    • Pointman says:

      Hello Juliet, I’ll do a (human readable) intro to the darknet in the near future as well as how to get into it. It doesn’t require a rocket science degree BTW.



  3. ingvare says:

    You are right.
    So far the “big” sites seems to be untouched. There is the threat from Google to introduce a “truth filter” but I am not sure what happened to it.. It got a lot of critisism but that might just make them do it secretely. I tried a Facebook account a couple of years back but gave up. To intrusive.

    Now I stick to wordpress and my own site (

    I am really worried that the dark powers will do whatever they can to stop the free internet.
    Wherever you go Pointman, may the power walk with you.


  4. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    The slow death of freedom from thousands of tiny censored cuts


  5. Blackswan says:


    In 1948 when George Orwell’s publisher, Fred Warburg, received the final draft of the ‘1984’ manuscript, he declared it to be “amongst the most terrifying books I have ever read” – and it has all come to pass. Fiction is fast becoming fact in the 21st century.

    Not so long ago it was easy to ignore the PC brigade as irrelevant, but not so easy now that the Socialist/Marxists in Australia have added Section 18C to our Racial Discrimination Act.

    It has become an ‘unlawful act’ if “the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people”.

    Or if the act “causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public”.

    That about covers all the Socialists’ bases (including the internet) and has prompted a parade of the Perpetually Offended to troop off to the Human Rights Commission to demand big cash ‘compensation’ settlements to soothe their tortured souls.

    You’re right P – there’s nothing tastier than a big char-grilled lump of rib-eye filet, so now my mission is to find out what the hell the “darknet/undernet” might be.

    Always did like a challenge.


    • Michael 2 says:

      “find out what the hell the “darknet/undernet” might be.”

      Alternate root DNS. When you type in “”, your browser has no idea where to send the request so it sends it to the specified “resolver” in your computer, which in turn asks the root DNS, the big DNS in the sky. There’s more than one and the list of them is pre-installed in essentially every computer as “root hints”.

      Anyway, it knows the authoritative DNS for Google and sends back to you information about Google’s authoritative DNS. Then the root is done. your browser then asks Google’s DNS for the IP address of Google’s web server.

      When you register a domain, the name of your domain is entered into all of these root DNS servers and a pointer where to go next.

      You normally cannot go anywhere that is not named in the root DNS.

      BUT nothing says you have to use IANA’s DNS. You can use someone else’s: Google “Alternate DNS root” and if you point to one of those alternates, suddenly you have access to a completely different internet — it can even have exactly the same names, even a that isn’t really Google, and new top level domains that don’t exist in IANA or ICANN.

      Changing your root hints is a non-trivial operation but changing your DNS is pretty easy.

      So there is not likely just one “dark net”, there could be hundreds or thousands of them, each with completely functional DNS, a complete library of URL’s. Under the hood everyone uses TCP/IP addresses (Terminal Communications Protocol) but it is the DNS that distinguishes and creates “the internet”.


      • Blackswan says:

        Thank you Michael2 for that very helpful explanation. Luckily for this Swan, one of my Cygnets is a graduate IT consultant who will be able to explain exactly what all this means, and how I might navigate the mysterious swirling depths of global communications.

        The problem for people like me is knowing the right questions to ask, and you’ve set me on the right track. Much appreciated.


      • Your description isn’t entirely wrong, but it’s not how the anonymous darkweb really works. And especially in context of the article here, you don’t just want to access servers not in the “normal” root servers, you also don’t want the traffic to be visible to everyone, and you don’t necessarily want anyone along the way to know either endpoint.


    • Blackswan says:

      Did you think I was exaggerating about our racial discrimination laws?

      Farcebook again the common denominator ….

      A university student accused of racial discrimination over a Facebook post has amassed a hefty legal bill, which could blow out to $200,000 if the case goes to trial.

      After young white heterosexual male is asked to leave an “aborigines only” IT room he posts …. “Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT is stopping segregation with segregation” …. to which another chap replied …. “I wonder where the white supremacist lab is.”

      That was 3 years ago and the “traumatised” woman who told him to leave because he wasn’t aboriginal has been on paid sick leave ever since.

      Now she’s demanding $250,000 in lost wages and general damages, plus future economic loss.

      Her legal bills are fully covered by the Taxpayer and the Aboriginal Legal Service – the students’ legal costs could climb to $500,000 if the case goes to trial, and they (or their parents) will have to foot the bill.

      It appears Student #1 has a better case under Section 18C for having been “offended, insulted, humiliated and intimidated” by the officious jobsworth who demanded his exclusion from the lab in the first instance, based solely on his skin colour.

      The Australian Victim Industry is in danger of disappearing up its own fundamental orifice!


  6. joekano76 says:

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.


  7. Blackswan says:

    “The US government is taking a key step in relinquishing control of the internet’s addressing system, fulfilling a promise made in the 1990s.

    The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said on Thursday that it endorses a March proposal to turn full control over to a private international organisation…..

    They have sought instead to shift responsibility to an inter-governmental body such as the UN International Telecommunication Union.

    But business, academic and civil-society leaders baulked, worried that UN involvement would threaten the openness that has allowed the internet to flourish. Concerns were also raised that UN control would give authoritarian states like China and Iran equal votes among other countries in influencing policies that affect free speech.”

    Turning it over to the UN eh?

    “This article is well ahead of what I think is the curve … ”

    Pointy, that ‘curve’ is beginning to look like Mann’s hockey stick as the momentum accelerates.


  8. Michael 2 says:

    Facebook and Twitter are examples of herd management. A school of herring knows what all other herring are doing; a flock of birds also knows. It is crucial to know what all others are doing lest the herd, flock or school suddenly turn and the next thing you know you are about to be eaten by a predator. I am astonished that millions of people give third party websites their Facebook password in order to sign in (Huffington Post for instance, also Disqus), using Facebook as a type of universal identity management system or “number of the beast”.

    Control of the internet is currently possible through the Root Servers of the Domain Name System. Alternate roots exist so there’s really more than one “internet” overlaid on the same infrastructure.

    But eventually tagged packets will come into existence, every packet with a digital signature of its originator. Can it be faked? Probably not if the signature incorporates elements of the source IP address and the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) digital signature that is unique to each computer.

    At that point, making you disappear will be ironclad and probably automatic.


  9. catweazle666 says:

    Good piece Pointy.

    Personally, I wouldn’t touch Twatface with a sterilised stirring rod.

    Concerning the demise of blogging on the DT, this may be indicative of something.


  10. gallopingcamel says:

    I have deleted all my facebook links since their monkeying with “trending” was exposed. That was an easy decision given that I seldom use “Social Media”.

    Now I am faced with a much tougher problem given that the search engine I use dozens of times per day supports Hillary Clinton. Pick any browser and type in “Clinton cri” and see what comes up:

    The Internet seemed to be the answer to George Orwell’s “Big Brother is Watching You”. Finally the little people had a tool that enabled them to watch Big Brother. It worked really well for a while but anything that is under central control will eventually be subjected to influence or even domination by the “Ruling Elite” just like all the other “Media”.

    Fortunately, technology is evolving at a rate the “Ruling Elite” (= Evil Bastards) can’t cope with. Even if they control the Internet “We the People” have a couple of things going for us:
    1. Peer to peer networking
    2. Military grade encryption

    Let’s hope the Evil Bastards back off but if they don’t “the truth will out” to quote Lady Macbeth.

    Hillary Clinton reminds me of Lady Macbeth. No amount of washing using the “Google” brand detergent will make her clean.


  11. dadodeaf says:

    SLIGHTLY tangential, but certainly part of this mix.

    View at


  12. Graeme No.3 says:

    An interesting historical similarity was the invention of the printing press. The initial offering was the Bible in Latin, which suited the educated authorities. Then a few years later the Bible was printed in german, followed by other languages. The hold over the masses had suddenly disappeared. The reformation allowed a flood of contrary, anti-authoritarian books, pamphlets etc. without censorship.

    Gradually the authorities regained some control, but with a fragmented Europe there was always somewhere that something ‘unacceptable’ could be published and people would risk smuggling it into their home territory. And if the country of origin was at odds with the country being ‘offended’ then they were likely to be very low to stop the flow out. Of course there was also the ploy of publishing (on home soil) a ringing denunciation of the offensive article which quoted point by point while making a logially suspect ‘rebuttal’. It is hard to prosecute someone who is ‘on your side’ or who can claim that as a defence.

    Even under Walpole when thugs were sent out by the Government to smash the printing presses of those with contrary views, there was adverse literature. With the number of ‘printing presses’ now, and the ease with which they can be moved, it is going to be extremely hard for any government to censor all. And that before ‘foreign’ regions favoured dissent in other regions. Attempts to stifle all led to the French Revolution. Wiser behaviour was to try and damp opposition but look what Gilray or Cruikshank got away with in Regency times when libel was a criminal offence carrying severe penalties. The cnsors were always trying to catch up.

    All in all, any attempt by authority to suppress all dissent can only last so long before revolution breaks out, such as Trump in the USA or the impending breakup of the EU.


    • Pointman says:

      “What broke that cycle was the commercial exploitation of a new technology; the printing press. A barely literate peasant in Gothenburg could print one thousand pages of a book in a day, albeit the same page but he could do the same for the next page tomorrow. Compared to the average of three years it took to hand write a bible, Fritz was always going to put the scribes out of business. Like all new mass production applied to an old problem, it caused a plunge in the price of the commodity, which led to its own problem.”

      Some interesting overlaps in thought Graeme.



  13. meltemian says:

    Apparently Facebook are not allowing any links to this to be posted there!

    (I can’t verify that, don’t “do” Facebook but several commenters have tried)

    ” If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear “.


  14. Butler says:

    Tried putting a link on FB. Wouldn’t accept it. That was you experimenting, wasn’t it Pointy? You’re too clever by half.


    • Graeme No.3 says:

      No. Have had e-mail from him that he has lost all internet connections on Saturday June11.
      A bit of a coincidence?
      We can only hope so.


  15. Fairlight says:

    Couldn’t post it either. QED Pointy


  16. Blackswan says:

    Fellow Bloggers …. just got an email from the Pointman that he lost all internet connectivity on Saturday June 11th, going on to say …

    “normal service will be resumed as soon as my ISP finds out WTF is the problem.
    There’s a few comments in mod which I’ll fish out when I get my hands on something better than a friend’s 4g mobile.”

    Oh dear. Paranoia aside, coincidence is a bit of a stretch when you consider that it was after Pointy published his ‘Here Comes the Rubbish’ article that Farcebook demanded details of his personal ID.

    If the disconnect proves to be linked to this week’s publication then, as annoying as some Big Brothers can be, this particular Global Big Brother is proving itself to be a spiteful, vindictive son of a bitch.

    Here’s hoping the Pointman’s Bar & Grill reopens for business shortly.


  17. Webber says:

    Facebook will DELETE your backed-up photos unless you download its Moments app by July 7th


  18. Blackswan says:

    As The Washington Times asks questions about Facebook, Peter Sunde declares …

    “Facebook is the biggest nation in the world and we have a dictator, if you look at it from a democracy standpoint, Mark Zuckerberg is a dictator. I did not elect him. He sets the rules.”

    As the hot mic incident revealed – Zuckerberg was heavied by the one-time Marxist secretary for East German Agitation and Propaganda, who brings a whole new meaning to sour-kraut, leaving a very nasty taste in the mouth.

    With the miracle of modern transplant surgery and $58 Billion in his pocket, I guess anyone could acquire a set of balls but let’s face it – they’d always belong to somebody else.

    C’mon Mr Z … grow some of your own and tell Frau Frump to bugger off and fix her own problems.


  19. Pointman says:

    I’ve got my fast internet back. Thanks to a few friends for letting me use their 4G enabled smartphones to keep the moderation etc ticking over. It turns out that the a cable break of the fibre optic was the problem, so no squad of ninja assassins despatched by Zuckerberg at the bottom of it all.



    • Blackswan says:

      Good to see the problem sorted P …. but that doesn’t let the wimp off the hook. Banning cogent arguments for the Truth being posted on Farcebook still makes him a Useful Idiot, and a dangerous one at that.


  20. ossqss says:

    What did you expect in a digital age of direct control of anything. . The enemy is decided by just a few. Who do you think they are?

    Just sayin, think about that……….


  21. Blackswan says:

    “LIFE in Thailand has been taking on a creepy Big Brother-style feeling of late.”

    “For 40-year-old Patnaree Chankij, it was typing a single word on Facebook. The widow faces up to 15 years in jail for typing “ja” (which means “yeah” or “I see”) in response to a private, anti-monarchist message.”

    And a sarcastic comment online about the king’s dog got a man arrested and tossed in jail where he faces 37 years behind bars. Was that remark on Farcebook too?

    Have we heard a squeak of protest from Leaders in the West to Thailand’s Military dictatorship? And it’s the Military, not the police, who are enforcing the mad diktats of the self-appointed Prime Minister.

    It seems the eunuch is up for doing the bidding of any National leader, red-flagging whatever is deemed “offensive” regardless of the consequences to Farcebook’s users.

    “The Price is Right” isn’t just an old TV game show.


  22. Russ Wood says:

    And, of course, if your post or tweet could be remotely considered as ‘waycist’, the SJWs will be all over you as far as the law allows and encourages them. In South Africa, an elderly Durban woman was upset at the state of the beaches after the Christmas holiday, and made an injudicious tweet to a friend, not knowing that tweets are public. The governing ANC needed something to distract from the firing of the Finance Minister, so this comment was blown up out of all proportion, and this woman, apart from losing her job and getting hate phonecalls, was hauled up (without representation) before a ‘Equality Court’, where she was fined aproxximately six months pay. See for yourself at:


  23. Davidg says:

    You’re helping to keep me awake and a good bit more aware. An elbow to the ribs and a nod in the right direction.
    Thany you.


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