The Main Directorate for Literary and Publishing Affairs (Glavnoe Upravlenie po Delam Literatury i Izdatelstv), known as Glavlit, was the state agency responsible for the censorship of all printed materials in the former Soviet Union. It also supervised the censorship of other media, including radio, television, theater, and film. Glavlit was created in 1922 and ceased to exist in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union.
Our version of Glavlit is called the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). GIFCT was formally established in July 2017 by four founding companies – Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube. No word on when, or if, it might ever cease operations.
GIFCT is a consortium of U.S. tech companies. It was formed – ostensibly – with the purpose of countering radical Islamic propaganda on the web. As of 26 July, it was formally redirected to counter the “false narratives” of “far-right” extremism and white supremacists. If you oppose the agenda of the Biden administration, you are one of the people they are targeting.
The consortium, or cabal if you prefer, consists of 14 companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet Inc, YouTube, Reddit, Snapchat-owner Snap, Instagram, Verizon Media, Microsoft’s LinkedIn, and file-sharing service Dropbox.
They maintain a shared database of content that has been deemed unacceptable. This database includes content that the companies themselves have flagged as unacceptable, but it also includes content identified by the United Nations (U.N.) and the intelligence services of the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The National Security Council (NSC) of the United States is listed on GIFCT’s website as one of its formal partners.
Content that GIFCT identifies as “dangerous” is removed from the internet. Given the companies involved and the extent of their reach this effectively means that the content is literally erased from the entirety of the Internet. It simply ceases to exist as does any mention that it ever existed.
As big as GIFCT is, though, it wants to continue to expand and grow. It recently added Airbnb and Mailchimp to its members. The ultimate goal is to have the complete ability to control all of the content on the web.
Already other online entities are moving to align themselves with GIFCT’s direction. PayPal, for instance, recently announced a partnership with the far-left Anti-Defamation League to disrupt payments to those who are allegedly profiting from, according to Reuters, “antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Hispanic and anti-Asian bigotry.” PayPal also announced it would share this data with law enforcement.
Apple also recently announced it would introduce a feature allowing the company to proactively scan the devices of all its devices, purportedly to detect child abuse imagery. Once installed, of course, that same software will have the capacity to scan all target devices for anything Apple decides is unacceptable.
As frightening as all this is, though, it is only the tip of the iceberg. GIFCT does not simply want to bar you from seeing content it labels misinformation. GIFCT wants to feed you information that it believes you should see. It wants to actively shape your perception of reality and alter the way you look at the world. It does not simply want to stop you from hearing what someone else has to say. It wants to force you to hear and see its version of reality.
This is not conjecture. This intent is expressly laid out by the member companies online. They don’t hide this purpose. Like true zealots they champion it. In their terminology, these efforts are called “counterspeech” and “counter-narrative.”
“Supporting counterspeech and counter-narrative efforts emerges out of a recognition that de-platforming and removing content only addresses symptoms of radicalization, rather than causes.”
“Counterspeech efforts supported by tech companies often focus on helping activists and organizations produce, launch and evaluate localized content to challenge engaging narratives created by violent extremists. Other forms of counterspeech aim to create fiction between individuals searching for violent extremist content by proactively surfacing alternative voices or local resources for disengagement.”
One of the key components of this effort to reshape your view of the world is called the Redirect Initiative. Developed by Facebook it involves redirecting your search results, showing you not what you wanted to see but what Facebook and GIFCT have decided you should see.
“The Redirect Initiative helps combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirecting hate and violence-related search terms towards resources, education, and outreach groups that can help. This initiative is based on Facebook’s “Get Help” search-based modules in combination with the Redirect evolved to fit Facebook and Instagram.
For example, when people search on Facebook for terms related to white supremacy in the US, results are directed to Life After Hate, an organization founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups, and outreach.”Facebook’s Redirect Initiative
The implications of this effort are terrifying. If you question the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines, for instance, GIFCT will not only prevent you from seeing content that supports your position, it will deliberately feed you content designed to convince you that the vaccines are safe and completely effective. If you believe Joe Biden’s abandonment of control over our southern border threatens national security, you will soon learn that you can no longer view coverage of what is really happening and that all of your search results are for content assuring you that everything is under control and that “only racists want to control immigration.”
North Korea famously prevented its citizens from knowing Americans had landed on the Moon for decades. We are now adopting the same practice of controlling what our citizens can see, say and think.
The First Amendment was based expressly on the idea that the free exchange of ideas combined with vigorous debate would lead to the truth. It was based on a fundamental belief in the wisdom and common sense of the American people and the sure understanding that if they could speak and think and debate freely the best ideas would ultimately win out.
GIFCT and the rest of the Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” ‘constructs’ popping up around the country represent something antithetical to the First Amendment. They are based on the idea that the populace is too stupid, too ignorant, and too unprincipled to be trusted to think for themselves. They must be controlled, guided and when necessary, punished for thinking, saying, and advocating anything “unapproved.”
We are in truly dangerous waters. The foundations of the republic are under attack. If we do not act quickly to counter this assault on our freedom we may find, like the Russians before us, that we suffer long decades of tyranny and oppression. We did not destroy the Soviet Union and Glavit only to replace them with GIFCT.