Forty years ago, the USSR was reportedly bombarded by radio traffic from Voice of America’s powerful transmitters. The American narrative on this was that our radio media were broadcasting information into the country to help the suffering Russian people rise up and throw off the shackles of totalitarian communism.
Apparently, so the narrative goes, it worked. Communism collapsed and the Soviet Union was no more.
Because now, America needs Russia’s help, and they are offering it.
On September 7th, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, sharply criticized the recent moves by American social media companies to censor their content. According to TASS, the Russian State News Agency, she addressed this problem with force:
Russia considers the US establishment’s efforts to wield pressure on social media to be deplorable, said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a briefing on Friday.
“Divulging information on all blocked accounts should be a crucial step here, and apart from the names of accounts, reasons must also be furnished as to why they were blocked,” she said. “Amid continuous statements about Russia it would be curious to learn who is hiding all the time behind the name ‘Russia’ in these fake accounts.”
“Due to the global aspect of the problem, we view the US administration’s efforts to exert pressure on social media as deplorable,” the diplomat stressed. “Russia supports professional discourse, not a call on the carpet or demands to report on what was done for the US to remain ‘the only global superpower.’”
“This problem should be discussed globally,” she saidFacebook earlier deleted 652 accounts, groups and pages for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” in this social media and apps for sharing photos and videos with Instagram elements. Facebook stated on August 21 that part of these actions were linked to Iran and Russia and that the deleted accounts, groups and pages could be linked to sources that the US government had earlier identified as Russian military intelligence services.
On July 31, Facebook stated that it managed to uncover new attempts to exert political pressure through publishing reports on fake pages ahead of the midterm election to the US Congress.
In light of the most recent censorship of pundit Alex Jones from Twitter, this response from Mrs. Zacharova is very timely. The American government, by law, cannot censor free speech, but companies can at their own discretion, and the liberal establishment has of late seized on this fact to push social media providers like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to block or delete accounts or groups whose opinions are considered either “hate speech” or “terrorism” or “socially unacceptable”, but according to the establishment’s ideas of what qualifies for these categories.
While Alex Jones is not the poster child of good manners and diplomacy, his manner with people he takes issue with is far less outrageous than Phil Mudd on CNN in this outburst:
It is an amazing irony that the messages to American establishment and media outlets to uphold personal freedom of speech are coming from behind where the Iron Curtain used to be. It looks like someone learned a lesson.