Google's Shadow-Banning Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Just about the only bulwark against being silenced by the modern-day tech-corporate-NKVD-Stasi is Patreon.

If you do a search of shadow banning, you'll find sites that claim to help you identify whether Twitter or Instagram has shadow banned your account. The basic idea of shadow banning is to spoof the shadow-banned user into believing their public posts are visible to all while in reality the posts are visible only to the user or in some cases to the users' followers.

Wikipedia's definition of shadow banning is:

"Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned."

Here is's description: "Shadow banning is controversial because it allows an administrator or moderator to effectively become a censor and prevent specific users from interacting with other members of an online community on an equal basis."

Shadow banning and outright banning are only the tip of the iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque controls on how much of your digital presence has been ghosted--not just in social media communities but in searches and how links to your site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech cartel that controls what's visible and "found" on the web and social media.

This cartel is dominated by Google and Facebook. Google controls over 90% of all search: what search results are displayed, the weight given to links (the page-rank assigned to websites) and a variety of other factors that can be depreciated, removed, omitted or blocked by algorithms and/or human censors (a.k.a. administratorswithout recourse and without the site or user being informed.

While this chart displays the dominance of Facebook and Google in digital ad revenues, it is a rough proxy for their dominance in mindshare, user data collected and control over what is displayed and not displayed in search results and social media.

We are all digital ghosts now, and how much of your digital shadow is visible to the world is secret / opaque. If you violate company policies or applicable censorship laws (as interpreted by the company attorneys), the corporation will notify you that your account has been frozen or banned.

In these instances, users and content creators are informed of their purported violation.

But this visible part of web / social media censorship is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the censorship is invisible and undetectable. Here's an example of how this might work.

Facebook has reportedly based one of its censorship programs on the demonstrably bogus (and anonymously produced) PropOrNot list that was hyped by the Washington Post in 2016. The list of sites accused of being Russian propaganda outlets was a grab-bag of left, right and center websites whose only "crime" was publishing some bit of skepticism about the coronation of Hillary Clinton.

So a bogus anonymous list becomes the foundation of Facebook's censorship efforts. This is precisely how the former Soviet Union's secret police operated: a falsely reported association became the foundation of surveillance and the setting of various traps and snares to catch anti-social elements in the act of undermining the regime.

That the association was false no longer matters. What matters is your name is on the list. It turns out made it on the modern-day NKVD-Stasi list of PropOrNot, which despite being debunked has taken on a life of its own in the New Police State of Facebook, Google, et al.

You might have heard about a targeted website's traffic suddenly plummeting 30% or 40% literally overnight. Well, it's true. Many sites left and right report their traffic mysteriously and suddenly plummets without any explanation by the organs of censorship (Facebook, Google, et al.)

It happened to this month. I have traffic data going back to 2005, and my traffic (visits and page views) has been remarkably steady for years. The number of my posts per week remains the same, my engagement on social media remains the same (as far as I can tell, heh) and my page rank remains the same (5) (again, as far as I can tell).

So when my traffic drops like a light switch was flipped, I notice.

I hope you'll enjoy the irony that many if not most of the charts published on my site are from the Federal Reserve Economic Data site (FRED). But this is akin to the innocent citizen snagged by the NKVD or Stasi for unspecified crimes against the people protesting his innocence and good citizenship: none of that matters. What matters is your name is on the list, and our administrators are obligated to track your digital presence and digitally ghost you by adjusting search results to depreciate your presence, underweight links from other sites, jam attempts to re-post your content and so on.

None of this is visible or reported. It all happens behind the closed doors of Facebook, Google et al. Just as loyal employees of the NKVD and the Stasi were constantly told they were the bulwark of the people against enemies of the state, employees of Facebook, Google et al. are told they're weeding out "fake news" and "propaganda" (like those charts from the Federal Reserve Economic Database) that is disruptive and divisive.

In other words, they're good Germans doing their masters' bidding, for very handsome salaries, bonuses and stock options.

Meanwhile, the incomes of those secretly ghosted without trial or recourse plummets along with their traffic. The net result of the perverse magic of tech cartel censorship is only the wealthy few can afford to keep posting original content after they've been ghosted.

Should Facebook, Google et al. reassure us we haven't been ghosted, why should we believe them? Since the entire apparatus of censorship is operated by private, for-profit corporations in complete secrecy, on what basis would their assurances be credible or verifiable?

Just about the only bulwark against being silenced by the modern-day tech-corporate-NKVD-Stasi is Patreon--individuals who provide financial support of independent voices and analysis because they value those independent analysts and content creators.

It doesn't matter whether you consider yourself left, right or center. If you want to resist secret censorship of both the left and the right, then please consider supporting the independent commentators and analysts who have enhanced your life with value, insight or entertainment. Thank you, patrons and financial supporters of and other independent content creators. Thanks to you, the tech cartel can ghost us and our content but they can't erase it entirely.

At least not yet.

If you're not sure where to start, search for the names of those independent content creators you value. Consider subscribing to independent journals like Counterpunch magazine which is currently in a fundraising drive. I just re-upped (and also contributed to independent blogs I value)-- not because I agree with everything they publish but because I value their independence.

*  *  *

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF). My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition.  Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via




The U.S. Department of Energy Engaged In Criminal Activities At Google's Direction

By Lance LeLand


That may sound like an over-the-top assertion but the federal evidence I have seen appears to prove it.

Elon Musk, John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, Tom Steyer, Steve Jurvetson, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and Steve Spinner are, at once:

1.) Silicon Valley oligarchs, as well as;

2.) The financiers of Barack Obama's political campaigns, as well as;

3.) The core beneficiaries of the Barack Obama Administration, as well as;

4.) The men who ordered and operated "hit-jobs" against anyone who competed with them, as well as;

5.) The bosses, or top shareholders, of the core staff that Obama hired to staff his Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as;

6.) The "Dark Money" operators during the Obama Administration, as well as;

7.) The past and future "revolving-door' employers of Obama's staff, as well as;

8.) The people that the Obama White House and Department of Energy actually report to, as well as all of the other things, above.

This is not conjecture. It is fact provable in court and known widely by FBI, GAO, Treasury and SEC investigators. Government investigators are blockaded from acting on this information by their bosses who are compensated by these men via Dark Money conduits.

Two of the above items might be a "coincidence". Eight such inter-connections are a "crime"!

This hurts the average person because this kind of corruption breaks the trust that voters hope to have in their government.

Department of Energy officials went to great lengths to A.) give away taxpayer money to these men, through covert stock market and investor routes, B.) pump the stock valuations owned by these men to stratospheric fluff numbers and C.) exclusively benefit their political campaign financing "PayPal Mafia Cartel". At the same time, Department of Energy officials went to great lengths to D.) sabotage, stone-wall, log-jam, defraud and lie to the competitors of these men in order to protect these Silicon Valley oligarchs, per their deals with Obama's Robert Gibbs, David Plouffe, Valarie Jarrett, Jay Carney, David Axelrod, Tom Steyer, Rahm Emanual, Steve Rattner and Matt Rogers: Their "handlers" in the Obama White House.

Top Department of Energy Officials stated on video that applicants for Department of Energy funding would be reviewed on a "first-to-apply/first-served" basis. The law that created the funding even said that. None of the Silicon Valley Mafia insiders had their acts together, though, and assumed the money would just be handed to them. The Paypal Mafia insiders never bothered to submit their application paperwork on time.

When top Obama/DOE crook's Steven Chu and Lachlan Seward realized that none of the Silicon Valley Mafia insiders had their acts together and that the competitors of their friends had filed applications first, they simply ignored their own rules, changed the submission criteria and refused to process the applications of anyone who was not an Obama campaign financier. They stone-walled the campaign financiers competitors until they forced almost all of them out of business.

By applying for DOE funds as a business, you can't get funding from any VC in the NVCA, or any bank, until AFTER DOE decides about your funding. By freezing decisions, that only take two weeks to process, for many years, DOE killed an entire next generation auto industry.

In one instance, exposed in a federal lawsuit, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, an investor in some of the Silicon Valley Cartel's own companies, had his top staffer tell an applicant multiple lies. The lies were designed to sabotage the applicant, one of Elon Musk's and John Doerr's most feared competitor's. If the applicant got the federal funds then the companies owned by Elon Musk, John Doerr, Tom Steyer, Vinod Khosla, Steve Jurvetson, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and Steve Spinner could not possibly compete.

In this instance, for one of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding pools, Steven Chu and Lachlan Seward wanted a fee paid to the Department of Energy in order to get them to look at the application. The applicant, XP, agreed to pay the $50,000.00 fee and acquired outside investors to fund the effort. All investors engage in due diligence and these investors required that one DOE official engage in one phone call for 3minutes to answer their single question about the process. The call was arranged BUT the DOE executive did not show up. The applicant faxed, email, FEDEX'd and messaged DOE daily, for weeks, but Steven Chu's staff ducked the calls as the deadline approached. DOE was made keenly aware that the funding depended on a single answer to a question. In one call, the DOE Secretary stated that the DOE executive was "not in the office" while he could be clearly heard in his office talking behind her. The DOE executive was standing right there and avoiding the call because he knew that the call was the last thing the applicant needed to complete the process.

The DOE executive was protecting Elon Musk, John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, Tom Steyer, Steve Jurvetson, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and Steve Spinner because he got paid by them.

The applicant's investors were getting nervous because DOE was not responding. On the day of the deadline, after getting a waiver for the fee, even though the applicant had the money ready, The DOE official finally responded and said "sorry, you missed the deadline, you can't play". He had log-jammed and stone-walled the applicant to try to put them out of business to protect his bosses investments.

Carol Battershell worked at DOE as an Obama funding insider at this time. She was a huge promoter of climate change metrics. What we now know is that in 2008, every solution to the climate change crisis, if there was a "climate change crisis", just happened to be owned by Elon Musk, Tom Steyer, John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, Steve Jurvetson, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and Steve Spinner. Another amazing coincidence! Carol has quit DOE, under pressure over falsified climate change data, and now bird-watches in Ohio.

Carol Battershell was in charge of reviewing applicants for DOE yet refused to return any phone calls or emails from applicants who were competitors of Elon Musk, Tom Steyer, John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, Steve Jurvetson, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and Steve Spinner. What another amazing coincidence!

Battershell refused to ever talk to, or communicate with, any engineers or founders of the applicants who were the competitors of Obama's financiers.

That group of insiders may ring some bells for you. Steve Spinner was the husband of Alison Spinner who was the lawyer for Solyndra and Tesla. Solyndra was raided by the FBI and Tesla is still under FBI investigation. Steve Rattner was indicted in New York for stock market fraud. Steve Jurvetson was fired for sex scandal activities yet he is still in the news for hosting sex parties for Elon Musk. John Doerr is Climate Change advocate Al Gore's business partner and the subject of Silicon Valley's biggest sex lawsuit. Vinod Khosla is in the news for taking over a California public beach and nay-saying #METOO claims. Every one of this men has a dark and dirty dossier that makes one shudder to imagine the Omerta's they must engage in.

DOE officials used the most lame-brain excuses they could come up with to avoid funding their financiers competitors. They told the electric car company that the car was "not using enough gasoline". Then they told the same applicant that electric cars were too futuristic...while funding the same electric car with Nissan, a huge Obama Dark Money financier. At one point DOE stated that they did not have enough money for the applicants. IN FACT, they had enough money to fund EVERY applicant and there are still billions of dollars sitting unused in the fund.

Bright Automotive staff distributed a notoriously harsh letter that they had sent to Energy Secretary Chu after they realized that Chu had defrauded them too. Bright competed with the interests of Elon Musk, Tom Steyer, John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, Steve Jurvetson, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and Steve Spinner. Bright staff say the DOE out-right defrauded them. DOE knew, from Day One, that only Obama political campaign financiers would get the funding. DOE used the other applicants as a smoke-screen.

The Obama Administration used the U.S. Department of Energy as a political slush fund to pay off campaign financiers. Hillary Clinton promised Silicon Valley she would do the same thing using the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund "Driverless Cars" (that nobody actually wants). That is why DNC financiers Tesla, Apple, Google, etc. are fanatically pushing their driverless car projects. These are DARK MONEY POLITICAL SLUSH FUNDS. They are criminal programs!