Social media. Interview with Penzanews


Interview with the Russian news channel Pensanews.

Pål Steigan, Norwegian politician, publisher, writer, independent entrepreneur in the field of culture and information technology.
What can you say about the situation around US social media today? Do you agree that social media is under pressure? If yes, does this pressure amount to de facto censorship?

Pål Steigan: The question has to be re-formulated. US social media was founded and funded by US intelligence, namely CIA and its venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel. Facebook is working hand and glove with CIA on developing psy-op techniques to manipulate public opinion. CIA uses Facebook data to chart people and human relations. Amazon is running the cloud computing service for the US war machinery. Google and its YouTube service is also wholly integrated in the military-industrial media complex. Censorship, yes obviously, but as part and parcel of a much larger intelligence system.

  1. What further consequences may this lead to? Can the situation around ‘Russian interference’ be an excuse for restricting freedom of speech in a broader sense, creating government-friendly, ‘convenient’ content?

Pål Steigan: We could be looking at a total split of the internet in domains with almost no contact with each other. Big media and government are trying to monopolize the internet and secret intelligence services use it as the most massive manipulating tool in human history. Independent people will try to find havens elsewhere. And yes, US government, NATO, the EU commission already have given orders to social media companies to suppress alternative and critical views and forward only the ruling class narrative.

  1. What are, from your point of view, possible effective means to combat spread of dangerous information in healthy democratic political system? Are advertising regulations inevitable? Or maybe it is necessary to criminalize fake news, setting penalties?

Pål Steigan: What is fake news? Main Stream Media is fake news on steroids. I am for freedom of speech and the open exchange of ideas. Trying to prohibit ideas is a very wrong strategy, neither will it be successful in the long run.

  1. What would you like to add?

Pål Steigan: Democracy is not in vogue these days. The principles from enlightenment of democracy, human rights and free speech is under severe attack. The ruling elite that run global capitalism are so few, only 0,01% of the population. The only way they can maintain their power is by different forms of dictatorship.

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Pål Steigan
Pål Steigan. f. 1949 har jobbet med journalistikk og medier det meste av sitt liv. I 1967 var han redaktør av Ungsosialisten. I 1968 var han med på å grunnlegge avisa Klassekampen. I 1970 var han med på å grunnlegge forlaget Oktober, der han også en periode var styreleder. Steigan var initiativtaker til og første redaktør av tidsskriftet Røde Fane (nå Gnist). Fra 1985 til 1999 var han leksikonredaktør i Cappelens forlag og utga blant annet Europas første leksikon på CD-rom og internettutgaven av CAPLEX i 1997. Han opprettet bloggen og ga den seinere til selskapet Mot Dag AS som gjorde den til nettavis. Steigan var formann i AKP(m-l) 1975–84. Steigan har skrevet flere bøker, blant annet sjølbiografien En folkefiende (2013).