Interview with the Russian news channel Pensanews.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.