US tramples on freedom of speech to maintain hegemony
Published: Jan 01, 2023 10:36 PM
social media Photo: pixabay.com

social media Photo: pixabay.com

Twitter CEO Elon Musk recently revealed that all the US social media platforms work with the US government to censor content.

"*Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government," Musk tweeted on December 27, 2022, adding that "Google frequently makes links disappear, for example."

According to documents released by Musk, his social media platform conspired with the FBI, CIA, Pentagon and other US government agencies to suppress information on US elections, Ukraine and COVID-19.

According to a New York Post report in mid-December, the FBI and other law enforcement organizations treated Twitter as a "subsidy," flagging numerous accounts for purportedly harmful "misinformation" since January of 2020.

Musk's revelation and the US media reports vividly explain why the US is losing its global appeal - it sells what it calls absolute freedom of speech to other countries while the US itself doesn't have it.

For a long time, the US has given the world the impression that the US has very loose control over social media, and people can express whatever they want on social media. "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - this is the light that the US, the so-called Beacon of Freedom, used to "shine" upon the world. But what Musk reveals is a heavy blow to the American-style freedom of speech.

"Practically speaking, the government of every country has certain control over the media, including social media. The absolute freedom of speech the US touts remains a distance from the political reality. This is especially true in the US," Shen Yi, a professor of Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Freedom of speech is pure in concept, but it is never pure in practice. When it is used in political struggles, its definition and border is all defined by the powerful and victorious side. When it has to serve US' political system, ideology and national interests, anyone regardless of his position and background, will face a backlash if he is considered by the authorities to pose a threat to the US system. There have been the examples of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

The US is a master of this. Nonetheless, the US sells the concept which is even not applicable to itself and criticizes other governments' control of the media. In the end, it could achieve its goal of infiltrating into other countries and even launching a color revolution to overthrow governments it dislikes. This is all about US hegemony and all this is under the invisible hands of the US government.

Elizabeth Murray, a retired intelligence agent who spent 27 years at the CIA and other intelligence organizations, once revealed to a US media outlet how the "revolving door" works between social media and various branches of the federal government as individuals moved from one to the other.

What the world sees is that the social media platform that should be used as a public access and sharing of information has become a tool for US authorities to spread false information and manipulate international public opinion.

From launching the "Project Mockingbird" during the Cold War, to using "washing powder" and "white helmets" to wage wars against Iraq and Syria in the new century, to fabricating lies to slander China's policies on its Xinjiang region, the US has become the biggest spreader of misinformation and the biggest hypocrite in the world.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. wangwenwen@globaltimes.com.cn