Jack Kinzler, Rise! Magazine
It seems like a week ceases to go by where rags like Business Insider, Guardian, Huffington Post and New York Times can not forgo their relentless propaganda efforts against China. One easy shot to take at China is the censorship on its social media platforms, primarily Weibo. Habitually, Sina Corporation will ban terms on Weibo which is often claimed to be at the request of the Chinese government. These instances are real, as The Independent reported on here.
This claim that Animal Farm was banned from Weibo was true on the mobile platform while desktop Weibo still turned in results for Animal Farm. This often isn’t egregious enough for Western media groups so they will trump up claims, suggesting that Animal Farm was also banned online in its entirety. This couldn’t be further from the truth as the first result on Baidu (the Chinese version of Google) is a free PDF version of Animal Farm in full.
While Western media is on a quest to deflect, US social media continues to unpublish socialist groups and to throw socialists into “Facebook Jail” while outspoken racists are left unchallenged, even if reported. Unpublishing leftist pages with tons of followers does not seem to be enough though. While record numbers of youth in the US have a growing interest in socialism, Facebook has decided recently to outright ban the term from its platform.
Search results for “socialism” and “socialist” turn up nothing. Under the “All” tab of the search function, you would normally see the groups which you follow and pages that you like but many of my own don’t even appear. One page which I’m certain exists and that I follow is Party for Socialism and Liberation. Let’s try a search for “Liberation”.
There it is, it certainly does exist. So obviously a search for “Socialism” will also render a result.
The “All” tab where the page SHOULD be gives me nothing. Let’s try, “Pages”.
Nope, nothing. Ok, but surely on all of Facebook, someone is talking about socialism, right? Let’s just look up posts from anyone.
You heard it here first, no one on Facebook is talking about socialism. Want to find information on NatSoc, White Nationalism, and Fascism? Facebook has you covered.
I’m definitely in a group called, “Snuggly Wuggly Socialists”. Let’s try, “Snuggly”.
If I were to leave Snuggly Wuggly Socialists or unfollow the PSL page, they would cease to appear in my searches. In a crucial time where capitalism has consolidated wealth to the point of rejecting the vast majority of the population, Facebook appears to be afraid of a growing trend towards socialism. For now at least, “communism” and “communist” still render their usual results but socialism has been the buzzword on the mouth of American people since this last election.
Perhaps Lenin was wrong to suggest that the capitalists would sell us the rope that we would hang them with, it may be time to pursue more tangible organization outside of social media. If our discussions cannot happen online, take them to the streets. If the interested masses cannot be reached online, meet them in our workplaces, on our campuses, and on our streets. The revolution will not happen online, so desperate maneuvers like this from capitalists should be welcomed with open arms.