Clarion Call Ghion: Imperative Message to Our Readers and Social Media Public

After talking with some of my fellow independent journalists and having a running conversation with like minded writers and speakers, I have been moved sufficiently to write this article addressed to Ghion Journal readers and to the public as a whole. Yesterday, I published an article that highlighted the extreme measures social media corporations the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google (by extension YouTube) are undertaking to methodically silence voices who diverge from the corporate media narrative.

I detailed the barriers these companies are taking to marginalize independent journalists (read Killing Free Speech). Social media giants are unleashing Orwellian methods ranging from key word based suppression to algorithms that pushes articles from mainstream media to the forefront while systematically quashing links from unaffiliated writers and reporters. Outlets like the Ghion Journal, who do not have the vast resources and wealth of CNN, Fox News and Washington Post, are already at a disadvantage because we cannot spend freely to market our work. The greed of corporate media knowing no bounds, social media companies are now turning to outright censorship — masked by technology and subterfuge — to claw what little market share independent journalists have worked hard to capture.

What these corporations, and the oligarchs who own them, are attempting to do is akin to Goliath aborting David before he is born — this is how hard they are trying to evade accountability. Nothing is more dangerous to freedom than power that is monopolized in the hands of a few. Well my fellow Americans, our freedoms are sufficiently under assault as more than 90% of the information we consume is directly owned and directed by six corporations. As I noted yesterday, that means six people control 90% of the news, entertainment and the public airwaves that 300,000,000 consume! Joseph Stalin would be envious of the way plutocrats have co-opted all levers of power and have commandeered the national conversation.

Yet, the death of free speech and the abrogation of the marketplace of ideas is not fait accompli. We have more powers than we think. Consumers drives this engine of corporatism. If we get a critical mass of people who decide to say enough and stop feeding this beast of corporatism before us, we can make a difference. We don’t have to get to the destination overnight; progress will be in fits and starts. People have told me for example to get off Facebook and use other social media sites to amplify the message of the Ghion Journal. While we have diversified the platforms we are using, in the end it would be an act of business malpractice if I decided to log off Facebook out of spite.

While we take steps to counter the ongoing efforts to diminish our reach and our voice, I am asking you — our readers and those who are tuning in for the first time — to assist us in this effort. Social media sites, especially Facebook, are using very subtle form of censorship in order to keep our articles away from their newsfeed. If you notice some people on Facebook posting a write up and then including the link at the bottom without the corresponding drop down highlight of that article, that is because they are trying their best to evade Facebook’s algorithm based censorship. This is where we have come as a society; people have to revert to gimmicks in order to counter the systematic blocking of their speech. America is slowly turning into a Stasi state.

The steps social media corporations are taking to nullify a free exchange of ideas is breathtaking. I’ve had a lot of people contact me recently to tell me that the ability to share on Facebook was not there when they try to share our articles. Twitter reverts to other practices where shadow banning and temporary restrictions impinge speech and censors ideas. As long as people are completely dependent on the share buttons and stay only within the Facebook and Twitter ecosystem to disseminate our articles — and articles from other independent journalists — we remain a hostage to their chicanery.

The way to defeat high tech is to go low tech. Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to start sending snail mail or to gather up carrier pigeons to relay our articles. If the problem is systematic blocking and suppression based on key words and algorithms, the way to overcome that obstacle is for readers to diversify the ways they share our articles. While we are not asking you to stop using the share applications embedded at this website, we nonetheless ask you to use other means to disseminate our articles. Though less people are using email these days, it is still a vital tool of communication and one that escapes the monsoon of articles that inundates readers when they are using social media. This is what we mean by low tech, I’m asking you to share our articles in ways that is a lot more focused instead of the shotgun approach that social media represents. Text messages, emails and of course face to face conversation is a great way to let others know about the articles you find here without being blocked or impeded by social media sites.

As I ask you to take measures to ensure our viability in the marketplace of ideas, I likewise ask you to do the same for other voices who are not on the dole of corporate media. I’m not saying to disavow the corporate media as a whole, heck even I still go to mainstream media outlets. As I noted earlier, we have to ween ourselves off this paradigm of corporatism incrementally. I write this to dedicated Ghion Journal readers and audience, I want to thank you for your continued support. We have made great strides in reaching a broader audience. Your efforts on our behalf is empowering us to add our two cents to a public discourse that seems to be going bankrupt. Likewise I want to thank first time readers, welcome aboard. I hope you bookmark this site, enroll at the bottom right of this website to get push notifications of new articles and continue to come back to take part in the conversations we are starting.

Whether you are a first time reader or a dedicated reader, we are grateful to each one of you and we ask you to continue telling others about us. As you share our articles, let people know in your own words why they should check in at the Ghion Journal and convey to them the importance of retaining independent voices and journalists in the news industry and in the marketplace of ideas. We are in perilous times; a free press that is not beholden to moneyed interests is not only needed, it is an imperative in order to defend our rights and speak against the excesses of the powerful. We are dependent on our readers to amplify our message and to further our aims as we continue to give a voice to the voiceless. #ClarionCallGhion

“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” ~ Albert Camus

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