Tag Archives: authoritarianism

Becoming China’s Surveillance Software Designer Is Consistent With Facebook’s Dangerous Authoritarian Progression

Authoritarian states, hungry for data on dissenters’ habits and eager for new methods of censorship, salivate at the surveillance capabilities of Facebook. And as the social network’s user base approaches one-third of the world’s population, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has evinced a happy willingness to help the authoritarians in their cause.

Over the Thanksgiving week, anonymous sources at Facebook revealed that the tech corporation has developed a content-suppression program which can be used by Chinese authorities to control viewable subject matter.

As Facebook continues to expand, its dedication to corporatized nanny-monitoring may turn it into the Skynet of our age: an all-encompassing technology whose power is restrained only when the program itself decides not to exert that power. By the by, the exercise of such a power has the tremendous potential to amplify the hollow one-mindedness of social media’s homogenous, politically correct user base.

Considering that Facebook may someday reach half the world’s population, its selective smothering of content, ranging from censoring the controversial, for example images of the Prophet Muhammed, to the historical, such as pictures of the Vietnam War, means it will have absolute power over what half the world watches and reads. When Facebook responds to Chinese pressure to censor controversial images like the self-immolation of a Tibetan monk, the concern over its reach is worsened by the realization that China’s oppressors have the ear of Mark Zuckerberg.

Continue reading at Forbes.

With Amigos Like These: Oliver Stone’s Embrace of Authoritarianism

Oliver Stone’s documentary Mi Amigo Hugo is exactly what you’d expect it to be: an expression of the personality cult of Venezuela’s late revolutionary leader. By interviewing some of Chavez’s closest friends and allies, as well as people who worked with him, the Latin American dictator is introduced to us as someone revered for his good intentions, happy aura, and wonderful voice when singing traditional “llaneras.” But no matter how many friends Hugo Chavez appears to have, or how many insights you get into his personal life, there is one thing entirely missing from the film: the declining, even desperate situation of Venezuela.

From the beginning of the film, Stone sets out his main objective: to express his admiration for the former leader and to say goodbye to a “soldier and a friend.” He sets to explore the details of Chavez’s life, from his grandmother’s socialist roots to his final battle with cancer.

Read the rest on Dissident, here.

Trump’s authoritarian streak snubs the Constitution

Much time has been spent arguing why Donald Trump’s proposed policies would hurt the United States from a conservative point of view. There’s nothing conservative, for example, about a massive tariff on Chinese goods or single-payer healthcare, both of which he has advocated. But perhaps the people who pack into assembly halls for Trump like him not for his policies or personality, but rather for the way he would run government.

Read the rest on the Washington Examiner here.