The very contrasting treatment of whistleblowers willing to testify against Facebook with that of the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder shows us that the Establishment’s support of those ‘spilling the beans’ is highly selective.
All whistleblowers are equal, but some are more equal than others. Or, we could more specifically say, whistleblowers whose revelations aid ruling-class agendas are put in front of Congress and handed the mic, while those whose revelations expose ruling-class agendas are persecuted and end up in maximum-security jails.
This week we learnt that a second Facebook whistleblower, one Sophie Zhang, was willing to testify before Congress less than two weeks after we had Frances Haugen with her revelations.
“Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy,” Haugen told senators. The company put profits before “the common good.” Which is exactly what the faux-communitarian pro-censorship elites wanted to hear. There is a war going on against Facebook at the moment, in case you hadn’t noticed, but those who are waging it don’t have the same issues with Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant that you and I might have.
We are concerned that Facebook already censors too much in the political sphere, but the ruling elites are concerned that it doesn‘t censor enough. They want more government control over the internet. In fact, they want total government control over the internet, as in China, the country they routinely criticise on “human rights” grounds, but who they are doing their best to copy.
The elites don’t like the fact that Zuckerberg’s platform gives Joe Bloggs a voice – that Joe might use his voice to question hegemonic narratives, and post “non-approved” material. Joe Bloggs needs to be put in his place. As do those who produce the “non-approved” material he shares with his friends
Haugen’s testimony furthered that pro-censorship, pro-control agenda, which is why her words got such glowing coverage in the mainstream media.
It’ll be the same with Zhang. When she left Facebook last year, the former data scientist penned a lengthy memo alleging that the company was failing to tackle misinformation. She wrote, “I know that I have blood on my hands by now.” Apparently, she is going to talk about “multiple fake accounts on Facebook” that have been “undermining elections and political affairs around the world.”
What’s the betting that ‘them darn Russkies’ (who of course stopped Saint Hillary Clinton from becoming president in 2016), will come into the spotlight again – and that the combined effect of Haugen and Zhang‘s testimony will be to strengthen Facebook censorship still further?
Meanwhile, as Haugen and Zhang are feted because they are saying exactly what the political class wants to hear, (and, as Glenn Greenwald points out, have the potential to earn millions of dollars from the SEC whistleblower program) the world’s most famous ‘whistleblower’ is still languishing in Belmarsh Prison.
Julian Assange spilled the beans on what Western (and other governments) were doing in secret with our money – but instead of being lauded by the media for the service he was doing for democracy, he was eviscerated. There was no invitation for him to address Congress. And no prospect of him winning awards of millions of dollars from US state bodies.
Those attacking Assange will say he endangered national security, but in truth, it was the illegal wars which the WikiLeaks founder sought to shine a light on which did that.
One fears that Julian will never leave prison alive. His life these past 10 years has resembled a Kafkaesque nightmare. He is the ‘Josef K’ of our times – with his ‘Trial’ never-ending.
Assange has paid a terrible price for telling us what went on behind the curtain – things which we were never meant to find out, but which were our right to know. Which is what makes the current adulation of the Facebook “whistleblowers” by those who stay silent on Assange‘s treatment, or who actually support it, so nauseating.
By Neil Clark