Are alternative and conservative media actually being censored or are non-mainstream journalists and bloggers just whining?
As the owner of a website that is demonstrably facing censorship, I can tell you that from my point of view, we Americans are currently in the midst of a virtual "book burning" akin to the ones we look back on in shame.
The history of book burning
As early as 221 BC in China, the burning of books has always foreshadowed a crackdown on dissent and information. It's probably no surprise that Adolph Hitler ordered the burning of "subversive" books in Nazi Germany, and the McCarthy era brought public burnings of any book that could be – if one's imagination was stretched to the absolute limit – related to communism. There are many cases of modern-day book-burning, and it generally links to opposing views, either religious, social, or political.
In the past, torching texts was a tactic used by conquerors to wipe the slate of history clean. In 213 B.C., China's Emperor Shih Huang Ti thought that if he burned all the documents in his kingdom, history would begin with him. (He went as far as burying alive those scholars who continued to teach old ideas.)
Eight centuries later, legend says, Caliph Omar burned some 200,000 objectionable books belonging to the library of Alexandria, warming the city's baths for six months.
When the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, the waters of the Tigris were said to have run black with ink from all the destroyed books.
In 1492, after the Spanish conquered Granada, the last Muslim kingdom in Western Europe, they allegedly emptied many of the city's treasured libraries and set their contents all to flame.
Then there are those who have burned books to silence opposing views.
Catholics torched the writings of Protestant reformer Martin Luther.
The Nazis lit a towering bonfire of books by Jewish and leftist writers such as Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud and Upton Sinclair.
And many 1950s Americans, spurred by Senator Joseph McCarthy, hunted for procommunism books to burn. (source)
Nothing like a handy memory hole, right?
These days, as more and more people turn to the internet for essays and news, dissenting views are more often found online than in paperback. And there are people in power who want this to stop because particularly after the last election, they've seen the power the internet has to change the entire course of a country.
Big Tech and Big Media hold most of the microphones and they like it that way. They tend to be united politically and they've been busily working toward silencing opposing views on the internet, branding them as "dangerous" or "ignorant." Members of the alternative media, writers of alternative health news, and opinion bloggers are being censored at a rapid clip.
How is silencing opposing views on the internet any different than burning a library filled with inconvenient information?
First, we need to define modern censorship.
Opposing views on the internet can be silenced in a number of ways. Keep in mind you don't have to like the examples I provide here. If they came for these people or websites, they can come for your favorites next until all we have left is a government-controlled media. This has happened in China and Venezuela, just to name a couple of places.
.Some of the ways our virtual books are being burned are deplatforming (when people can no longer publicly express their opinions), being hidden by search engines (when readers can no longer find the information), and financial starvation (when site owners can no longer afford to keep running the website or pay writers and researchers.)
Some examples of deplatforming
The first way is called deplatforming. This means that all of the places where a person or entity was once able to be heard are taken away. Next, they attack the earning potential of websites. Soon, the sites under attack are only able to be located if you've bookmarked them. If they're able to even stay in business. I wrote recently about the costs of running a website the size of mine, which is only a fraction of the cost of big sites like Infowars or Natural News
Let's go into more detail about deplatforming. Again, it doesn't matter if you think these sites are the best thing since sliced bread or if you think the people running them are lunatics. Free speech doesn't just mean the speech with which you agree.
Take Mike Adams of Natural News for example. Love him or hate him, he has a massive following of people who have found his work valuable. He has been removed from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Because Adams has the financial means, he responded by starting his own version of YouTube for the banned and censored called Brighteon.