This is just one more item on the ever-growing mountain of evidence that these giant, influential social media platforms function as state propaganda, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
By Caitlin Johnstone
Middle East Eye‘s Ian Cobain has published an exclusive titled “Twitter executive for Middle East is British Army ‘psyops’ soldier,” exposing Twitter’s senior editorial executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa as someone who also works for an actual, literal propaganda unit in the British military called the 77th Brigade. Which is mighty interesting, considering the fact that Twitter constantly suspends accounts from non-empire-aligned nations based on the allegation that they are engaging in propaganda.
“The senior Twitter executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East is also a part-time officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit,” Cobain writes. “Gordon MacMillan, who joined the social media company’s UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 in order to develop ‘non-lethal’ ways of waging war. The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to wage what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as ‘information warfare’.”
EXCLUSIVE: Twitter executive for Middle East is British Army 'psyops' soldier https://t.co/wU7TO9vgia
— Ian Cobain (@IanCobain) September 30, 2019
MacMillan’s presence in a government psyops unit was not a secret; until Middle East Eye began raising questions on the matter, it was right there on his LinkedIn profile. This is not something that anyone considering him for promotion was likely to have been unaware of. According to his (now-edited) LinkedIn page, MacMillan has been in his current position as head of editorial EMEA since July 2016. According to Middle East Eye, MacMillan was already a captain in the 77th Brigade by the end of 2016. His current rank there is being hidden behind a wall of government secrecy.
Twitter’s Hilarious Response
When questioned by Middle East Eye about MacMillan’s work in the British Army’s online propaganda program, Twitter hilariously responded, “Twitter is an open, neutral and rigorously independent platform. We actively encourage all our employees to pursue external interests in line with our commitment to healthy corporate social responsibility, and we will continue to do so.”
That’s very nice of Twitter, isn’t it? They encourage their employees to pursue wholesome external interests, whether that be tennis, volunteering at a soup kitchen or moonlighting at a military program explicitly devoted to online psychological warfare. You know, just everyday socially responsible pastime stuff.
The fact that Twitter not only employs known propagandists but actively promotes them to executive positions is a very large and inconvenient plot hole in their “open, neutral and rigorously independent platform” story. Especially since, as I documented recently, the mass purges of foreign Twitter accounts we’ve been seeing more and more of lately always exclusively target governments and groups which are not in alignment with the interests of the U.S.-centralized power alliance of which the U.K. is a part. We’ve seen mass suspensions of accounts from Cuba, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and the Catalan independence movement on allegations of “coordinated influence operations” and “covert, manipulative behaviors.” And yet, Twitter currently employs a high-level executive for whom coordinated influence operations and covert, manipulative behaviors on behalf of the British government are a known vocation.
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“On September 20 Twitter deleted a large number of accounts, including in MacMillan’s area of responsibility. How many of those were designated by the British state?” asks Moon of Alabama of this new report.
How many indeed?
Have You Noticed How Social Media Purges Always Align With The US Empire?
"There is no legitimate reason to go on pretending that these plutocratic Silicon Valley institutions are meaningfully separate from the US government."https://t.co/Jdsj1JMWPB
— Caitlin Johnstone ? (@caitoz) September 12, 2019
This is just one more item on the ever-growing mountain of evidence that these giant, immensely influential social media platforms we’ve all been herded into are nothing other than state propaganda for the digital age. True, they operate in a way which disregards the official lines that are drawn between government power and corporate power and the lines that are drawn between nations, but then, so do our rulers. We are living in a globe-spanning corporate oligarchic empire, and these government-aligned Silicon Valley giants are a major part of that empire’s propaganda engine.
The real power of that empire and that oligarchy lies in their invisibile and unacknowledged nature. Officially we all live in separate, sovereign nations run by democratically elected officials; unofficially we live in a massive transnational empire ruled by a loose alliance of plutocrats and opaque government agencies where military propagandists are employed by social media monopolies to manipulate public narratives. The official mask exists only on the level of narrative, while the unofficial reality is what’s actually happening. Yet whenever you try to publicly discuss the threat that is being posed by oligarchic narrative control online, you get told by establishment loyalists and libertarians that Twitter is just a simple private business running things in a way that is entirely separate from government censorship and state propaganda.
All we clear-eyed rebels can do is keep documenting the evidence of what’s going on and pointing to it as loudly as we can. So once again for the people in the back: Twitter employs literal government propagandists as high-level executives while purging accounts from unabsorbed governments for circulating unauthorized narratives. This is a fact. Remember it.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a book “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.”
This article was re-published with permission.
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All part of the New-old Phoenix Program now alive and well in the US. This is counterterrorism by elites. With thedevelopment of the DHS and fusion centers, reminiscent of the centers built in Vietnam when the Phoenix Program was used for both killing civilians and disseminating American myths.
Caitlin Johnstone, you are a good writer. Hope everything will not overpower social standards.
I am always appalled by the observation that most people seem to behave as if these “social media” run for profit by a few very rich individuals dragging in more and more money are indispensable. I avoid all of them without any difficulty-even google, which used to allow reasonable searches, is obviously now based only on unfair and excessive profits, not any service to users. I use email and selected sites like CN, Naked Capitalism, global research.ca, tomdispatch, the greanville post, and informationclearinghouse and communicate with human friends without facebook et al.
Read Surveillance Valley by Yasha Levine
In the same vein: The US government’s propaganda czar, John Lansing, will now head NPR.
NPR: “Lansing, who is 62, is currently the chief executive of the government agency that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Martí and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others…”
These blatant moves by Twitter and NPR mean the corporate state feels so secure, so confident in its control over the public’s thinking and behavior, that it no longer needs even a fig leaf to cover its naked power.
By some definitions, fascism embraces a merging of corporate and state power. It brings to mind the closing line of George Orwell’s 1945 classic, Animal Farm: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
I was hoping a piece on this story would be posted to CN. Thanks to other readers here for their earlier references to MoA I’ve now been reading that site regularly for the last several weeks, and this story is currently a hot topic there. Several commenters there have very eloquently pointed out the fact that even though as Caitlin correctly states “The official mask exists only on the level of narrative, while the unofficial reality is what’s actually happening.” the narrative is losing its grip because much of it is so obviously false.
The most glaring example of that is the whole of the Iraq War. I would just reiterate what I commented when another of Caitlin’s pieces was posted several months ago (where she) fully laid out the operation of the official narrative. That is – it doesn’t even necessarily matter that we, the disenfranchised masses, believe or accept the official narrative, as it exists mainly to give the political classes cover to continue to do what they have been primed to do, and to create a false trail of reasoning to “blame” when all of it is exposed as bullshit.
And all of this is inevitably leading to something JFK is recorded as saying. It doesn’t matter what you think of the man, what he did or didn’t do; these words ring true: “Those that make peaceful change impossible, ensure that violent revolution is inevitable.”
Here is an article that looks at Facebook’s very close ties to Washington:
see viableopposition.blogspot.com’s Facebook and Its Close Links to Washington, in April 2019.
Facebook put in place an inordinate number of men and women who hail from the federal government and, as such, one might almost conclude that the publicly traded Facebook functions as an extension of the federal government and, more pointedly, the Democratic Party.
As a protest against this propaganda and narrative meddling I have never used any of these mainstream platforms. I am horrified enough about the way my personal information is used by older communication methods like email and skype, not to mention their propaganda use of my search choices on google or youtube.
I would revert to posting letters, but that service has been flogged off to profit making private enterprise, so is now far too expensive and far slower than it was. – Anyway, I suppose they would automatically steam them open and scan them?
I thank Caitlin for bonging the awareness drum ! The results of that awareness, is these “surprise loss” outcomes like brexit, Trump, and our last Australian elections. I take heart from those, since they indicate that their propaganda is not as powerful as they think.