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Concept.png Internet/Censorship 
(social control,  censorship)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png 4
Internet Censorship.jpg
Interest of• Counter Extremism Project
• Daily Sceptic
• Dan Dicks
• Jack Dorsey
• Tristan Mendès France
• Freedom House
• Melinda Gates
• Ronald Lauder
• Mailchimp
• Jacob Mchangama
• Lindsay Moran
• Lucy Powell
• Marianna Spring
• Stanford/Internet Observatory
• The Twitter Files
• Susan Wojcicki
Removing things from the internet has become a high priority for those who seek to contain knowledge and shape ideas. This is done under a range of covers, notably the "war on terror".

Internet censorship takes various forms and is carried out under various guises. After a slow start,[1] both deep states and governments are making strenuous and coordinated efforts, notably US, UK, France, China and Russia to try to prevent the internet being used for free exchange of ideas.[2] Overtly authoritarian governments may present censorship as a fait accompli,[3] but governments with a historical commitment to freedom of speech use a range of pretexts for curtailing it, particularly scare tactics such as the "war on terror" - a development criticised by the EFF.[4] By late 2021 the UNCTED was actively removing domain names from the internet.[5]


Google Trends reveals a spike in search interest in the term "hate speech" in January 2013 - of unknown origins. This phrase was used increasingly by those aiming to legitimize internet censorship

The culture of the early internet was very permissive. From a mixture of technical and cultural grounds, it promoted free speech and was definitely censorship unfriendly. Until around 2000 "few people initially thought that it was possible to regulate the Internet. "Cyberspace" was considered to be a space apart from the real world; one that was to a large extent exempt from its laws."[1] Back in 2000, internet use was an uncommon and limited to geeks, academics and the military. Prominent among internet activists of this period was Steve Kangas.

Early censorship

With prominent reference to child pornography and the incipient "war on terror", governments began to explore rudimentary blocking, which was still relatively easy for educated users to circumvent. As internet speeds increased, technological barriers to sharing of information waned and the threat of copyright violation was increasingly circumvented through delocalised technologies such as Bit Torrent. The deep state (and the NSA in particular) nevertheless devoted massive resources to developing censorship and particularly invisible "mass surveillance" technology. This was met with relatively little popular resistance, until the Edward Snowden affair underlined just how effective logging and pervasive of data had become and sparked a renewed debate about the issue of information freedom and privacy on the Internet.[1]

Technical difficulty

The internet was designed to try to not have a single point of failure or control, making it technically harder than the censorship of traditional corporate media.

“The Internet perceives censorship as damage, and routes around it.”
John Gilmore [6]

DNS servers

Domain Name System (DNS) servers translate human readable names to IP addresses. These services are operated mainly by ISPs and automatically chosen by the operating system when users connect to the internet. Censoring DNS lookup is around since ca. 2009. The use switched to monitoring user activity and marking them as targets for further suppression. [7] It is therefore recommended to use open DNS servers, i.e. those run by If open servers are blocked it is advisable to have an uncensored DNS lookup table running locally.

Cultural difficulty

Full article: “Hate speech”

The tradition of free speech is long in many parts of the world, and so memes such as "hate speech" were introduced to offer a pretext for removing unwelcome opinions or evidence. In the context of COVID-19, this was augmented with "dangerous misinformation".


Since their invention up to around 2020, archive sites were an invaluable tool to access censored material. MIT's Internet Archive was the earliest and largest site. In 2020, amid the wave of COVID-19/Censorship, it announced that it would flag up content in its archive that had been removed for violating terms of service (e.g. which had been termed "Fake news").[9] Many other archive sites exist, such as and Although smaller and much less comprehensive, they may have disproportionately good coverage of deep political content subject to censorship, since people archiving it may be unusually well motivated in efforts to archive content.

"War on Terror"

Full article: Rated 4/5 “War on Terror”

Internet censorship was ramped up under excuse of the "War on Terror". The EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove stated in 2007 that “Radical and extremist Islamic propaganda distributed in Europe continues to feed off events happening outside Europe. The Internet is one media outlet, perhaps the essential media outlet for this propaganda.” [10] In 2018, Wired reported that "According to Financial Times sources, the EU is working on draft legislation that would force online".[11] This follows the development of the dubious claim that vulnerable people are "radicalised" by exposure to "terrorist material".[12]

Content moderation

Websites are geographically localised, allowing national governments to exercise censorship by defining laws circumscribing permitted use. These generally restrict the broadcast of graphic child abuse, pornography or gratuitous violence. Content moderation is software assisted, but has been termed "a profoundly human decision-making process". Exact codification is frustrated by the need to occasionally make exceptions (when Youtube, for example, retained the video depicting the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan because of 'newsworthiness' and political importance). One commentater wrote in 2016 that "to an alarming degree, the early seat-of-the-pants approach to moderation policy persists today, hidden by an industry that largely refuses to participate in substantive public conversations or respond in detail to media inquiries."[13] A 2016 estimate has put 1/3 of Facebook's entire staff as moderators, but Facebook claimed this was an overestimate. Legal liability contributes to secrecy, leading to a system in which "the details of moderation practices are routinely hidden from public view, siloed within companies and treated as trade secrets when it comes to users and the public".

Reviewing content can be a very harrowing job.[14] It is carried out a large number of low paid workers, following policies set by senior decision-makers who rarely experience the material directly. "One content moderator, on condition of anonymity, said her colleagues and supervisors never saw violent imagery because her job was to remove the most heinous items before they could. Instead, she was asked to describe it."[13]


Full article: Google/Censorship

As the most used search engine, Google is in a unique position to carry out censorship - whether to discourage users from finding content or simply to block access from their site. Google's blocking is not straightforward to estimate. For example, as of January 2018, a Google search for the "Beyond The Dutroux Affair" did not return results from Joël van der Reijden's ISGP site ( amongst the top 100 hits - in spite of returning several mentions of that site, and copies of van der Reijden's original article of that name (at Google's blocking policy, like their ranking policy, is a black box which facilitates easy and inscrutable censorship to promote vested interests.

Censorship by Google has a self-reinforcing nature; when search results are ranked low, fewer requests are made to view the page, in turn lowering its exposure, resulting in fewer "likes" and fewer person to person referrals. Similarly, Google can inscrutably inflate the popularity of certain pages with a similar knock-on effect.


Full article: Wikispooks:Problems with Wikipedia/Censorship

Wikipedia's guidelines on notability and its definition of what constitutes a "reliable source" mean that it is firmly part of the corporate media establishment, notwithstanding its efforts to present itself as a democratic alternative medium ("the encyclopedia that everyone can edit..."). The repeated deletion of the following pages indicates some of the stories it is determined not to tell:

                  Page                  Description
9-11/WTC7/DestructionCompared to the WTC Twin Towers, few people have seen video footage of the collapse of the 47-story WTC building 7, but the event was predicted and recorded by at least 3 TV networks and exactly resembles a controlled demolition. The event was subject to a news blackout by commercially controlled media for years afterwards, no mention of WTC7 was made in the 9/11 Commission's final report and Wikipedia has no separate page for this event.
Kevin AnnettWhen he reported that the church of which he was a minister had been involved in genocide, Rev. Kevin Annett was told to shut up. He didn't. He researched the topic and wrote books and made a movie about it. His Wikipedia page has been deleted at least 4 times as "non-notable" because he has been blacklisted with dynamic silence by corporate media. He continues to expose institutional corruption and child abuse.
Bernard AssoSpooky French lawyer
Barry JenningsA key 9/11 witness whose testimony contradicted the 9/11 report. He was reported dead without further explanation, aged 53. No death certificate is available on the internet, the cause of death is unknown & his entire family went missing without explanation at the same time.

Temporary censorship

National governments are increasingly withdrawing or crippling internet access during times of unrest.[citation needed]


In 2019, internet access was removed from over 30% of Iraqis after widespread anti-government protests.[15]

By country

A domain seizure notice from August 2019, of



The city of Dusseldorf passed a censorship law in 2001 which required all ISPs to block[16]

As of May 2020, German Government free wlan hot spots - using vodafone software - are trying to block VPNs. Obfuscation of VPN traffic is recommended, to protect against DPI.


In February 2015, following the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the French government introduced new laws to allow sweeping internet censorship. In March 2015, it blocked five websites accused of condoning "terrorism". ISPs were given 24 hours to comply with government ban orders.[17] Citing a paper[18] by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, François Hollande called for governments of the world to award themselves new powers to censor any ideas they deemed as "conspiracy theories".[19]


Would this be an illegal image under the apparently rather vaguely worded Russian meme 'misuse' law?

In May 2014, Vladimir Putin passed a law which requires bans anonymous wifi connections and requires any site with more than 3,000 visitors/day to register, and meet certain requirements.[20][21] In 2015, a law was announced which would make 'misuse' of memes illegal.[22]

In 2019, after the Christchurch Mass Shooting‎‎, Putin passed a bill to ban "fake news" and another to make it illegal to insult public officials.[23]


In March 2014, James Brokenshire (UK minister for immigration and security) "has called for the government to do more to deal with 'unsavoury', rather than illegal, material online." Brokenshire is reported as stating that Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas.” [24] In 2014, the head of counter-terrorism at Scotland Yard, Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley claimed that counter-terrorism officers were removing more than 1000 online postings every week.[25]

The Metropolitan Police Service have issued misleading warnings that viewing certain videos may constitute an offence under anti-terrorism legislation, in an apparent attempt to get people to self-censor.[26]

Craig Murray wrote in 2016 that the Guardian "has led the charge for internet censorship in the UK."[27]

The Conservative Party manifesto issued before the UK/2017 General Election declared an ambition to introduce sweeping regulations on the internet, aiming to give the UK government the control to decide what is said online: “Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.” [28]

The Center for Countering Digital Hate campaign for internet censorship.



Bahrain is the second largest jailer of journalists, per capita, in the world (after Turkey). Website are blocked and social media infiltrated.


China spends millions of dollars on software to enable internet censorship, and began controlling its citizens' Internet access in the mid-1990s.[29] China reportedly has "around two million people policing public opinion online"[30] In 2015, CNN suggested that about 1 to 3% of Chinese Internet users regularly jump the Firewall to browse the open Internet.[29]

Facial recognition

In 2019, the Daily Mail reported that from December 1st, China would begin to require "People who want to have the internet installed at home or on their phones must have their faces scanned by the Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to a new regulation."[31]


In October 2019 the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act came into force, a restriction on online freedom of speech. The bill, which outlaws posting of "fake news", gives the Singaporean government "full discretion" to deem a piece of content true or false.[32]


In 2014, the Jordanian government claimed the right to shut down any internet site it objected to.[33]


In April 2015 it was revealed because of the technical difficulty of blocking a single site, the Turkish authorities blocked, censoring 60,000,000 websites because of a single post.[34] Turkey has also blocked YouTube and Twitter.



The US government has long had a policy of seizing entire top level domains (particularly .com addresses) at will. This effectively censors websites not only for the US public, but worldwide. This policy has lead to increasing interest in a de facto adjustment to the system for managing domain names. In December 2014, an outage of Drudge, and other popular sites which offered a challenge to the commercially-controlled media was interpreted as a test run of plans to censor a range of alternative news sites.[35][36] In November 2016, following the victory of Donald Trump in the US Presidential Election, the "Fake News" meme was promoted by commercially-controlled media, followed by an increase in internet censorship.[37] reported that in September 2016, Mark Feigin was prosecuted for 5 tweets he made, under a Californian law against people who "with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device".[38]

In December 2016, Twitter 'ghost banned' Craig Murray, resulting in a 90% decrease in traffic to his site from that site.[39]


“For some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift” [40], stated Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in September 2014, as laws were being introduced to outlaw speech that the authorities see as "advocating "terrorism"".

New Zealand

After the Christchurch shooting, the New Zealand police was threatening internet users with 10 years in prison for downloading a video of it or 14 years for uploading.


In 2019, YouTube banned Chris Bollyn's videos on the Israeli role in 9/11, classifying them as "anti-semitic" "hate speech". In response, he moved them to VK.[41]




Page nameDescription
Algorithm manipulationWhere algorithms on Social media are used in order to promote the Official narrative.
Facebook/CensorshipFacebook has censored its users' free speech for years. After being quasi-covert, this became explicit in 2020 as part of the COVID-19/Censorship.
Online Safety BillProposed piece of landmark legislation which will enable internet censorship in Great Britain
Wikipedia/CensorshipWikipedia claims not to be censored. However, wikipedia's policies don't back this up. Their notions of 'reliability' and 'notability' are particularly suspect.
X/CensorshipTwitter, like other corporate tech. giants, does censor content.
YouTube/CensorshipYouTube Censorship gained pace during the late 2010s, especially around 2016 and in 2020 during the COVID-19/Panic. Videos which had millions of views were removed, pushing a lot of people to alternative platforms such as AltCensored or Bitchute.


Internet/Censorship victims on Wikispooks

Shana ChappellMother of a marine killed in the 2021 Kabul Airport attacks had her Instagram account deleted temporarily after she blamed Joe Biden for her sons death.
Nick FuentesAmerican conservative activist, his supporters are known as Groypers
Jackson HinkleAn American YouTuber.
Craig KellyAustralian dissident MP; COVID-19/Resistance.
PewDiePieOne of the most famous YouTubers. He has been a target of the Anti-Defamation League.
Dave RubinAn American political commentator. A critic of Big Tech.
Martin SellnerRight wing activist from Austria
Lauren SouthernLauren Southern is a Canadian activist. Probably the most famous personality in the Culture war of the late 2010s.
Styxhexenhammer666An American libertarian YouTuber.
Brittany VentiAn American internet celebrity, who has been deeply affected by censorship on social media.
Jacob Wohl
Naomi WolfAmerican feminist widely criticised after dissenting from a lot of official narratives, subject of hit pieces including a 416 page book by Naomi Klein.


Related Quotations

"Fake news website"“long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news".”25 December 2016
Dan Dicks“The internet we have today is not going to be around very much longer. They need to control the narrative...

They are starting to clamp down, not on just conservative voices.

It's not about those on the right, it's not about people on the left, it's about anybody who goes against the status quo.”
Dan DicksJune 2019
Document:I've Been Banned From Facebook for Sharing an Article About False Flags“That such a statement [about the need to censor social media] could be made in a congressional hearing, entirely without objection, is an expression of the terminal decay of American democracy. There is no faction of the ruling class that maintains any commitment to basic democratic rights. None of the Democrats in the committee raised any of the constitutional issues involved in asking massive technology companies to censor political speech on the Internet. Only one Republican raised concerns over censorship, but only to allege that Google had a liberal bias.”Andre Damon1 November 2017
Melissa Dykes“The things that are going to be blocked are not going to be fake stories. The things that are going to be blocked and censored, the things they are going to keep from people is going to be stuff they just don’t want you to focus on or know about.”Melissa Dykes
Saagar Enjeti@jack was the last of the tech CEOS who at least on a personal level was committed to free speech. His departure is probably going to make Twitter a lot worse for censorship (which is truly saying something)”Saagar Enjeti29 November 2021
Generations of warfare“People are hitting Google like crazy with queries regarding Jordon Walker, Pfizer and Veritas. As they did when I said “mass formation psychosis” on Rogan #1757, Google manually interferes with the searches, returning wishy washy “these results are changing rapidly” screens instead of actual links. So, now we have a pretty clear smoking gun involving collusion between Pfizer and Google to suppress the story. Then everything, anything, having to do with Jordon Walker, MD gets memory holed. Wiped from the internet, including the Wayback machine. And then the chaos agents, bots and trolls descend on all social media channels. Sowing doubt that Jordon Walker is even a real person. Floating paranoid conspiracy theories that this is all a big deep-fake set up of Veritas, O’Keefe and myself. Which of course get amplified by the usual actors. Now THAT is an example of Fifth Gen Warfare power!”Robert Malone
Integrity Initiative/Leak/3“Find ways to remove e.g. RT/Ruptly video and infographic content from corporate media e.g. newspaper websites, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Such content is quite professionally done, entertaining and cheap (or even free) for cash-strapped corporate media outlets. But for these reasons, this kind of content gets numerous ‘clicks’ and is therefore picked up by reputable outlets that help spread Russian disinformation.”Victor Madeira16 March 2018
Lawrence Lessig“I had dinner once with Richard Clarke at the table and I said 'is there an equivalent to the Patriot Act — an iPatriot Act — just sitting waiting for some substantial event just waiting for them to come have the excuse for radically changing the way the Internet works?' And he said, 'Of course there is' — and I swear this is what he said, and quote — 'and Vint Cerf is not going to like it very much.'"”Lawrence Lessig2008
Holger Münch“The still high incidence of punishable hate posting shows a need for police action. Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threat, criminal violence and violence either on the street or on the internet.”Holger Münch21 June 2017
PewDiePie ADL controversy“Reinstalled Twitter to talk about PewDiePie's betrayal by donating 50k to the ADL. The company working with places like Twitter to get rid of anything "Offensive" @pewdiepie

You just supported a group that even ruined even YOUR deal to Disney. Wtf?

PewDiePie literally paid $50,000 to not be called racist anymore. And in turn- he just got so many people in the future censored off of places like Twitter and YouTube.

Anytime someone gets banned for now on, I'll be sure to say

"Thanks Pewdiepie"”
Brittany Venti11 September 2019
Search engine“When trying to triangulate truth these days, it is often useful to employ multiple different search engines.”Robert Malone28 January 2023
Joanna Shields“Where there is more propaganda directing people to kill, we must act to remove it quickly. Where there are new networks promoting radicalisation, we must disrupt them. We need to work with industry to improve solutions that automate the identification and removal of dangerous extremist content at scale and tools that better tackle automated bots and other techniques that support these propaganda machines. This must be done as quickly as possible before people, particularly sympathisers and the vulnerable, get the chance to see it. And we must work with civil society to offer a brighter and more compelling path to young people who feel they have no hope of changing their circumstances. There is no panacea, no single piece of technology, intervention or public policy that will solve this. But we can make it harder for terrorist and extremists to use the Internet to recruit, inspire and incite.”Joanna Shields1 August 2016


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:I get abuse and threats online - why can't it be stopped?Article18 October 2021Marianna SpringThe Disinformation Specialist at the BBC gets criticism online for her "fact checking". Internet censorship is the answer.
Document:People Need to Reclaim the Internetblog post19 October 2020Craig MurrayThe development of social media gatekeeping of internet traffic is one of the key socio-political issues of our time. We need the original founders of the Internet to get together with figures like Richard Stallman and – vitally – Julian Assange – to find a way we break free from this.
Document:Someone said they wanted to see me trapped in a burning car and watch flames melt my fleshArticle22 October 2021Nadine DorriesAfter the murder of MP David Amess, a crackdown on "internet trolls" is being demanded by most politicians. The UK's new Culture Minister Nadine Dorries is pursuing new overreaching legislation regulating Big Tech. The "Online Safety Bill" will abolish online anonymity and empower internet censorship. There are fears that it will be the end for freedom of expression in the UK.
Document:Women's March petitions Jack Dorsey to ban Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from TwitterArticle14 August 2021Libby EmmonsThe leading American feminist organisation is pressuring Twitter to remove Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from their platform. She stands accused of promoting "conspiracy theories" about COVID over her scepticism of Fauci. She has been censored before. How much longer is there before she is permanently banned?


4star.png 9 April 2019 Robin  Good overview of this important topic
A useful closer look at this increasingly important topic.
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  1. a b c
  2. It is interesting that these same 5 countries are the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council
  3. "How social media companies help authoritarian governments censor the internet"
  7. Users looking up "forbidden" pages might be placed on a watch list
  10. , 6 November 2007
  13. a b
  18. File:Cass sunstein conspiracies.pdf
  19. Document:The State Against The Republic‎ by Thierry Meyssan
  20. |Russia Quietly Tightens Reins on Web With ‘Bloggers Law’, New York Times
  24. Wired , 2014
  28. Buzzfeed , May 2017
  29. a b
  40. The Sydney Morning Herald , September 2014