A year of being deplatformed: Reflections on digital assassination
Martin Geddes March 9, 2020
“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.”
— Isaiah 8:12
“It’s going to be BIBLICAL.”
It was a year ago today that I received an email from Medium saying that they were suspending my account, as I had broken their policy on “Controversial, Suspect, and Extreme Content”. I wrote two articles at the time (here and here) documenting the experience, and would like to offer you some additional thoughts on this first anniversary.
Back in 2016 I attended the Hyperwellbeing conference in Mountain View, CA. Mark Rolston of Frog Design made a comment that stuck in my mind: our virtual identities and physical identity are becoming melded, and are increasingly hard to separate. This theme has been echoed by former Marine and CIA officer Robert David Steele, who calls deplatforming “digital assassination”.
When an online identity is deplatformed, YOU are personally under attack. As far as others are concerned, who see you only via your avatars, deplatforming is akin to death. You no longer exist, and you have had a part of your identity taken away from you — involuntarily and violently. Deplatforming is a bit like having your phone number AND address book seized because you said something the cellular network operator didn’t like.
This has an impact in the real world.
I was targeted not because I was writing about crazy “conspiracy theories”, but because my writing on #QAnon was too close to the truth. A criminal mafia has been in charge of Silicon Valley and the mass media, and the evidence is overwhelming of Q being a military intelligence program to expose them. Warplanes going around with callsigns of “Q” and “anon” mean it’s not a political stunt; Dan Scavino just tweeted a favourite Qism, showing it is at the heart of power; and the media consistently refuses to #AskTheQ.
This demonstrates the mass media is coordinated crimimal propaganda (think: Russiagate hoax), and not legitimate journalism. It is not hard to figure out the media is run by crooks, if only you pay attention to independent sources. Silicon Valley’s social media giants are just #FakeNews with extra algorithms. The evidence is already public for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
We are now watching the biggest anti-mob takedown in history. Just as people were laughed at for calling out the Italian Mafia, the Deep State — aka Khazarian Mafia — results in ridicule, prior to remorse and repentance. I was in the crosshairs of the Deep State for being ahead of the game, and my presumption is that I was deplatformed because I was causing [them] real damage.
The article that had “gone viral” — #WWG1WGA: The Greatest Communications Event in History — had reached over 1/4 million hits on Medium. I recently received this email (lightly edited here for readability) which gives you a sense of the impact I was having:
Subject: Your initial Q article
Message: You wrote an article that, in my opinion, was the best written to date — giving the analysis that brought you to the conclusion that Q was real. I had it in my iPhone Safari queue and I shared it often with those who did not know about Q, or did not consider it real. Many friends were “red pilled” by that article.
One day I went to share it and it was gone. I only recently found out you were deplatformed. I have spent hours looking for it on the web because I found it so effective to share. Is there any way to link to that article now, or is it gone for good?
This deplatforming will have had its intended effect of slowing down the spread of knowledge about Q. The impact of deplatforming on me personally is also significant.
Firstly, it was social. I discovered that I essentially had zero real friends in my tech liberal professional circles. None at all. Every single one was a hypocrite, and nobody reached out to say they were against this deplatforming action. This was a shock at the time, but in retrospect is unsurprising.
There was no due process from Medium. I was not told which content was infringing, nor was I given a chance to change it. Many people know me well from my days as a telecoms consultant and Internet commentator. They know I am not stupid, careless, or extremist. There are quite a few who should hang their head in shame should they ever claim to be defenders of free speech in future. You failed the test when it mattered.
Secondly, there was a financial impact. Those 100+ articles had my Patreon and PayPal links at the bottom, and those are essentially all my income. This has been a rough journey in the last two years, and I have been constantly “at the edge” money-wise. It wasn’t just my thoughts and name that were taken down, it was also an important source of safety — and new patrons and subscribers. This put an extra load on me, including on my health.
It also made me nervous to invest in my nascent photography business, since the same criminal gang could target me over and over, kicking me off Twitter, PayPal, Patreon, and Mailchimp. These are not hypothetical concerns; others have been booted off for writing about “controversial” crime and corruption matters. I am now ready to launch my new art career, but only because a generous Patriot stepped up to take the commercial risk away from me.
Thirdly, there was an emotional and psychological impact. Many of the people running the major tech companies and mass media are gangsters. There is a reason for the ongoing mass resignations of CEOs of major corporations. This corruption purge is very real. Being singled out by the Silicon Mafia is inevitably worrying. I have had to think harder about my personal safety and operational security.
When I had my kidney infection meltdown, a friend commented that my paranoid fears of me and my family being targeted were all too credible, and thus initially hard to dismiss as being caused by illness. I don’t normally worry about my welfare, as it is a reasonable guess that anyone who has stuck their neck out as far as I have is closely monitored and protected. But it wasn’t so obvious a year ago, since I was among the first to be publicly punished for prescience.
The problem of mass censorship — and indifference to it from the “liberal” (i.e. technofascist) elite — is very much alive and ongoing. You can easily lose your acting career for stating you approve of Donald Trump, and the courts are putting out censor-friendly verdicts. The overall pattern is obvious, and personal anecdotes of censorship are easy to find.
I have invested a huge number of hours and creative energy into my online presence. The power to deplatform isn’t just about censorship. My Twitter account, and the ability to market my art, is important to my ability to house myself and feed my family. I made more selling Christmas calendars than I ever have from writing, but sustaining that requires access to my market. To have your livelihood removed capriciously and with no redress is simply wrong and unacceptable.
I have learned to adapt and limit my risk. I have many backup accounts in case Twitter goes down. I export my mailing lists regularly in case Mailchimp “does a Medium” on me. I host my own critical content (at more cost I can barely afford). I have also learned that this really is a war, and I am entitled to ask for help and should graciously receive it. The burden is not mine alone to carry. My “social security” is all the people I am connected to online, and who care about my welfare.
Whilst social media companies have the right to set rules and obligation to police abuse, they should not have the power to own our identities or restrict our freedom of association. We have to recognise that an identity like “@martingeddes” is ethically part of ME, and that my social graph belongs to US. Deplatforming without due process must end. We need something akin to telephone number portability, but for social graphs, so nobody is completely dependent on any one social network.
May this be the last anniversary on which I have to lament this phenomenon, and its impact on myself and others. If whoever at Medium made the decision to deplatform me did so under duress, then I forgive you unconditionally. If you exercised free will to take me offline, then I hope there is a RICO sealed indictment waiting for for you. You have thoroughly earned the consequences.
Nothing can stop what is coming.