Why banning the Russia Today Website and YouTube channel was a stupid thing to do.

Photo by Egor Filin on Unsplash

A few days ago, there was an orchestrated effort to keep citizens in western countries from accessing any content broadcast by RT(Russia Today) They have been removed from most of the big social media and content sharing platforms, and even their own website has been blocked. At the moment, you have to use tools like Tor browser or a VPN in order to access the RT website.

The reason given for why this was done is simple and easy to understand and even get behind. RT News has been deemed as a source of harmful misinformation which has been downplaying the horrors of the actions of Russia in Ukraine — an act worthy of censorship according to those who are in positions of power in the world of tech and social media.

I can neither confirm, nor deny, nor even have an opinion on if its true that RT is spreading misinformation, but after accessing the RT News website yesterday (27/03/2022) I can confirm that the news coverage being broadcasted there is definitely pro-Russian and displays a very different view of the events currently underway in Ukraine. There were even interviews with several Ukrainian citizens who had very kind things to say about the Russian troops who were occupying their land, and not so kind things to say about their own Ukrainian government. Some seemed to be happy about the invasion.

To be 100% clear — I am not supporting or pushing this narrative in any way. For all I know, these pro-Russian-invasion Ukrainian citizens could be paid actors. I’m simply describing what I saw on RTNews and explaining that it contradicts western media. I leave all judgements about the authenticity and validity of this information up to you.

I am putting this article here not to try to persuade anyone at all about what side to be on as this war progresses, I do not have an opinion either way because I know far too little. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this conflict and has lost family and friends. Any and all loss of civilian life is tragic and those responsible should be brought to justice. My only agenda is to raise awareness to the fact that certain information is being kept from people based on the unproven grounds that the public cannot discern truth from falsehood themselves and should even be denied the right to try.

I think that it’s fair to say that a lot of conflicts, big and small, domestic and international, happen because of poor communication between the parties involved. If we all just talked things out, understood each other better, empathised and saw things from the other side, perhaps we could avoid all fighting.

What banning RTNews in western countries has effectively done is propagate poor communication by segmenting Russia and the west into their own separate echo chambers, which makes it much more difficult for the Russia and western countries to communicate properly. It has shut down the ability to have a conversation where both sides are heard.

It is unclear if the organisations responsible for this censorship of Russian media are doing this in order to fan the flames of war and make it easier to control public perception and gain consent to use force. — This is the worst possible reason for why this has been done. Other plausible reasons are that these media companies genuinely believe that Russian media is deceptive and harmful and no possible good can come from the propagation of it.

However, now it has been made much more difficult for the western public to gain access to alternative views which may be critical of their own government’s actions, and it has been made much more difficult for Russia to defend itself against false accusations, even if they have the evidence to do so.

There has been a net loss across the board for freedom of information, conversation and probably also peace because of this censorship.

This complete control over public information is probably driving a rift between Russian citizens and westerners. segmenting different countries into different compartmentalised echo chambers is a sure-fire way of making international relations very difficult. A lack of shared information, understanding and communication between countries is like a dry forest on a hot day, all it takes is a little bit of mischief to set the whole thing ablaze.

We have little reason to trust our own governments and little reason to think that war is black and white. We have little reason to believe anything we are told, at least until we have done our own comprehensive research.

But unfortunately, the powers that control what content you can access on the internet don’t want you to find the facts yourselves and come up with your own opinion. in fact they actively stop you from doing so and would much rather you just do what they tell you to do, think what they tell you to think and repeat only what they tell you to repeat.

Thanks for reading this article, If you’re affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, my heart goes out to you. If you took offense at some of the pro-Russian sentiment that I described coming from the RTNews channel, please know that I was doing so in order to provide evidence that at a higher-level there is multiple sides to this conflict, not to deny the realities of the ongoing crisis. I’d like to emphasize that I am completely neutral on this subject as there are many possible sources of disinformation both from Western and Russian media sources.

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Mikey Jesney

Mikey Jesney

I discuss hypotheticals relating to spirituality, consciousness and sometimes technology