YOUR SPEECH IS AS FREE AS YOU ARE RICH.
By law, in the US, free speech has become as free as you are rich. And world-wide, the reality doesn’t look much different.
The most significant power in this “information age” is that of misinformation. It is a war waged against you, the people (of any nation). And, sadly, our honored Wiki is no exception.
There are several facets to this. One is a genie that already is out of the bottle. How can we, the non-corporate Wikians, band together to police the corporate intruders? If they run countries (which they do, almost all of them), how can we keep them from running this repository of free information? If information has become the backbone of what we are sold as “national security” we can bet that misinformation and infiltration is no less an integral part of that “national security” strategy. The same goes for the medical industrial complex, which includes the ultra-profitable pharmaceutical, medical, and insurance industries. (all served excellently by the governmental agencies they control.)
Misinformation and slanted information is nothing different from censorship. Unfortunately, what we have is corporate censorship by drowning independent information in a flood of paid contributions.
I was at the receiving end of this a couple of years ago, when some commercial interests (an actress and her sponsor) changed the wiki page for someone very important in my life. They edited me out and inserted a plug for their unauthorized production about that person’s life. Eventually, the commercial change was deleted, but it demonstrated very clearly to me how deeply misinformation pervades out lives.
Let’s face it, if the population of one country didn’t have misinformation about the people of another country, they would not go to war. It’s called war propaganda and has been in use for thousands of years, as long as there have been wars.
Biased information is propaganda.
Let’s take the thing about Eve and the apple. It is a piece of alleged information that has led to a brutal war against women, with millions and millions of casualties, to this day and going on as we speak. Not all are burned or drowned. Some are ‘just’ cut, others’ minds are dulled by burden. Many ‘successful’ women strut about like sandwich boards of patriachal agenda. But it is a war.
The same war of corporate misinformation succeeds in promulgating the propaganda that it is OK to commodify and/or destroy our life resources. It’s an equation that cannot pan out (pardon the gold digger language, but the pun is intended).
This war is no different from that depicted in Fahrenheit 451.
Having said all that, our challenge is that of any enforcement. We cannot make laws that the law-breakers can’t break. We can only make it harder to break the law. This, however, pits us against the numerical superiority of the corporate interests. You and me, we have jobs, we have a life. We cannot give up our lives to gumshoe through wikipedia to flag every infomercial we see. We are also not specialists in whatever discipline the predators post biased information about. Maybe we have to think differently.
Instituting fees would be useless. Legal action is pobably, too. The legal system, after all is a legal system and not a justice system, and it is made by and for those able to buy the law anad the lawyers. Maybe we need an out-of-the-box approach, and I don’t know yet what that would be. All I can think of is some kind of crowdsourced approach (not that it couldn’t be invaded as well).
Really, my friends, this is the tip of an iceberg.
But we may have more power than we think. Feel into it. What do you feel strong about. Go for it. Question posts when they are too good to be true, when they sell you something.
to be continued
Dolly the Llama