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18 Feb, 2019 22:00

Internet ‘part of western establishment now’: London ex-mayor on Facebook blocking RT-linked pages

Amid a new media Cold War, the US and its allies are increasingly treating the internet as a tool to suppress any dissenting voices, former mayor of London Ken Livingstone said after Facebook blocked several RT-linked pages.

The world has been plunged in another Cold War, one increasingly waged in the media field with the target being people’s minds, Livingstone told RT in the wake of Facebook blocking several accounts with millions of followers after CNN and a US-funded think tank accused them of being “linked to Kremlin” via Ruptly, RT’s subsidiary video news agency.

The internet is a part of the western establishment now.

Livingstone noted “complete double standards” of this struggle against those who oppose the narrative of Washington and its allies. Almost every single state has its own government-funded media, such as the BBC in the UK, he noted. “In most countries, the staff working at the state media is supportive of that country and its government,” he said. Yet it only seems to be a problem when the narrative runs against the US policies.

Also on rt.com Facebook blocks pages with MILLIONS of subscribers after CNN reports ties with RT

“The western media are media totally hostile towards the Venezuelan government, Iranian government,” he told RT, adding that “anybody, who puts something on the internet, showing the other side of the case, defending Venezuela, Iran or Nicaragua … will upset the establishment.”

In this latest case, Facebook suspended accounts ran by Maffick Media without any warning, even though their administration did not violate any of the existing social media giant’s regulations. American journalist Anissa Naouai, the CEO the Germany-based company managing the accounts, believes that the move was prompted by the pages’ popularity and their critical stance on several US policies.

Also on rt.com ‘End of free speech’: Maffick CEO, host slam Facebook’s unprovoked ‘censorship’ after CNN report

The social network then said it wants the pages’ administration to reveal its “ties to Russia” to their audience in the name of greater transparency, apparently aimed at discouraging people from following these accounts. However, any such measures, as drastic as they are, would eventually be ineffective in the fight over the people’s hearts and minds, Livingstone believes.

“Virtually nobody is interested in who is funding this or that media they are accessing, reading or watching,” he said. “People look to see if it looks like it is true. People make up their mind on that.”

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