Internet Censorship

The US government, in collaboration with social media companies, is implementing massive restrictions on Internet access. Capitalist governments in Europe and throughout the world are enacting similar repressive policies.

In late April 2017, Google announced the implementation of new algorithms aimed at limiting or blocking access to the WSWS and other left wing, anti-war and progressive websites. Similar measures to deny Internet users access to revolutionary socialist and oppositional information and commentary have been implemented by Facebook and Twitter.

The World Socialist Web Site has taken the lead in exposing this conspiracy to censor the Internet and issued a call for the formation of an International Coalition of Socialist, Anti-War and Progressive Websites to fight back against this attack on freedom of speech and basic democratic rights.

Chinese regime further suppresses internet freedom of speech

By Zhang Yang, 3 March 2021

The Chinese Communist Party is terrified that the working class and the rural poor could be radicalized by “unlicensed” political commentary by internet bloggers that does not parrot the party line.

Facebook censors WSWS article exposing Wuhan lab conspiracy theory

By The WSWS Editorial Board, 25 February 2021

Facebook has labeled the WSWS Perspective column, "Washington Post’s 'Wuhan Lab' conspiracy theory stands exposed,” as “misinformation” and blocked users from sharing it.

Facebook reaches deal with Australian government

By Nick Beams, 25 February 2021

The deal involved an amendment to government legislation, backed by the opposition Labor party, that requires Facebook to pay news outlets for content under a bargaining code

999 Macron doubles down on political censorship of French universities

23 February 2021

Workers and youth speak out against Facebook’s Australian news ban and corporate media cash grab

By Our reporters, 23 February 2021

“The creation and distribution of news is controlled by a few corporations, ruthless in promoting their class interests.”

Assange’s partner exposes ongoing denial of his legal and democratic rights

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 February 2021

Assange is still being denied proper access to his lawyers and to crucial legal documents, even after a Magistrates’ Court verdict blocking his extradition to the US last month.

Facebook shuts down group with 90,000 cruise ship crew members

By Tom Casey, 21 February 2021

On Friday, Facebook removed without explanation a group with 90,000 members who work in the international cruise ship industry.

Facebook news ban continues in Australia

Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2021

Facebook’s actions are only the latest shot in a war between the social media companies and the largest news conglomerates over control of lucrative advertising revenue streams.

Facebook blocks all news content in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 February 2021

Facebook has responded to a conflict with the Australian authorities and media corporations over advertising revenue, with what could be described as a declaration of online martial law.

Democratic Senators introduce new bill to remove Section 230 internet speech protections

By Kevin Reed, 14 February 2021

There have been more than thirty legislative proposals over the past two years from Democrats and Republicans to abolish the legal framework—known as Section 230—that protects online services such as social media channels from liability for content posted by users on their platforms.

999 Section 230 legislation targeting social media

12 February 2021

Facebook moves forward with “depoliticization” of News Feed

By Kevin Reed, 11 February 2021

Following up on the remarks of CEO Mark Zuckerberg two weeks ago, Facebook has issued an official statement spelling out how it will move forward with plans to reduce political content on its social media platform.

Biden administration will continue with extradition of Julian Assange

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2021

President Biden’s Department of Justice stated on Tuesday that it will continue with the Trump administration policy of seeking the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the UK to the US.

London bus workers denounce Facebook censorship: “Hands off the WSWS!”

our reporters, 10 February 2021

A resolution protesting Facebook censorship of the World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Party has been received from the London Bus Rank-and-File Committee, along with statements of support from bus drivers.

Facebook’s “depoliticization” aimed at censorship of left-wing and socialist organizations

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2021

The recent announcement by Facebook that it would “reduce the amount of political content” on its platform is part of the drive by the US ruling establishment to block the spread of progressive, left-wing and socialist ideas on social media.

999 Facebook "depoliticization"

8 February 2021

Emmy Butlin and Maxine Walker of the UK Committee to Defend Julian Assange oppose Facebook censorship of the Socialist Equality Party/IYSSE

By By our correspondent, 1 February 2021

The WSWS has been sent letters from Emmy Butlin and Maxine Walker, of the Committee to Defend Julian Assange (JADC) in opposition to the censorship of the World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Parties by Facebook.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says company will “depoliticize” its News Feed

By Kevin Reed, 30 January 2021

Facebook is working on plans to permanently reduce “the amount of political content in News Feed” as part of an ongoing effort to purge socialist and left-wing organizations from its platform.

WSWS’s fight against Facebook censorship draws international support

By Kevin Reed, 27 January 2021

Statements of support, social media posts and shares, news reports and messages sent directly to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denouncing the political censorship of the socialist left played a decisive role in the restoration of the University of Michigan IYSSE Facebook page and the accounts of leading members of the SEP.

Facebook restores service to socialist pages, claiming the purge was an “automation error”

By Andre Damon, 26 January 2021

Facebook backed down in the face of public protests but failed to provide a credible explanation for its actions.

Facebook escalates attack on socialist left

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, 25 January 2021

Facebook is engaged in an escalating campaign of state-backed internet censorship targeting socialist organizations, including the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.

Facebook purges left-wing pages and individuals

By Andre Damon, 23 January 2021

On Friday, Facebook carried out a purge of left-wing, antiwar and progressive Facebook pages and accounts, including members of the Socialist Equality Party.

Free COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

By Bryan Dyne, 18 January 2021

Jones is being prosecuted by the state of Florida for exposing its effort to cover up cases of COVID-19 and opposing the state’s policy of prematurely reopening schools.

Google engineers form Communications Workers of America-affiliated union

By Kevin Reed, 11 January 2021

A group of 200 employees have formed a union called the Alphabet Workers Union that is open to all employees and contractors at the parent company of the tech giant Google and is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America of the AFL-CIO.

Police arrested more than 117 journalists in the US in 2020

By Alex Findijs, 16 December 2020

The mass multiracial anti-police violence protests that erupted over the summer were met by brutal repression, with police forces across the country taking particular aim at intimidating and silencing journalists.

Pandemic exacerbates internet access crisis in Midwestern US

By Cole Michaels, 15 December 2020

The 12-state region of 65 million people in the center of the US has some of the lowest rates of high-speed connectivity in the nation.

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer demands Assange’s immediate release after ten years’ arbitrary detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2020

Melzer’s statement was issued amid a major coronavirus outbreak in Belmarsh Prison, that threatens the WikiLeaks publisher’s life, and in the lead-up to a ruling on his extradition to the United States.

NLRB says Google illegally spied on and fired workers in 2019

By Kevin Reed, 14 December 2020

A complaint filed by the San Francisco office of the NLRB has charged Google with violating the National Labor Relations Act by interfering with, disciplining and firing employees who were engaged in legally protected organizing activities.

Macron government authorizes police documentation of political views of French population

By Will Morrow, 14 December 2020

At the beginning of the month, the Macron government quietly released far-reaching changes to its police intelligence guidelines.

New York Times smears COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 December 2020

The Times is attempting to dig up completely irrelevant episodes from Jones’ past in order to discredit her work in exposing the state cover-up of COVID-19 cases.

999 Google spying on employees

12 December 2020

US Federal Trade Commission sues Facebook over monopolistic acquisitions and anticompetitive practices

By By Kevin Reed, 11 December 2020

The FTC, along with 48 US attorneys general, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the social media giant Facebook on Wednesday, seeking to split off its popular Instagram and WhatsApp properties and regulate the firm’s business practices.

Spain’s ruling PSOE, Podemos use “anti-disinformation” tool for internet spying

By Alice Summers, 11 December 2020

The ELISA tool aims to detect “disinformation seeking to generate polarisation” amid mounting social anger at austerity and official handling of the pandemic.

999 DELETE

11 December 2020

999 Google spied on employees

10 December 2020

Stop government attack on COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, 10 December 2020

The SEP condemns the fascistic police raid on Jones’ home, meant to suppress her work exposing the spread of COVID-19 in Florida and in schools across the US.

Letter to Boycott Return to Unsafe Schools (BRTUS)/Parents United Against Unsafe Schools

Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 3 December 2020

Workers and parents must have the right to decide which political programme and perspective they wish to adopt or discuss and debate. Blocking access to this through censorship is a reactionary tool to silence opposition.

Biden-Harris tech policy: militarism and censorship

By Kevin Reed, 2 December 2020

Democratic Party president-elect Joseph Biden is formulating policies and assembling a team committed to the use of advanced technologies for the purposes of warfare and suppression of free speech.

999 Biden tech policy team backs censorship

1 December 2020

Microsoft’s new “Productivity Score” helps employers spy on workers

By Mike Ingram, 30 November 2020

Microsoft has released new software that turns its Office 365 product into a full-fledged workplace surveillance tool, allowing corporations to spy on their workforce in multiple ways.

Ten years since WikiLeaks published the US diplomatic cables

By Thomas Scripps, 28 November 2020

WikiLeaks contributed to a growing recognition among workers and young people that state criminality and ruling class conspiracies are not accidents or the work of a few bad individuals, but the product of a whole social system based on the rule of competing oligarchies which must be overthrown.

999 Matt Taiibi interview with Andre Damon

27 November 2020

Censored Planet: University of Michigan research finds worldwide increase in internet censorship

By Kevin Reed, 27 November 2020

Data collected by a group of UM researchers has revealed that online interference is growing internationally and that “the world’s freest countries are not safe from internet censorship.”

Meet the Censored: Andre Damon

By Matt Taibbi, 26 November 2020

Increased content moderation has been sold as a tool to control the far right, but the World Socialist Web Site was among the first to sound the alarm.

Zoom cancels meetings at several universities on Zoom censorship

By John Conrad, 24 November 2020

Zoom’s dramatic escalation of censorship has major implications as schools, academic institutions as well as political organizations have become increasingly dependent on the platform to conduct classes, conferences and meetings.

Solomon Islands government to ban Facebook

By John Braddock, 23 November 2020

The ban follows moves by governments across the Pacific to attack freedom of speech and basic democratic rights amid escalating social crises and political instability.

21 November 2020

Trump administration delays enforcement of TikTok ban

By Kevin Reed, 21 November 2020

The White House backed off from its threat to shut down the video-sharing app TikTok if its Chinese owner ByteDance did not divest itself of the popular social media platform to an American owner by November 12.

Twitter ends suspension of IYSSE account after widespread opposition

By our reporter, 20 November 2020

The effective ban on the youth movement of the Socialist Equality Party was overturned after statements of opposition from prominent defenders of democratic rights, including Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters, along with workers and young people around the world.

Facebook censors IYSSE online meeting about Trump coup threat

By Kevin Reed, 18 November 2020

The blocking of a meeting about the post-election coup plotting of Donald Trump from being posted on Facebook is an example of the intensification of political censorship being carried out by the social media platforms against left-wing and socialist organizations and publishers.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government imposes internet censorship

By Alice Summers, 17 November 2020

The “left populist” Podemos party is endorsing state censorship of the Internet, supposedly to fight “disinformation” and “foreign intervention.”

Students, workers, and artists denounce censorship

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters condemns Twitter’s suspension of IYSSE account

By Gabriel Black, 16 November 2020

The censoring of the IYSSE, at a time of growing interest in a genuine socialist perspective among young people has been met with an outcry and statements of protest.

Stop online censorship: Restore the Twitter account of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US)!

By Kevin Reed, 13 November 2020

In an act of online political censorship, Twitter has suspended the account of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality in the US.

US judge blocks shutdown of TikTok scheduled for November 12

By Kevin Reed, 10 November 2020

A Pennsylvania district court judge ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by three TikTok users seeking a temporary injunction against the Trump administration’s plan to shut down the video sharing app if it is not sold to a US owner by November 12.

FBI seizes internet domain names it claims are part of Iranian influence campaign

By Kevin Reed, 7 November 2020

The Justice Department made vague assertions of “covert influence” and “pro-Iranian propaganda,” but presented no evidence of its allegations.

Social media platforms implement aggressive censorship during the 2020 US elections

By Kevin Reed, 6 November 2020

The major social media platforms took their political censorship operations into high gear on election day, including Facebook placing a fact checking label on every single post by anyone on their platform who is commenting or sharing content about the election in any way.

Google admits to censoring the World Socialist Web Site

By Kevin Reed, 4 November 2020

In an extraordinary public admission, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated during congressional testimony on October 28 that the online search giant has been censoring content from the World Socialist Web Site.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald resigns from the Intercept in protest against censorship

By Andre Damon, 4 November 2020

Glenn Greenwald, the most prominent collaborator of whistleblower Edward Snowden and a world-renowned critic of the US media and intelligence agencies, has resigned from The Intercept, the publication he founded in 2013, in protest against its attempts to stifle his reporting critical of the Democratic Party.

US Senate hearing on Section 230 law devolves into demands for social media censorship

By Kevin Reed, 30 October 2020

The Senate Commerce Committee held a four-hour hearing on Wednesday to discuss the relevance of legal protections for online services that included testimony from three big tech CEOs.

The New York Times attacks the First Amendment and embraces censorship of “disinformation”

By Kevin Reed, 28 October 2020

An essay published in the October 18 edition of the New York Times Magazine argues that online “disinformation” has rendered First Amendment rights to free speech “inadequate,” requiring government and social media censorship of “unfettered speech.”

Faceboook moderators forced to return to offices as COVID-19 continues to spread

By Mike Ingram, 28 October 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, Facebook and its contractors are forcing content moderators to return to offices and risk their lives.

Facebook deploying teams with advanced censorship tools in advance of the US election

By Kevin Reed, 27 October 2020

Citing concerns over election-related “chaos” and “violence,” Facebook is preparing—in collaboration with the US intelligence state—advanced software tools for implementing a censorship regime during November 3 and its aftermath.

Australian spy agency raises new alarm about foreign “plot”

By Mike Head, 27 October 2020

This is not the first such lurid allegation by ASIO, accusing China of conspiring to take over Australia.

999 The New York Times embraces censorship

27 October 2020

999 The New York Times embraces censorship

26 October 2020

US Justice Department and eleven states file antitrust lawsuit against Google

By By Kevin Reed, 22 October 2020

The US Department of Justice submitted a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday saying the $1 trillion corporation was in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

999 Google anti-trust case

21 October 2020

The Social Dilemma: The “curse” of social media

By Joanne Laurier, 20 October 2020

The Social Dilemma is a docudrama hybrid that explores, according to its creators, “how social media is reprogramming civilization” in a dangerous direction.

Twitter and Facebook censor New York Post report on Hunter Biden

By Kevin Reed, 17 October 2020

The social media platforms Twitter and Facebook blocked and suppressed the sharing of links to a news article from the New York Post on Wednesday in a blatant act of online censorship.

Democratic Party House antitrust report calls for breakup of big tech monopolies

By Kevin Reed, 13 October 2020

The Democrats have mounted their antitrust initiative as a means of persuading the tech firms to work more closely with their faction of the political and intelligence establishment.

Trump intensifies conflict with big tech over Section 230 protections following censorship moves by Facebook and Twitter

By Kevin Reed, 10 October 2020

After Facebook and Twitter both censored Trump for falsely comparing the coronavirus to the flu, the president called for a repeal of the law protecting social media companies from liability for content posted on their platforms.

Grayzone questions US intelligence claim of “Russian influence campaign” run by PeaceData

By Kevin Reed, 6 October 2020

An article published by Grayzone shows that the website PeaceData—which US intelligence claims was part of a Russian misinformation campaign—was likely a false flag operation aimed at linking left-wing websites with the Moscow government.

Biden-Harris campaign demands increased censorship by Facebook before 2020 election

By Kevin Reed, 3 October 2020

The Biden-Harris campaign has issued an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding that Trump campaign posts be removed from the social media platform.

White House nears antitrust lawsuit against Google while advancing new censorship rules for social media

By Kevin Reed, 26 September 2020

Any antitrust action against Google by the US government, whether focused on the search or advertising aspects of the tech firm’s business, has nothing to do with stopping anti-competitive practices or protecting the rights of consumers.

Facebook plans political censorship in anticipation of “chaos” and “violence” in the 2020 US elections

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2020

Facebook is working with “world-class military scenario planners” to prepare for civil unrest in the US and “restrict the circulation of content” during the November elections.

White House bans TikTok and WeChat: A major intensification of internet censorship

By Kevin Reed, 19 September 2020

The move is an assault on freedom of expression and an effort to consolidate control of the internet by a handful of massive corporations working in partnership with the American government.

Announcing the Relaunch of the World Socialist Web Site on October 2, 2020

A statement by David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board

David North, 18 September 2020

On Friday, October 2, 2020, the World Socialist Web Site will be relaunched with an entirely new design and with vastly enhanced functionality.

NYU’s Center for Social Media & Politics: A think tank for a frightened ruling class

By Elliott Murtagh, 12 September 2020

The establishment of the center at NYU, a university with close ties to the state, reflects the ruling class’s increasing concerns over the political effects of social media.

Facebook announces political censorship plan in advance of US presidential election

By Kevin Reed, 7 September 2020

The new measures are aimed at protecting the capitalist two-party system and labeling left-wing political ideas as the work of “Russian interference.”

The unanswered questions in the latest Russian “meddling” allegations

By Andre Damon, 7 September 2020

The US media's claims of a nefarious campaign by Russia to "sow divisions" during in the 2016 election have been discredited. But the New York Times is “at it again.”

NSA surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal by US Ninth Circuit

By Kevin Reed, 5 September 2020

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the bulk phone record collection program of the NSA—exposed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013—violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

End the blacklist of the World Socialist Web Site on Reddit!

By Kevin Reed, 5 September 2020

The blacklisting of the World Socialist Web Site on r/politics is a politically-motivated and unjustified attack on the rights of Reddit users to speak freely and read whatever they want on the link-sharing platform.

US-China conflict over TikTok intensifies as Trump’s forced divestiture deadline approaches

By Kevin Reed, 2 September 2020

The drive to force the Chinese-owned video sharing app to be sold to a US company was countered by Beijing’s imposition of export restrictions on software components of the platform.

Reddit moderators censor WSWS article on Trump’s speech at Republican convention

By Kevin Reed, 29 August 2020

After the article appeared on the front page of Reddit with over 9,000 upvotes, moderators removed it on the grounds that the WSWS is an “unacceptable source.”

Facebook censors anti-fascist and anarchist groups, falsely linking them with extreme-right violence

By Kevin Reed, 22 August 2020

Facebook has adopted positions put forward by the Trump administration and US Justice Department targeting left-wing opposition in the latest expansion of its political censorship regime.

Big tech firms meet with US national security agencies in advance of November elections

By Kevin Reed, 14 August 2020

Nine of the largest tech firms in the US met with multiple government police and intelligence agencies on Wednesday to discuss “election security” in the campaign prior to and on election day in November.

White House engineering a takeover of TikTok by Microsoft

By Kevin Reed, 3 August 2020

Under the White House’s direction, Microsoft is preparing to acquire the video-sharing app TikTok in a forced-divestiture from its China-based company ByteDance.

Open Letter from WSWS Chairman David North to Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai

31 July 2020

This letter from David North was written in response to Pichai’s testimony on Wednesday before the House Committee on the Judiciary, in which he acknowledged complaints from the WSWS of censorship by Google.

Reports on Twitter hack confirm existence of admin tool used for social media censorship

By Kevin Reed, 24 July 2020

The revelations about Twitter’s methods for manipulating the account activity of users show that censorship is a top level priority of the social media company.

US moving to ban China-based TikTok social media app

By Kevin Reed, 18 July 2020

There is bipartisan support in Congress for the Trump administration’s aggressive efforts against the Chinese app.

Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves anti-encryption EARN IT Act

By Kevin Reed, 16 July 2020

The bipartisan vote passed to the floor of the Senate a redraft of the bill which exploits online child sexual abuse as a cover to attack free speech and encrypted electronic communications.

Amid Sri Lankan elections, YouTube censors Tamil-language WSWS posts

By V. Gnana, 16 July 2020

The move aims to prevent the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka from alerting Tamil-speaking workers internationally in a timely fashion of the political dangers they face.

210 YouTube censors WSWS Tamil podcasts

15 July 2020

Reddit bans 2,000 communities in major censorship action

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2020

On Monday, the news aggregation site Reddit banned the pro-Trump r/The_Donald and the left-radical r/ChapoTrapHouse, along with hundreds of other subreddits, in a censorship move aimed at satisfying the demands of advertisers.

Republicans introduce Senate bill to abolish strong encryption on consumer devices

By Kevin Reed, 29 June 2020

Three Republican Senators introduced a draft bill that would force tech companies to decrypt private consumer data on-demand for law enforcement.

New Zealand government introduces internet censorship legislation

By Tom Peters, 8 June 2020

The Labour Party-led government’s legislation would empower the Chief Censor “to make swift time-limited interim classification assessments of any publication.”

Trump threatens to close social media platforms after Twitter puts fact-check warnings on his tweets

By Kevin Reed, 28 May 2020

President Trump issued a threat to shut down social media companies on Wednesday after Twitter placed a fact-checking label on two of his tweets making unsubstantiated claims about mail-in ballots.

US government to file antitrust lawsuit against Google this summer

By Kevin Reed, 21 May 2020

The DOJ case will reportedly raise “concerns that Google uses its dominant search business to stifle competition.”

US Senate reauthorizes domestic surveillance, allows access to internet histories

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2020

The Senate voted 80 to 16 to reauthorize the domestic surveillance provisions of the USA Freedom Act, including rejection of an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from accessing the internet browsing and search histories of citizens.

Apple and Google implementing smartphone-based contact tracing technology

By Kevin Reed, 20 April 2020

The two US tech monopolies that dominate the international mobile devices market have announced a joint effort to implement COVID-19 contact tracing technologies.