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.

Twitter purges 200,000 accounts “originating from China”

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 August 2019

The company’s actions are part of a campaign, in collaboration with the US government and intelligence agencies, to censor unfavourable or adverse political content on social media.

Facial recognition technology and identity politics

By Kevin Reed, 17 August 2019

The Democrats are seeking to channel mass opposition to the wholesale invasion of privacy into a campaign to regulate and “equalize” facial recognition technology.

FBI presses for social media surveillance “early alerting tool” in aftermath of mass shootings

By Kevin Reed, 12 August 2019

The FBI is stepping up its campaign for a real-time social media alert tool to allow continuous surveillance of all social media activity across platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

FTC imposes $5 billion fine on Facebook for “deceiving users” about data privacy

By Kevin Reed, 27 July 2019

The settlement is part of a concerted effort by the US government to implement regulations and control over social media platforms.

Chelsea Manning’s lawyer refutes conspiracy allegation against Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 25 July 2019

“I don’t think Chelsea was played at all,” Nancy Hollander told Australian television.

Australian government demands police-state powers over protests and exclusions of citizens

By Mike Head, 24 July 2019

The bills would hand governments the most authoritarian powers since the two world wars.

Consortium News website taken down by a malware attack after streaming program defending Julian Assange

By Kevin Reed, 20 July 2019

The independent investigative journalism website Consortium News was brought down on Monday by a malware attack following the inaugural episode of CN Live!

Twitter removes account of Assange defence organisation

By Mike Head, 13 July 2019

Unity4J, which campaigns against the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder, was given no reason for the suspension.

UK’s GCHQ spy centre seeks new powers to circumvent encryption

By Thomas Scripps, 6 July 2019

The new surveillance measures, known as a “ghost protocol,” would allow a government agent to “sit in” on ostensibly secure private conversations without other participants knowing.

Facebook planning to ban ads which discourage voting in US elections

By Kevin Reed, 5 July 2019

The new policy is a further expansion of Facebook’s censorship of left-wing and oppositional political views on its platforms.

Julian Assange’s birthday celebrated at vigils in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporters, 5 July 2019

Linda Tenenbaum, a longstanding leader of the SEP, indicted the Australian government and the political and media establishment for abandoning Assange, an Australia citizen.

Trump national security team revives demand for “backdoor” access to encryption

By Kevin Reed, 3 July 2019

A Politico report has revealed that key National Security Council members have debated whether to ask Congress to pass laws that would make end-to-end encryption technologies illegal.

Human rights imperialism, social media censorship and the fraud of Facebook’s “Oversight Board”

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2019

Behind the recent report on the creation of an Oversight Board to oversee “content decisions” at Facebook is a plan for social media censorship in defense of the global capitalist system.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) calls rally to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 25 June 2019

Support the SEG’s rally on Sunday July 14 as part of the international campaign to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Why is the US government using social media to monitor the public?

By Kevin Reed, 24 June 2019

The lawsuit filed by New Sanctuary Coalition and other groups, says that ICE specifically targeted individuals for deportation, to suppress their political speech.

Facebook blocks ad for PES meeting in Paris to defend Assange

By Alex Lantier, 22 June 2019

The Parti de l’égalité socialiste calls on its supporters to share its material and support the freeing of journalist Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “fake news”

By Naveen Dewage, 19 June 2019

Colombo’s new laws to censor and control the internet and social media are moves towards the establishment of dictatorial forms of rule.

Creating the framework for government-directed online censorship

House Judiciary Committee begins antitrust inquiry into big tech

By Kevin Reed, 14 June 2019

A House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday began a major bipartisan drive for government-directed censorship of website and social media content.

“Yellow Vest” Facebook group with 350,000 members frozen on European election day

By Will Morrow, 28 May 2019

The group is used to organize “yellow vest” demonstrations and to share news articles, political statements and videos of police violence.

Speech by Ulrich Rippert to London meeting

“Defending Julian Assange requires the mobilisation of the working class in a struggle against capitalism”

20 May 2019

We are publishing the speech of Ulrich Rippert, chairman of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) in Germany, at the May 12 public meeting in London in defence of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

New Zealand PM leads global Internet censorship campaign

By Tom Peters, 18 May 2019

New Zealand’s Labour Party-led government is heading international efforts to exploit the Christchurch terrorist attacks to ramp up restrictions on social media.

France hosts “Christchurch call” summit to intensify internet censorship

By Will Morrow, 16 May 2019

Under the banner of fighting terrorism, the social media giants and capitalist states are seeking to censor social media to banish left-wing and anti-war views.

Censorship in the guise of opposition to monopoly control

Co-founder Chris Hughes calls for government break-up of Facebook

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2019

The New York Times op-ed by Hughes is part of a campaign for government regulation of social media and technology corporations in order to step up censorship of left-wing political views.

German president calls for clampdown on freedom of speech, internet censorship at Berlin conference

By Johannes Stern, 14 May 2019

Ahead of the European elections on May 26, the ruling class aims to intensify internet censorship and silence critical viewpoints.

Free Assange NZ denounces hypocrisy at World Press Freedom Day event

By Tom Peters, 11 May 2019

Alex Hills from Free Assange New Zealand condemned the British government’s “brazen hypocrisy” and called on the media to “end the smears and lies about an anti-war hero.”

Facebook escalates social media censorship with shutdown of far-right accounts

By Kevin Reed, 4 May 2019

While the far-right has the backing of powerful factions of the state and the ruling class, the move by Facebook creates a precedent for the overt censorship of left-wing organizations.

“Assange can only be defended by an international movement of the working class”

Christoph Vandreier speaks at Berlin rally to defend Julian Assange

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 April 2019

Christoph Vandreier, Deputy National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Germany and a candidate in the European elections, addressed a rally in front of the Ecuadorian embassy in Berlin in defense of the Wikileaks publisher.

UN official visits Julian Assange, investigating Ecuador’s illegal surveillance

By Mike Head, 26 April 2019

Confronted by worldwide protests and petitions, the British government felt compelled to grant the UN access to the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder.

Formerly-jailed Australian journalist fronts corporate media attack on Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 20 April 2019

Peter Greste, once incarcerated by the US-backed Egyptian junta, is using his reputation as a victim of attacks on press freedom to support the Washington-led efforts to suppress WikiLeaks.

SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert addresses free Assange rally in Berlin

13 April 2019

Ulrich Rippert, the chairman of the Socialist Equality Party, addressed a rally in front of the British embassy in Berlin, Germany, demanding the freedom of WikiLeaks Publisher Julian Assange.

The Assange arrest is a warning from history

Comment by John Pilger, 13 April 2019

John Pilger, well-known filmmaker and investigative journalist, issued the following statement on the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

Worldwide outrage over arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Niles Niemuth, 12 April 2019

After nearly seven years of confinement to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange now faces the possibility of a year in a UK prison and extradition to the United States.

Amid corruption scandals and deals with IMF and Washington, Ecuador’s government betrays Assange

By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2019

The handing over of Assange to his British and US persecutors is part of a sharp drive to the right by the corruption-stained government of Lenín Moreno.

Free Julian Assange!

By Statement of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 12 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site emphatically condemns the forcible seizure and arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Defend Julian Assange!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 April 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) condemns the stepped-up preparations to expel Julian Assange from London’s Ecuadorian embassy and to force him into the custody of the British police. WikiLeaks reported today that it has information, from a source in the Ecuadorian state, that Assange’s eviction from the building, where he sought asylum in 2012, will occur “within hours or days.”

Australian government sets global precedent with online censorship bill

By Mike Head, 4 April 2019

While nominally directed against the far-right, the bill will be used to step up the offensive against oppositional, left-wing and socialist postings.

European Union intensifies internet censorship

By Justus Leicht and Johannes Stern, 27 March 2019

Two months before the European elections, the European Parliament has pushed through a directive to enforce the use of so-called upload filters in social media, thus further censoring the internet.

Australian government exploits fascist atrocity in New Zealand to push online censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 March 2019

The entire political establishment is seeking to cover up its responsibility for the fascist attack and exploit it to crack down on the democratic rights of ordinary people.

Unsealed documents shed light on state conspiracy against Chelsea Manning

By Kevin Reed, 22 March 2019

The unsealed documents shine a light on the desperate measures to which the US government has resorted in pursuing a legal pretext to prosecute Julian Assange.

Putin signs Russian internet censorship bills into law

By Clara Weiss, 22 March 2019

The two laws are part of an international campaign by the ruling class to crack down on the internet.

Mark Zuckerberg’s “Privacy Manifesto”: A brief for intensifying Internet and social media censorship

By Kevin Reed, 12 March 2019

The new vision for Facebook published by Mark Zuckerberg on March 6 is part of the response by the ruling elite to the role that social media is playing in the growth of class struggle internationally.

Uganda’s social media tax leads to sharp drop in internet users

By Eddie Haywood, 9 March 2019

The government of President Yoweri Museveni, in power for three decades, regards social media with intense hostility and suspicion.

Greetings from the Sri Lankan Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee to the Assange defence rallies in Australia

2 March 2019

Tea plantation workers struggling for decent working conditions have expressed their solidarity with the fight to free WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

UK parliament committee demands sweeping social media censorship

By Robert Stevens, 22 February 2019

Social media companies would be required by law to remove what is deemed as “disinformation,” as well as “harmful content,” or face potential fines.

Alleging “Russian influence,” Facebook bans left-wing pages

By Andy Thompson, 20 February 2019

Facebook suspended four pages run by Maffick Media, including In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed, which posted content critical of US foreign and social policy.

Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges endorses Free Assange demonstrations in Australia

16 February 2019

“It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American empire.”

Dearborn, Michigan mayor suppresses historical article on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism

By Tom Mackaman, 7 February 2019

The censored article details how Ford’s Dearborn Independent newspaper served as a platform for vile slanders against Jews—and an inspiration for Hitler and the Nazis.

Facebook’s censor Nick Clegg outlines plans for European elections

By Robert Stevens, 2 February 2019

Facebook will play a major role in determining what voices Europe’s population are allowed to hear.

The Matamoros auto strike and internet censorship

By Andre Damon, 24 January 2019

The ongoing strike by over 70,000 workers in Matamoros, Mexico has been met with a media blackout by the major print and broadcast outlets.

23 January 2019

Indian government foreshadows harsher internet surveillance and censorship

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 January 2019

The planned laws are part of vast array of anti-democratic measures being introduced by governments internationally to target and spy on internet users.

Der Spiegel’s counterfeit journalism and the campaign against “fake news”

By Peter Schwarz, 31 December 2018

The unmasking of a counterfeiter in the editorial offices of the German newsweekly Der Spiegel has exposed the manipulation of public opinion by the so-called authoritative media.

Facebook: The global censor

By Andre Damon, 29 December 2018

This year has seen an intensification of internet censorship by Google, Facebook and Twitter, transforming these companies into censors that police what their users say, do and think.

US media demands stepped-up domestic spying over Russian “meddling”

New York Times: Back to the good days before Edward Snowden!

By Andre Damon, 20 December 2018

In a revealing comment, the New York Times argues that the present hysteria over Russian “subversion” can roll back the impact of Edward Snowden’s revelation of illegal mass government surveillance.

A closer look at American “democracy”

By Barry Grey, 20 December 2018

The population is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other corporate-controlled party. This is what is called “democracy.”

SEP (Australia) meeting announces rallies in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 December 2018

The protests in Sydney and Melbourne will demand that the government take immediate action to secure Assange’s return to Australia, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.

Democrats downplay Google censorship at congressional hearing

By Andre Damon, 13 December 2018

The principal targets of censorship by the Internet companies, working with the US intelligence agencies, are left-wing, anti-war and socialist political viewpoints.

Jacobin urges readers to “log off” social media

By Will Morrow, 8 December 2018

An article in Jacobin argues that Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have become damaging to the health of the population, are “destructive for the left,” and should be done away with.

The Guardian attack on Assange exposed as politically-motivated fabrication

By James Cogan, 6 December 2018

The lack of any case against WikiLeaks explains the scurrilous allegations by the Guardian newspaper last week.

French protests spark media demands for Facebook censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2018

Sections of the press in France and the United States have seized upon the “yellow vest” demonstrations to directly demand the suppression of popular opposition on social media.

New York Times: Our crime was telling the truth

By Andre Damon, 29 November 2018

The Times and the Washington Post are arguing that by publishing true information about political corruption, the US press committed what amounts to treason.

Australian parliamentary inquiry discusses intensifying internet censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2018

The hearing pointed to the political establishment seeking to suppress mounting opposition to war, austerity and authoritarianism.

Sri Lanka: UNP demands Facebook protect identity of party supporters

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2018

UNP allegations that state authorities could be collaborating with Facebook to target its supporters came amid escalating infighting within the Sri Lankan political elite.

Australian establishment collaborates in US vendetta against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 20 November 2018

The sealed US charges underscore the danger facing Assange and the perfidy of those who support his persecution.

Facebook hires former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

By Joe Mount, 16 November 2018

Clegg joins Facebook at a time when it is censoring socialist, left-wing and oppositional web sites, including the closure of hundreds of such sites over the last several weeks.

Washington’s censorship regime goes global

Facebook deletes WSWS post on Sri Lanka

By Andre Damon, 14 November 2018

Facebook is acting as an agent of the US intelligence agencies, which see the growing audience for international socialism as an obstacle to their efforts to exploit ethnic divisions in developing countries.

Facebook and Twitter intensify censorship in 2018 elections

By Kevin Reed, 8 November 2018

Facebook shut down 115 accounts and Twitter deleted 10,000 accounts on the eve of the 2018 elections, engaging in blatant censorship.

Julian Assange warns that Ecuador is moving to end his political asylum

By Mike Head, 30 October 2018

The WikiLeaks founder told an Ecuadorian court hearing that President Moreno had already decided to terminate his asylum but had not yet officially given the order.

Spy and police chiefs demand passage of Australian encryption access law

By Mike Head, 29 October 2018

The heads of the “security” apparatus spoke on behalf of the US-led “Five Eyes” intelligence network, which conducts mass monitoring of the world’s population.

European Union steps up Internet censorship in the name of opposing “disinformation”

By Johannes Stern, 26 October 2018

The EU summit threatened with sanctions and penalties any party that diverges from the prescribed political line in the 2019 European election campaign.

In the face of mounting threats, the working class must defend Julian Assange

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2018

The Ecuadorian government’s public renunciation of any responsibility to defend Assange is an ominous warning that it is preparing to turn him over to British authorities.

War, censorship, and the invention of “fake news”

By Andre Damon, 22 October 2018

Under conditions of mounting social opposition and escalating plans for military conflict, the US political establishment is moving to ever more brazenly implement internet censorship.

As Trump administration prepares to withdraw from nuclear missile treaty

US charges new Russian conspiracy to interfere in midterm elections

By Will Morrow, 20 October 2018

The charges have been released without the slightest evidence, but have immediately been accepted as gospel and amplified by the American media.

The “new cold war,” censorship, and the future of the internet

By Andre Damon, 17 October 2018

The internet is becoming a battleground for economic and geopolitical conflict, while states, acting on behalf of capitalist elites, are seeking to censor online information.

Facebook’s purge of left-wing media: A frontal assault on freedom of speech

By Andre Damon, 15 October 2018

The social media monopoly’s removal of left-wing news pages with millions of followers is the latest step in a conspiracy by the state and the technology giants to censor the internet.

Pages purged by Facebook were on blacklist promoted by Washington Post

By Andre Damon, 13 October 2018

PropOrNot, an organization that published a blacklist of oppositional media organizations in 2016, hailed Facebook’s actions as the precursor to shutting down the targeted organizations' web sites.

Facebook carries out massive purge of oppositional pages

By Andre Damon, 12 October 2018

In a sweeping assault on democratic rights, Facebook has carried out a purge of oppositional media pages with millions of followers.

Leaked Google document: Tech firms have shifted away from “free speech and towards censorship”

By Kevin Reed, 11 October 2018

On Tuesday, the far-right news outlet Breitbart News published a leaked internal document by technology giant Google that openly discusses political censorship.

50 million user accounts hacked in Facebook data breach

By Kevin Reed, 5 October 2018

Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s “View As” feature to gain access to user account details.

The US military’s vision for state censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 October 2018

The Atlantic Council, a key partner in social media companies’ drive to censor the internet, has published a summary of a US special forces conference outlining a plan for systematically gutting the freedom of expression.

European Union announces draconian internet censorship measures

By Thomas Scripps, 20 September 2018

The new EU law will formalise even closer relationships between state security services and tech companies.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

Facebook expands censorship to photos and videos

By Mike Ingram, 19 September 2018

Facebook’s “fact-checkers” will now censor not just web articles, but image macros and political videos.

Silicon Valley’s corrupt nexus: War, censorship and inequality

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2018

The appearance of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the Air Force Association’s annual conference embodies the fusion of America’s technology monopolies with the apparatus of state repression.

Facebook censors ThinkProgress

By Trévon Austin, 14 September 2018

Facebook labeled a story from the left-wing ThinkProgress web site as “false” based on a “fact check” by the far-right Weekly Standard.

040 Twitter bans Alex Jones

13 September 2018

Sri Lankan prime minister threatens increased internet and social media censorship

By Saman Gunadasa, 10 September 2018

Wickremesinghe’s comments are part of the escalating global censorship of the internet and social media, and other attacks on democratic rights.

A warning to the working class

Facebook’s partnership with the Atlantic Council

By Kevin Reed, 8 September 2018

The campaign against “fake news,” “election meddling” and “disinformation” is emerging as the integration of the social media monopolies with the US military-intelligence apparatus.

New York Times covers up Google’s censorship

By Andre Damon, 7 September 2018

The Times’ report on allegations that Google is censoring the Internet is a white-wash, echoing the company’s self-serving denials without any serious examination of the facts.

In Senate hearing, Facebook pledges to replace “bad speech” with “alternative facts”

By Andre Damon in Washington, 6 September 2018

Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee made one thing clear: there is not an inch of daylight between Facebook and the spy agencies in the drive to censor the internet.

As social opposition mounts, Silicon Valley and Washington step up internet censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 September 2018

As executives from Facebook and Twitter prepare to testify on Capitol Hill, the social media monopolies are scrambling to demonstrate how far they have gone to implement censorship.

Accused by Trump of rigging search results, Google denies political bias

By Andre Damon, 29 August 2018

The internet monopoly, which has worked to bury left-wing political viewpoints in search results for over a year, said, “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Behind the coordinated social media censorship by Facebook, Twitter and Google

What is FireEye?

By Kevin Reed, 29 August 2018

The cyber-security firm FireEye has high-level connections with military intelligence and Wall Street and is working with social media companies to promote censorship.

Amazon unleashes army of Twitter trolls to improve its image

By Erik Schreiber, 27 August 2018

The company's primary objective is to mitigate the damage from increasingly common exposures of the punishing conditions at its warehouses.

Google shuts down YouTube channels in expansion of state-directed online censorship

By Kevin Reed, 25 August 2018

Google announced on Thursday that it had shut down 58 social media accounts that the company claimed were part of an Iranian government-sponsored “influence campaign.”

One year after WSWS open letter to Google

Facebook escalates censorship of left-wing, anti-war organizations

By Andre Damon, 23 August 2018

On Tuesday, Facebook announced the removal of hundreds of user accounts and pages, many of them opposing the crimes of the American, Saudi and Israeli governments in the Middle East.

Google employees protest plans to build censored search engine in China

By Andre Damon, 18 August 2018

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed Thursday that the company has worked to develop a censored version of its search engine in collaboration with the Chinese state.

London: Ecuador embassy vigil marks six years since Julian Assange granted asylum

By Paul Mitchell, 18 August 2018

If forced out, Assange faces arrest by British police and imprisonment on bail infringement charges relating to a case dropped by Sweden over a year ago.

Facebook censors Telesur and Venezuela Analysis

By Andrea Lobo, 17 August 2018

As the Trump administration escalates its onslaught against Venezuela, technology corporations are stepping up censorship of sites critical of US policy.

Mueller investigation seeks to implicate WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in “Russian interference”

By James Cogan, 15 August 2018

The purported evidence of ties between Russian intelligence, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks is threadbare to the point of being ludicrous.