On March 29th, one of the leading websites on this specific issue, Antiwar.com, published an article entitled, “Don’t See Evil: Google’s Boycott Campaign Against War Photography and Alternative Media.” After offering some context for how Google has become an entrenched part of the suffocating blanket of “national security,” specifics are given about how it is actually Google policy to target those who have helped to expose war crimes and other atrocities:
On the morning of March 18, Eric Garris, founder and webmaster of the site, received a form email from Google AdSense informing him that all of Antiwar.com’s Google ads had been disabled. The reason given was that one of the site’s pages with ads on it displayed images that violated AdSense’s policy against “violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.”
Of course the images in question were not “snuff,” or anything intended for titillation whatsoever. They were the famous images of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib US military prison in Iraq. Those images are important public information, especially for Americans. They are the previously secret documentation of horrific state violence inflicted in our name and funded by our tax dollars.
Rather than being a blip on the screen, or perhaps a glitch as Activist Post’s own Google issue was deemed to be, the pattern continues and may even be widening in scope.
The latest site to be victimized by YouTube policy is the fantastic work of StormCloudsGathering, a channel that alternative media routinely features, and has grown to 465,000 subscribers and 45 million views. It should be a purely positive story of how one husband and wife team built a massive platform for anti-war activism and political analysis. It shows both the power that each of us can wield, as well as the power of the message itself which continues to grow exponentially. But apparently those with connections to the military surveillance complex feel extremely threatened. The story of StormCloudsGathering must be heard in this video, as it highlights an important human element behind our daily news feed.
It is a disappointing irony that the very people most opposed to violence are being crippled by policies which claim to be curbing violent imagery. It is important to note, however, that in the case of Antiwar.com and Activist Post, severe pressure from readers turned the tides abruptly. These developments serve as a reminder that we are our own best advocates and support network. If we are to continue bringing our message of peace, love and liberty, it will increasingly have to be done under our own terms and conditions.
You can read more from Joe Wright at ActivistPost.com