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Silicon Valley’s tech gremlins put RANGE magazine in the crosshairs

The Gremlins of Silicon Valley

As published in the RANGE magazine, Summer 2020 issue

By Marjorie Haun

RANGE magazine is old-school. We use traditional avenues to reach our readers and loyal fans, but we’re also new-school with a reasonably visible social media (SM) presence. Our Facebook and Instagram pages in-particular provide critical platforms for publicizing the magazine, our books, and other products, sharing third-party content which we find interesting, and engaging with our followers and subscribers in meaningful ways. But because RANGE magazine is a megaphone for the voice of Rural America, the SM tech giants don’t seem to care for us all that much.

Like thousands of other publications, online news sites, broadcasters, elected leaders, and ordinary folks with a pro-America, pro-rural, patriotic leaning, RANGE seems to be suffering the wrath of behind-the-scenes SM minions whose deceit has intensified in the pre-election months of 2020. Differing SM platforms manifest the suppression of speech in different ways, and despite our best efforts, RANGE magazine’s SM accounts have experienced unexplained drops in page hits and post views, dramatically diminished reach, and a followership struggling against an invisible ceiling, as if the powers-that-be have allotted us a quota that we are not allowed to exceed. Although the why of SM speech suppression seems obvious—they don’t like our patriotic, rural heartland message—the how is a mystery to ordinary folks who can only conjecture. Maybe gremlins have taken over Silicon Valley.

Gremlins, a cryptic species with supernatural powers, were the World War II Allied flying forces’ go-to scapegoats. Unexplained accidents, mysterious breakdowns, disappearing tools, and all manner of bizarre happenings were blamed on these obnoxious phantasms. The seeming ability of gremlins to hide between dimensions of space and time, out of the reach of mortals, made them an unknowable and unconquerable enemy. Though unseen, gremlins were always lurking. You couldn’t reach them, you didn’t understand them, and you couldn’t stop them.

Unlike the gremlins that vexed WWII’s flyboys, social media’s gremlins are real. They design digital formulas, aka “algorithms,” that use keywords to track and suppress certain content, then target and *deboost those whose opinions they find disagreeable. They are authoritarian, and malicious, and out to silence us. And there’s plenty of evidence of all of the above.

In February of 2019, investigative journalist James O’Keefe, the founder of “Project Veritas,” released a series of interviews and undercover videos which blew the lid off social media’s secretive efforts to suppress conservative opinions. Most compelling were the testimonies of currently-employed and recovering gremlins.

A whistleblower from inside Facebook explained, “When things are taken down and like, actually permanently deleted from Facebook, the user will typically get a notification…However, with these “deboost livestream” things, there was no warning sent to the user. These are actions being taken without the user’s knowing.” The whistleblower went on to describe how, unlike actions in which users receive a notification, “deboosting livestream” actions were not documented. The whistleblower also said she saw “deboost” language on numerous conservative pages, but  found none on the progressive pages she investigated.

In a Project Veritas undercover video, Pranay Singh, a direct messaging engineer for Twitter blithely deprecated the demographic against whom deboosting is used: “Just go to a random tweet, and look at the followers. They’ll all be like, guns, God, ‘Merica, like, and with the American flag and, like, the cross.”

Make no mistake, RANGE welcomes controversy. There is nothing we can say or do that someone somewhere won’t find controversial, even offensive. Social media should be a provocative arena to test ideas and debate current events, but instead it’s heavily manipulated, exhaustively patrolled, and its hostile gremlin traffic cops are getting their marching orders from Silicon Valley.

Whether we like it or not, everyone who has an opinion is engaged in a war where digital media is the weapon and words, images, memes and narratives are the ammunition. Gremlins are sabotaging our war efforts, and they seem to always be one step ahead of us.

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3 thoughts on “Silicon Valley’s tech gremlins put RANGE magazine in the crosshairs

  1. Marjorie,

    For reasons you have skillfully outlined (& others), it’s time we cease all use of liberal-controlled social media. I don’t know if “we” have the numbers to financially hurt these giants enough to cause them to modify their irresponsible, anti-American behavior, but as a matter of principle & common sense, at least, we must stop patronizing the businesses & services of the liars & looters of our freedoms – liberals & Marxists who reject our values, hate us & our country, and would control us by suppressing all but their own messages & views. I despise Google & YouTube for their abuse of their First Amendment privileges & their usurpation of my rights, and though I avoid using their search engines as much as possible, I have not yet given up my android. I have, however, refused to do any business through Amazon, have ceased doing business w/ Walmart (for their restriction of guns & ammo sales), and have never used FaceBook, Twitter or other SM.

    As with China, Hollywood and most American pro sports (certainly the NFL & NBA), we must cease doing business with and politely tolerating our enemies – those who hate us, our history, our values & our country, whose aim is to transform & destroy us and America.

    John Hoak
    Big Horn, WY

  2. Move to Parler Free Speech,it is a Conservative site.I’m on it to see sites that have/or moving to it.

  3. Please pass this along to C.J. and Marjorie:

    Replace Twitter with Parler (http://parler.com), Facebook with Diaspora* (http://diasporafoundation.org), and YouTube with two platforms, DTube (http://d.tube) and Brighteon (http://brighteon.com). Both Diaspora* and DTube are completely decentralized platforms that are hosted at hundreds of locations owned by different people/companies/nonprofits, reducing the ability for censorship and making it so nobody is actually in control of anybody else. On these platforms, users control what they see, and that’s it. Avoid the Chinese owned platforms at all costs (pinterest, tiktok, etc), as they will be the first to be taken down in the USA should hostilities with China arise.

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