No Illusions 04 – No Clean Feed

My first No Illusions podcast for 2010! Today I’m talking about the Australian Government’s “clean feed” with three guys who know a lot more about it than I do: Stephen Collins (@trib), Peter Black (@peterblackQUT) and Jim Stewart (@jimboot). This episode was recorded with a live studio audience. Well, okay, they weren’t in a studio, they were on my uStream channel, but I’ve always wanted to say that.

Know Which Fight You’re In

We just got back from the first Brisbane meetup around #nocleanfeed. It was a pretty huge turnout, I’d guess 100 people. Well done to @nicholasperkins and everyone else involved in pulling it together.

I gave a short talk, mostly trying to convey the idea that this isn’t a campaign that we will win by trying to be RIGHT. This isn’t about FACTS. This is a propaganda war about ideology, the ideology of the Christian Right, a group that Conroy, Rudd, Abbott and Fielding are all card-carrying members of. And you can’t fight a propaganda war by trying to be RIGHT. The only way to fight a propaganda war is to counter it with your own propaganda and by knowing how propaganda campaigns actually work. There’s no use taking a knife to a gun fight.

As a long-time student of people like Chomsky and Pilger, I have some understanding about how modern propaganda works. I quote tonight from 20th century French philosopher and Christian theologian (not often you’ll catch me using a Christian theologian to make a positive point) Jacques Ellul who explained that modern propaganda isn’t telling lies, it’s about telling half truths, limited truths and truths out of context. That’s what Conroy et al are master of. They don’t lie when they talk about the feed, they just limit their use of the truth.

So we need to fight a propaganda war. Fortunately, we are all very-savvy little new media / social media types, so this shouldn’t be too hard to do, as long as know what kind of fight we’re getting into.

The one idea that I didn’t have time to get across tonight was that I don’t think we can win this if we just focus on the mandatory filter. It’s too thorny an issue and too easy for Conroy to deflect criticism . I believe we need to make this a battle against the ALP. I believe we need to focus on weakening their credibility in the upcoming election by getting in their faces on a range of issue where they have either under-performed, such as the environment, indigenous welfare, immigration, etc, or where they have just flat-out turned out to be as bad or worse than Howard (the internet filter, bailing out the banks, failing to rein in corporate executive salaries, etc).

We need a campaign that attacks the ALP’s credibility and performance across the board. We need put pressure on then across multiple fronts, not just on the filter. It’s pretty clear that the mainstream media will give them an easy ride in the upcoming election. So it’ll be up to social media to put the heat on them.

The ACMA debacle just gets worse

What the frak does online poker have to do with child pornography? Nothing. Nothing at all. This is just one example of how stupid, wrong and frakking disgraceful the whole blacklist exercise is.

As I told a couple of Labor Party stalwarts (including a former ALP MP) over lunch last week – Rudd was supposed to be the good guy. At least where the ACMA blacklist is concerned, he’s turning out to be more appalling than John Howard. I wouldn’t vote ALP in a pink fit after this experience (mind you, I’ve never voted ALP in my life) and I doubt many digital folks who voted for the ALP in 2007 will make the same mistake in the next Federal election.

clipped from
Less than a week after the federal government’s URL blacklist was leaked and caused a furore over the status of online betting company Betfair, Australia’s poker industry is now in the firing line over the number of legitimate poker sites that could be banned by the filter..
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G’Day World #353 – Antony Loewenstein on Internet Censorship

Have you donated yet to the TPN Pledge Drive? Help support independent media!

My guest today on G’Day World is once again Australian journalist and author Antony Loewenstein. Antony was on a couple of months ago to discuss his excellent book “The Blogging Revolution” and today he has come back on to discuss Kevin Rudd’s desire to censor the internet and we discuss a range of things we can all do to try and stop it from happening.

Links to further reading:

Antony’s blogs:

Other articles: