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Censorship by the Conversation

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Carlos Latuff/ MWC NEWSPro-Zionist Mainstream media censorship

Free speech and correct reportage are  vital for societal safety. As a 5-decade-career academic scientist I am appalled by the disconnect between perception of reality by expert scientists and that of politicians and the public informed by Mainstream media. This disconnect is most astonishingly apparent into man-made climate change –  all but a tiny minority of scientists accept that anthropogenic global warming is a reality and a major threat to humanity whereas perhaps only about 50% of laypersons accept this because of egregiously incorrect mainstream media reportage (most notoriously by the Murdoch media empire).

All my professional life I have longed for 2 social innovations that would address this dangerous situation in my own country, Australia: (1)  a council of elders who would use the expertise of lesser scientists, scholars and other credentialled experts, advise the community expertly on major issues; and (2) an electronic and/or print  mainstream medium that would enlist credentialed academic and other experts to inform the public correctly about major issues.

Last year finally saw the advent of an academic-based Australian web magazine called The Conversation which was backed by some major universities and promised to be a major source of expert, credentialled articles and comments from expert, credentialled readers. The Conversation is a very welcome initiative in Australian media. It invites and publishes articles by academic scholars and other experts and invites reader comments. The reader comments are typically non-anonymous and often from professional people with relevant expertise.

Unfortunately The Conversation suffers from 3 critical handicaps: (1) the Mainstream media culture of Murdochracy and Lobbyocracy Australia that clearly influences the  choice of articles and authors; (2) censoring out of reader comments that  The Conversation evidently regards as containing things it does not want its readers to read, know about or think about; and  (3) censorship and self-censorship of institutional scholars through institutional and research funding realities.

Academic and other  institutional scholars - and laboratory-based scientists in particular – need research funds and are under great pressure to “publish or perish” (the University of Sydney recently absurdly and offensively demanded that academics must publish a minimum average of so many papers each year or be sacked). Scientists in particular are accordingly loath to make any controversial statements that might adversely affect their crucial acquisition of research funds and universities and other research institutions now have “codes of conduct” that restrict expression of views by scientists (e.g. see Gideon Polya, “Current academic censorship and self-censorship in Australian universities”, Public University Journal, volume 1, Conference Supplement, “Transforming the Australia University”, Melbourne, 9-10 December 2001; Gideon Polya, “Crisis in our universities”, ABC Radio National Ockham’s Razor, 19 August 2001:; and for astonishing examples of such censorship within the Australian public service and Australia’s premier research body, CSIRO, see ”The Greenhouse Mafia”, ABC TV Four Corners, 13 February 2006).

Australia is a Murdochracy (Big Money buys public perception and hence votes) and a Lobbyocracy (Big Money buys public perceptions, politicians, parties, polices and votes). Accordingly The Conversation is very welcome in enabling expert opinions in a country woefully served by the grossly deficient reportage and censorship of oligopoly Mainstream media (Google "Boycott Murdoch Media" and “Censorship by The Age”) and a woefully deficient , taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the ABC; Australia's equivalent  of the UK  taxpayer-funded BBC; Google  “ABC Censorship”). 

 Unfortunately I have already encountered many instances of censorship by The Conversation of comments posted by me. It is likely that this abuse goes much further than censorship of just one widely published, 5-decade career Australian scientist. People interested in uncensored, expert commentary in the public interest are much better served by the Australian web magazine New Matilda and by the electronic and hard copy Green Left Weekly which do not censor reader comments (except insofar that they are defamatory or racist). I have a resolute mantra “Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity”. I would be complicit in such censorship if I remained silent. Accordingly I have created this website “Censorship by The Conversation” to systematically record such censorship in the interests of free speech, Australia, Humanity and indeed of The Conversation itself.

All of the documented  examples of censorship by The Conversation involve censorship of comments critical of the war policies of the racist Zionist- and neocon-dominated US and of racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel. Below is just one example of egregious censorship by The Conversation. You be the judge.

On 4 April 2012 The academic-based web magazine The Conversation published an article about Australia illicit drug policies by Professor Andrew Jacubowicz (Professor of Sociology and Codirector of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre at University of Technology, Sydney). I posted a carefully researched and documented comment on this article in The Conversation about current Australian drug policies but it was subsequently censored out (as was a further comment) , presumably for containing material The Conversation does not want its readers to read, know about or think about (details below; links removed for simplicity).

Censored comment #1 (in contrast New Matilda published successive near–identical and identical comments ).

“Powerful argument for decriminalization as again expertly recommended the other day.

Sadly missing from public discussion in look-the-other-way Australia is the impact of the Labor-supported Afghan War on Australia and global opiate drug related deaths. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the US Alliance invasion and occupation of Afghanistan rapidly restored the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry from 6% of world market share in 2001 to 90% of world market share now.

125,000 people die opiate drug-related deaths each year which means that 100,000 people die such deaths annually due to US Alliance (including Australia) restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan industry, this annual carnage including 360 Australians, 20,000 Americans and 1,800 British.

The pro-war, pro-US imperialism Lib-Labs have been complicit in the opiate drug-related deaths of 3,700 Australians, 1 million people world-wide, 200,000 Americans and 18,000 British since 9/11 (for details and documentation see “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”).

This Lib-Lab- and US Alliance-complicit opiate drug carnage is over 300 times greater than the 3,000 dead on 9-11 ( an atrocity that almost certainly involved the US Government; see “Experts; US did 9-11”) and war-related Muslim deaths in the post-9-11 US War on Terror now total about 9 million, half of them children (see “Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide’).

Also largely forgotten in the public debate about drug policy is the reality that while about 400 Australians die opiate drug-related deaths each year (90% linked to racist, genocidal, Lib-Lab, US and Zionist war policies) , there is a vastly greater carnage due to Lib-Lab-permitted and protected licit drugs: there are about 15,500 smoking-related Australian deaths annually and 3,000 Australians die alcohol-related deaths annually (see Gideon Polya, “Why PM Julia Gillard must go: 66,000 preventable Australian deaths annually”, Countercurrents, 21 February 2012 ; see also “1 million Americans die preventably each year under racist Neocon & Zionist rule” , Bellaciao, 18 February 2012 ).”

Uncensored comment #2 (The Conversation published my brief rejoinder about the censorship).

"I feel strongly about this issue having, like many people, lost friends and associates to drug abuse. I accordingly made a very detailed , carefully researched and documented comment about the excellent article by Professor Andrew Jacubowicz However as has now happened on many occasions, my comments - that related to preventable deaths from opiates and other drugs - were "removed by the moderator". My censored posting and comments about this censorship is being widely reported and can, for example, be read here: [on New Matilda]  . Censorship short circuits rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety and I will be raising this continuing censorship with the board and financial supporters of The Conversation, the more so because such censorship seems to be putting the interests of particular foreign countries above the well-being of Australians. "

Censored comment #3 (in response to a comment from The Conversation that quoted me incorrectly out of context and claimed that I was not being censored while censoring me!). 

“"You have not been banned from commenting, so your claims of censorship are untrue" (?) - but my comments are repeatedly censored. Further, it is bad enough to be censored , worse still for one's censored comments to be quoted incorrectly and out of context. The Lib-Lab-, US Government- and Zionist-backed War on Terror has been associated so far with 9 million Muslim war-related deaths (violent deaths plus avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation; racist and genocidal in terms of Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention) and about 1 million opiate drug-related deaths linked to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry to a current 90% of world market share (see UN  Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report 2009), of which 200,000 have been  of Americans and 3,700 of fellow Australians, the Australian deaths being acutely relevant to any sensible discussion of Australian drug policy.  No doubt neocon Americans, Zionists and their supporters want these realities swept under the carpet but The Conversation, an Australian magazine, should not censor to the benefit of foreign countries and their supporters and contrary to the interests of Australians."

Conclusions

Rational risk management, which for example has made passenger aviation so safe, successively involves (a) accurate information, (b) scientific analysis of the data (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses) and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk of adverse events. Unfortunately  all too often this process is subverted by Mainstream media in particular into (a) censorship, self-censorship, intimidation, lying by omission and commission (as examples by Western mainstream media), (b) anti-science spin (this involving the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position),  and (c) a selective and irrational blame and shame response that inhibits reportage vital for rational risk management. The Conversation, like other Mainstream media,  impairs rational risk management crucial for societal safety by censoring out informed, credentialled  reader views that it evidently  does not want its readers to read, know about or think about.

The documented censorship by The Conversation is particularly obnoxious to anti-racist, patriotic Australians because such censorship seems to be putting the interests of particular foreign countries – specifically, the racist Zionist- and neocon-dominated, nuclear terrorist, endlessly war-making  US and racist Zionist-run, nuclear terrorist and endlessly war-making Apartheid Israel - above the well-being of Australians. Free speech and correct reportage are  vital for societal safety.


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