image:RMHI_logo
rmhiherbal.org
[RMHI Home]
[HerbalThinkTCM software] [Tutorials]
[RMHInet] [Courses/Certification] [FAQ]
[Articles] [About]
[Follow] [Contact]

— updated 2020-11-13

image:herbal_art_3

What's new at RMHI?   (blog)
2020-Nov-07:  About our updated website
— overcoming the challenges of censorship

by Roger W. Wicke, Ph.D.

Copyright ©2020 by RMH-Publications Trust; all rights reserved.

Technology should be our servant, not our master.
After posting a controversial article on our website (in 2020 August), RMHI experienced its first major bout of censorship:

  • Emails to our subscribers were suppressed en masse and a multitude of them were auto-unsubscribed within a few minutes.
  • Over the next few weeks, our Google rankings put us into the dungeon.

This was not entirely unexpected. Here is the offending article:

I have merely joined hundreds of independent Internet journalists, bloggers, You-tubers, and social media channels who have been banned, shadow-banned, censored, and otherwise harassed merely for stating opinions and facts we all thought were protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, in theory. However, Big Tech has made the dubious claim that as private corporations, they are entitled to censor at will. I'll not debate the legal theory of that, deferring to legal scholars.

Instead, my immediate focus is more practical: which technologies will I choose to use and to recommend to my friends and colleagues? Why should I tolerate using software applications and websites that I know are spying on me, selling my data, and suppressing information? There are technological solutions to this problem. Sometimes, we all need to have our noses rubbed in a s#!t-show in order to motivate change. (Perhaps the current American election s#!t-show is intended to awaken people to the fact that many of us have been remiss in our duties as citizens, having allowed our culture, public institutions, and civic life to degenerate into cesspools of depravity.)
 

Search engines.   They should be merely tools for sifting and filtering through large amounts of information based on totally objective criteria. When their creators design them to determine what "truths" we are allowed to see, they have become evil. To determine truth for myself, I wish to be the sole arbiter of whom to trust, and real people whom I have known for many years will always rank highest. Software robots will rank near the bottom. I do not have a favorite search engine. Each one has its weaknesses, strengths, and biases. Knowing what these are will help you choose the best search engine for your particular topic. While I like Google's flexibility to tailor searches according to a long list of criteria, it has become notorious for censoring and de-ranking sites it deems to be promoting disinformation, which is anything disagreeing with established authority.

Social media.  Freedom of speech is the core ethical principle for RMHI Forums, the private social-media bulletin-board system that we operate and manage on our own website for our members, students, graduates, and faculty. I refuse to patronize Facebook and Twitter; over the years the censorship on those platforms has become blatant and intolerable. The "Follow" link on our homepage contains a listing of my personal social-media channels, which you are welcome to join.

Email.   Unfortunately, email service providers can censor your email simply by flushing messages deemed "unworthy" or "disinformation" down an electronic black hole. Neither the sender nor the recipient may know that this has occurred, unless they both remain in personal contact by other means. Here again, there are technological solutions, but you must actively choose to use them. Choosing an email service provider that is truly secure and private is one option. Our RMHI Forums circumvents the disadvantages of email by allowing members to directly contact each other via a private messaging option.
    Note:   Due to the serious problems we have experienced with email and our email newsletter, soon we will be discontinuing the latter. Over the past few months, I myself have tried subscribing to email subscription lists of various controversial Internet bloggers, and often I never receive their emails. I suspect this has become a common problem.

Miscellaneous.   Telegram is a unique app that offers a combination of public and private social-media channels, private messaging, and person-to-person voice calls between any two Telegram users. It is open-source software, easy to install and use, and extremely secure, offering end-to-end encryption for those seeking both security and privacy. Telegram has grown in popularity among human-rights activists worldwide, and I recommend it to all our students.

Website hosting.   Within the past several weeks, I have migrated RMHI's website to a new web hosting service. I set RMHI Forums to "closed" status for about a week in order to simplify the transfer, but it is now fully functional once more. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the upgrade. Our new web-hosting provider has an impressive array of security features, applications, and options.

 
I'm ready and optimistic about the future. The #GreatAwakening is happening, but it's been a wild ride.

 
What's new at RMHI? (recent)



image:END