Trump’s Twitter Ripoff (TRUTH Social) Has Lost 36% of its Value Since He Began Posting On It

The myth of Donald Trump’s popularity is rapidly unwinding. Sure, he may still hold a few braindead cult disciples in a hypnotic trance, and he continues to recruit more violent insurrectionists with unethical and unfulfillable promises of future pardons, but the rest of the nation is increasingly anxious to be rid of him.

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Recent polling shows that voters are more likely to support Democrats when they are told that the alternative is Republicans who are beholden to Trump and his Ultra-MAGA agenda. And the hearings being held by the House Select Committee investigating the deadly January 6th insurrection incited by Trump are turning public opinion against him. Those hearings are only at the half way point, with many more witnesses and incriminating revelations to come. Meanwhile, nearly 6 in 10 Americans say that Trump should charged criminally for his role in the Capitol Hill riots.

RELATED: The January 6th Hearings are Driving Public Opinion – And Trump’s Latest Delusional Meltdown

In the midst of his crumbling congregation of crackpots, Trump is frantically posting on his Twitter clone, TRUTH Social, to try to shore up support and garner some of the infatuation that his fetid ego feeds on. Unfortunately for Trump, that miserably failing social mess isn’t going to provide the blind idolatry that he craves. It has failed to attract much of an audience, and the financial foundations underpinning its operation are rotting to the core.

TRUTH Social was announced in October of 2021, and Trump posted on it one time, then disappeared for months. More recently he declared that he would never return to Twitter, even if Elon Musk’s bid to acquire it were successful (which is doubtful).

At the beginning of June Trump finally began to patronize his website and the lonely Deplorables who reside there. His postings were typically festering with rage and riddled with lies. But his presence seems to have had an adverse affect on the site’s fortunes, or lack thereof. Since Trump began posting regularly, the shell company, Digital World Acquisition Corporation (DWAC), that was expected to take the business public, has decline in value by 36%. That’s just in the two weeks that Trump has been posting.

Apparently Trump’s dimwit-icisms didn’t do much to boost interest in this debacle. Not that it was especially prosperous before. It has declined by more than 80% since its high mark last October. And the reasons are pretty obvious. For one thing, the company is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible fraud.

What’s more, with Trump posting his tedious whines about having lost the 2020 presidential election, and his infantile insults directed at anyone who is less than worshipful, how could anyone stay interested for long? For instance, his last posting exemplifies the problem…

“I have sooo many witnesses to everything good, but the highly partisan and one sided Unselect Committee of political hacks has not (sic) interest in hearing or seeing them. This Witch Hunt could all be ended quickly if they did!”

For the record, the Committee is not only interested in hearing from Trump’s witnesses, they subpoenaed many of them. Most refused to comply. They include his White House and campaign staffers Peter Navarro, Dan Scavino, Mark Meadows, Stephen Bannon, and Rudy Giuliani. Also Trump supporters in Congress Kevin McCarthy, Andy Biggs, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Ronny Jackson, and Mo Brooks. Of the Trump insiders who did show (Bill Barr, Bill Stepien, Greg Jacob, and Michael Luttig), they offered testimony that mainly contributed to the abundant evidence of Trump’s guilt.

RELATED: Crybaby Trump Slams the January 6th Committee For Nixing His Witnesses – Who Refused to Testify

If Trump really wants the Committee to hear his side of the story, he could direct his supporters to stop obstructing and agree to testify. He won’t. Better yet, he could volunteer to testify himself. The Committee would welcome him and give him as much time as he wants. But that would require him to have the courage to show up and tell the truth – two personality traits that he has never had.

However, Trump can be expected to keep whining to his followers online, because that’s a trait that he acknowledged is one of his best when he bragged that “I am the most fabulous whiner.”

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.

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Trump Rants Hysterically as His PRAVDA Social Bans Users Who Post the Truth About January 6th

It was just a matter of time before the truth came out about TRUTH Social, the Twitter clone that Donald Trump launched in order to assuage his massive, yet fragile, ego after being exiled from Twitter. The site was disingenuously flaunted as a would-be bastion of free speech where anything goes including, apparently, blatant lies and undisguised racism.

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Donald Trump, Snowflakes

Well, it didn’t take long for those deliberate misrepresentations to be revealed as nothing but empty hype and exploitation. With the commencement of the House Select Committee’s hearings on the January 6th insurrection that Trump incited (and is now typically calling a hoax), Trump has gone totally off the rails as his fear of finally being held accountable for his crimes kicks in. Despite the fact that Fox ‘News’ refused to cover the hearings live, Trump knows that the American people are watching the drama that’s unfolding and that his treachery will be the key plot point.

RELATED: January 6th Hearing Ratings are Burning Up Trump and His Right-Wing Media Liars

The first order of business was to excise any truthful discussion of the hearings from his TRUTH(less) (anti)Social scam site. Variety is reporting that…

“The irony is rich: Truth Social, Donald Trump’s Twitter copycat claiming it is ‘free from political discrimination,’ has reportedly banned users who posted information from Thursday’s congressional hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — in which the former president is a key player.”

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The site was never intended to be a free speech platform. It’s terms of service state that users cannot “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us or the Site.” So in order to use the site you must first agree to never criticize Trump. Unflinching fealty to Dear Leader Trump is demanded, and any disobedience will be punished. And offenders are already facing the consequences of infidelity.

What’s more, Trump himself divulged the actual purpose of the site when he declared that he would never return to Twitter, even if Elon Musk’s sketchy bid to acquire it is successful and his suspension is revoked. TRUTH is a platform for my voice,” Trump told Fox News, adding that “TRUTH Social will be a voice for me.” So like everything else in his world, it’s all about Trump.

RELATED: Elon Musk’s Bid for Twitter is in Big Trouble, and So is Trump’s TRUTH Social

In an effort to deflect from the facts being exposed in the hearings, Trump is lashing out wildly with ever more deranged allegations of the 2020 presidential election being “rigged” and “stolen” from him. He’s posted a flurry of fantastical fiction that he calls a “massive amount of irrefutable evidence” of election fraud. Never mind that it’s been repeatedly refuted by more than sixty court cases and many high level officials from his own administration.

Meanwhile, Trump’s Twitter ban defying spokes-shill dropped 35 tweets in less than hour, after promising to abandon Twitter for Trump’s site. Most of her tweets were retweets of her own election lies dating back as much as year. This is just another part of Trump’s futile effort to shift attention away from his treasonous guilt. But the only thing that it accomplishes is to make him look more guilty and more pathetically desperate.

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.

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Trump Could Make TRUTH Social Pay Him for Content, Even If it’s Dishonest, Illegal, or Immoral

The more we learn about Donald Trump’s Twitter clone, TRUTH Social, the more it appears to be just another in a long line of scams by Trump whose only purpose is to fatten his wallet and fleece his half-witted flock. The Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), his social media venture, is heading down the same corrupt path as his phony university and his fraudulent charity.

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Trump Baby on Cash Pile

Mother Jones is reporting on a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), the shady shell company that Trump is using to give his enterprise a presence on Wall Street. And, as revealed in the filing, the terms of the licensing agreement with Trump have all of the elements of the unscrupulous brand of business affairs that are the hallmarks of Trump’s malpractice. To begin with, the filling notes that…

“TMTG’s future success will depend, to a significant extent, upon the continued presence and popularity of President Trump. If President Trump were to discontinue his relationship with TMTG due to death, disability, or any other reason, or limit his involvement with TMTG due to becoming a candidate for political office, TMTG would be significantly disadvantaged.”

Relying on Trump’s popularity is a profoundly shaky foundation for success. The twice-impeached, former reality TV game show host lost the popular vote twice and never had an approval rating that approached 50%. A majority of Americans say he’s responsible for the violent January 6th insurrection. And even 49% of Republicans don’t want him to run in 2024.

RELATED: Trump’s Cult of Republican Voters is Dwindling, but GOP Politicians and Press Remain Spellbound

What’s the more, the prospects of Trump discontinuing his relationship with his site for the reasons stated (“death, disability, or any other reason”) are almost inevitable. And in any case, Trump isn’t even obligated to post anything at all on the site. However, the filing notes that the site may be obligated to pay him for posting content. So he has wrangled another way to squeeze dough from his dimwit disciples. And the substance of the content he provides has no ethical boundaries. According the the filing…

“TMTG has entered into a license agreement with President Trump wherein neither the personal nor political conduct of President Trump, even if such conduct could negatively reflect on TMTG’s reputation or brand or be considered offensive, dishonest, illegal, immoral, or unethical, or otherwise harmful to TMTG’s brand or reputation, shall be considered a breach of the license agreement.”

That’s a necessary contractual provision with Trump, since he is notorious for “offensive, dishonest, illegal, [and] immoral” conduct. Even now the SEC is investigating whether TMTG and DWAC executives improperly coordinated with each other and engaged in insider trading. They have also partnered with a Chinese firm with a dubious legal past. And the filing even mentions Trump’s prior business failures including…

“…the bankruptcies of Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Castle, and the failures of Trump University, Trump Vodka, and Trump Steaks, among others. […] Digital World said in its filing: A number of companies that were associated with President Trump have filed for bankruptcy. There can be no assurances that TMTG will not also become bankrupt.”

There is considerable speculation on Wall Street that Trump’s social media sham won’t ever get off the ground. DWAC stock price is down about 65% from its recent high just a couple of months ago. And while Trump has said that he won’t go back on Twitter even if Elon Musk’s bid is successful (doubtful) and his account is reinstated, he lies too much for that – or anything else he says – to be taken seriously.

RELATED: Elon Musk’s Bid for Twitter is in Big Trouble, and So is Trump’s TRUTH Social

Meanwhile, Trump’s Twitter ban defying spokes-shill, Liz Harrington, has announced that “I will soon no longer be posting on Twitter. This is a terrible website that is beyond fixing.” She doesn’t say how soon “soon” is (and she is just as likely to be lying as Trump), but the reaction in the replies to her alleged farewell announcement are enthusiastically supportive and downright gleeful:

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality:
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Elon Musk’s Bid for Twitter is in Big Trouble, and So is Trump’s TRUTH Social

It was only one month ago that Elon Musk announced that he intended to acquire Twitter and take the company private. It was an audacious move that, from the start, didn’t make much sense financially. However, it did affirm the enormity of Musk’s ego and his desire to make influential social media companies his plaything.

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Donald Trump Circling the Drain

Musk made his intention to buy Twitter public after he had already purchased 73 millions shares of the company, a 9.2% stake. He is currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for having failed to file the required disclosures of that stock purchase. But that’s only the tip of his troubles.

On Friday morning Musk tweeted that he is putting the “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.””

Due to the characteristically cryptic nature of that comment, and the trading chaos it could provoke, Musk later tried to clarify himself, tweeting that he is “Still committed to the acquisition.” However, his pausing the acquisition bid, as well as his stated reasoning for doing it, are both profoundly specious.

First of all, Musk’s claim that he’s hesitating as a result of a report that fewer than 5% of Twitter’s accounts are spam or fake is difficult to take seriously. The scale of potential fake accounts on Twitter is not news. In fact, Twitter has reported it in its quarterly and annual reports to the SEC for at least two years. So either Musk entered into this $44 billion deal without doing the most basic research and due diligence, or he’s lying.

Much of Musk’s financing for Twitter is backed by his stock in Tesla. So if Musk didn’t previously know that there are fake accounts on Twitter, he was neglectfully putting the value of Tesla at risk and would be liable to shareholders for losses. If he did know, then he is likely trying to back out of the deal without having to pay the $1 billion break up fee.

Why would Musk want to back out now, so soon after initiating this deal? It might have something to do with the reaction on Wall Street to his plans. Musk’s offer for Twitter was $54.00 per share. On April 14, when he announced his intentions, Twitter was trading at about $45.00 per share. Since then it has dropped to about $41.00, or about 12%. And it’s down more than 40% from its recent high eight months ago. The fact that the market isn’t willing to pay the offer price of $54.00 is a pretty good indicator that they don’t think the deal will ever go through.

What’s more, the price of Tesla has also declined precipitously. It was trading at about $985.00 when Musk revealed his interest in Twitter in April. It’s down to about $780 now, a drop of about 20%. And it’s down more than 42% from its recent high three months ago. Since Musk is using his Tesla stock to finance the Twitter acquisition, and Tesla’s stock has dropped substantially, the Twitter purchase price becomes much greater for Musk. Which is further evidence that he may be trying to ditch the deal.

So how would all of this affect Donald Trump’s Twitter clone, TRUTH Social? Theoretically, any weakness in its biggest competitor should be a positive for the TRUTH(less) app. However, the shady shell company that is serving as Trump’s vehicle for the enterprise, Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) has been trading down ever since Musk’s Twitter bid became public. On April 14, it was at about $50.00 per share. Now it’s at about $40.00, a 20% drop. And from its recent high of around $100.00 just a couple of months ago, it’s down a whopping 60%.

RELATED: Judge Dismisses Trump’s Loopy Lawsuit Against Twitter for ‘Failure to Plausibly State a Claim’

Apparently Wall Street doesn’t have any more confidence in another Trump boondoggle, than they do in Musk’s deal. And it appears to be irrelevant that Musk promised to restore Trump’s Twitter account when – make that if – he takes over. Trump has already said that he would not return to Twitter, even if his account were reinstated.

SEE Trump Declares that ‘I Am Not Going Back On Twitter’ After the Elon Musk Takeover

That, of course, is probably another Trump lie. There is no way that he would be satisfied with a few thousand followers on TRUTH Social if he could regain his 84 million followers on Twitter. But he can’t say that now or it would appear that he favors the competition. So the grift goes on – for both Trump and Musk.

UPDATE: Trump has weighed in saying that…

“There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts. Fake anyone? By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much? If it weren’t for the ridiculous Billion Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone. Just my opinion, but Truth Social is MUCH better than Twitter and is absolutely exploding, incredible engagement.”

Trump used to brag about his gazillions of Twitter followers. Now he is asserting that they are “largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts.” He’s also dramatically exaggerating the reported 5% as “largely”. But then he’s never been very good – or honest – with numbers (see his crowd size estimates and property values). And TRUTH social is already crawling with fake accounts. The site even “verified” a fake Fox News account.

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.

Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse
on Facebook and Instagram.

And check out my books on Amazon:

Fox Nation vs. Reality:
The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.

Thanks so much for your support.

Facebook Catches Up With MySpace

In a market share race that is mirroring the cable news ratings battle, Facebook has caught up with its once much bigger rival MySpace:

“Facebook hit the mark in April 2008 by posting 115 million unique monthly visitors. Myspace has maintained similar traffic numbers for the past year, but Facebook has grown from less than 40,000 unique monthly visitors in April 2007 to the 115 million that it is today.”

This is exactly what has happened to News Corporation’s other former media powerhouse, Fox News, which has remained stagnant over time while MSNBC has more than doubled its audience.

Rupert Murdoch’s empire is crumbling beneath his feet.

Microsoft, News Corp, and Yahoo, Oh My

The armies of consolidation are on the march. Last week, Microsoft made a surprise $44 billion bid for Yahoo. Microsoft is desperately trying to shore up its exposed Internet flank, which Google is battering brutally. Snatching up Yahoo would go a long way toward putting Microsoft back in the online game.

Enter News Corporation. Rupert Murdoch is now reportedly offering a deal that allows Yahoo to remain mostly independent. He would trade Fox Interactive Media for a 20% stake in the new and improved Yahoo. FIM is significant property. It includes Myspace, Photobucket, games giants IGN and GameSpy, AmericanIdol.com, and the MyFox internet platform for the News Corp-owned television station group.

I’m not sure which of these is better (or worse, to put a negative spin on it). Murdoch is, of course, pure evil. But his proposal would leave Yahoo independent and in control of some of the biggest destinations on the web. And all it would cost them is a 20% chunk of the company. Microsoft is a serial monopolist in its own right, and their deal would consume Yahoo whole. On the other hand, they aren’t Murdoch.

Ultimately the problem’s roots go back to the hyper-consolidation that has created an environment where all parties believe that they have to become gargantuan just to be able to compete and survive. In this matter, there don’t seem to be any good options.

MySpace Seeks Peek Into Voting Booths

In another assault on personal privacy by News Corp. and its progeny, MySpace has announced that they will begin offering a “viral fundraising tool” to candidates for president. The stated purpose of the tool is to allow members to make contributions to the candidates of their choice. On the surface this may not seem worthy of outrage or objection. It might even be considered a public service. The problem with the tool as proposed is that it will also be able to track the donation histories of MySpace members. Do you really want Rupert Murdoch to know to whom you contribute and how much? Do you think that information would be safe in those massive archives that already contain mountains of data about you and your personal life; your buying habits; your professional affairs, etc.?

I would feel a bit nervous permitting an enterprise that has had such a sordid history of privacy violations to be in control of such data. This may be a good time to remind everyone that when MySpace was acquired it was actually as a subsidiary of Intermix, which is the company News Corp. had purchased. Just weeks before the acquisition, Intermix settled a lawsuit with the State of New York with the payment of 7.5 million dollars. They were accused of clandestinely distributing spyware with many of the software and services they provided. I’m sot so sure that the integrity of MySpace’s new owner is any more trustworthy than their previous owners.

This announcement is just the latest escalation of the risk to privacy with regard to voting issues and MySpace. Earlier this year MySpace revealed plans for presidential “Town Halls” and a “virtual primary” to be held on the site next January. These initiatives would provide additional elements of members’ electoral preferences with which to shape sophisticated profiles of MySpace users.

The questions arising from these projects are serious. There is a real threat of the loss of the concept of a secret ballot. This is especially worrisome when the caretaker of the former secrets is a less than reputable mega-corporation. In addition, funds raised via resources provided by MySpace could be construed as bundled contributions. The impact of this fundraising, if successful, might potentially influence candidates’ positions and voting on matters related to News Corp. Is it really worth potentially sacrificing personal privacy and political principle just to participate in a statistically irrelevant exercise in election handicapping? I think not.

Big Media: We Are The Sioux Nation – Google Is Custer

As the giant multi-national media conglomerates continue to grow, they are becoming even more brazen in their ambition and arrogance. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., in the midst of a proposed acquisition of Dow Jones, doesn’t intend to slow down. The president of Fox Entertainment, Peter Chernin, spoke at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference yesterday and declared that

This is a market that Murdoch and his ilk do not intend abandon to the unwashed hordes of a free blogiverse.

“You’ll see more acquisitions. This is a world where the big get bigger. You’ll see increased consolidation.”

That statement should not be construed as an executive assessment of future corporate activity. It is a threat. It is a loaded missile launcher aimed at free thinking, independence minded citizens of America and the world. These words must be taken as seriously as the man who uttered them.

Even as Chernin spoke, his boss News Corp. was in the process of gobbling up Photobucket, an image storage and sharing web site. While this may not be as consequential as the Dow Jones deal, it does give Fox’s Interactive Media group another 41 million users and advances the imperial interests of its MySpace division. The impact of this should not be underestimated. In this morning’s, release of its quarterly earnings, Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers predicted that

“…consumer Internet traffic will surpass corporate traffic for the first time this year ‘because of next-generation services such as blogs and wikis.’

This is a market that Murdoch and his ilk do not intend abandon to the unwashed hordes of a free blogiverse. Time Warner CEO, Dick Parsons spoke at the same NCTA conference where he boastfully vowed that he and his corporatist troops will not surrender ground to upstarts and insurgents:

“The Googles of the world, they are the Custer of the modern world. We are the Sioux nation. They will lose this war if they go to war. The notion that the new kids on the block have taken over is a false notion.”

It is somewhat beyond ironic that Parsons would align himself analogously with the oppressed and overwhelmed nation of Native Americans when he has so much more in common with a clueless general fighting for an aggressive and imperialistic state. His words reek with hostility toward a new media world he seems incapable of comprehending. This is not the first eruption of Parsons’ cluelessness. He was quoted in Siva Vaidhyanathan’s book, The Anarchist in the Library, defending corporate dominion over creative and intellectual property and making the absurd and repulsive assertion that such authority is a requirement for the advancement of culture:

“This isn’t just about a bunch of kids stealing music. It’s an assault on everything that constitutes cultural expression of our society. If we fail to protect and preserve our intellectual property system, the culture will atrophy. And the corporations won’t be the only ones hurt. Artists will have no incentive to create. Worst-case scenario: the country will end up in a sort of Cultural Dark Age.”

If Parsons thinks that the reasons artists create is for material compensation, he has no business running a company that represents artists. His astonishingly ignorant point of view deserves an extended essay all its own. For now I’ll just link to this well articulated response from The Future of the Book.

Unfortunately, the Cultural Dark Age to which Parsons alludes is a very real possibility, though not for the reasons he suggests. It is corporations like the one he heads that will lead us over that cliff. Big Media still has more in common with Custer’s army than with the Sioux. The difference is that in today’s theater of war Custer’s reinforcements would be a phone call away and the Sioux nation would be reduced to rubble. That’s kind of the way it turned out anyway, it would just happen faster today.

The commoditization of culture is much more harmful to open societies than is its free distribution. The American Idolization of America presents a truly nightmarish scenario that trivializes creativity and expression. And as the media behemoths expand beyond all proportion, there is a risk of the bubble bursting like a car bomb in the marketplace of ideas.

MySpace: Going Down The YouTubes

In an article last April, I predicted the decline of MySpace as a result of over-commercialization and desertion by bored users:

“These examples of commercialization foreshadow precisely how the culture of MySpace will become tarnished and unappealing. Its members will come to feel disinterested and exploited.”

Now the Washington Post is catching up with me. In their story this past Sunday, they interviewed MySpace users and found that many of them have gotten over thier initial addiction to the site. Not only are they and their friends deleting their profiles, the ones that stay are spending much less time there. One former user summed up the downtrend by stating simply that, “I’ve grown out of it. I thought it was kind of pointless.”

A MySpace spokesperson, in the mold of Baghdad Bob (“What American troops?”), discounts these reports as anecdotal and cites the growing number of new profiles. There was no breakdown of whether these where net new profiles, or how many of them are advertisers of other commercial accounts.

I continue to maintain that MySpace has less than two years before it joins the ranks of Friendster has-beens and Rupert Murdoch’s brilliant acquisition will be seen as another dotcom folly. The deeper folly may be the notion that giant media conglomerates like News Corp can glom onto a trendy counter-culture craze without extinguishing its coolness.

YouTube is going down the same road (or series of tubes) now that it has been swallowed up by neo-megalith, The Google. There was speculation prior to the acquisition that once YouTube had a deep pocketed parent, the copyright-wingers would crest the hill with their army of lawyers. Last week YouTube agreed to remove 30,000 videos at the request of a Japanese publishers group. And now, Comedy Central, demonstrating their obtuse short-sightedness, has ordered all of its content off the site. Even before the buyout, YouTube ratted out a user to the Viacom Police, who set upon said user forthwith with a lawsuit.

The beauty of the Internet is that it’s a fluid environment that allows people to flow to the services that provide the most value and allows communities to find their own level when their needs are being fulfilled. MySpace has been working contrary to those goals by expanding intrusive marketing initiatives and cracking down on content bandits. YouTube faces many of the same risks. And since Big Media has always considered these upstarts a threat, they may not be the least bit troubled by their waning prospects, even as they devour them. But so long as the Internet’s flow is unimpeded, people will continue to seek and find new ways to set information free.

The MySpace World Domination Conspiracy

OK, here it is. This blows the lid off of the totalitarian overlords once and for all. The mother of all conspiracies and MySpace is at the center of it.

Go back with me to February 2002, when the existence of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) Office at DARPA was disclosed by the New York times. John Poindexter, the former Reagan National Security Advisor who was convicted of lying to Congress about his management of the Iran-contra affair, was the head of TIA, whose mission was to:

…gather as much information as possible about everyone in a centralized location for easy perusal by the United States government, including Internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver’s licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data.

After having been revealed, the hue and cry from the public resonated through the halls of Congress. Russ Feingold introduced the Data-Mining Moratorium Act of 2003, to suspend operations at TIA until a review of its practices could be completed. Not surprisingly, the review was never initiated by the Republican majority and the program just seemed to fade away.

In fact, some of the critical technologies were surreptitiously transferred to other intelligence agencies including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), a branch of the NSA. The NSA, of course, was already engaging in illegal covert programs to wiretap phone conversations and collect records from the phone companies. The NSA chief through much of that time was General Michael Hayden, who was also a deputy to John Negroponte, Director of DHS. Negroponte was also Ambassador to El Salvador while Poindexter was at the White House funding contras in Nicaragua. More recently we learned that the government is also tracking private banking transactions without obtaining warrants or submitting to any judicial oversight. And Hayden went on to become the Director of the CIA.

Stay with me now – here’s where it gets interesting. ARDA, which has changed its name to the Disruptive Technology Office (I’m not kidding), has been funding research into the mass harvesting of the information available on social networks like MySpace. The New Scientist reports that:

By adding online social networking data to its phone analyses, the NSA could connect people at deeper levels, through shared activities…..data the NSA could combine with social networking details includes information on purchases, where we go (available from cellphone records, which cite the base station a call came from) and what major financial transactions we make.

Combining that data with the personal information that MySpace collects, the recorded network of friends, and the communications that are made and stored online, will produce some pretty thorough profiles.

Now, with the government creating these clandestine agencies, shuffling them around and changing their names, supporting them with ever more technology to pry deeper into our personal lives, and attacking the media any time they report on some aspect of these activities so as to insure their secrecy, what is the next piece of this puzzle to fall into place?

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp and Fox News, buys MySpace for $580 million dollars. Never mind that MySpace, while growing its membership exponentially, has lost money since its inception. What better steward for this program of privacy obliteration than the committed right-wing baron of one of the world’s largest media empires?

Am I just paranoid, or does it seem like there really is a governmental and corporate cabal that is positioning itself to become the Big Brother that Orwell warned us about?