|THE FOLLOWING IMAGES ARE MISINFORMATION AND HAVE BEEN CANCELLED|
BANNED BY INSTAGRAM!
Anatomy of a #cancelled image
This image was removed from Instagram, twice, within minutes of its posting. The image came about by accident, an unintended photo collage materializing in the virtual space of bogus procedures like “copy” and “paste.”
The image startled me. I don’t know what it means. Two months ago, the Ukrainian flag would have been unrecognizable. Now, paired with a wholesome advertisement for the militaristic American toy market, it serves as a denominator to the psychotic numerator of capitalism’s selling of war.
What do establishment minds like Zuckerberg find so disturbing about this graphic? The toy tank perfectly embodies mainstream American values: hyper-masculinity and jingoistic belligerence. Two red-blooded boys in a $400 Walmart tank. Against a flag of a country we couldn’t locate on a map, but now dearly love. A flag that serves as a gang sign, a brand logo for low information liberals and moralistic war enthusiasts.
The image may suggest that the real America is a merchandizer of murder to its children and practices a dubious selectiveness in its sympathies to foreign cultures.
The censor seeks to prevent cognitive dissonance in the public by banning ideas contrary to the narrative of American greatness. Images hinting at other motives for US actions contribute to anxiety and may lead to un-American thoughts.
We now have a Ministry of Truth, the federal “Disinformation Governance Board.” It is a sign of desperation in the field of perception management.
I don’t know what the tots-in-the-tank image says specifically to warrant Instagram’s banishment. The online liberal may be embarrassed to see the moral shabbiness of pimping war to kids. Or that nothing should obscure the innate holiness of Ukraine’s victimhood.
At a time when authority’s grip on legitimacy is loosening, even obtuse memes and hoary digital sight gags can be labeled misinformation and summarily disappeared.
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― Sergey Brin
Illustrations for the Baffler magazine
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