Are You a Poet and Love your Small Village? For Facebook you Are Violent

Veneziani criticizes social media censorship of his article on saving villages, highlighting issues with AI and woke ideology's impact on free speech.

Marcello Veneziani criticizes the imposition of a surveillance regime through artificial intelligence and woke ideology on social media, sharing how an article he wrote about the commitment of poet Franco Arminio to save small, dying villages was censored on Facebook and other platforms. The article, intended as a tender homage to these communities, was flagged for violating community standards on violent content due to a misinterpretation of its message. Veneziani reflects on the broader implications of such censorship, lamenting the suppression of free thought and the challenges it poses to expressing genuine sentiment and criticism in the public sphere. He underscores the irony and danger of this automatic and ideological censorship, pointing out its potential to stifle meaningful discourse and the sharing of diverse viewpoints.

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by Marcello Veneziani

You cannot imagine the extent to which the surveillance regime is being imposed day by day in our daily lives, starting from the most marginal folds of social media. I must tell you about an experience, personal and not only, that shows where the madness of Artificial Idiocy (foolishly called Artificial Intelligence) hybridized with woke ideology leads. My article published last Wednesday in Panorama, “The poetry of lost villages,” was shared on my Facebook page and other social media (Instagram, Telegram, Tweet). In it, I recounted poet Franco Arminio’s commitment to defending small, dying villages. A small act of love towards tiny local communities, written with tenderness and nostalgia for that small ancient world at risk of disappearing. But the blog was censored on Facebook and the like because, I quote verbatim:

“Our technology has shown that this post is similar to others that violate our community Standards on violent and graphic content. We do not allow people to share content that shows explicit violence.”

If there’s one of my writings that is sweet and unarmed, dedicated to a poet and the love for one’s small village, without enemies, not polemical with anyone, it’s this one.

After wracking my brain to understand what the lunatic under a false name that calls itself an algorithm could have seen as violent, I came to this conclusion. At a certain point, sharing poet Arminio’s heartfelt appeal not to abandon one’s hometowns but rather to repopulate them, I wrote: “Return to your country…start the migration in reverse.” This phrase, extracted from the context of the small southern towns abandoned by their inhabitants, was presumably read as a call, indeed a warning, to migrants to return to their homelands. A thesis and opinion that I consider legitimate, but that has nothing to do with what I was writing and advocating.

See how far the automatism of technique, combined with the ideological and intolerant input of those who should control the contents, reaches?

Which side is violence on if not in censorship and in defining as violent what is exactly the opposite, an act of love towards the origins of each of us?

Pity, Easter pity. I must tell you that I had in mind to write for this morning an Easter article of trust and hope in the civil and spiritual resurrection, despite everything. I thought to write a reflection on the necessity to predispose oneself in a positive and proactive manner, not to surrender to sloth and general discontent, not to feel at the end of the world or of humanity; but to prepare the ground for the trust that other Easters will come, it won’t be the apocalypse. A reflection that would have tried to see the good sides in our time, trusting in the strength of reality, of nature, of things that are, against the temptation to surrender to everything that denies them. But this disturbing intrusion, blind and obtuse, has poisoned the Easter purpose, and made me give up. The spirit of denial, once again, has prevailed, with the force of the anathema, over love for reality, for true life, for the most genuine feelings.

It is not the first time this happens, and happens to me. Just a little word, a content just not aligned with the mainstream, and immediately they block, restrain, hide your free thoughts even if they are thoughtful, respectful, never offensive to anyone. For some time, the circulation of blogs has been more difficult.

I add three things that make this albeit small episode even more bitter.

The first is that you can’t even protest with someone, you don’t know who and how to turn to: in the realm of social media and managers everything happens in an anonymous, impersonal, automatic way, you can’t appeal to anyone who listens, who recognizes the mistake and the damage and who remedies and makes a public admission of having been wrong.

The second is that probably, even this reaction of mine, this time energetic, to the stupid, shameful censorship will in turn be censored by the automatic techno-tormentors who carry the social media.

The third, more general, is that for some time we have been denouncing on the columns of la Verità and not only, the drift of the woke dictatorship and the daily violations and limitations to the freedom of opinion, many share our denunciation (also in this case many have written to me reporting the censorship); but nothing happens, nothing changes, the march of factional stupidity continues unabated, from the USA to our home. And every day a small piece is added to the great wall of Global Ideological Prohibition.

Finally, consider that with the lower circulation of newspapers, the terrifying crisis of newsstands, we risk no longer having counterbalanced information, that is, the possibility of denouncing these abuses and warning the public of this gradual slide into forced conformity. Alternative sources of information, criticism, and culture tend to eclipse; exactly as the closure or punitive surveillance of social media risks silencing many people who take refuge in social media to protect themselves from other media, expressions of powers and sources of prefabricated opinions. We are between a rock and a hard place, in short. And with this I have finished. Happy Easter dove to all, if the wish does not constitute a violent content towards birds and gender, with possible erotic allusions of a sexist type.

La Verità, March 31, 2024


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