The mechanisms of self-censorship inherent in actually existing precarious journalism and setting the boundaries of its freedom of expression are characterized by angst and subservience to the establishment. Dissenters are stigmatized, denounced and finally excluded from public perception. There is consensus over what transgression is – to protect one’s good connections, the seat at the table of the elites, and the significance of one’s own work. The accuracy of the published point of view is often less important than the absolute conservation of entrenched narratives.
The Streisand effect
The so-called Streisand effect describes a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide a piece of information from the public has the consequence of causing buzz on the internet.
The phenomenon has its origin in a lawsuit by the singer Barbara Streisand. The cause was an aerial photo of her house at the Californian coast. Before the lawsuit was filed and published, nobody had presumed a connection between the aerial photo of the house and the well-known singer. But after the news became public knowledge on Barbara’s instigation, the defendant’s website drew traffic from a large number of people who wanted to take a look at Streisand’s real estate.
Therefore, the attempt to suppress an unpopular piece of information can have the opposite effect, and unintendedly make this information accessible to more people than one would like. Particularly in times of orchestrated defamation campaigns on the internet, this risk should necessarily be considered.
Since the foundation of the Ständige Publikumskonferenz [„Permanent conference of the audience“ – an organization with the aim to promote democratic participation in the control mechanism of the German public broadcasting authorities] the author of this piece has become the subject of discussion of various website operators who have specialized in the observation and evaluation of initiatives, private individuals and authors diverging from the mainstream. Of course, there were occasional hints from friends or other benevolent people about activities of the guardians of the common published opinion – but to date the anonymous stir was met relatively painless and the related content has not actively been read or even searched for. Anyway, given the poor page views of certain websites it seems only appropriate that only 170 people talk about the copied and fantasized balderdash than 17.000.
However, the suspicion hardens that certain groups, bloggers and amateur informers (links to these self-referential activities have deliberately been omitted), trying to influence politically explosive and informative activities of alternative media representatives through questionable means and to prevent factual representations, also operate within the Wikipedia community and thus help to establish an alleged reliability of various opinion pillories. The film „Zensur“ [censorship] by Markus Fiedler and Frank-Michael Speer is a detailed description of the operation procedures of these anonymous groups that contradict all basic democratic principles and poison the intellectual and political climate of this country.
A denunciation tool belonging to this network is PSIRAM.COM, anonymously operated from abroad. Using the wiki software Mediawiki, the website has the look and feel of an encyclopedia suggesting a certain reliability at first glance. Wikipedia occasionally uses PSIRAM.COM as a source, and reversely, Wikipedia articles are borrowed word for word by PSIRAM.COM.
Many things get mixed up on the alleged skeptical platform: esotericism, alternative therapies, alleged fraud through ineffective products, scientific heresies as well as individuals labelled with the well-tried CIA club „Conspiracy Theories“, media and institutions. Questionable and harmful products of big food or pharma companies, the bloody war lies by certain politicians and mainstream media, or information on anti-social organizations and military facilities are nowhere to be found on PSIRAM.COM .
By deliberately jumbling up actual quackery and borderline fantasies with dissident political views, ongoing scientific research and free alternative media projects the site engages in disinformation and propaganda whose interest-based agenda is too obvious: It mainly serves the capitalists and the current political system.
Wikipedia cites the work of the authors at PSIRAM.COM as follows:
„The authors write anonymously and the operators of the website are not publicly known. According to Psiram, the anonymity is for the authors’ protection from potential harassment.”
This description is strange in several ways:
The authors do not want to be harassed after having anonymously harassed, slandered, pigeonholed and virtually pilloried other people. On the one hand, the denounced cannot take legal action against the web pillory. On the other hand, one takes the liberty of disclosing their contact data for the denunciators’ possible accomplices.
Copy & Paste Investigation
However, if blogs which the observers are gunning for take the liberty of acting anonymously themselves, this causes outrage among the anonymous operators of PSIRAM.COM and other anonymously working denunciation websites. Such an anonymously operated alternative medium is Propagandaschau (a pun on the German public-broadcasting news service tagesschau).
PSIRAM.COM accuses Propagandaschau of openly spreading conspiracy theories and playing an „active and stirring“ role in a kind of media war between „western“ democratic orientation and a „counter-colour revolutionary“, authoritarian, „pro-Russian“ orientation. There is wild surmise among the „Rationalists“ about who are the operators of the blog Propagandaschau and its meanwhile deleted Facebook page. During this long-term monitoring of the blog it was noted that even „reliable media“ use the blog as a source.
PSIRAM.COM, too, used Propagandaschau as a source in a piece about our new website Rubikon. In a copy and paste style that is characteristic of PSIRAM.COM an edited article was monitored which erroneously stated Maren Müller as principal initiator of Rubikon. The misleading description followed a previous announcement of a planned Publikumskonferenz project which the Propagandaschau blogger simply assumed to be Rubikon. This misunderstanding was removed on request and the news was corrected which, however did not discourage the bloggers at PSIRAM.COM to stick to their „source“ – by virtue of the holy screen shot.
In the Psiram article the name „Maren Müller“ is affiliated to (Propagandaschau) instead of (Publikumkonferenz). The reason for this nonfactual representation might be that content of the Publikumskonferenz was occasionally syndicated to the popular Propagandaschau. The respective authorship has always been kept transparent on the part of the bloggers. Why an obviousness has to be recorded by means of a screen shot and extensive documentation in a „consumer watchdog“ blog will remain a secret of the web copyists at PSIRAM.COM.
Guilt by association instead of getting in touch
Both the website Rubikon and the website of the Ständige Publikumskonferenz disclose information on their respective operators and publish contact details. It would be easy for the operators of PSIRAM.COM to write an Email or letter and inquire for information about the editorial team and the journalistic message of Rubikon if one is unable to interpret the content of the website and to respect alternative views on the political system with democratic decency.
But instead the „consumer watchdog“ PSIRAM.COM copies content from a website while at the same time – with the power of persuasion and honest vehemence – giving explicit warnings about its content within the own offer. The schizophrenia of this procedure is a contradiction of the alleged academic background of the editorial team at PSIRAM.COM.
Who claims to report in a „critical and enlightened way“ should get rid of obscure surmises and silly constructed contexts on one’s own website and concentrate on verifiable facts.
The reason why a brand-new medium like Rubikon has made it to an entry in this doubtful conglomeration of disinformation, slander and propaganda in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry might be the obvious preference of the operators of PSIRAM.COM to use the so-called guilt by association.
The doctrine of guilt by association has been used to reproach person 1 of having connections to person 2 who supposedly or actually is controversial. In the depths of PSIRAM.COM circulates the false report that Jens Wernicke, managing director of the online magazine Rubikon, was on Daniele Ganser’s payroll. PSIRAM.COM publications consequently keep labelling the Rubikon author, historian and peace researcher Dr. Daniele Ganser as conspiracy theorist. Again, one can clearly recognize the interest-based defamation campaign in according to a narrative that has been maintained for years – including useful fake news.
As for PSIRAM.COM, the author considers the danger of the Streisand effect described at the beginning as a challenge. The interest-based agenda of its operators is so obvious that additional visits of a large number of interested users will be an extremely useful contribution to the democratic formation of public opinion.
„A further institution that has standards on a similar plane as the IZgMF [the Informationszentrale gegen Mobilfunk is a German website disguised as being against mobile telephony but actually denying/downplaying scientific evidence and concerns about health risks of EMF] is Psiram which the whole economy makes use of in letting it get rid of anything that could be detrimental to their interests by labelling it as quackery, charlatanism and deception. Psiram which is operating internationally and from an unlegislated area claims to be committed to critical consumer protection. Also the radiation cartel will not miss the chance to get even with those who stand in their way. This has happened to the authors of the REFLEX [Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards from Low Energy Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods] study, on which we will have to take a closer look immediately.“ (Source for this quote: Interview Jens Wernicke with Franz Adlkofer: „Das Strahlungskartell“)
Translated by Sebastian Keuth
 Wikipedia, „Streisand-Effekt”, <https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand-Effekt
> Archiv – Ständige Publikumskonferenz der öff.-rechtl. Medien, <https://publikumskonferenz.de/forum/index.php
> YouTube, „KenFM zeigt: Zensur – die organisierte Manipulation der Wikipedia und anderer Medien“, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llj87Z666gs
> Rubikon-News, „Verschwörungstheorie“, <https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/vorsicht-verschworungstheorie
> Wikipedia, „Psiram“, <https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psiram
> Impressum von Psiram, <https://www.psiram.com/de/index.php/Psiram:Impressum
> Psiram zu Propagandaschau, <https://www.psiram.com/de/index.php/Propagandaschau
> Psiram zu Rubikon News, <https://www.psiram.com/de/index.php/Rubikon_News
> Wikipedia, „Kontaktschuld“, <https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kontaktschuld
> FAQ Psiram, <https://www.psiram.com/de/index.php/FAQ
> Blog von Paul Schreyer, „In eigener Sache: Paul Schreyer, Ken Jebsen, Jürgen Elsässer, Compact und die Querfront“, <https://paulschreyer.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/in-eigener-sache-paul-schreyer-ken-jebsen-juergen-elsaesser-compact-und-die-querfront/
> KenFM, „Das Strahlungskartell“ von Jens Wernicke, <https://kenfm.de/das-strahlungskartell/
This article was first published on am 23 April 2017 on www.rubikon.news under <https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/die-aufklarer-und-ihre-fake-news>. Licence: Maren Müller, CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.