The advent of Pluto in Aquarius is mere months away – March 23, 2023.
Given the barrage of deplatforming, dissent-shaming, ramped-up censorship, new legislation and heated discussion, it is natural to wonder if this sort of thing will characterize the Pluto in Aquarius era.
Various leaders have proposed versions of ‘disinformation bureaus’ and seemed genuinely bewildered by the lack of enthusiasm, even amongst their most loyal supporters.
But when financial giant Paypal introduced a $2500USD “misinformation fine” in their latest policy update, the social media response was so savagely against it that they removed it, saying there had been an error.
So is this talk of Kafkaesque misinformation fines and disinformation ministries an early indicator of Pluto in Aquarius form? Or a side-effect of the messy unwind at the end of the Pluto in Capricorn era? It’s difficult to answer this objectively as I’m biassed.
I was already leaving PP for unrelated cybersec reasons but this galvanized me. I’m one of those ‘disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it‘ sort of people. Fine, not death and not the 2022 Kanye reboot but definitely erring on the freedom of speech side.
Aquarius, you would think, embodies that too. But there are arguably two dimensions of the Aquarian zeitgeist – an austere Saturnine strain that may well think it knows what’s best for everyone and a zanier Uranian expression.
People who are pro-info control tend to say it’s to protect people from idiotic or dangerous advice but even if you give them the benefit of the doubt and assume entirely benevolent intentions, it can be problematic.
The ‘filter’ becomes like one of those hideous huge industrial fishing nets that captures everything, a digital dragnet. So yes the person who was wanting to recommend that you gargle with pesticide instead of going to the dentist is removed but so is the person citing a legit study that says calendula has clinical efficacy against gingivitis.
P.R. people charged with the responsibility of shielding their client’s brand or platforms paid by specific advertisers can also easily emphasize the whacko end of any ‘against’ opinion.
Eg: say there are two people who are critical of wifi: Person One is a scientist who thinks that it may be disrupting bees and moths ‘magnetoreception’ – their ability to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic lines and that this in turn is affecting their breeding and other ecological factors.
Person Two thinks it’s a fiendish plot from an Illuminati moon base and that 5G rays vaporised their illegal whiskey still. To mute the nuanced scientific point, all you need do is accentuate the wacky hypothesis and cite that as the reason you’re limiting all – any! – comment on the topic. You’re acting out of ‘an abundance of caution’ and you don’t have to counter ‘difficult’ information.
Misinformation patrol also has to be automated, essentially. So you end up with debacles like the one that inspired my evac from Facebook. I logged onto it one morning to find that my account had been frozen because I had “violated community standards.”
There was a whole screed about the importance of protecting children and that FB did not tolerate nudity and so on. To apply for ‘a review’ of my ban, submit a claim here: that link went to a page saying I’d made an error and update my bookmarks etc.
Without reactivating my ire by regaling you with the entire sage, I navigated the bot maze and about 70 irrelevant suggested help docs – “here is a help doc about <irrelevant topic> goodbye!” – before finally getting to a live person in chat.
Apparently, a picture I’d posted was ‘obscene’ and before I could find out what picture it was, I had jump through a ludicrous amount of bureaucratic hoops it was bots or bot-like humans for nearly the whole time.
Eventually I discovered that the nude image was a picture of Saturn – see below – and their algorithm had deemed it pornography because it was flesh colored. After an unedifing phone discussion which saw me in a crowded street yelling “it’s a fuqing planet not pornography,” I agreed to remove the image and replace it with a less sexy Saturn image.
But no, as I was now flagged as a potential pornographer, I could not just ‘remove the picture’; I needed to re-apply for my FB account but this time prove that I had a business which legimitately posted images that might include more skin. Eg: a bikini shop and I would have to provide proof of my imaginary bikini shop. And so on.
Now, even though I did not have money banked in Facebook, I was paying for Facebook ads at that point and if my whole site had been more or less on Facebook, I would have been sunk. It was still a stress event and costly in terms of time + money but it did not wreck the MM site.
But imagine if this was you, you’d done nothing remotely illegal but your livelihood is at stake. So you’re suddenly hurtling around these systems that are deliberately designed to stop you from seeking support because it is such a clusterfuq. Or imagine if the zeitgeist shifts and Astrology is suddenly declared ‘misinfo’ and bam – it’s consigned to the back allies of the internet?
I could be wrong but I think that the current fracas and re-enlivening of debate is going to lead to more sharing of intel.
Artificially repressing money via ’emergency’ low interest rates over Pluto in Capricorn has led to lucre inextricably reasserting its rise and value. Perhaps trying to over-control thought and information will inspire more self-expression + variance in opinion, not less?
Image: Henryk Waniek