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Brooke Shaffer

Author, Ski Patroller, and Pasta-Eater Extraordinaire

A Serious Post

I didn't want to write this.

I still don't want to write this.

I said to myself, "Self, don't write this."

Unfortunately, I feel like I should at least mention this sooner rather than later, so that you all aren't taken by surprise.

From day one, launching my website and starting all the social media rounds, I told myself that everything was going to be strictly business.  Announce new books, changes and updates to the website, goodies, blog posts, things like that.  And at NO POINT, never, ever, EVER say ANYTHING about any current events, political turmoil, or the latest trending hashtags, gossip, etc.  Do it on the personal social media account, but business page is business only.  Strictly.  My writing and tangential things on my website should give people enough of an idea of where my thoughts may lie, but never speak them aloud intentionally.

With exception of an off-handed remark here and there, I like to think that I have been fairly faithful to this mantra.

However, lately, I have noticed a change.  As I post and share things on my personal social media that are controversial, I have noticed that my business page is seeing fewer views, fewer likes, and less engagement.  It's easy to think that people can't always separate a person from a business, especially since my business is being an author which is a person, that being me.  But when I get messages or in-person questions about why I'm not posting as much and why I'm not announcing my posts and why I'm not even promoting my latest book, it can't be for lack of looking.  It's for lack of seeing.

Censorship is real, and it has come upon us like a tidal wave.

You might think that because I try to stay neutral on my business page that I should be spared.  But I am not, because there is no difference to the censors between a person and a business.  I am me, and I am my business.

I support people's right to choose their business and choose their associations.  If someone doesn't like where I'm going with my books, they're free to not buy.  Similarly, if I don't like what someone else has to say or sell, I don't have to pay attention.

Censorship does not work this way, and it comes in two phases.

Phase I is being penalized for resisting the narrative.  Rather than allow open discussion, anything that is not the accepted, profitable narrative is shot down.  It may be removed entirely or shilled into oblivion.  Thought police, fact checkers, they go by many names.  The goal of Phase I is silencing the opposition.  Once the narrative is established and people have been corralled into the narrative, Phase II is set up.

Phase II is being penalized for not promoting the narrative.  Silence is no longer an option, because if you are silent, you may secretly oppose the narrative.  Therefore, you must constantly prove your loyalty over and over again.  If you don't, punishment will follow.  The goal of Phase II is forced alliance.  Not compliance, alliance.

So what does this have to do with me?

My refusal to comply on my personal social media (Facebook) account means my business page, my author page, is being weeded out of news feeds and less attention is given to it, even for those who adamantly follow me.  Additionally, as I advertise that I have social media pages on (currently) more open social media sites, Facebook continues to slowly squirrel my posts away.

So far, the most blatant example of this is on Facebook, although there is a boat load of shilling that happens on other social media sites. (If you don't know what shilling is, it's where a post or a poster is deemed to be "problematic," so it is buried under a mountain of other posts, most often inappropriate or even illegal, in order to discourage people from digging for the true post.)

I have author pages on other social media outlets, at this point, Minds, Gab, Parler, and videos are posted to BitChute.  I am no longer listing Facebook, although I will continue to post as long as I can.

At the moment, I see no physical issues.

That doesn't mean it can't change.

As things develop, I will let you know more details.  But as a broad overview, know a few things.

First, I have never been in this for the money.  With exception of the merchandise, a lot of what I do is a little over cost.  I have never fooled myself into thinking I'm going to be the next JK Rowling.

That being said, if, for whatever reason, I become unable to physically print and/or sell my books, I will still post them online for you to read for free.

Second, this is all about the story.  If I have any fear, it's that I am afraid that you won't know how the story ends.

That being said, if, for whatever reason, I become unable to publish or even write my books and have to bug out, I will post everything I have for you to read.  Published books, raw manuscripts, half manuscripts, and general notes and plans for anything incomplete.

Call me paranoid.  Call me a fearmonger.

I really didn't want to write this because I feel like it goes against my policy of not speaking about current events.

But I didn't want to suddenly go dark and you not know what happened or what to expect.

A story must be told.

A story must be told.

A story must be told.

I will always continue to write, and I will get it out there somehow, physical or digital, paid or free.

A story must be told.

You can find me on Minds, Gab, and Parler, all @AuthorBrookeShaffer.

And as always, you can find everything on my website first.

Thanks.

-Brooke Shaffer

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