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Internet Resources Become Weaponized

High Tech Oligarchs threaten democracy

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • October 20, 2020

The current electoral campaign differs from that of 2016 in that the media, both conventional and online, has realized its power and has been openly playing a major role in what might well prove to be a victory across the board for the Democratic Party. At least that is the expectation, bolstered by a flood of possibly suspect opinion polls that appear to make the triumph of Joe Biden and company inevitable while at the same time denigrating President Donald Trump and covering up for Democratic Party missteps.

Most Americans no longer trust what is being reported in the mainstream media but when they look for “real” information they frequently turn to online resources that they believe to be more politically objective. That has never been true, however, and what most newshounds are actually seeking is commentary that reflects their own views. In reality, the news provided is almost always either spun or distorted and sometimes completely blocked, note particularly the resistance to reporting the tale of the shenanigans of Hunter Biden.

The New York Post is claiming that a trove of emails from a laptop reveals that “Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.”

The emails include a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the oil company Burisma’s board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month. “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads. An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

The correspondence, if authentic, disproves Joe Biden’s claim that he’s “never spoken to his son about his overseas business dealings.” One would think that the story would be a real blockbuster, welcomed by self-respecting journalists but the reality has been that the mainstream media is doing its best to kill it. Facebook and Twitter have both blocked it though Twitter has since relented, and much of the rest of the liberal media is regarding it as a hoax.

Facebook has in fact become something of a leader in reversing its self-promotion as a site for free exchange of ideas. It has removed large numbers of users and alleged suspect sites and has blocked any “denial or distortion” of the so-called holocaust in response to what it regards as a surge in anti-Semitism. It has hired a former Israeli government official to lead the censorship effort on the site.

As Facebook and Twitter are private companies, they can legally do whatever they want to set the rules for the use of their sites, but when the two most powerful social media companies choose to censor a major newspaper’s story about a presidential candidate’s possibly corrupt son less than three weeks before the election it suggests a more sinister agenda. They are quite likely banking on a Democratic victory and will expect to be rewarded afterwards.

Indeed, it should be assumed that Facebook and the other social media giants are reconfiguring themselves for the post-electoral environment in expectation that they will be more than ever politically and economically indispensable to aspiring politicians. This willingness to engage with politically powerful forces has led to increased involvement in the various mostly left-wing movements that have shaken the United States over the past five months. Television and radio stations as well as corporations and local businesses have rushed to endorse and even fund black lives matter without considering the damage that the group has been doing to property and persons that have had the misfortune to cross its path, not to mention some of the group’s long-term more radical objectives. Individuals identified as blm leaders have demanded mandatory training to reprogram whites as well as punitive reparations, to include “white people” turning over their homes to blacks.

Some of the developments are quite dangerous, most notably the compiling of lists of organizations and individuals that are considered to be “enemies” of the new social justice order that intends to take over the United States. One has noted the desire for revenge permeating many of the comments on sites like Facebook (which claims to delete “threats” from its commentary), to include some material in recent weeks that has called for the “elimination” of Americans who do not go along with the new normal.

One of the most invidious steps taken by any of the corporate social media is a recent decision by Yelp to allow Antifa to compile the raw material on so-called “fascist businesses” that will be included on a list of “Businesses Accused of Racist Behavior Alerts.” The list itself was set up to appease demands coming from the BLM movement.

Yelp is a review site that provides grades and commentary on a broad range of goods and services, to include many businesses that cater to the public. The potential for abuse is enormous as Yelp is an information site that has no capability to investigate whether complaints of “racism” are true or not and Antifa, which is recognized as being at least in part behind the devastating Portland riots, is far from an objective observer. In fact, this is what Antifa has tweeted about its new role, which will allow group members to submit names of “non-friendly” businesses, defined as “also known as (AKA) any company that’s hanging blue lives garbage in their store or anything else that’s anti the BLM movement.”

The Antifa intention is clearly to put unfriendly shops and restaurants out of business, so it will not exactly be interested in engaging in constructive criticism or changing behavior through negotiation. Using the intimidation provided by the “Alerts” list and direct threats of violence from Antifa and BLM, businesses will be coerced into supporting radical groups lest they be targeted. It is somewhat reminiscent of the old Mafia protection rackets, and who can doubt that demands for money will follow on to the verbal threats?

The rise of the internet oligarchs might indeed do more serious damage to the freedoms that still survive in the United States than will victory by either Biden or Trump. What Americans are allowed to think and how they perceive themselves and the world have taken a serious hit over the past twenty years and it can only get worse.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Does this explain why Facebook suppressed Hunter Biden revelations?

By Andrea Widburg | American Thinker | October 18, 2020

The moment the New York Post reported on some of the sleazy, corrupt details contained on Hunter Biden’s hard drive, Twitter and Facebook, the social media giants most closely connected to the way Americans exchange political information, went into overdrive to suppress the information and protect Joe Biden. In the case of Facebook, though, perhaps one of those protectors was, in fact, protecting herself.

The person currently in charge of Facebook’s election integrity program is Anna Makanju. That name probably doesn’t mean a lot to you, but it should mean a lot – and in a comforting way — to Joe Biden.

Before ending up at Facebook, Makanju was a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is an ostensibly non-partisan think tank that deals with international affairs. In fact, it’s a decidedly partisan organization.

In 2009, James L. Jones, the Atlantic Council’s chairman left the organization to be President Obama’s National Security Advisor. Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Eric Shinseki, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Chuck Hagel, and Brent Scowcroft also were all affiliated with the Atlantic Council before they ended up in the Obama administration.

The Atlantic Council has received massive amounts of foreign funding over the years. Here’s one that should interest everyone: Burisma Holdings donated $300,000 dollars to the Atlantic Council, over the course of three consecutive years, beginning in 2016. The information below may explain why it began paying that money to the Council.

Not only was the Atlantic Council sending people into the Obama-Biden administration, but it was also serving as an outside advisor. And that gets us back to Anna Makanju, the person heading Facebook’s misleadingly titled “election integrity program.”

Makanju also worked at the Atlantic Council. The following is the relevant part of Makanju’s professional bio from her page at the Atlantic Council (emphasis mine):

Anna Makanju is a nonresident senior fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative. She is a public policy and legal expert working at Facebook, where she leads efforts to ensure election integrity on the platform. Previously, she was the special policy adviser for Europe and Eurasia to former US Vice President Joe Biden, senior policy adviser to Ambassador Samantha Power at the United States Mission to the United Nations, director for Russia at the National Security Council, and the chief of staff for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has also taught at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and worked as a consultant to a leading company focused on space technologies.

Makanju was a player in the faux Ukraine impeachment. Early in December 2019, when the Democrats were gearing up for the impeachment, Glenn Kessler mentioned her in an article assuring Washington Post readers that, contrary to the Trump administration’s claims, there was nothing corrupt about Biden’s dealings with Ukraine. He made the point then that Biden now raises as a defense: Biden didn’t pressure Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect Burisma; he did it because Shokin wasn’t doing his job when it came to investigating corruption.

Kessler writes that, on the same day in February 2016 that then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced that Shokin had offered his resignation, Biden spoke to both Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The White House version is that Biden gave both men pep talks about reforming the government and fighting corruption. And that’s where Makanju comes in:

Anna Makanju, Biden’s senior policy adviser for Ukraine at the time, also listened to the calls and said release of the transcripts would only strengthen Biden’s case that he acted properly. She helped Biden prepare for the conversations and said they operated at a high level, with Biden using language such as Poroshenko’s government being “nation builders for a transformation of Ukraine.”

A reference to a private company such as Burisma would be “too fine a level of granularity” for a call between Biden and the president of another country, Makanju told The Fact Checker. Instead, she said, the conversation focused on reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund, methods to tackle corruption and military assistance. An investigation of “Burisma was just not significant enough” to mention, she said.

Let me remind you, in case you forgot, that Burisma started paying the Atlantic Council a lot of money in 2016, right when Makanju was advising Biden regarding getting rid of Shokin.

In other words, there’s a really good chance that Sundance was correct when he wrote at The Conservative Treehouse:

That’s right folks, the Facebook executive currently blocking all of the negative evidence of Hunter and Joe Biden’s corrupt activity in Ukraine is the same person who was coordinating the corrupt activity between the Biden family payoffs and Ukraine.

You just cannot make this stuff up folks.

The incestuous networking between Democrats in the White House, Congress, the Deep State, the media, and Big Tech never ends. That’s why the American people wanted and still want Trump, the true outsider, to head the government. They know that Democrats have turned American politics into one giant Augean Stable and that Trump is the Hercules who (we hope) can clean it out.

UPDATE: It turns out that Makanju also has a Soros connection, for she received a fellowship from a foundation that Soros’s brother, Paul, and his wife, Daisy, created for immigrants and their children. It does not appear that Paul Soros was part of his brother’s empire, but the Soros connection is still intriguing, as well as being another reminder that, no matter where you look on the left, the same names keep turning up.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook COO pledges $2.5 mill to Israel advocacy group, brushing off Palestinian complaints of censorship

Facebook COO pledges $2.5 mill to Israel advocacy group, brushing off Palestinian complaints of censorship

If Americans Knew | October 17, 2020

In the midst of a campaign by Palestinian journalists accusing Facebook of suppressing their content, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, has pledged $2.5 million to the ADL, an organization that devotes much of its work to Israel advocacy.

We’ll first look at the complaints about censorship, then at the ADL, and then at Sandberg.

The current campaign is the latest in a long line of complaints that Facebook discriminates against Palestinian users.

A 2016 Fortune magazine article reported accusations that a Facebook agreement with the Israeli government had led to the closing of some Palestinian accounts.

A 2017 article in The Intercept reported: “Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Indeed, Israeli officials have been publicly boasting about how obedient Facebook is when it comes to Israeli censorship orders.”

In 2018 there were reports that Facebook had closed 500 Facebook pages of Palestinian activists, journalists and bloggers.

This month a campaign called “Facebook Blocks Palestine” was launched by Palestinian journalists and activists saying that Facebook restrictions against Palestinian pages had “dramatically increased,” including deleting pages and accounts, removing posts, banning comments sections, restricting pages, blocking live streaming, etc.

Mohammad Kareem’s Facebook page was suddenly taken down. Kareem tweeted: “Facebook has blocked my account after 8 years of using it. This is like deleting a history of someone for a weird reason. ‘Something you posted’! What is it?”

An organizer explained that one of the campaign’s goal is to expose the “double-standard policy of Facebook management” in dealing with Israeli and Palestinian content.

A day or two later Facebook deleted yet another Palestinian page: the Arabic account of the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC), a news organization founded in 1997 that had almost five million Facebook followers. According to PIC, Facebook provided no prior warning or justification for its action.

Photograph posted by Palestine Information Center, Aug. 31, 2019

Over the years it appears that Facebook has tried to develop strategies to make fair, rational decisions about which content to remove and which accounts to take down. These have included using content reviewers, instituting a review process, and writing algorithms to catch “hate speech” and “incitement.”

At the heart of of all this, however, are the human beings who review the content, who write the algorithms, and who are in charge of the process.

It is, therefore, problematic when Facebook executives work with the Israeli government to decide what content to remove, when Facebook collaborates with an Israel advocacy organization to “combat cyberhate,” and when top Facebook executives such as Mark Zuckerberg are connected to the top rung of the Israeli government.

And it is problematic when the number two person at Facebook – especially during a time period when Facebook is specifically being charged with anti-Palestinian, pro-Israeli bias – makes a large, very public donation to an organization devoted to advocating for Israel.

The ADL and Israel

On Oct. 16th Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced (on Facebook, of course) that she was making “a personal gift” to the ADL. Sandberg is considered one of the most powerful figures in the tech world.

While many people consider the ADL a benign, almost official organization–and news media virtually always repeat its claims without scrutiny–it is a highly political, private organization with no public accountability and with very  clear agendas.

One of its main agendas is being a “a strong voice for Israel.”

While the ADL was allegedly formed to oppose discrimination, it actively supports a nation based on discrimination. Israel was established in 1948, in the words of an Israeli historian, through a war of ethnic cleansing, and continues this process today.

Numerous groups and individuals have documented Israel’s current systemic discrimination, its long record of human rights violations, as well as its violations of U.S. laws and damage to the U.S.

Nevertheless, the ADL devotes much of its effort to Israel, advocating on its behalf with American elected officials, U.S. media and on American campuses, including producing a guide about how to block campus events aimed at informing students about the Palestinian situation.

Screen shot of ADL page.

And while the ADL claims to oppose defamation, it often attacks groups and individuals its dislikes, particularly those who provide information on Israel-Palestine that the ADL doesn’t wish Americans to know.

While the ADL’s statements may at times constitute outright defamation, almost no one is able to take on the organization, given its assets of $145 million+. Rare exceptions were 1993 lawsuits over the ADL’s vast spying operation on Americans, which had gone on for decades. Eventually, the ADL was forced to settle the suits, paying out unknown sums of money. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m among the ADL’s more recent targets, the organization having published false statements about me that it has refused to retract.)

In 2017 the ADL collaborated with an Israeli think tank to produce a 2017 strategy paper on how to counter the growing public awareness of Israeli violations of human rights. The Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Brigadier General Sima Vaknin-Gil, said of the ADL-coauthored paper: “The correlation between the Ministry’s mode of operation and what comes out of this document is very high, and has already proven effective… ”

Among its recommendations, the 32-page document called for “industry engagement with corporations such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.”

That same year the ADL launched the “Center for Technology and Society,” whose advisory board contains a number of tech executives.

One is Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen, who studied in Israel and is a member of the TechAviv Community LinkedIn Group, formed “to help Israeli startup founders and their companies succeed by harnessing the collective energy, knowledge, and networks of the global Israeli startup community.”

ADL’s “educational materials”

The ADL considers many criticisms of Israel to be “anti-Semitism,” using a definition formulated by an Israeli minister. The materials it provides for schools are highly selective, often have clear agendas, and are glaring in the ADL’s “PEP” stance (Progressive Except Palestine). For example:

• There is a high school unit on the Rohingya people but nothing on the Palestinian people.

• The ADL provides a lesson plan on “Refugee Crisis in Europe” that makes no mention of Palestinian refugees, a major refugee group and one that began long before the current crisis.

• There is a teaching unit on nonviolent resistance that includes materials on The Holocaust, Civil Rights, sanctuary cities, opposition to the U.S. wall on the southern border, etc, but completely ignores the Israeli wall confiscating Palestinian land, the ongoing nonviolence movement in the Palestinian West Bank (including the killing of participants Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall), and   the massive nonviolent movement launched in Gaza a year and a half ago that has continued for every week since.

• A unit on “Challenging AntiSemitism: Debunking the Myths and Responding with Facts” includes a number of references to Israel and uses as a reference the Jewish Virtual Library, a website managed by the American-Israeli Cooperative Project in order to “to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.” (The unit includes derogatory references to Christianity, Islam, and Arabs.)

The ADL’s facebook posts periodically focus on Israel. For example, it “welcomed” the decision to remove Palestinian Zahra Biloo from the Women’s March over her criticism of Israel, announced that it would discuss “bias against Israel” with UN officials, and alerted its Facebook followers to a discussion about “how to fight” anti-Zionism.

Sheryl Sandberg and Israel

Sandberg has visited Israel periodically throughout her life.

In August, she went on another family visit to Israel, met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and others, and inaugurated a new Facebook venture in Tel Aviv.

“I am so excited to be in Israel today.” she announced at the celebration. “This is a country that is deeply meaningful to me personally. But this country is also deeply meaningful for Facebook because… this is a country of startups and entrepreneurs.”

In her Facebook post, Sandberg described the importance to her of her Jewish identity. She said that her horror at the recent tragic “mass murder” of Jews in Pittsburgh (11) and Germany (2) inspired her to make the donation.

The timing of her announcement is startling in its lack of concern for the current Palestinian campaign against unfair treatment by Facebook, and of recent Palestinian deaths and injuries inflicted by the Jewish state.

In the past year and a half Israeli forces have killed at least 326 and injured over 28,000 men, women, and children taking part in demonstrations in Gaza.

Abdullah al-Anqar, 13, at a Gaza clinic, 10 June 2018. He was shot by an Israeli sniper during a demonstration along the Gaza-Israel border in May. (Photo from Medicins San Frontieres)

A search for donations that Sandberg may have dedicated on behalf of these victims turns up only an ambulance – which she presented to Israel, which has suffered massively fewer deaths and injuries.

Chart of Israelis & Palestinians killed

Given Sandberg and the ADL’s opposition to “hate” and “bias,” they may wish to read the extensive documentation of widespread discrimination and hatred in Israel.

Israeli academic and author Nurit Peled-Elhanan has spent years documenting the pervasive anti-Palestinian bias in Israeli textbooks.

“One question that bothers many people,” she says, “is how do you explain the cruel behaviour of Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians, an indifference to human suffering, the inflicting of suffering. People ask how can these nice Jewish boys and girls become monsters once they put on a uniform.”

Peled-Elhanan said: “I think the major reason for that is education. So I wanted to see how school books represent Palestinians.” In studying hundreds of Israeli textbooks she did not find one photograph that depicted an Arab as a “normal person.”

Peled-Elhanan says that as a result of the Israeli school system, Israeli children grow up to serve in the army and internalize the message that Palestinians are “people whose life is dispensable with impunity. And not only that, but people whose number has to be diminished.”

Perhaps Steinberg’s next anti-hate donation could go to Peled-Elhanan.

And perhaps instead of working with the Israeli government to remove Palestinian posts that document the results, Facebook executives could meet with the Palestinian journalists and activists they’re censoring and listen to what they have to say.

October 17, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Battlefield Social Media: The West’s Growing Censorship

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 08.10.2020

Censorship in the West flourishes as tech giants turn social media back into traditional programmed media.

The United States, United Kingdom and the European Union are fond of passing judgement on nations around the globe regarding “free speech.”

While it is increasingly clear to a growing number of people that this “concern” is disingenuous and aimed at merely defending agitators funded and directed by Western special interests in these targeted nations, the West still likes to fashion itself as a sort of champion of free speech.

Yet back home the Internet has been taken over by social media and tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Their platforms clearly serve as online public squares where everything is discussed and even election campaigns play out. Yet these companies have, over the years, begun to eliminate voices of dissent against a notion known as “consensus.”

If you are speaking out against “consensus” you are in real danger of disappearing from these platforms. Some of these platforms, like Google-owned YouTube, serve as the livelihood to people who have for years built up their audiences, produced hundreds of videos and when their accounts are deleted for speaking out against the “consensus,” they have their livelihoods destroyed.

In the wake of these incremental “purges” is a chilling effect with content creators self-censoring or even withdrawing entirely from Western social media.

It is the sort of very real censorship the West has crusaded against in fiction around the globe for decades.

Consensus or Else 

A more recent example is Google’s decision to ban ad revenue for those going against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) “consensus.”

CNBC in their story “Google will ban ads from running on stories spreading debunked coronavirus conspiracy theories,” would claim:

Google next month will ban publishers from using its ad platform to show advertisements next to content that promotes conspiracy theories about COVID-19. It will also ban ads that promote those theories. In cases where a particular site publishes a certain threshold of material that violates these policies, it will ban the entire site from using its ad platforms.

Those “conspiracy theories” might include questioning the official death rates of COVID-19. Yet even the British government itself has been recently forced to investigate its statistics regarding death rates, vindicating the very sort of people who would have been either forced into silence or forced to give up ad revenue.

The London Guardian in its article, “Matt Hancock orders urgent review of PHE Covid-19 death figures,” would admit:

The UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, is ordering an urgent review of the daily COVID-19 death statistics produced by Public Health England, after it emerged that they may include recovered former sufferers who could have died of other causes.

False reporting over deaths to hype COVID-19, induce greater public panic and pave the way for billions in government handouts to pharmaceutical giants is at the very core of many of these so-called “conspiracy theories” Google seeks to silence through its campaign of financial coercion.

Imagine if this chilling effect was achieved sooner. Would the British government have even bothered investigating its faulty statistics if there weren’t people suspicious of them?

The chilling effect this has over openly discussing something as serious as COVID-19 considering its socioeconomic impact is truly alarming and much more so because it is happening in the so-called “free world” overseen by its self-appointed arbitrators in the US, UK and EU.

A similar campaign was carried out to purge Google, Twitter and Facebook of anyone allegedly connected with “Russia” who also so happened to be anti-war and anti-NATO for waging those wars.

Entire lists are compiled by Western government-funded organizations which are then submitted to these tech giants for purging. The Western media writes accompanying articles announcing, justifying and spinning the purges… but also sending a warning to those left about what is and isn’t going to be tolerated on these platforms.

Social Media Transforming Back into Programmed Media 

Content creators are faced with two decisions; to either self-censor themselves to protect their work, their audiences and their livelihood, or to accept the possibility they will eventually be “purged” (censored) and need to rebuild their audiences from scratch on platforms with far fewer potential readers, viewers and patrons.

Social media, of course, is no longer social media in this sort of environment, but more akin to the sort of programmed media giant Western special interests built their power on over the course of the 20th and early 21st century.

Private Public Squares? 

Of course the defense is that Google, Facebook and Twitter are “private companies”and can do as they please with their platforms. In reality, these companies work in tandem with Western governments whether it is fomenting political destabilization abroad or creating “concensus” at home.

The notion that censorship is “OK” because the US, UK and EU governments launder it through private companies ignores the close relationship these companies have with the government and how their platforms have been transformed into de facto public squares and critical channels of public communication and participation.

The West’s growing overt censorship leaves it with a choice; to either accept that it is in reality as guilty of censorship and manipulating the public as it has claimed its opponents are, or continue pretending it isn’t but at the continued cost of its legitimacy upon the global stage.

There is a very good reason the West is in decline around the globe and why its attempts to leverage notions like “human rights” and “free speech” against nations like China or Russia are increasingly impotent. That reason can be found, at least in part, among the growing number of purge lists, censorship campaigns and calls for “consensus” across Western social media.

Finally, the increasingly overt nature of censorship and controlled narratives promoted by tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter should have them facing restrictions and bans around the globe. Why should any nation host a “public square” where discourse is entirely controlled by interests oceans away? Why shouldn’t a local alternative be created instead where the revenue is kept locally and if narratives are to be controlled, controlled in a way that best suits people locally?

It is ironic that, China for example, is condemned for not allowing Google, Facebook and Twitter to operate freely within their information space because it is a violation of “free speech,” even as Google, Facebook and Twitter cudgel free speech on their own respective platforms.

How much longer will the world tolerate these double standards? How long until individuals, organizations and even entire nations begin creating alternatives to Google, Facebook and Twitter to at the very least balance out the lopsided power and influence they have collectively accrued and abused?

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran rejects claim of meddling in US elections, blasts US’ own intl. election meddling

Press TV – September 11, 2020

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has rejected allegations by US technology company Microsoft that Tehran seeks to meddle in Washington’s 2020 presidential elections, blasting US’ own history of interfering in other countries’ affairs.

“The United States is leading active disinformation campaigns against other countries. The US is not in a position to make such a woeful claim,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Friday.

“The US has interfered for decades in the elections of other countries – including Iran – and orchestrated a coup d’état which overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minster Mohammad Mossadeq,” he said.

The remarks come a day after Microsoft claimed that it had detected Russian, Chinese and Iranian efforts to target “people and organizations involved in the upcoming presidential election”.

The statement claimed that the attempts had sought to attack campaigns associated with both US President Donald Trump and his rival Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.

It claimed that most of the attacks had been “detected and stopped by security tools built into our products”.

Speaking on Friday, Khatibzadeh said that Tehran has no interest in the outcome of US elections.

“As we have reiterated over and over, it does not matter who is the president in the White House for Tehran. What matters is that Washington abides by international law, regulations and norms and stops interfering in other countries and honors its commitments,” he said.

Washington, which has sought to impose an overt campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran ever since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, has also sought to stifle Iranian media operating across different social media platforms in recent years.

Facebook, Twitter and Youtube have consequently cracked down on pages belonging to credible Iranian figures and media outlets, closing them or limiting their access to international audiences.

September 11, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , | 2 Comments

RFK Jr. Sues Facebook, Zuckerberg and So-Called ‘Fact-Checkers’ for Vaccine Censorship

Children’s Health Defense | August 18, 2020

Washington, DC — Children’s Health Defense (CHD) filed a lawsuit on Monday in San Francisco Federal Court charging Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and three fact-checking outfits with censoring truthful public health posts and for fraudulently misrepresenting and defaming CHD. CHD is a non-profit watchdog group that roots out corruption in federal agencies, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and exposes wrongdoings in the Pharmaceutical and Telecom industries. CHD has been a frequent critic of WiFi and 5G Network safety and of certain vaccine policies that CHD claims put Big Pharma profits ahead of public health. CHD has fiercely criticized agency corruption at WHO, CDC and FCC.

According to CHD’s Complaint, Facebook has insidious conflicts with the Pharmaceutical industry and its captive health agencies and has economic stakes in telecom and 5G. Facebook currently censors CHD’s page, targeting its purge against factual information about vaccines, 5G and public health agencies.

Facebook acknowledges that it coordinates its censorship campaign with the WHO and the CDC. While earlier court decisions have upheld Facebook’s right to censor its pages, CHD argues that Facebook’s pervasive government collaborations make its censorship of CHD a First Amendment violation. The government’s role in Facebook’s censorship goes deeper than its close coordination with CDC and WHO. The Facebook censorship began at the suggestion of powerful Democratic Congressman and Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff, who in March 2019 asked Facebook to suppress and purge internet content critical of government vaccine policies. Facebook and Schiff use the term “misinformation” as a euphemism for any statement, whether truthful or not, that contradicts official government pronouncements. The WHO issued a press release commending Facebook for coordinating its ongoing censorship campaign with public health officials. That same day, Facebook published a “warning label” on CHD’s page, which implies that CHD’s content is inaccurate, and directs CHD followers to turn to the CDC for “reliable, up to date information.” This is an important First Amendment case that tests the boundaries of government authority to openly censor unwanted critique of government

Attorneys Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Roger Teich, and Mary Holland represent Children’s Health Defense in the litigation.

The lawsuit also challenges Facebook’s use of so-called “independent fact-checkers” – which, in truth, are neither independent nor fact-based – to create oppositional content on CHD’s page, literally superimposed over CHD’s original content, about open matters of scientific controversy. To further silence CHD’s dissent against important government policies and its critique of Pharmaceutical products, Facebook deactivated CHD’s donate button, and uses a variety of deceptive technology (i.e. shadow banning) to minimize the reach and visibility of CHD’s content.  In short, Facebook and the government colluded to silence CHD and its followers. Such tactics are fundamentally at odds with the First Amendment, which guarantees the American public the benefits to democracy from free flow of information in the marketplace of ideas. It forbids the government from censoring private speech—particularly speech that criticizes government policies or officials. As Justice Holmes famously said, “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” The current COVID pandemic makes the need for open and fierce public debate on health issues more critical than ever.

Mark Zuckerberg publicly claims that social media platforms shouldn’t be “the arbiters of truth.” This case exposes Zuckerberg for working with the government to suppress and purge unwanted critiques of government officials and policies.

The court will decide whether Facebook’s new government-directed business model of false and misleading “warning labels,” deceptive “fact-checks,” and disabling a non-profit’s donate button, passes muster under the First and Fifth Amendments, the Lanham Act, and RICO. Those statutes protect CHD against online wire-fraud, false disparagement, and knowingly false statements.

CHD asks the Court to declare Facebook’s actions unconstitutional and fraudulent, and award injunctive relief and damages.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , | Leave a comment

Managing the Narrative

Corporations and government use internet to control information

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • August 18, 2020

Some Americans continue to believe that when they go to the internet they will get a free flow of useful information that will guide them in making decisions or coming to conclusions about the state of the world. That conceit might have been true to an extent twenty years ago, but the growth and consolidation of corporate information management firms has instead limited access to material that it does not approve of, thereby successfully shaping the political and economic environment to conform with their own interests. Facebook, Google and other news and social networking sites now all have advisory panels that are authorized to ban content and limit access by members. This de facto censorship is particularly evident when using the internet information “search” sites themselves, a “service” that is dominated by Google. Ron Unz has observed how when the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai faced congressional scrutiny on July 29th together with other high-tech executives, the questioning was hardly rigorous and no one even asked how the sites are regulated to promote certain information that is approved of while suppressing views or sources that are considered to be undesirable.

The “information” sites generally get a free pass from government scrutiny because they are useful to those who run the country from Washington and Wall Street. That the internet is a national security issue was clearly demonstrated when the Barack Obama Administration sought to develop a switch that could be used to “kill it” in the event of a national crisis. No politician or corporate chief executive wants to get on the bad side of Big Tech and find his or her name largely eliminated from online searches, or, alternatively, coming up all too frequently with negative connotations.

Google, for example, ranks the information that it displays so it can favor certain points of view and dismiss others. Generally speaking, progressive sites are favored and conservative sites are relegated to the bottom of the search with the expectation that they will not be visited. In late July, investigative journalists noted that Google was apparently testing its technical ability to blacklist conservative media on its search engine which processes more than 3.5 billion online searches every day, comprising 94 percent of internet searching. Sites targeted and made to effectively disappear from results included NewsBusters, the Washington Free Beacon, The Blaze, Townhall, The Daily Wire, PragerU, LifeNews, Project Veritas, Judicial Watch, The Resurgent, Breitbart, Drudge, Unz, the Media Research Center and CNSNews. All the sites affected are considered to be politically conservative and no progressive or liberal sites were included.

One has to suspect that the tech companies like Google are working hand-in-hand with some regulators within the Trump administration to “purge” the internet, primarily by removing foreign competition both in hardware and software from countries like China. This will give the ostensibly U.S. companies monopoly status and will also allow the government to have sufficient leverage to control the message. If this process continues, the internet itself will become nationally or regionally controlled and will inevitably cease to be a vehicle for free exchange of views. Recent steps taken by the U.S. to block Huawei 5G technology and also force the sale of sites like TikTok have been explained as “national security” issues, but they are more likely designed to control aspects of the internet.

Washington is also again beating the familiar drum that Russia is interfering in American politics, with an eye on the upcoming election. Last week saw the released of a 77 page report produced by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) on Russian internet based news and opinion sources that allegedly are guilty of spreading disinformation and propaganda on behalf of the Kremlin. It is entitled “Understanding Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem” and has a lead paragraph asserting that “Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem is the collection of official, proxy, and unattributed communication channels and platforms that Russia uses to create and amplify false narratives.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, The New York Times is hot on the trail of Russian malfeasance, describing the report and its conclusions in a lengthy article “State Dept. Traces Russian Disinformation Links” that appeared on August 5th.

The government report identifies a number of online sites that it claims are actively involved in the “disinformation” effort. The Times article focuses on one site in particular, describing how “The report states that the Strategic Culture Foundation [website] is directed by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the S.V.R., and stands as ‘a prime example of longstanding Russian tactics to conceal direct state involvement in disinformation and propaganda outlets.’ The organization publishes a wide variety of fringe voices and conspiracy theories in English, while trying to obscure its Russian government sponsorship.” It also quotes Lea Gabrielle, the GEC Director, who explained that “The Kremlin bears direct responsibility for cultivating these tactics and platforms as part of its approach of using information and disinformation as a weapon.”

As Russia has been falsely accused of supporting the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the existence of alternative news sites funded wholly or in part by a foreign government is not ipso facto an act of war, it is interesting to note the “evidence” that The Times provides based on its own investigation to suggest that Moscow is about to disrupt the upcoming election. It is: “Absent from the report is any mention of how one of the writers for the Strategic Culture Foundation weighed in this spring on a Democratic primary race in New York. The writer, Michael Averko, published articles on the foundation’s website and in a local publication in Westchester County, N.Y., attacking Evelyn N. Farkas, a former Obama administration official who was running for Congress. In recent weeks, the F.B.I. questioned Mr. Averko about the Strategic Culture Foundation and its ties to Russia. While those attacks did not have a decisive effect on the election, they showed Moscow’s continuing efforts to influence votes in the United States…”

Excuse me, but someone writing for an alternative website with relatively low readership criticizing a candidate for congress does not equate to the Kremlin’s interfering in an American election. Also, the claim that the Strategic Culture Foundation is a disinformation mechanism is overwrought. Yes, the site is located in Moscow and it may have some government support but it features numerous American and European contributors in addition to Russians. I have been writing for the site for nearly three years and I know many of the other Americans who also do so. We are generally speaking antiwar and often critical of U.S. foreign policy but the contributors include conservatives like myself, libertarians and progressives and we write on all kinds of subjects.

And here is the interesting part: not one of us has ever been told what to write. Not one of us has ever even had a suggestion coming from Moscow on a good topic for an article. Not one of us has ever had an article or headline changed or altered by an editor. Putting on my ex-intelligence officer hat for a moment, that is no way to run an influencing or disinformation operation intended to subvert an election. Sure, Russia has a point of view on the upcoming election and its managed media outlets will reflect that bias but the sweeping allegations are nonsense, particularly in an election that will include billions of dollars in real disinformation coming from the Democratic and Republican parties.

Putting together what you no longer can find when you search the internet with government attempts to suppress alternative news sites one has to conclude that we Americans are in the middle of an information war. Who controls the narrative controls the people, or so it seems. It is a dangerous development, particularly at a time when no one knows whom to trust and what to believe. How it will play out between now and the November election is anyone’s guess.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

August 18, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Facebook’s latest ‘hate speech’ update proves no censorship will ever be enough for social media thought police

By Helen Buyniski | RT | August 12, 2020

Facebook has expanded its already-prodigious list of banned content to include insults, blackface, and the notion that Jews control major industries. But even these new rules aren’t enough – and nothing ever will be.

The social media behemoth has bent the knee in spectacularly groveling fashion following a pro-censorship campaign disguised as an advertiser protest against Facebook’s supposed leniency toward “hate speech.” In a blog post on Tuesday, the platform announced a dramatic expansion of its Hate Speech policy along with the formation of a “Diversity Advisory Council” and a handful of “inclusivity” task forces.

Facebook has even volunteered to submit to an “independent, third-party audit in 2021,” issuing a call for proposals for would-be auditors to “grade its homework” – i.e. verify it’s not manipulating statistics to make itself look tougher on “hate speech” than it really is. In sum, Facebook has completely dropped its pretense of defiance and acquiesced to the demands of Stop Hate for Profit, the boycott campaign led by notorious censorship advocates the Anti-Defamation League.

Just as the ADL maintains its dominance by hyping up hate crimes to give the impression that Nazis and KKK members are lurking around every corner, triggering worried liberals to throw money at them to make the bad people go away, Stop Hate for Profit convinced large corporations that buying ads on Facebook was akin to endorsing the local chapter of the Hitler Youth – or Trump’s re-election campaign. Companies already walking on eggshells amid the racial reckoning triggered by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis were in no position to oppose the ADL, especially when it had deputized social justice powerhouses like the NAACP and Color of Change to give its cause a patina of authenticity.

Never particularly well-defined, the concept of “hate speech” on Facebook already included not only “generalizations that state inferiority” (of the hygienic, mental, or moral variety), “expressions of contempt,” and “expressions of disgust,” but even “expressions of dismissal.” Yes, stating one does not care about [protected group] counts as hate speech on the world’s largest social media platform. “Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes” is also outlawed, an interesting policy wrinkle given the ADL’s known propensity for flat-out inventing its own hate crime stats.

To the laundry list of oddly-specific no-nos (which includes both comparisons between “black people and apes or ape-like creatures” and “black people and farm equipment”), Tuesday’s update added blackface and comments about “Jewish people running the world or controlling major institutions such as media networks, the economy or the government.”

The latter is a touchy subject, given that Jewish Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Jewish Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg once paid for propaganda images depicting Jewish currency speculator and infamous liberal megadonor George Soros as an octopus with his tentacles engulfing the earth. Presumably, the new policy prevents users from commenting that Jewish nonprofit the ADL underwrote the campaign to censor such talk in the first place, or that Soros has been publicly trying to unseat Zuckerberg from the CEO’s chair for months. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in knuckling under to the ADL, Zuckerberg walked right into a trap that would secure his own departure from the company? But that would be an antisemitic conspiracy theory that doesn’t bear thinking about. Perish the thought!

Even the blackface ban seems designed for overreach. Facebook acknowledged the measure would rule out portraying Black Pete, a traditional character seen at Christmas celebrations in the Netherlands who sports blackface, or morris dancers who happen to have painted their faces black, but might permit critical discussion of – for example – a politician discovered to have worn blackface at some point.

The amount of “collateral damage” done to organic human conversations on Facebook by algorithms removing content whose real meaning they’re unable to determine – given artificial intelligence’s inability to recognize sarcasm, nuance, or indeed anything less subtle than a blow to the head – is massive. By continuing to expand the “hate speech” category long past what anyone would consider “hate,” Zuckerberg’s platform has placed a fatwa on edgy humor. And if their “blackface enforcement” is anything like their “hate speech” enforcement, spray-tan users are likely to find their posts flagged as offensive.

In its quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report, Facebook hyped a massive increase in hate speech enforcement for the last quarter, noting it had deleted 22.5 million “items” as opposed to 9.6 million during the previous period. While Zuckerberg revealed during last month’s Big Tech antitrust hearings that Facebook censors nearly 90 percent of so-called “hate speech” before it’s seen by anyone at all, the quarterly report proclaimed that percentage had actually risen to 95 percent – raising the question of who, if anyone, is complaining about much of this material, and who was offended enough to push for an advertiser boycott in the first place.

Mainstream media coverage of the new rules almost always includes a few malcontents opining that Facebook either hasn’t gone far enough, didn’t act soon enough, or isn’t really sincere in its desire to shield anyone possessing “protected characteristics” from mean comments (seriously, “profane terms or phrases with the intent to insult” are classed as hate speech, too).

Zuckerberg surely knows he’s going to be apologizing for the rest of his life – or the rest of his time as CEO, at least – and adding more and more types of naughty conversation to Facebook’s “hate speech” compendium. How soon will it be before they decide it makes sense to just release a list of approved opinions and allow users to select from these family-safe, pre-digested ideas?

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

August 13, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Twitter labels RT & Sputnik but NOT BBC, NPR & VOA as it launches blitz on state media staff & govt officials

RT | August 6, 2020

Twitter has declared war on certain state-affiliated media entities, announcing accounts belonging to senior staff will be labeled and their tweets won’t be amplified or recommended. The BBC and US state-funded media are exempt.

The microblogging platform announced it will label accounts belonging to key government officials in countries on the UN Security Council, as well as accounts belonging to state-linked media outlets, their editors-in-chief and senior staff.

In a Thursday blog post, it warned it will no longer show tweets from state-linked media accounts on the home screen, notifications, or search.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Twitter left a sizable loophole for the US and friendly nations, explaining that “state-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, will not be labeled.”

“We believe this is an important step so that when people see an account discussing geopolitical issues from another country, they have context on its national affiliation and are better informed about who they represent,” Twitter explained in the post, adding that it would not be labeling government officials’ personal accounts – just those associated with their offices.

Betraying a shockingly dim understanding of American media, Twitter explained that “unlike independent media, state-affiliated media frequently use their news coverage as a means to advance a political agenda.”

Perhaps attempting to fend off discrimination lawsuits, they added that the move had come after consultation with “a number of expert groups, including members of the Digital and Human Rights Advisory Group in Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council.”

That group includes notoriously censor-happy entities like the Anti-Defamation League, the Dangerous Speech Project, and Feminist Frequency.

Clicking on the new labels takes the viewer to a page explaining the policy, which hints it “will be expanded to include additional countries in the future.” The page refers to them as “election labels,” suggesting the policy is a response to ongoing baseless claims that Russian social media manipulation was responsible for President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory. With the November election less than 100 days away, social media platforms are scrambling to censor non-approved views, especially those they can link to un-American activities.

A Twitter spokesman declined to provide a full list of entities to be censored to Reuters, but mentioned RT, Sputnik, and Xinhua News by name. Facebook recently adopted a similar policy, complete with double standard for US and friendly state-controlled media organizations.

August 6, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

The campaign to silence climate debate on Facebook

Interview of the CO2 Coalition’s Caleb Rossiter

ImproveThePlanet • July 8, 2020

On this week’s Power Hour Alex Epstein interviews Dr. Caleb Rossiter, Chairman of the CO2 Coalition.

There is an active campaign, led by billionaire anti-fossil-fuel activist Tom Steyer, to convince Facebook to remove the CO2 Coalition from its platform.

Some highlights include:
* Rossiter’s decades-long work on African issues.
* Why fossil fuels, especially coal, are crucial to African prosperity.
* How Rossiter became suspicious of climate models.
* CO2 as a warming gas *and* a plant fertilizing gas.
* How challenging climate catastrophism hurt Rossiter’s career.
* How the “paid off by the fossil fuel industry” narrative is laughable.

July 18, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

The real goal of the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign against Facebook has nothing to do with ‘hate speech’

By Helen Buyniski | RT | June 29, 2020

A deep-pocketed astroturf campaign has created the impression that Facebook users are up in arms about racism on the platform, but the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign is a naked political power-grab by the usual suspects.

The campaign emerged earlier this month and has gathered a huge amount of support from corporations eager to check the Black Lives Matter box and burnish their image. But it’s not clear if these companies have looked into who’s behind the initiative, or what their intentions are. Stop Hate for Profit’s organizers appear less concerned with stopping “hate” than they are with muscling their way into Facebook’s boardroom and seizing the power to permanently silence political opponents.

Stop Hate for Profit’s website is operated by the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group notorious for its heavy-handed censorship tactics that has bragged about its involvement in YouTube content purges and regularly smears critics of Israeli policy as froth-mouthed anti-Semites. Listed co-sponsors of the campaign include activist organizations Color of Change, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and a “media freedom” group called Free Press, which according to its mission statement seeks to “change the media to transform democracy to realize a just society.” In practice, that apparently translates to lending “free press” cover to ideologically-motivated censorship campaigns.

Because make no mistake, Stop Hate for Profit is ideologically-motivated, and its intention is censorship. All three of the aforementioned groups have at least one common financial backer: billionaire currency speculator George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Soros has made no secret of the fact that he wants Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg out of the top position, penning a series of increasingly unhinged op-eds earlier this year accusing the social media tycoon of colluding with US President Donald Trump to get the latter re-elected. Soros repeatedly demanded not only that Zuckerberg be removed from power, but that Facebook be stripped of its Section 230 legal protections, treated as a publisher and not a platform – and thus rendered liable for any and all user-generated content.

It’s not too surprising, then, that this group of Soros-backed organizations just happens to have set its sights squarely on Facebook’s profitability. By taking aim at the 99 percent of Facebook’s profits obtained through advertising, the campaign has already exacted a beating on the company’s stock price, which tumbled 8.3 percent on Friday. Facebook’s value has plummeted $56 billion since the campaign started, kicking Zuckerberg off the world’s three-richest-people list and making the platform’s investors very unhappy.

The more Facebook’s poor performance can be tied to the actions of the CEO, the more likely investors are to send him packing – and Soros likely laughing all the way to the bank.

Zuckerberg has stubbornly refused to fact-check political advertising on his platform, even as Facebook subjects all non-politicians’ speech to microscopic examination by ideological crusaders loaded down with their own baggage and conflicts of interest, allowing Trump and other conservative politicians to buy their way into voters’ hearts without fear that some Soros-funded fact-checker will ruin the moment. This – not some epidemic of “hate speech” – is the problem Stop Hate for Profit is most determined to fix.

The campaign’s answer to the question of “hate speech” on Facebook is multifaceted, but all the solutions it comes up with end with groups like the ADL gaining absurd levels of power within the immensely profitable platform. They demand Facebook submit to “regular, third party independent audits of identity-based hate and misinformation” – presumably to be conducted by the ADL or its affiliates – and refund money to advertisers whose content appeared next to material that was later yanked for violating terms of service.

And they want those terms of service to cover a lot more content – everything from “climate denialism” to “militia” are to be excised from the platform if Facebook wants its advertiser dollars back.

This isn’t the first time these same forces have united to demand Facebook preemptively shut down speech they don’t like under the guise of fighting “hate.” In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center – the ADL’s chief rival for the donations of wealthy liberals with enormous persecution complexes – urged tech platforms to allow “individuals and organizations” (like the SPLC, presumably) to “flag hateful activities” as well as “groups and individuals engaged in hateful activities” so that they might be speedily ushered off the platform. The SPLC’s partners in this endeavor? Color of Change, Free Press, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Not everyone who’s signed on to Stop Hate for Profit is necessarily in it for the censorship, of course. Some corporations no doubt think they’re actually doing something good. But ironically, some of the participants don’t appear to actually be pulling their ads from Facebook at all, as Gizmodo discovered last week. Companies eager to be seen as taking a stand against Facebook have pulled their most obvious ads, but apparently left in place advertising deals through the Facebook Audience Network, which displays ads targeted based on Facebook activity across third-party apps, or continue to advertise with Facebook subsidiary Instagram.

It’s only fitting that a campaign that is at its heart a pantomime of caring about marginalized groups should be met by a pantomime of corporate activism from its real targets – Facebook’s investors. Soros has spoken, will Zuckerberg be pried loose from the CEO’s chair?

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

Read more:

Don’t make me repeat myself again! Soros threatens Zuckerberg must be removed from Facebook ‘one way or another’

June 30, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Zuckerberg loses $7.2 BILLION after corporate ad boycott pressing Facebook to police ‘hate speech’

RT | June 27, 2020

Plummeting Facebook shares have wiped out billions of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth. The impetus? Corporations such as Coca-Cola and Verizon have pulled their ads, demanding that Facebook censor hate speech.

Zuckerberg lost $7.2 billion, after Facebook’s shares fell by 8.3 percent on Friday, Bloomberg reported. The dive in value happened after Unilever, one of the largest advertisers in the world, joined the list of major companies that suspended their ad campaigns on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram. At around the same time, Coca-Cola said it was also pulling all its social-media advertising for 30 days.

More than 120 corporations, including Verizon, Dove, Lipton, Hershey’s, and Honda joined the boycott organized by activists and civil-rights groups that demanded Facebook combat what they term hate speech and disinformation on its platform.

Responding to the criticism, Zuckerberg, whose remaining net worth is now being estimated at $82.3 billion by Bloomberg, has promised to ban ads with “hateful content.” The prohibited advertising will include materials that describe a specific demographic as “a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.” He also vowed to fight potential voter suppression, and to take down posts by politicians and government officials if the company deems them to be an incitement to violence.

While Zuckerberg did not explicitly mention the boycott, it was clear from the announcement he was trying to appease its critics. The US media landscape has been deluged by a wave of calls for advertiser boycotts that came in the wake of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. The action targeted primarily conservative outlets and speakers, and ended up being so widespread that it garnered the attention of US President Donald Trump, who considered making such behavior “illegal.”

Still, while Facebook has largely avoided explicit Twitter-style hounding of ‘wrong’ political opinions so far, the social-media platform has been frequently accused of censorship. Despite its proclaimed strive for “transparency,” Facebook is very vague on its policies about ‘forbidden’ content. It has been repeatedly caught flagging and removing certain posts for no obvious reason. One of the most recent scandals involved a colored version of an iconic World War II photo depicting a Soviet flag over the Reichstag – that was sanctioned on V-Day for showing “dangerous individuals and organizations.”

Other Silicon Valley giants, such as Twitter and Google-owned YouTube, have been waging an open war on comments deemed hateful or inflammatory. Twitter has been embroiled in a public spat with Trump, labeling several of his tweets as violating the company’s policy against “abusive behavior.”

June 27, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 3 Comments