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Democrats and Media Do Not Want to Weaken Facebook, Just Commandeer its Power to Censor

By Glenn Greenwald | October 5, 2021

Much is revealed by who is bestowed hero status by the corporate media. This week’s anointed avatar of stunning courage is Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager being widely hailed as a “whistleblower” for providing internal corporate documents to the Wall Street Journal relating to the various harms which Facebook and its other platforms (Instagram and WhatsApp) are allegedly causing.

The social media giant hurts America and the world, this narrative maintains, by permitting misinformation to spread (presumably more so than cable outlets and mainstream newspapers do virtually every week); fostering body image neurosis in young girls through Instagram (presumably more so than fashion magazines, Hollywood and the music industry do with their glorification of young and perfectly-sculpted bodies); promoting polarizing political content in order to keep the citizenry enraged, balkanized and resentful and therefore more eager to stay engaged (presumably in contrast to corporate media outlets, which would never do such a thing); and, worst of all, by failing to sufficiently censor political content that contradicts liberal orthodoxies and diverges from decreed liberal Truth. On Tuesday, Haugen’s star turn took her to Washington, where she spent the day testifying before the Senate about Facebook’s dangerous refusal to censor even more content and ban even more users than they already do.

There is no doubt, at least to me, that Facebook and Google are both grave menaces. Through consolidation, mergers and purchases of any potential competitors, their power far exceeds what is compatible with a healthy democracy. A bipartisan consensus has emerged on the House Antitrust Committee that these two corporate giants — along with Amazon and Apple — are all classic monopolies in violation of long-standing but rarely enforced antitrust laws. Their control over multiple huge platforms that they purchased enables them to punish and even destroy competitors, as we saw when Apple, Google and Amazon united to remove Parler from the internet forty-eight hours after leading Democrats demanded that action, right as Parler became the most-downloaded app in the country, or as Google suppresses Rumble videos in its dominant search feature as punishment for competing with Google’s YouTube platform. Facebook and Twitter both suppressed reporting on the authentic documents about Joe Biden’s business activities reported by The New York Post just weeks before the 2020 election. These social media giants also united to effectively remove the sitting elected President of the United States from the internet, prompting grave warnings from leaders across the democratic world about how anti-democratic their consolidated censorship power has become.

But none of the swooning over this new Facebook heroine nor any of the other media assaults on Facebook have anything remotely to do with a concern over those genuine dangers. Congress has taken no steps to curb the influence of these Silicon Valley giants because Facebook and Google drown the establishment wings of both parties with enormous amounts of cash and pay well-connected lobbyists who are friends and former colleagues of key lawmakers to use their D.C. influence to block reform. With the exception of a few stalwarts, neither party’s ruling wing really has any objection to this monopolistic power as long as it is exercised to advance their own interests.

And that is Facebook’s only real political problem: not that they are too powerful but that they are not using that power to censor enough content from the internet that offends the sensibilities and beliefs of Democratic Party leaders and their liberal followers, who now control the White House, the entire executive branch and both houses of Congress. Haugen herself, now guided by long-time Obama operative Bill Burton, has made explicitly clear that her grievance with her former employer is its refusal to censor more of what she regards as “hate, violence and misinformation.” In a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night, Haugen summarized her complaint about CEO Mark Zuckerberg this way: he “has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful and polarizing content gets more distribution and more reach.” Haugen, gushed The New York Times’ censorship-desperate tech unit as she testified on Tuesday, is “calling for regulation of the technology and business model that amplifies hate and she’s not shy about comparing Facebook to tobacco.”

Agitating for more online censorship has been a leading priority for the Democratic Party ever since they blamed social media platforms (along with WikiLeaks, Russia, Jill Stein, James Comey, The New York Times, and Bernie Bros) for the 2016 defeat of the rightful heir to the White House throne, Hillary Clinton. And this craving for censorship has been elevated into an even more urgent priority for their corporate media allies, due to the same belief that Facebook helped elect Trump but also because free speech on social media prevents them from maintaining a stranglehold on the flow of information by allowing ordinary, uncredentialed serfs to challenge, question and dispute their decrees or build a large audience that they cannot control. Destroying alternatives to their failing platforms is thus a means of self-preservation: realizing that they cannot convince audiences to trust their work or pay attention to it, they seek instead to create captive audiences by destroying or at least controlling any competitors to their pieties.

As I have been reporting for more than a year, Democrats do not make any secret of their intent to co-opt Silicon Valley power to police political discourse and silence their enemies. Congressional Democrats have summoned the CEO’s of Google, Facebook and Twitter four times in the last year to demand they censor more political speech. At the last Congressional inquisition in March, one Democrat after the next explicitly threatened the companies with legal and regulatory reprisals if they did not immediately start censoring more.

Pew survey from August shows that Democrats now overwhelmingly support internet censorship not only by tech giants but also by the government which their party now controls. In the name of “restricting misinformation,” more than 3/4 of Democrats want tech companies “to restrict false info online, even if it limits freedom of information,” and just under 2/3 of Democrats want the U.S. Government to control that flow of information over the internet:

The prevailing pro-censorship mindset of the Democratic Party is reflected not only by that definitive polling data but also by the increasingly brash and explicit statements of their leaders. At the end of 2020, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), newly elected after young leftist activists worked tirelessly on his behalf to fend off a primary challenge from the more centrist Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), told Facebook’s Zuckerberg exactly what the Democratic Party wanted. In sum, they demand more censorship:

This, and this alone, is the sole reason why there is so much adoration being constructed around the cult of this new disgruntled Facebook employee. What she provides, above all else, is a telegenic and seemingly informed “insider” face to tell Americans that Facebook is destroying their country and their world by allowing too much content to go uncensored, by permitting too many conversations among ordinary people that are, in the immortal worlds of the NYT‘s tech reporter Taylor Lorenz, “unfettered.”

When Facebook, Google, Twitter and other Silicon Valley social media companies were created, they did not set out to become the nation’s discourse police. Indeed, they affirmatively wanted not to do that. Their desire to avoid that role was due in part to the prevailing libertarian ideology of a free internet in that sub-culture. But it was also due to self-interest: the last thing social media companies wanted to be doing is looking for ways to remove and block people from using their product and, worse, inserting themselves into the middle of inflammatory political controversies. Corporations seek to avoid angering potential customers and users over political stances, not courting that anger.

This censorship role was not one they so much sought as one that was foisted on them. It was not really until the 2016 election, when Democrats were obsessed with blaming social media giants (and pretty much everyone else except themselves) for their humiliating defeat, that pressure began escalating on these executives to start deleting content liberals deemed dangerous or false and banning their adversaries from using the platforms at all. As it always does, the censorship began by targeting widely disliked figures — Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones and others deemed “dangerous” — so that few complained (and those who did could be vilified as sympathizers of the early offenders). Once entrenched, the censorship net then predictably and rapidly spread inward (as it invariably does) to encompass all sorts of anti-establishment dissidents on the right, the left, and everything in between. And no matter how much it widens, the complaints that it is not enough intensify. For those with the mentality of a censor, there can never be enough repression of dissent. And this plot to escalate censorship pressures found the perfect vessel in this stunningly brave and noble Facebook heretic who emerged this week from the shadows into the glaring spotlight. She became a cudgel that Washington politicians and their media allies could use to beat Facebook into submission to their censorship demands.

In this dynamic we find what the tech and culture writer Curtis Yarvin calls “power leak.” This is a crucial concept for understanding how power is exercised in American oligarchy, and Yarvin’s brilliant essay illuminates this reality as well as it can be described. Hyperbolically arguing that “Mark Zuckerberg has no power at all,” Yarvin points out that it may appear that the billionaire Facebook CEO is powerful because he can decide what will and will not be heard on the largest information distribution platform in the world. But in reality, Zuckerberg is no more powerful than the low-paid content moderators whom Facebook employs to hit the “delete” or “ban” button, since it is neither the Facebook moderators nor Zuckerberg himself who is truly making these decisions. They are just censoring as they are told, in obedience to rules handed down from on high. It is the corporate press and powerful Washington elites who are coercing Facebook and Google to censor in accordance with their wishes and ideology upon pain of punishment in the form of shame, stigma and even official legal and regulatory retaliation. Yarvin puts it this way:

However, if Zuck is subject to some kind of oligarchic power, he is in exactly the same position as his own moderators. He exercises power, but it is not his power, because it is not his will. The power does not flow from him; it flows through him. This is why we can say honestly and seriously that he has no power. It is not his, but someone else’s. . . .

Zuck doesn’t want to do any of this. Nor do his users particularly want it. Rather, he is doing it because he is under pressure from the press. Duh. He cannot even admit that he is under duress—or his Vietcong guards might just snap, and shoot him like the Western running-dog capitalist he is….

And what grants the press this terrifying power? The pure and beautiful power of the logos? What distinguishes a well-written post, like this one, from an equally well-written Times op-ed? Nothing at all but prestige. In normal times, every sane CEO will comply unhesitatingly with the slightest whim of the legitimate press, just as they will comply unhesitatingly with a court order. That’s just how it is. To not call this power government is—just playing with words.

As I have written before, this problem — whereby the government coerces private actors to censor for them — is not one that Yarvin was the first to recognize. The U.S. Supreme Court has held, since at least 1963, that the First Amendment’s “free speech” clause is violated when state officials issue enough threats and other forms of pressure that essentially leave the private actor with no real choice but to censor in accordance with the demands of state officials. Whether we are legally at the point where that constitutional line has been crossed by the increasingly blunt bullying tactics of Democratic lawmakers and executive branch officials is a question likely to be resolved in the courts. But whatever else is true, this pressure is very real and stark and reveals that the real goal of Democrats is not to weaken Facebook but to capture its vast power for their own nefarious ends.

There is another issue raised by this week’s events that requires ample caution as well. The canonized Facebook whistleblower and her journalist supporters are claiming that what Facebook fears most is repeal or reform of Section 230, the legislative provision that provides immunity to social media companies for defamatory or other harmful material published by their users. That section means that if a Facebook user or YouTube host publishes legally actionable content, the social media companies themselves cannot be held liable. There may be ways to reform Section 230 that can reduce the incentive to impose censorship, such as denying that valuable protection to any platform that censors, instead making it available only to those who truly allow an unmoderated platform to thrive. But such a proposal has little support in Washington. What is far more likely is that Section 230 will be “modified” to impose greater content moderation obligations on all social media companies.

Far from threatening Facebook and Google, such a legal change could be the greatest gift one can give them, which is why their executives are often seen calling on Congress to regulate the social media industry. Any legal scheme that requires every post and comment to be moderated would demand enormous resources — gigantic teams of paid experts and consultants to assess “misinformation” and “hate speech” and veritable armies of employees to carry out their decrees. Only the established giants such as Facebook and Google would be able to comply with such a regimen, while other competitors — including large but still-smaller ones such as Twitter — would drown in those requirements. And still-smaller challengers to the hegemony of Facebook and Google, such as Substack and Rumble, could never survive. In other words, any attempt by Congress to impose greater content moderation obligations — which is exactly what they are threatening — would destroy whatever possibility remains for competitors to arise and would, in particular, destroy any platforms seeking to protect free discourse. That would be the consequence by design, which is why one should be very wary of any attempt to pretend that Facebook and Google fear such legislative adjustments.

There are real dangers posed by allowing companies such as Facebook and Google to amass the power they have now consolidated. But very little of the activism and anger from the media and Washington toward these companies is designed to fracture or limit that power. It is designed, instead, to transfer that power to other authorities who can then wield it for their own interests. The only thing more alarming than Facebook and Google controlling and policing our political discourse is allowing elites from one of the political parties in Washington and their corporate media outlets to assume the role of overseer, as they are absolutely committed to doing. Far from being some noble whistleblower, Frances Haugen is just their latest tool to exploit for their scheme to use the power of social media giants to control political discourse in accordance with their own views and interests.

October 6, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vaccine effectiveness drops further in the over – 40s, to as low as minus 53%: New PHE report

And That’s a Fact

By Will Jones | The Daily Sceptic | September 24, 2021

It’s official: I am spouting misinformation about the Covid vaccines. Full Fact – the Google, Facebook and George Soros-funded outfit that Ofcom has said it relies on to tell it what to censor regarding COVID-19 – has ‘fact checked‘ my recent piece on PHE data showing negative vaccine effectiveness in August and branded it “incorrect”.

Writer Leo Benedictus – henceforth to be known as the Oracle – takes particular issue with the headline, which he says “falsely claims that a report from Public Health England (PHE) shows the COVID-19 vaccines having ‘negative effectiveness’ in the over-40s”.

“This is not true about the COVID-19 vaccines – nor is it true that the PHE report shows this,” the Oracle declares. Except it is. The data contained in the report is completely clear, and the calculation of unadjusted vaccine effectiveness from that data is straightforward.

According to the Oracle, however, this is not a valid way of estimating vaccine effectiveness. Benedictus quotes the PHE report stating as much – “The vaccination status of cases, inpatients and deaths is not the most appropriate method to assess vaccine effectiveness and there is a high risk of misinterpretation” – and notes that I too quote this. What he fails to acknowledge, though, is that I also examine the reason PHE gives for this claim and counter it.

The only substantive reason PHE gives that vaccine effectiveness might be underestimated in its data is that “vaccination has been prioritised in individuals who are more susceptible or more at risk of severe disease”. In other words, the high-risk are over-represented in the vaccinated and this skews the sample. I countered that the large majority of the older age groups are now vaccinated so this bias should be very much reduced. Of course, we also need to ask why, if this is supposedly the key confounder of the data presented, we are not also provided with the necessary data on risk categories so that it can be duly quantified and accounted for.

Benedictus reiterates PHE’s claim that vaccine effectiveness should only be estimated via the published studies. However, as I noted in my article, these studies are riddled with serious problems and inconsistencies that bring their findings into question. They are also out of date since they don’t cover the Delta surge, which is the first time the vaccines have really been stress-tested in the U.K.

Benedictus spends half the ‘fact check’ in a bizarre attempt to argue that my vaccine effectiveness calculation is wrong because I used the data PHE itself used for the size of the unvaccinated population. He points out it is different to the ONS figures on this. Er, take that one up with PHE, Leo.

It does seem at times that Benedictus is fact-checking the PHE report rather than my article. At one point he takes the report to task because one of its charts sowed confusion as it “seemed to show for the month in question (August 9th to September 5th) that people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s were more likely to test positive for Covid if they had been vaccinated than if they hadn’t”.

Except the chart didn’t ‘seem’ to show that; it did show that. Again though we are told that this data does “not give a reliable estimate of vaccine effectiveness” because of biases in the samples.

But who defines what makes an estimate of vaccine effectiveness ‘reliable’ enough to be permitted without being labelled false? All vaccine efficacy estimates have limitations arising from the limitations of the data, including those produced by PHE. I was careful to acknowledge the limitations of the estimates I was making, saying they were unadjusted for risk factors – though argued that this shouldn’t matter so much anymore given high coverage. There’s also the point that being high-risk may affect the risk of serious disease and death but there’s no reason to think it will have an impact on infection rates (save for the small number of immuno-compromised).

The unmistakable impression here is of a gatekeeping exercise by the Government and its outriders to ensure it controls the concept of vaccine effectiveness and no one unauthorised is allowed to make an estimate of it. Thus the availability of the data is carefully controlled and we only get a month at a time and without the additional data that would allow us to control for the supposed biases that the report tells us the data includes and which ‘invalidate’ any attempt to make an unauthorised calculation of vaccine effectiveness.

None of this concept-policing does anything to alter the facts, however. In recent weeks reported infection rates have been higher in the double vaccinated than in the unvaccinated for the over-40s. That means that, for this period, (unadjusted) vaccine effectiveness is negative in those age groups.

PHE has published two new reports since my article and in each the unadjusted vaccine efficacy has declined further. Here is the table using data from the latest report, covering August 23rd to September 19th (the related chart from the report itself is above).

It shows that in the two weeks since my article the vaccine effectiveness has dropped further, with unadjusted vaccine effectiveness in the over-40s now hitting as low as minus-53% among people in their 60s. This means that, on this data for this age group, the double vaccinated experienced a 53% higher reported infection rate than the unvaccinated in the past month. And that’s a fact.

Stop Press: Professor Norman Fenton and Professor Martin Neil on the Probability and Risk site have used age-adjusted all-cause mortality to estimate vaccine effectiveness and found that mortality rates are currently higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.

Stop Press 2: Professor David Paton has produced a good Twitter thread responding to one of the more well-informed critics of this (and other) pieces citing the PHE data.

September 25, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

New Proof Emerges of the Biden Family Emails: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer warns that emails and other documents reported on by The NY Post about Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China may be “Russian disinformation,” Oct. 16, 2020.
By Glenn Greenwald | September 22, 2021

A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.

But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation’s oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden’s son Hunter at a repair shop.

From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post‘s archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter’s own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden’s profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one’s career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.

Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was “Russian disinformation.” Note that this phrase contains two separate assertions: 1) the documents came from Russia and 2) they are fake (“disinformation”). The intelligence officials admitted in this letter that — in their words — “we do not know if the emails are genuine or not,” and also admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.” Yet it repeatedly insinuated that everyone should nonetheless believe this:

Letter from 60 former intelligence officials about the New York Post reporting, Oct. 19, 2020

But the complete lack of evidence for these claims — that even these career CIA liars acknowledged plagued their assertions — did not stop the corporate media or Big Tech from repeating this lie over and over, and, far worse, using this lie to censor this reporting from the internetOne of the first to spread this lie was the co-queen of Russiagate frauds, Natasha Bertrand, then of Politico and now promoted, because of lies like this, to CNN. “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” blared her headline in Politico on October 19, just five days after the Post began its reporting. From there, virtually every media outlet — CNN, NBC News, PBS, Huffington PostThe Intercept, and too many others to count — began completely ignoring the substance of the reporting and instead spread the lie over and over that these documents were the by-product of Russian disinformation.

On October 21 — exactly one week after the Post‘s first report — The Intercept published a false story under the melodramatic headline “We’re Not a Democracy” about these materials from former New York Times reporter James Risen. This propaganda assault masquerading as “news” mindlessly laundered the CIA’s lies about the laptop. This is what appeared in this outlet that still claims to do “adversarial” reporting:

Their latest falsehood once again involves Biden, Ukraine, and a laptop mysteriously discovered in a computer repair shop and passed to the New York Post…. This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation.

Note that even the intelligence officials, who acknowledged they had no evidence to support this claim, were more honest than The Intercept, which omitted that critical admission. Days later, this very same outlet — which I co-founded seven years earlier to be adversarial, not subservient, to evidence-free assertions from the intelligence community, and which was designed to be an antidote to rather than a clone of The New York Times — told me that I could not publish the article I had written about the Biden archive because it did not meet their lofty and rigorous editorial standards: the same lofty and rigorous editorial standards that led to uncritical endorsement of the CIA’s lies just days earlier. It was that episode, as Matt Taibbi recounted at the time, that prompted my resignation from the outlet I created in protest of this censorship, in order to report instead only on free speech platforms such as this one.

But the media disinformation about the Post‘s documents — obviously designed to protect Joe Biden in the lead-up to the election — were not the worst aspect of what happened here. Far worse was the decision by Twitter to prohibit any discussion of this reporting or posting of links to the story both publicly and privately on the platform. Worse still was the immediate announcement by Facebook through its communications executive Andy Stone — a life-long Democratic Party operative — that it would algorithmically suppress the story pending a “fact check” by “Facebook’s third-party fact-check partners.” Despite multiple requests from me and others, Facebook never published the results of this alleged fact-check and still refuse to say whether it ever conducted one. Why? Because the documents they blocked millions of Americans from learning about were clearly true and authentic.

As indicated, there was ample proof from the start that these documents were genuine and that the only ones engaged in “disinformation” and lies was this axis of the CIA, corporate media, and Big Tech. Yet the most dispositive proof yet emerged on Tuesday — not from a right-wing news outlet that liberals have been trained to ignore and disbelieve but from one of the most mainstream news institutions in the country.

A young reporter for Politico, Ben Schreckinger, has published a new book entitled “The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power.” To his great credit, he spent months investigating the key documents published by The New York Post and found definitive proof that these emails and related documents are indisputably authentic. His own outlet, Politico, was the first to publish the CIA lie that this was “Russian disinformation,” but on Tuesday — without acknowledging their role in spreading that lie — they summarized Schreckinger’s findings this way: the book “finds evidence that some of the purported Hunter Biden laptop material is genuine, including two emails at the center of last October’s controversy.” In his book, the reporter recounts in these passages just some of the extensive work he did to obtain this proof:

A person who corresponded with Hunter in late 2018 confirmed to me the authenticity of an email in the cache. Another person who corresponded with Hunter in January 2019 confirmed the authenticity of a different email exchange with Hunter in the cache. Both of these people spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fears of being embroiled in a global controversy.

A third person who had independent access to Hunter’s emails confirmed to me that the emails published by the New York Post related to Burisma and the CEFC venture matched the substance of emails Hunter had in fact received. (This person was not in a position to compare the published emails word-for-word to the originals.)

The National Property Board of Sweden, part of the Swedish Finance Ministry, has released correspondence between Hunter and House of Sweden employees to me and to a Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, under the country’s freedom of information law. Emails released by the property board match emails in the cache.

Excerpts from POLITICO reporter Ben Schreckinger’s new book: “The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power”, Sept. 2020

Given what I regard as the unparalleled gravity of what was done here — widespread media deceit toward millions of American voters in the weeks before a presidential election based on a CIA lie, along with brute censorship of the story by Big Tech — and given that so much of what was done here took place on television, we produced this morning what I regard as the definitive video report of this scandal. I realize this report is longer than the standard video — it is just over an hour — but I really believe that it is vital, particularly with the emergence of this new indisputable proof, to take a comprehensive look at how the intelligence community, in partnership with Big Tech and the corporate media, disseminated massive lies and disinformation, using censorship and other manipulative techniques, to shape the outcome of what was a close election. (We will very shortly institute our new feature of producing transcripts for all videos above ten minutes in length, but I really hope that as many people as can do so will watch this video report).

After observing what they did, I hope and believe you will have a similar reaction to the one I had after spending the day compiling and reporting it all. No matter how much you despise this sector of the corporate media, it is nowhere near close enough to the level of contempt and scorn they deserve. You can watch our video report on my Rumble page.

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook and Instagram delete Project Veritas vaccine video for “misinformation” that could cause “harm”

By Cindy Harper | Reclaim The Net | September 21, 2021

Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have removed a new video from the undercover reporting operatives Project Veritas under its “misinformation” policy.

“We encourage free expression, but we don’t allow false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm,” the Facebook message shared with Project Veritas read.

Facebook didn’t specifically state which part of the video caused them to decide to delete it.

The video in question featured a whistleblower from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), registered nurse Jodi O’Malley, making allegations that the federal government were underreporting the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In the video, O’Malley was discussing with Dr. Maria Gonzales, an ER doctor, who alleges that not all patients suffering from heart inflammation after taking the vaccine are being reported. “But now, they [the government] are not going to blame the vaccine,” Dr. Gonzales said of a patient who had suspected myocarditis.

On hearing of Facebook and Instagram removing the video, O’Keefe made another video sharing the news of the deletion of the video. “We’ve just learned that Facebook and Instagram have taken down this video, and we have a screenshot here which we received from Instagram… It says ‘your post goes against our community standards on misinformation that could cause physical harm.”

O’Malley disputed that the video contained any misinformation. “All I did was just record it,” O’Malley said. “I recorded their statements and I recorded the actual diagnosis, right, now they’re telling the physician the diagnosis [of the] patient is misinformation.”

The deletion of users’ posts based on Facebook’s policy on removing content about “COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm” was first reported around April of 2021 and is often used on posts that question the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Video | , | 1 Comment

Facebook censors German anti-lockdown movement under new rules to prevent users from organizing & amplifying ‘harmful’ ideas

RT | September 17, 2021

No longer content to go just after bots and trolls, Facebook has established a new category of “social harm” posted by genuine users, starting with purging pages and Instagram accounts of a German anti-lockdown group Querdenken.

Facebook’s head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher announced the action on Thursday, saying that his team has been working for months to “expand our network disruption efforts so we can address threats that come from groups of authentic accounts coordinating on our platform to cause social harm.”

The closest his post comes to defining “social harm” is content that “calls for violence or to discredit medical science.”

Gleicher says his group has removed a network of Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages and groups “for engaging in coordinated efforts to repeatedly violate our Community Standards, including posting harmful health misinformation, hate speech and incitement to violence.”

Sharing their domains on Facebook and Instagram has been blocked as well, he added, but noted that “we aren’t banning all Querdenken content.”

The Querdenken – German for “lateral thinking” – movement is “linked to off-platform violence and other social harms,” Gleicher wrote, adding that the content posted on the banned pages “primarily focused on promoting the conspiracy that the German government’s [Covid-19] restrictions are part of a larger plan to strip citizens of their freedoms and basic rights.”

According to Facebook, the group “typically portrayed violence as the way to overturn the pandemic-related government measures limiting personal freedoms.” The group “engaged in physical violence against journalists, police and medical practitioners in Germany,” Gleicher claimed citing “public reporting.”

Police officers scuffle with a demonstrator during a protest in Berlin, Germany, on August 1, 2021. © Reuters / Christian Mang

There have been multiple mass protests against coronavirus lockdowns in Germany, with the authorities denouncing them as the work of the “far-right,” neo-Nazis and other extremists. While the UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer raised concerns about police brutality in dispersing the demonstrations, last month, Berlin police responded that violence is “still part of our legal system.”

“Direct enforcement is violence. Violence harms. Violence hurts. Violence looks violent,” Berlin police spokesperson Thilo Cablitz told DPA last month.

Facebook has cracked down hard on “debunked” and “false” claims about the Covid-19 pandemic, loosely defined as anything that contradicts the guidance by the World Health Organization or national health authorities. It stopped censoring the claim that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China back in May, however, citing “new facts and trends” that emerged.

September 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook pays contractors to read your ‘encrypted’ WhatsApp messages, shares info with prosecutors

RT | September 8, 2021

When Facebook acquired WhatsApp, it promised to respect the privacy of its users. That hasn’t been the case, and the firm now employs thousands of staff to read supposedly-encrypted chats.

Social media behemoth Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg promising to keep the stripped-down, ad-free messaging app “exactly the same.” End-to-end encryption was introduced in 2016, with the app itself offering on-screen assurances to users that “No one outside of this chat” can read their communications, and Zuckerberg himself telling the US Senate in 2018 that “We don’t see any of the content in WhatsApp.”

Allegedly, none of that is true. More than a thousand content moderators are employed at shared Facebook/WhatsApp offices in Austin, Texas, Dublin, Ireland, and Singapore to sift through messages reported by users and flagged by artificial intelligence.

Based on internal documents, interviews with moderators, and a whistleblower complaint, ProPublica explained how the system works in a lengthy investigation published on Wednesday.

When a user presses ‘report’ on a message, the message itself plus the preceding four messages in the chat are unscrambled and sent to one of these moderators for review. Moderators also examine messages picked out by artificial intelligence, based on unencrypted data collected by WhatsApp. The data collected by the app is extensive, and includes:

“The names and profile images of a user’s WhatsApp groups as well as their phone number, profile photo, status message, phone battery level, language and time zone, unique mobile phone ID and IP address, wireless signal strength and phone operating system, as a list of their electronic devices, any related Facebook and Instagram accounts, the last time they used the app and any previous history of violations.”

These moderators are not employees of WhatsApp or Facebook. Instead they are contractors working for $16.50 per hour, hired by consulting firm Accenture. These workers are bound to silence by nondisclosure agreements, and their hiring went unannounced by Facebook.

Likewise, the actions of these moderators go unreported. Facebook releases quarterly ‘transparency reports’ for its own platform and subsidiary Instagram, detailing how many accounts were banned or otherwise disciplined and for what, but does not do this for WhatsApp.

Many of the messages reviewed by moderators are flagged in error. WhatsApp has two billion users who speak hundreds of languages, and staff sometimes have to rely on Facebook’s translation tool to analyze flagged messages, which one employee said is “horrible” at decoding local slang and political content.

Aside from false reports submitted as pranks, moderators have to analyze perfectly innocent content highlighted by AI. Companies using the app to sell straight-edge razors have been flagged as selling weapons. Parents photographing their bathing children have been flagged for child porn, and lingerie companies have been flagged as forbidden “sexually oriented business[es].”

“A lot of the time, the artificial intelligence is not that intelligent,” one moderator told ProPublica.

WhatsApp acknowledged that it analyzes messages to weed out “the worst” abusers, but doesn’t call this “content moderation.”

“We actually don’t typically use the term for WhatsApp,” Director of Communications Carl Woog told ProPublica. “The decisions we make around how we build our app are focused around the privacy of our users, maintaining a high degree of reliability and preventing abuse.”

Facebook has lied about its commitment to user privacy before. Two years after Zuckerberg assured users that his company would keep WhatsApp ad-free and let the company “operate completely autonomously,” he revealed plans to link WhatsApp accounts to Facebook for the purposes of ad targeting. This move earned Facebook a $122 million fine from EU antitrust regulators, who said the Facebook CEO had “intentionally or negligently” deceived them.

Despite Zuckerberg’s assurances of privacy, WhatsApp shares more user metadata (data that can identify a user without the content of their messages) with law enforcement than rival messaging services from Apple and Signal. This metadata, which can reveal phone numbers, location, timestamps, and more, is valuable to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s 2013 leaks revealing a large-scale operation by the agency to capture the metadata of millions of Americans’ communications.

“Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life,” former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker once said. “If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.”

Across all of its platforms, Facebook complies with 95% of requests for metadata. While it is unknown what law enforcement has been able to glean from WhatsApp metadata, the US Department of Justice has requested this metadata more than a dozen times since 2017 and likely far more frequently, given many of these requests are not made public. WhatsApp metadata has been used to jail Natalie Edwards, a former Treasury Department official who leaked confidential banking reports about suspicious transactions to BuzzFeed News.

Inside WhatsApp, the company stresses the importance of promoting itself as a privacy-focused operation. A marketing document obtained by ProPublica states that WhatsApp should portray itself as “courageous,” taking a “strong, public stance that is not financially motivated on things we care about,” such as defending encryption and user privacy.

However, another line in the same document states that “future business objectives” mean that “while privacy will remain important, we must accommodate for future innovations.”

September 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Putin doesn’t have online accounts & thinks there are better uses of his time than posting on Twitter or Facebook

RT | September 2, 2021

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin isn’t active online because he doesn’t have enough time to post, scroll and click, the Kremlin has revealed, saying he has rejected the idea of having an aide manage public profiles on his behalf.

Speaking to journalists at the Eastern Economic Forum on Thursday, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, revealed the Russian leader thinks there are better uses of his time than setting up an account on Twitter or Facebook. “Putin himself does not use social networks,” the Kremlin official said, chalking the decision up to pressures on his diary.

However, there is apparently no question about deputizing the job to an adviser. “He does not want anyone to do it for him,” Peskov said. “He considers it wrong.”

In 2017, taking questions at a meeting with especially-gifted children, Putin said there was no slot in his day for social media. “My working days are so busy and finish so late at night that I am not in the mood for Instagram,” he said. “All I think about is to get to bed to sleep,” the president added.

However, he warned that there are numerous satirical and fake accounts set up in his name. “I have nothing to do with any of them. Just beware of that. So, everything that is written on my behalf is not me,” Putin said.

A prolific social media user, Former President Donald Trump is estimated to have tweeted more than 25,000 times during his presidency, before tech giants, including Twitter, banned him from the service in the wake of protesters storming Washington’s Capitol building in January.

September 2, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Biden administration demands Facebook hands over data on “misinformation” and vaccine skeptics

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | August 21, 2021

The Biden administration continues to pressure Facebook to collaborate and help it achieve its goals, one of them being to counter COVID vaccine skepticism and get more people in the US vaccinated.

After Biden shockingly denounced Facebook and others as “killing people” because they are allegedly letting COVID misinformation run rampant on their platforms, that pressure now continues in media reports, like the one The Washington Post published, citing three anonymous administration sources.

According to them, The White House and Facebook have had a series of meetings whose aim was to get the social media giant to turn over massive amounts of user data to the government, apparently as a “good will gesture” – since there doesn’t seem to be any legal ground for such a request.

Instead, the “tense” meetings saw the administration’s COVID crew “begging” Facebook to give them access to data showing how many people on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp see content branded as coronavirus misinformation, how many are still undecided whether to get the jab, and also the efficiency of Facebook’s censorship algorithms, i.e., how many people still get to see content that it aims to block.

It’s not obvious why the officials quoted by the article thought Facebook was under obligation to do this, but they accused the company of “hiding, filibustering and deflecting” – while at the same time commending Google and Twitter for apparently being much more accommodating in similar meetings around the same subject.

Although it is clear that these meetings are initiated and the data sought by the government, the criticism of Facebook in this matter conflates the notions of government and the public, saying it was the latter that “needs to understand” the scale of COVID misinformation and how to “potentially” fight this real or perceived problem.

The data Facebook has collected from its billions of users is described as “singular” and so complex and fine-grained that it can reveal people’s behavior and position on issues – clearly this is where the belief that the data would show the Biden administration how many users are still undecided on the vaccine comes from.

“It’s not that they wouldn’t provide data. It’s that they wouldn’t provide meaningful data, and you end up with a lot of information that doesn’t necessarily have value,” Andy Slavitt, who represented The White House in the meetings, said.

August 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook suspends Canadian political candidate Marc Emery during campaign season

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | August 22, 2021

A Canadian candidate for political office who is currently running for a seat in parliament has been suspended by Facebook, most likely for posts critical of the country’s COVID policy.

Facebook cited five posts published over the past year as the reason, and one of them, Marc Emery took aim at what he called “the evil Covid dictatorship.”

The ban – which will last as long as his campaign and thus cut him off from communicating with his potential voters on the world’s largest social media site – came because Facebook found the posts to violate its community standards on “hate speech.”

Emery, who is a libertarian and a candidate of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), is also an activist and entrepreneur who is known as “prince of pot” for his previous activism to legalize cannabis, and who has run for various offices in the past.

It was precisely the government’s response to the pandemic and the way many Canadians are accepting the sometimes draconian restrictions that inspired Emery to return to politics.

Among the posts that Facebook said contained hate speech is one featuring photos of a takeout bag from a restaurant ruined by lockdowns. Emery linked the shutting down of the restaurant with Canadians being “soft, weak, unprincipled” and “virtually begging for this dictatorship because of hysteria, propaganda, lies and manipulation.”

In the same post, he accused what he said was “the hysterical and evil Covid dictatorship” for destroying businesses every day, something he added was a tyranny happening at all levels of government.

The rest of the posts marked as “hate speech” show what is said to be marijuana that Emery bought legally, and one of cannabis samples he received as a gift.

August 24, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 3 Comments

Twitter will allow you to deny the genocide of Palestinians, but not a ‘Uighur genocide’, so I’ve been banned

By Maram Susli | RT | August 7, 2021

Big Tech censors are shutting down voices like mine, because they don’t like me exposing the truth of what’s going on in Palestine. But they’re happy with tweets about killings in Xinjiang, even when there’s no evidence for it.

Twitter has a bizarre new policy of censoring political discourse around ‘violent events’. On the 21st of July, I woke up to find my account was locked for supposedly violating “rules against abuse and harassment”. I have had my account for 10 years and amassed a following of 150,000. I use it, or rather used to, to share my articles and interviews. The flagged tweet stated:

“There is a genocide against Palestinians. But there’s no Uighur genocide. There is evidence for one but not the other. We can see Palestinians being slaughtered. On top of which Israeli leaders have admitted they want to exterminate Palestinians. The truth shall set you free”.

The only thing that was wrong in this tweet was that “the truth shall set you free”. Turns out, the truth shall send you to Twitter jail. I do not believe my tweet violated Twitter’s terms and conditions, which makes this scenario all the more insidious. It means that any tweet in the future, no matter how innocuous, could get you censored. Rather than accept Twitter’s demand to delete the tweet and get back my Twitter after 12 hours, I decided to take a stand by appealing the decision.

I’m no stranger to censorship by Big Tech. In 2018, I woke up to find that my Facebook account of 40,000 followers had vanished alongside a slew of headlines that the British government had deemed me a “Russian bot”. After a series of videos and interviews which proved that I am, in fact, human, my account was restored without any acknowledgement of, or apology for, what had occurred.

I’m not unique in my experience of such censorship. I am one of many people who have been unceremoniously silenced on social media, sometimes without a reason given. The demand for censorship by special interest groups has increased to the point that Big Tech have had to relegate the job to artificial intelligence, which gets things wrong about half the time.

This is what I had initially assumed had occurred with my tweet, that it was all a mistake that would quickly be rectified once a human moderator reviewed it. Wrong. That was almost two weeks ago, and my tweet is still, apparently, under appeal. A quick Google search revealed that many people have waited months without any human oversight over the appeals process. I decided to email Twitter support. But what I heard back was even more shocking.

“We’re writing to let you know that your account features will remain limited for the allotted time due to violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically our rules against abusive behaviour and denial of violent events.”

Twitter’s letter to Maram

It appears Twitter has now deemed questioning the lack of evidence for a “Uighur genocide” as a “denial of violent events” and hence a thought crime. Yet there is currently no United Nations body which has concluded that there’s such a Uighur genocide going on. Even journalists writing in The Economist and the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) have questioned whether the genocide label is the right fit for what is happening to Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province.

In fact, no one is even accusing China of conducting mass killings of Uighurs, or a ‘violent event’ in Twitter’s terms. What has been claimed is that China is putting Uighurs in a prison camp. China says the men are being put in “vocational education and training centers”, and says they have terrorist sympathies; the US contends that they are being put into the camps simply for being Muslim.

I am originally from Syria, so I know all about war and genocide. I also know that up to 5,000 Uighur fighters joined Al Qaeda to fight against Syria and that terrorism has been a real threat faced by both Syria and China. Regardless, a prison camp does not constitute a genocide; if it did, the US would be charged with genocide for having put Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay for the last 20 years. Let alone the mass incarceration of its own peoples, many of them disportionately black, in ordinary jails.

This goes to show the hypocrisy of how Twitter selectively implements its rules. You will not be censored off Twitter for denying the genocide of Palestinians. Even though there is decades of undeniable evidence of systematic massacres and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the state of Israel. Palestinians are kicked out of their homes, thrown in jail or killed simply for the ‘crime’ of being Palestinian. They’re not allowed to raise their own flag, retain their identity or even move freely in their own land. In contrast, there is no evidence nor even an accusation of massacres against Uighurs. Ironically, it is the existence of this double standard that my tweet tried to highlight, and Twitter’s censorship has proved my point.

The narrative of the ‘Uighur genocide’ is the latest humanitarian crisis thought up by Washington to justify the next war, and Twitter is selectively censoring anyone who dares question that narrative. Lest we forget how many millions have died across the Middle East thanks to the US, based on exactly such lies. The babies in incubators that sold the first Gulf War. The non-existent WMDs that sold the war in Iraq. The lies about Gaddafi using black mercenaries in Libya. The lies about Syria’s chemical attacks which were used to justify multiple bombing campaigns and the current occupation of that country by the US and its stooges. An occupation that, along with sanctions, is starving 17 millions Syrians of bread and fuel. These lies, that Twitter is denying us the right to question, are what cause real violence. By selectively choosing which claims of violence can and cannot be denied, Twitter has become an echo chamber of the US State department.

I would be remiss not to mention the pro-Israel lobby’s involvement in this. It’s possible the reason for my censorship has more to do with the declaration of a Palestinian genocide than the lack of evidence for a Uighur genocide. My Twitter account was recently mentioned in the Israeli media for defending former Senator Cynthia Mckinney’s right to free speech. It cannot be a coincidence that my Facebook account was also recently locked twice for posting a video that compared Israel to ISIS. I’m also a frequent target of the infamous pro-Israel wikipedia editor “Philip Cross”, who attempts to defame me and many other prominent anti-war voices. It’s possible we are being targeted for our pro-Palestine stance, and any excuse will do to silence us.

What’s the solution to this censorship? It is inevitable that we must migrate to social media alternatives to Big Tech. Twitter alternatives such as PanQuake and GAB, and YouTube alternatives such as Bitchute and Odysee, could eventually overtake the giants. In the meantime, we must take a stand for free speech wherever possible. I reached out to Twitter to give them a chance to comment, but I have not heard back. If you’d like to question them on their censorship, please feel free to tweet this article at @Twittersupport.

Maram Susli is a Syrian-Australian political analyst and commentator.

August 7, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Twitter To Work With Reuters & AP To Tackle Disinformation

By Richie Allen | August 3, 2021

Reuters and The Associated Press will work with Twitter to tackle disinformation on the social media site. The news agencies will provide Twitter with context and background information on events which create a high volume of Tweets.

Twitter believes that the collaboration will boost its efforts to stop the spread of misleading information and remove so-called fake news from its platform. Another way of putting it is that Twitter has appointed itself, Reuters and AP as the arbiters of what is true and what isn’t.

According to the BBC:

Currently, when large or rapidly growing conversations happen on Twitter that may be noteworthy or controversial, Twitter’s Curation team finds and promotes relevant context from reliable sources in order to counter potentially misleading information posted by users.

In a blogpost, Twitter said the new programme would “increase the scale and speed” of this work by increasing their “capacity to add reliable context to conversations happening on Twitter”.

Twitter and Facebook are the embodiment of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. They have total control of public discourse. It is terrifying. Social media was given to the world as a gift, but in reality it was a trojan horse.

We were told that we could connect and interact with one another in ways that were previously unimaginable. We were told that we could increase our visibility, enhance education, access markets, disseminate information and connect with people in real time and at any time.

In reality we were kettled. It was a coup. Twitter, Facebook and the rest were set up for one reason and one reason only, to administer truth. In 1984, Orwell’s ministry of truth was a misnomer. It didn’t spread truth, rather it spread falsehoods and propaganda to keep citizens in a perpetual state of fear and confusion. Sound familiar?

It’s exactly what Twitter and Facebook does today. Orwell’s ministry introduced newspeak to the population. In Orwell’s world, newspeak is a simplified language designed to reduce complicated issues to a few simple absolutes.

Again, doesn’t that sound familiar? Where do you think terms like hate speech, hate crime, white privilege and transphobia came from? Newspeak placed limits on citizens ability to think for themselves. Social media companies are doing it today. They don’t even try to hide it.

Working with the World Health Organisation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its subsidiaries, Twitter and Facebook sold the fake covid pandemic to the world. They also ruthlessly de-platformed anyone who dared to challenge it, no matter what their credentials were.

Newspeak is everywhere. Hands, Face, Space. Keep your distance. Don’t kill Granny. Protect the NHS.

Now Twitter has announced that it will be collaborating with the two biggest news agencies on the planet, to help rid the world of fake news once and for all. Facebook will follow suit. Dissent will not be tolerated.

It makes you wonder what’s coming next, doesn’t it?

August 3, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 2 Comments

Facebook bans English Historian YouTuber Tom Rowsell

By Christina Maas | Reclaim the Net | July 28, 2021

A British historian, filmmaker, and writer announced he and his wife have been permanently banned from Facebook without explanation or warning. The historian speculated that he was banned for what the social media platform suspects him of thinking.

“My wife and I both just had our facebook pages deleted without warning, or reason given nor is there an option to appeal,” Tom Rowsell posted on his Patreon account. “There was nothing on there that went against community standards. The page had no strikes at all. They have given up all pretence of reason, and are just unpersoning people without reason.”

Rowsell, born 1985, is a writer, filmmaker, and historian known for his 2014 film From Runes to Ruins and his YouTube channel “Survive the Jive,” that focuses on history.

The channel has over 139,000 subscribers, and he describes it as an initiative whose focus is the “religions of ancient Europe’.” and to examine the “linguistics, genetics, anthropology and other disciplines in order to gain insights into ancient peoples.”

Speaking to MRC Free Speech America, Rowsell said the ban would have a negative impact on his business and the social life of him and his wife.

“The page was very helpful for me to raise awareness of my video content and was therefore part of my business. It had no community strikes or objectionable content on it,” Rowsell said.

He further explained: “This will inevitably negatively impact my earnings but also my social life and that of my wife who uses that platform to stay in touch with her family in Sweden.”

Speculating why he was banned, Rowsell said: “I think this has social implications since I am only posting about historical subjects and not the controversial topics of immigration and vaccines that normally get people banned. I may be the first person banned not for what [I] have said, but for what they suspect me to think. Obviously this isn’t as big a deal as when they banned the President, but can be seen as a next step in their steady decline into totalitarian censorship.”

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment