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YouTube suppressed Tulsi Gabbard search results during Hillary Clinton ‘foreign asset’ row

RT | October 23, 2019

Conservative internet personality Steven Crowder has accused YouTube of suppressing search results for 2020 Democratic hopeful Tulsi Gabbard during her recent spat with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Following Clinton’s suggestion last Friday that Gabbard (D-Hawaii) was being “groomed” by foreign election-meddlers, the dovish congresswoman shot back with a harsh rebuttal labeling Clinton the “queen of warmongers,” but in a lengthy video posted on Tuesday, Crowder says YouTube concealed her content amid the dispute.

Using a virtual private network (VPN) to observe search results in different countries, Crowder claims to have found evidence the platform demoted Gabbard’s official campaign videos for searches conducted in the US.

The first VPN test was carried out last Friday and compared search results from the US and Spain, showing Gabbard’s channel and videos were buried far below other content in American queries at the height of her feud with Clinton.

A second test two days later, after the Clinton quarrel had calmed down, had a much different outcome, showing similar results between searches attempted in the two countries.

Crowder, who ran afoul of YouTube earlier this year and had his own channel demonetized, claims the platform deliberately throttled Gabbard’s content to limit her message in an attempt at “election meddling.”

Over the summer, Gabbard filed a lawsuit against YouTube’s parent company, Google, alleging the tech giant intentionally blocked her campaign ads on the heels of a Democratic presidential debate that – as shown by Google’s own search analytics – generated intense interest in her candidacy.

A number of conservative commentators weighed in on the allegation, noting the “chilling effect” such suppression could have on anyone challenging “establishment politicians” and the Washington swamp.

“We all knew, now we have proof,” another commenter said.

Some in Crowder’s camp took issue with the claim, however, with New York congressional candidate Joey ‘Salads’ Saladino arguing the comedian failed to prove what he alleged.

Another critic similarly challenged Crowder’s accusation, stating his tests did not show any manipulation of search results, but rather a new feature on YouTube which prioritizes news items curated by its partner “fact checkers” over other videos. While YouTube says the feature was rolled out to combat “misinformation,” it nonetheless raises questions about how the platform chooses which stories to serve up to viewers, at the expense of other content.

October 23, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 3 Comments

‘My Work is Rock Solid’: Researcher Defends Google Electioneering Findings Bashed by Clinton

Sputnik – August 30, 2019

When US President Donald Trump cited a report on Google’s election manipulation last week, Hillary Clinton and the mainstream media attacked both the study and its author as inaccurate. However, the author told Sputnik not only is his research “rock solid,” its damning indictment of Google includes Clinton and the Democrats, too.

“I have concerns about three big areas: one is surveillance, the second is censorship, and the third, which is the one I focus on in my research, is manipulation,” Dr. Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, told Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines [Interview begins at 132:30] Thursday. His findings were cited in August 19 tweets by both Clinton and Trump in their continuing spat over the results of the 2016 election, when they found themselves at odds over who would become the 45th US president.

“Both of those assertions are completely false; my work is rock solid,” he told Sputnik, referring to Clinton’s claim that his work was debunked and had relied on a tiny data selection. “It adheres to the very highest standards of scientific research; it always has.”

“We have this false impression that Google provides a bunch of free services and that that’s all Google is,” he said. “They’re not free services! Those services are all just … gussied-up surveillance platforms. And then they take the information and they sell it to advertisers, and that has produced almost 90% of their revenue for almost 20 years. They’re an advertising company.”

Epstein first sought to dispel the idea that he had it out for either Clinton or Google.

“I’ve been a supporter of the Clintons, period, for decades,” he clarified to hosts Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan, also noting, “I admire Google. They’re an amazing, amazing company.”

Remarking about his research into the impact of search result placement on the opinions of the information-seekers, Epstein said, “I’ve learned not just about search results but about all kinds of new ways in which these big tech platforms, particularly Google, can shift opinions about anything, can shift millions of votes, without anyone knowing they’re being influenced and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace.”

“My first big, big report, on what I call SEME – Search Engine Manipulation Effect – the power that search results have to shift opinions and votes massively around the world, that report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” he said, noting it was ranked in the top 1% of the academy’s papers.

Epstein said Clinton got the assertion that his study had been debunked and that it relied on 21 people, instead of tens of thousands, “from Google,” noting that she obviously didn’t look into his research.

“I kinda get it: she has a very cozy relationship with Google. I could talk for an hour about just that issue: I mean, her number 1 donor in 2016 was Google; her chief technology officer, Stephanie Hannon, was a former Google executive; the head of Google, Eric Schmidt, offered to run her tech campaign in writing,” Epstein said. “And he set up a secretive tech company called ‘The Groundwork,’ that he ran and he financed, as the head of Google, the sole purpose of which was to put Hillary Clinton into office.”

However, Clinton’s criticisms of Epstein soon grabbed the attention of the mainstream media, and through a mix of ‘telephone game’ and dramatic amplification soon reached absurd proportions. “I mean, everywhere, I’ve been slaughtered, I’ve been crucified,” he said.

“My research has opened up a Pandora’s Box, because my research shows that if the platform itself – Google – if the platform itself wants to favor one music service or one comparative shopping service or one candidate or one party, guess what? There’s no way you can counteract that. And it turns out that those search rankings are so powerful in shifting opinions that they can easily flip elections,” he said.

A recent Google casualty might be anti-monopolist presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who has opened a $50 million lawsuit alleging that Google arbitrarily suspended her presidential campaign’s advertising account during a key fundraising period following the first Democratic debate in late June, when she was the most-searched among all candidates in the debate. Now that she has failed to qualify for the third debate, for which one of the key requirements was meeting certain fundraising goals, the damage done to the candidate by Google’s suspension is palpable.

Epstein admitted that Google’s “ephemeral” search results, uniquely generated for each person, were impossible to track – at first. That made it hard to prove in practice that such a biased influence exists. “In 2016, I built the first-ever system for monitoring search results, and I captured 13,207 election-related searches – not just on Google, [but on] Google, Bing and Yahoo – and the 98,000 web pages to which the search results linked, analyzed the data, found tremendous pro-Hillary Clinton bias on Google, but not on Bing or Yahoo.”

“I believe in democracy and our country and the free and fair election more than I believe in any particular candidate or party, period,” Epstein told Sputnik, noting he’d said the same in his testimony before Congress earlier this month. “So I am reporting what I have found, and it’s very disturbing, and it’s a serious threat to the free and fair election, to democracy, to human autonomy … I’m just speaking the truth about what I have found, and what I have found is rock solid and extremely, extremely frightening.”

“And it’s affected not just the United States: Google, and to a lesser extent Facebook, are impacting the opinions, attitudes, purchases, beliefs, votes, of more than 2-and-a-half billion people in virtually every country in the world,” he said. “That number will soon be over 4 billion people.”

August 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Caving under MSM pressure? Tulsi Gabbard interview on The View has some supporters fuming

© Reuters / Brian Snyder
RT | February 21, 2019

US Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is being accused of “flip-flopping” on her Syria stance and “caving” to mainstream media pressure after a combative interview on The View.

Questioned aggressively by panelist Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, Gabbard said there was “no disputing the fact” that Syrian President Bashar Assad is a “brutal dictator” who “used chemical weapons against his people.”

The comments stand in stark contrast to previous statements made by the Hawaii congresswoman, who in the past said she was “skeptical” about allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on citizens and called US efforts to overthrow Assad an “illegal war.”

She faced a major backlash from both the media and her colleagues in congress for taking a trip to Syria and meeting Assad himself in 2017.

While Gabbard tried to offer a balanced view of the situation in Syria, it was the antagonistic questioning from McCain that immediately grabbed headlines, with many framing the interviewer in a heroic light for “confronting” Gabbard, the “Assad apologist.”

During the interview, Gabbard also said that US military interventions are often “begun and waged from a place of humanitarianism” despite having previously taken a tougher stance on “military adventurism” and the reasons behind it.

Gabbard did push back many times against the panel of hostile hosts, saying repeatedly that US interventions have historically made bad situations worse and increased suffering, some of her supporters accused her of folding in the face of “bullying” from McCain.

Others acknowledged that Gabbard might have been trying to appease the panelists to get her wider point about the human costs of US interventions across, but argued that she risked alienating the people who already supported her in the process — and said that if she starts making concessions now, she will be forced to make more.

When the conversation turned to Venezuela, Gabbard angered the panel again, saying that the US trying to choose the leader of that country was “not something that serves the interests of the Venezuelan people,” despite co-host Ana Navarro’s hailing Donald Trump for “leading the solidarity and support of freedom-loving Venezuelans.”

February 21, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , | 5 Comments

As she enters White House race, demonization of ‘Kremlin’s crush’ Tulsi Gabbard goes full tilt

By Igor Ogorodnev | RT | February 3, 2019

The sky may have been clear in Hawaii when Tulsi Gabbard read her speech promising to fight “greed and corruption,” but she enters her bid under a cloud of negative media coverage and accusations of being Russia’s darling.

At first glance Gabbard would seem almost too perfect for the Democratic candidate to face Trump in 2020: a 37-year-old part-Samoan woman, who previously broke off a promising career in local politics to volunteer for combat zone service in Iraq, and is unfailingly popular with voters on her home island.

“What our country needs now more than ever is the spirit of Aloha. That spirit of respect and love for one another and for our country,” she said in a launch speech that the 2008 Barack Obama, himself, might have found too idealistically bland.

Hours earlier, in a two-author NBC investigation an entirely different picture had been painted of the “controversial” Gabbard – the centerpoint of “the first stirrings of an upcoming Russian campaign” in which the Kremlin “propaganda machine” would seek to inject pro-Russian positions into the Democratic Party’s discussions and debates with help from “inauthentic accounts.”

I’m Not With Her

To understand why Gabbard is not treated as a customary feel-good story of a woman breaking multiple glass ceilings, but as a tool of the Kremlin, several pages of her biography need to be revisited.

The first, her resignation from the senior post of Vice President of the Democratic National Committee in protest at the lack of scheduled debates between frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the rising Bernie Sanders, whom she subsequently went on to endorse.

The second, a now-famous meeting with Bashar Assad in 2017, and Gabbard’s insistence that Washington should not engage in “regime change” or sponsorship of radical militant organizations in Syria or anywhere else.

Those two incidents alone have pitted Gabbard against two major establishment forces, and that is before one gets into the details of her socialist-tinged platform from healthcare for all to anti-Wall Street policy proposals. Or her support of stronger border control, which puts her at odds with her party’s official position.

Friendly fire

None of Gabbard’s stances are beyond debate, but she may not even get as far as debating them in public with the other Democrat nominees, if her campaign is dead on arrival. And the media hasn’t been her friend.

All candidates face scrutiny and an airing of their skeletons, but not only has she received less airtime than fellow relative novices Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, but the overall coverage of Gabbard has been uncharacteristically toxic, perhaps comparable only to the Democratic ostracism of Howard Schultz, following the former Starbucks CEO’s unbidden decision to enter the race.

The favored genre has been the expose.

In the past month alone: CNN has dug up Gabbard’s activism and comments, some dating back to the late 1990s, when she was a teenager, against same-sex marriage, for a campaign backed by her legislator father. The Intercept has accused her of associating with Hindu Nationalists, while the Daily Beast has published an article under the title ‘Horseshoe theory: Why Conservative Media and the Far Right Love Tulsi Gabbard for President’, in which it was emphasized that the “enigmatic” Gabbard had “earned substantial praise” from, among others, white nationalist David Duke. Huffington Post accused her of hypocrisy for accepting money from arms manufacturers in the past, even though she never concealed that fact, and is in reality one of just several members of the House who explicitly refuse campaign donations.

Politico published a detailed dissection of her campaign being “in disarray” based on detailed unattributed revelations from the inside, while Daily Kos, the Democrat politics blog, has already endorsed her rival for the 2020 Congress run, which equates to the real election in a district where the Democrats have never lost against the GOP.

‘Defended’ her in an article – how dare they?

On Friday, came NBC’s coup de grace.

“An NBC News analysis of the main English-language news sites employed by Russia in its 2016 election meddling shows Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is set to make her formal announcement Saturday, has become a favorite of the sites Moscow used when it interfered in 2016,” wrote the authors, one of whom Ben Popken, concluded that the Kremlin “has a crush” on Gabbard when he posted his article to Twitter.

The “analysis” – which appears to have been a name search – found that 20 articles have been published on Gabbard by RT (is it 21 now?), Sputnik and Russia Insider, twice as many as Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. And not just that, but in these articles Gabbard was not mentioned “perfunctorily” but “celebrated” and “defended” despite her “lack of voter recognition.”

Even supposing that all that is correct, does RT have to cover Joe Biden every time it mentions Tulsi Gabbard? Elizabeth Warren? Julian Castro? Should CNN stop putting Kamala Harris in almost every piece about the race? As a non-US news outlet is RT allowed to find her non-interventionist views more interesting for its international audience than those of a status quo Democratic runner? What about as an alternative media outlet? Should covering a candidate who “lacks voter recognition” be considered suspicious? How much of this is sufficient to justify accusations of meddling and being branded a “Russian troll” and presumably sanctioned? Does all of this apply when the US media writes about Juan Guaido in Venezuela?

But wait, there are also “experts who track inauthentic social media accounts” who back this up.

“A few of our analysts saw some chatter on 8chan saying she was a good ‘divider’ candidate to amplify,” New Knowledge’s director of research Renee DiResta told NBC. 8chan? Chatter? Also New Knowledge? The establishment Democrat tech outfit that has just been caught planting and creating fake Russian bots in the Alabama election as part of a false flag operation. They are your experts, NBC?

Even much of Dem-voting Twitter was appalled at such a ham-fisted smear job.

Incompetent, threat or victim of smear campaign?

The media are now fulfilling their own prophecies, as they publish pieces about the “rocky” or “chaotic” start to Gabbard’s campaign. As she keeps going on the defensive – apologizing for the gay marriage remarks, standing firm on Assad meeting – the Hawaiian representative may survive or wilt.

But two questions remain: Is Gabbard just a stumbling novice with odd views, or is the media trying to systematically bury her, as opposed to informing their readers, all because she presents a threat to accepted positions? And secondly, is it doing so at the behest of and with help from a network of influence, be it DNC operatives, or Washington insiders? If the answer to the first question is “the latter” or to the second is “yes,” perhaps instead of spending so much time on our website, investigative reporters should have a look at the provenance and motivations behind some of their own coverage.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 13 Comments

Trump’s Tulsi Gabbard Factor

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | November 21, 2016

Two weeks after Donald Trump’s shocking upset of Hillary Clinton, the imperious and imperial neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist understudies may finally be losing their tight grip on U.S. foreign policy.

The latest sign was Trump’s invitation for a meeting with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, on Monday. The mainstream media commentary has almost completely missed the potential significance of this start-of-the-work-week meeting, suggesting that Trump is attracted to Gabbard’s tough words on “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

Far more important is that Gabbard, a 35-year-old Iraq War veteran, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries because of his opposition to neocon/liberal-hawk military adventures. She starred in one of the strongest political ads of the campaign, a message to Hawaiians, called “The Cost of War.”

“Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War,” Gabbard says. “He understands the cost of war, that that cost is continued when our veterans come home. Bernie Sanders will defend our country and take the trillions of dollars that are spent on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars and invest it here at home.”

In the ad, Gabbard threw down the gauntlet to the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks, by accusing them of wasting trillions of dollars “on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars.” Her comments mesh closely with Trump’s own perspective.

So, the surprise election results on Nov. 8 may have represented a “trading places” moment for the neocons and liberal hawks who were eagerly counting the days before the “weak” President Barack Obama would turn over the Commander-in-Chief job to former Secretary of State Clinton who had made clear that she shared their hawkish agenda of escalating the war in Syria and ratcheting up the New Cold War with Russia.

There was even speculation that one of Clinton’s neocon favorites within the State Department, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, might be rewarded with State’s top job for her “regime change” in Ukraine that sparked the start of the New Cold War in 2014.

Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan, sabotaged President Obama’s emerging strategy of collaborating with Russian President Vladimir Putin on sensitive global issues. In 2013-14, Putin helped orchestrate two of Obama’s brightest foreign policy successes: Syria’s surrender of its chemical weapons arsenal and Iran’s guarantee that it would not develop nuclear weapons.

But those agreements infuriated the neocons who favored escalating both crises into direct U.S. bombing campaigns aimed at Syria and Iran – in accordance with the desires of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi monarchy. Yet. there was perhaps even greater alarm at what the next move of the Obama-Putin tag team might be: demanding that Israel finally get serious about a peace deal with the Palestinians.

So, the neocons took aim at Ukraine, which neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman identified as “the biggest prize” and an important stepping stone to an even bigger prize, a “regime change” in Moscow removing Putin.

While Gershman’s NED funded (with U.S. taxpayers’ money) scores of projects inside Ukraine, training anti-government activists and journalists, Nuland took the point as the key organizer of a putsch that removed elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, and replaced him with a fiercely anti-Russian regime.

Given the geopolitical sensitivity of Ukraine to Russia, including its naval base on the Crimean peninsula, Putin had little choice but to react, supporting a referendum in Crimea in which 96 percent of the voters favored leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia – and assisting ethnic Russian rebels in the east who resisted the violent ouster of their president.

Of course, the mainstream Western news media presented these developments as simply a case of “Russian aggression” and a “Russian invasion.” And, faced with this new “group think,” Obama quickly abandoned his partner, Putin, and joined in the chorus of condemnations.

Nuland emerged as a new star inside the State Department, a hero of the New Cold War which was expected to funnel trillions of tax dollars into the Military-Industrial Complex.

Trump’s Heresy

But Trump surprisingly adopted the position that Obama shied away from, a recognition that Putin could be an important asset in resolving major international crises. The real-estate-mogul-turned-politician stuck to that “outside-the-mainstream” position despite fierce attacks from rival Republicans and Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, who even mocked him as Putin’s “puppet.”

After Trump’s upset victory on Nov. 8, many pundits assumed that Trump would fall back in line with Washington’s hawkish foreign-policy establishment by giving top jobs to neocons, such as former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, or Netanyahu favorites, such as former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney or ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

So far, however, Trump has followed a different course, more in line with the libertarian thinking of the Koch brothers – not only the more famous ones, Charles and David, but also their long-estranged brother William, who I’m told have become behind-the-scenes advisers to the President-elect.

Though Trump did offer high-profile meetings to the likes of Romney and Giuliani, he has yet to hand over any key foreign-policy job to the Republican neocon wing. His one major announcement in that area has been naming as National Security Advisor retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency when it produced a prescient warning that U.S. policy in Syria would lead to the creation of an “Islamic State.”

Though Flynn is regarded as a hardliner in the fight against Islamic jihadist terror, he is seen as an independent thinker regarding how best to wage that war. For instance, Flynn has objected to the notion that drone strikes, i.e., killing off individual jihadists, is a route to success.

“We’ve tended to say, drop another bomb via a drone and put out a headline that ‘we killed Abu Bag of Doughnuts’ and it makes us all feel good for 24 hours,” Flynn said. “And you know what? It doesn’t matter. It just made them a martyr, it just created a new reason to fight us even harder.”

That leaves open the possibility that a President Trump might eschew the “whack-a-mole” approach that has bedeviled the “war on terror” and instead go after the “mole nest” – if you will – the Saudi monarchy that has long financed Islamic extremists both through the fundamentalist Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam and by supplying money and weapons to jihadists dating back at least to the Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s, the origin of modern Islamic terrorism.

Traditional U.S. politicians have recoiled from facing up to the hard reality that the Saudi monarchy is the real “terror central” because of Saudi Arabia’s enormous riches and influence, which is now enhanced by its quiet alliance with Israel in their joint campaign against the so-called “Shiite crescent,” from Iran through Syria to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Taking on this Saudi-Israel nexus has long been regarded as political suicide, given Israel’s extraordinary lobbying power and Saudi Arabia’s exceptional wealth. But Trump may be assembling a team that is “crazy” enough to take on that mission.

So, while the fight over the future of U.S. foreign policy is far from over – the neocons will surely flex their muscles at the major think tanks, on the op-ed pages and inside the halls of Congress – the Trump transition is showing some creativity in assembling a national security team that may go in a very different direction.

Much will become apparent in Trump’s choice of Secretary of State. If it’s someone like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, or Rep. Gabbard or a libertarian from the Kochs’ world, that would be bad news for the neocons. If it’s someone like Romney, Giuliani, Bolton or Woolsey, then that will mean that President-elect Trump has blinked and the neocons can breathe a sigh of relief.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

November 21, 2016 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment